How to Dress your Body Shape in Vintage Fashion

1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s Blog body shape dressing in vintage fashion blog how to how to dress your body shape in vintage vintage vintage clothing vintage dress vintage fashion

 In the past 100 years or so, every single body shape has been in fashion at some point in time. Finding the perfect vintage style that not only you love, but also that suits your shape might seem like an impossible task. Firstly, know your measurements. Sizes have fluctuated throughout the eras, and undergarments such as corsets and girdles that change the wearer’s body shape, are no longer fashionable. So knowing your waist, hip and bust measurements will make finding that perfectly fitting garment that little bit easier.

Hour glass

This is the most sort after figure, with a tiny waist and curvy hips and bust, it’s easy to see why. A clinched in waist will show off an amazing, curvy hourglass figure. Find these in 1950's style dresses, with their wide skirts to accentuate hips and the array of neckline styles to compliment your bust. Belts are an essential accessory to insure that the waist is displayed to its full potential. Another option for hourglass ladies is 1930's bias cut garments, where the fabric is cut on the grain of the material, meaning the dress flows easily over curves. Pencil skirts and capri pants are also key pieces to have in your wardrobe, as these also accentuate the waist whilst showing off your lovely legs.

Pear shape

With a fuller hip and derriere, Pear shapes need to be wary of balancing out their figure. 1960s A-line dresses will emphasise the upper body while slimming the wider bottom half. Bootcut jeans, such as those found in the 1970s, will help to balance out your hips and body, while also hugging those curves. Another style to try is Dior’s New Look. The fuller skirts and bust enhancing qualities will perfectly compliment your curves – again balancing your figure and giving the illusion of an hourglass figure. Finish any look with a statement necklace, to further draw attention away from the hips and embellish the neckline.


This is the most common body shape, which makes finding your prefect vintage that little bit easier. With well proportioned hip and body and a boyish, slim figure, ladies with a rectangle body shape can pull off almost any look. The 1920s style is your iconic era. Styles to look out for are drop waists, beaded patterns and cap sleeves – all of which will compliment your frame. Tiggy-esque, Mod style shift dresses of the 1960s will also look stunning on a Rectangle shape. Look for colourful and brightly patterned pieces in order to showcase your figure.


Apples have a top heavy body shape, with a wide torso, broad shoulders and a fuller bust. Be sure to add volume and structure within your clothes in order to draw attention away from a fuller midsection. Single breasted and structured coats and jackets will help to create curves in your top half. Full circle skirts of the 1950s are perfect for Apple body shapes as these will add structure to your hips. Aim to show off either your fuller bust or your shapely legs – short A line dresses or V-necks should be a staple in your wardrobe. Wrap dresses are great for Apple figures, as it will help to add definition to your midsection. Choose styles that begins to flow just beneath the bust, such as Empire line dresses, as they will skim past your waist and stay away from dresses with a built-in waist line, that draws more attention to your midsection.

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