When we talk about the topic of looking your best, having balance in your figure or silhouette makes a huge difference in your overall physique. This is exactly why over the course of history, an hourglass figure is so desired; the top and bottom of your figure are balanced out symmetrically with a narrow middle. Sexy sirens and bombshell famous figures have shown off this iconic body shape for decades.
The question is, however, whether the idealized hourglass is attainable for all women, or whether it is just something you can see on magazine covers and social media feeds. While not everyone is born with an hourglass figure, you can create the hourglass shape with the right tools and strategies, regardless of your natural body type.
Look to these four simple strategies to see how you can get an hourglass shape.
Know your body type
An hourglass figure is what everyone wants and what some women are naturally born with. This figure means that your bust and hips are close to the same width, your shoulders are not prominent, and your waist is the slimmest feature. This results in curves in all the right places.
An apple figure is when you have a fuller bust and midsection with narrow hips. Your waist is not well-defined.
An inverted triangle figure is when your shoulders and bust are the widest part of your figure, while your waist and hips are narrower.
A pear figure is when you have full hips and your waist, bust, and shoulders are narrower.
A rectangle figure is when all four measurements are similar, and you have a few defining curves throughout your figure.
Even if you don’t fall into one of these categories perfectly, you can generally get an idea about what features stand out more or don’t stand out enough. This is important to know because it will help you know how to accentuate your best features and create curves where you want them.
Note that none of these body types is limited by size! Your figure can fall into any of these categories from XS to plus sizes.
Once you know your body type, you can easily create more hourglass curves by drawing attention to the right areas and minimizing other areas.
Create curves with shapewear and shaping apparel
Wearing shapewear is a guaranteed method to instantly get the hourglass figure you desire, no matter what natural shape you may have been born with. Here are some strategies you can use with each body type.
Hourglass: accentuate what’s naturally yours. Bring out those curves by slimming and smoothing the waistline as well as providing lift and control for your hips and bust.
Apple: with shapewear you can define your waist as well as accentuate curves in your top and your bottom, eliminating the round shape in your middle.
Inverted triangle: since you’re top-heavy, you can use shapewear to accentuate your waist and add curves to your butt and hips.
Pear: You already have lovely curves on your bottom, so you’ll want to use shapewear that smooths your hip and butt if needed. You can also accentuate your narrow waist and add curves to the top.
Rectangle: With shapewear, your goal is to create feminine curves by accentuating your slim waist and adding volume to the top and the bottom.
Dress for your body type
Once you’ve found the best shapewear that is perfectly suited to your body type, you can dress with pieces that will draw attention to all the right places. The ideal effect is an hourglass silhouette, regardless of your natural body type.
If you’ve naturally got an hourglass shape, wear pieces that show off your curves in every way, including waist-cinching dresses, low-cut tops, and form-fitting pants.
If you’re a natural apple shape, wear clothing that draws attention away from your waist and created and volumized appearance where you would like your curves to draw attention. Textured and wrapped tops with open necklines are a good bet. You will also benefit from belts, leggings and other form-fitting bottoms as they will give you length and elongate your whole figure.
As for inverted triangles, do the exact opposite. Wear simple tops and focus on garments that accentuate the waist so that you aren’t adding more weight to the top. Choose jeans and bottoms that enhance your curves and draw the eye to the derriere. Try different styles of skirts and looser pant cuts.
For those of you with a rectangular body, choose clothing that has loads of accents and details where you’d like to have curves, like around your neckline. Pants that flare straight or wide can also add shape. Fabrics that hug the body will suit you.
For pear-shaped bodies, create more balance on top with textures and creative necklines as well as accessories that draw attention to the top like scarves and jewelry. Avoid pants and skirts that cling to your hips and choose styles that flow from them instead.
What exercises can you do to get an hourglass figure?
This is more of a long-term strategy since you can’t dramatically change your figure overnight, but certain exercises can help you create more of an hourglass shape. The key is strength training. Many people make the mistake of doing a lot of cardio or strength moves that aren’t targeted to build muscle in the right places. But with targeted moves, done with enough frequency, you can create more curves by building muscle mass where you want them. For a rounder butt and toned legs (especially benefits apple, inverted triangle and rectangle shapes), do a variety of squats, lunges, deadlifts and step-ups. Use weights for the best results.
Keep in mind though, that both waist training and working out will take a little while to give you good, long-lasting results. The goal is to sculpt your body into the figure you want and that doesn’t happen magically in the span of the day. Remember to love and be kind to yourself, and enjoy the process the entire way.