To categorize your body’s contour and proportions into a body shape, you need four measurements: shoulders, bust, waist and hips. Start with your shoulders. Wrap a measuring tape around the fullest part of your shoulders; it should drape across your back, around either shoulder and across the upper part of your chest. The same goes for your bust; wrap the measuring tape around your back and around the fullest part of your breasts. To measure your waist, wrap the tape around the smallest part of your torso. Your hips are the largest part of your torso, so measure just below your hip bone and across the fullest part of your butt. As you measure each body part, ensure the measuring tape is flat, without smashing down your breasts or butt.
Pear-shaped figures, sometimes referred to as triangle shape, carry their weight from the hips down. They have a fuller-sized bottom and a tiny waist. If you’re pear-shaped, your hips will measure at least 5 percent wider than your shoulders or bust. For example, if your hips measure 36 inches, your shoulders or bust would generally measure 34 inches or less.
Women with apple-shaped figures, also called circular, carry their weight around their midsection — the stomach. They have smaller hips and shoulders, and slim legs and butt. Your largest measurement will come from your waist.
With the inverted triangle, or wedge, the shoulders and bust are the broadest part of the body, lending a smaller waist and hip line. Opposite of a pear-shaped figure, the shoulders or bust should measure at least 5 percent larger than the hips. For example, if your bust measures 34 inches, then your hips would generally be 32 inches or smaller.
Hourglass figures are curvy with a very established waistline. The butt and bust are the largest assets, while the shoulders and hips measure almost equally — they should measure within 5 percent of each other. If you’re an hourglass, your waist should be 25 percent smaller than your shoulders, if not more, as noted on Oprah.com in “Match Your Shape.” For example, when shoulders and hips measures 36 inches, the waist would measure 27 inches at most.
A rectangular figure, or ruler shape, is just like it sounds — a boxy, elongated figure with few curves. Opposite of an hourglass figure, rectangles have almost no waistline. The shoulders, bust and hips should measure equally, varying only 5 percent, at most, from one another.