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How To Dress For An Hourglass Shaped Body

By Gorjus London   |   Date April 27, 2022

There’s no wrong or right shape for a body, but different people definitely have different body shapes, which can be complemented with varying choices of style and outfits. 


With that said, no one should be confined by their body shape. Just because you feel you fit in a certain category doesn’t mean that you have to stay in that lane!


The hourglass body shape is a classic female body shape. Let’s begin by summarising its main elements: 


  • Normal or narrow shoulders
  • Bust and hips are the same width
  • Evenly distributed weight around the body 
  • Defined waistline 
  • Round hips and bottom
  • Medium to large thighs


Hourglass body shapes can be pretty close to an apple or pear body shape, depending on the size of the bust and hips. While the hourglass is considered a desirable body type, women often have issues in defining the waistline, or not adding too much extra weight to curves. 


Famous Hourglass Body Types


Here are some of the most well-known hourglass body types of past and present:

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Scarlett Johansen 
  • Lynda Carter
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Jenifer Lopez
  • Kate Winslet



Dressing for an hourglass body shape might seem straightforward, but it’s all about accentuating those curves without going over the top. There are also certain clothes worth avoiding if you have an hourglass body type. 


The Main Ingredients of the Hourglass Body Shape


The hourglass figure is usually looking to build on a solid base. Hourglass figures have proportion, they’ve got curves, they’ve got a body which many clothes will fit naturally. So, what’s the issue? 


When an hourglass figure is pushed beyond its proportions, it can look slightly over the top, which some people aren’t keen on. Of course, the individual is the judge, and exceptionally hourglass-y figures are certainly not unattractive. But, keeping things more proportionate is often necessary.



Here are some tips to keep an hourglass figure looking awesome:

  • Fitted, tailored clothes around the waist, top and bottom accentuate your curves
  • Use builts to really showcase the waste
  • Avoid adding weight to the top half with loose-fitting clothes 
  • Fitted bottoms balance the body 
  • Minimal or simple clothes accentuate the figure 


Keeping the hourglass balanced is absolutely crucial:


  • Black and white tight-fitting clothes always accentuate shape
  • Invest in excellent bras
  • Avoid boxy garments
  • Baggy clothes will hide your body 
  • Don’t be afraid of bringing attention to your bust and bottom 

Issues Facing Hourglass Body Types

Many women are not happy with their hourglass body types as they feel overly curvy. This has led some women to feel over-sexualised for having what many consider a classically sexy figure. 


Of course, this is certainly not an issue with all hourglasses, but some hourglass figures like Kim Kardashian really push boundaries, and it’s not for everyone. 


If you’re unhappy with your hourglass body type because of these reasons, you might try to cover up your curves with straight, baggy or androgynous/masculine ‘tomboy’ styles. The objective is to feel good, and if that makes you feel good about your body - genuinely - then that’s fine. 


But, if this sounds like you, it’s definitely worth having a look through your wardrobe, tinkering with your personal style and experimenting a bit. Hourglass figures don’t need to work hard to accentuate curves, but embracing them is a good idea!

Tops For An Hourglass Body Type

There are many awesome shirt silhouettes and styles that fit an hourglass, including: 


  • Belted tops 
  • Fine knit sweaters
  • Fitted/stretch tees
  • Fitted blouses
  • Peplum shirt
  • V-neck sweaters (tight fitting)


All of these options can provide definition to the curves. Fitted blouses are a flexible option and can actually help you de-emphasise your curves if that’s what you prefer. 




Necklines for the hourglass should be simple, clean and minimalist. It’s not necessary to add weight to the neckline with embellishments. Oval, rounded or jewel necklines look superb as they aren’t overly wide, meaning they won’t draw too much attention to the neckline. Lower, wider necklines will naturally add more emphasis to the bust. 




Fitted sleeves usually work very well with an hourglass body shaper. There’s little to gain from loose or baggy sleeves either - keep things clean and well-fitted. 

T-Shirts For An Hourglass Body Type

T-shirts for the hourglass should be well-fitted, which will really accentuate the waistline. If they sort of ‘nip in’ at the waist, then that’s a bonus. Avoid t-shirts which are too boxy and baggy, as well as those with larger, looser shoulders and sleeves. 


As far as prints and designs go, pretty much anything is fine. Patterns might detract from your body shape, though, so keep an eye on that. In general, more minimalist and block colours might work the best. 

Knitwear For An Hourglass Body Type

Form-fitting knitwear looks great. Clean, minimalist, and lightweight fabrics suit the hourglass by maintaining the waist and drawing attention to curves. Chunky fabrics may detract from the figure, but that’s obviously ok in some scenarios and combining with a belt can transform any loosely fitting clothing. 

Jackets For An Hourglass Body Type

Single-breast blazers and compact, fitted jackets look superb on the hourglass. Anything that stops above the hips will greatly accentuate curves. 

Straighter, less-fitted or more boxy styles will detract from the body. Embellishments aren’t necessary - it might be a good idea to keep things clean and minimalist. As for colour, black, grey and white will all look great, or consider blue, green or something funkier. 

Dresses For An Hourglass Body Type

Belted dresses are a go-to here, as they’ll bring attention to the waist. Tulip skirts are an excellent choice too, as they can really accentuate the waistline.


Dark colours and vertical stripes will bring the body into focus neatly, whereas bolder patterns, pockets and ruffles will accentuate curves more dramatically. If you’re short, avoid maxi dresses, but if you’re tall, those will look awesome. Little black dresses look great on all hourglasses. 




Bodycon dresses are excellent for confident hourglasses, as are tight-fitting lacey types for special occasions. 


  • Corset or panelled waist 
  • Sheath dress
  • Stretchy and bodycon dresses
  • Vintage style (think Marilyn Monroe)
  • Wrap dress

Skirts For An Hourglass Body Type

Skirts follow broadly the same logic as dresses. Tight-fitting, fitted types are best, though looser, fabric skirts are great so long as they fit well at the waist. If you’re taller, up the length, if you’re shorter, widen the hemline. 



  • Pencil skirt 
  • A-line skirts or panelled skirts
  • Mini skirts

Shorts For The Hourglass Body Type

High-waisted shorts can help accentuate the waistline. If you tuck your top in, you can bring yet more definition to your curves. Most shorts look good on the hourglass - length should vary with how you wish to show off your legs. 


  • Bermuda length shorts 
  • Bike and gym shorts 
  • Fitted or tapered shorts 
  • Loose shorts with a tight waistband 
  • Peddle pushers

Jumpsuits And Playsuits For An Hourglass Body Type

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, jumpsuits and playsuits can look stunning on an hourglass. Since most of these garments are belted around the waist, they can bring immense definition to the top and bottom half. 


Keeping the style simple and unruffled is probably best. Minimalist patterns and subtly can he;p define the body. 

Accessories For An Hourglass Body Type

Belts: Belts for the hourglass are a no-brainer. They really show off the waistline while keeping curves intact. 


Pumps: Light-coloured or nude pumps are ideal for hourglasses that wish to elongate their body shape. 


Statement jewellery: You can’t beat it. Rings and bracelets bring attention to your bottom half and earrings to your top half. 


Bags: Hourglasses rock all bags, but minimalist options keep the focus on the body shape, if that’s what’s desired! 

Summary: Hourglass Body Type

The hourglass body type is often idealised, but all body types should be considered equal. Even so, the hourglass has particular qualities that make it desirable to all genders, and while many women celebrate that, others prefer to keep things low-key. 


Of course, there’s no wrong or right way to dress an hourglass body type, but accentuating curves and focusing on the hourglass’s proportion is simple enough with minimalist, well-fitted clothes.