Attitudes towards body confidence and image have changed substantially over the years, with awareness from platforms like The Be Real Campaign empowering people to love the skin they’re in. It’s important to remember that, while there are general categories for body shape, everyone is different and no body type is best. As such, finding the right fit in clothing is a way of accentuating and complementing your natural shape, rather than hiding it. This helps you to feel as good as you look.

Women’s skirts offer a classic silhouette for the female form, but you’ll need to get a good fit to be comfortable and create the desired look. You can use the basic body shapes as a guide to finding the right fit for you. These types aren’t absolute, but they should give you an idea of where to start.

Rectangle

The width of your shoulders and hips is roughly equal, forming a roughly straight line. Likewise, your hips and bust will be similar. As rectangle-shaped bodies don’t tend to have a defined waist, the goal is to use clothing to give this shape. Consider belted pencil skirts to pull in on the torso while taking advantage of the sleek, even line between your shoulder and hips.

Pear

Pear-shaped figures have hips which are wider than their shoulders. To balance out the body, bring attention to the upper half of the body and emphasise the waistline.  Try wearing a vivid printed blouse with a neutral-coloured skirt that pinches at the waist. People with this shape should avoid boxy-style shirts as they conceal the natural waistline and blend into the lower half.

Hourglass

With fairly similar measurements on your hips, shoulders and bust and a clear waistline, this is a sought-after shape in fashion which suits classically tailored clothing. Take advantage of the naturally symmetrical silhouette and stay away from pieces that eliminate the shape of your waist, such as oversized clothing. Try pencil skirts and skater skirts to show off that figure.

Apple

Wider shoulders and bust alongside narrower hips are characteristic of an apple shape. Wearing pieces that create a flared a-line figure is often an excellent way to balance out the hips with the upper half of the body. This gives the illusion of a broader lower half. Consider a bright a-line midi skirt and a simple monochrome top to draw attention to the right places.

A note on height

Skirt length can also make a big difference in how the eye perceives shape. Shorter people often aim to lengthen their silhouette with mini skirts and high-waisted pieces. These make it seem like the lower half is longer, giving the impression of height.

Taller folk may opt for longer skirts with a lower waist and a separate, clearly defined top. Layer other clothes on top to section your look. One, single piece of clothing makes you look taller, so breaking up your outfit into distinct items makes you seem shorter.