Trinny and Susannah of the original British reality TV show “What Not to Wear”, recently launched their latest book: The Body Shape Bible. Their mantra throughout the book is consistent: “Forget your size, discover your shape and transform yourself”.

Dressing for your body type is also a strong theme on and I use five body types as a frame of reference (the pear, apple, rectangle, hourglass and inverted triangle). Trinny and Susannah have identified twelve definitive women’s body shapes in their new book which I found very interesting. In each case, it’s the proportion and not the size that matters. So whether you are a slim, average or larger version of a body type, the same dressing principles will apply.

The twelve body shapes are really a more detailed breakdown of the five that I use. There are three pears,

  • The Skittle – average size bust, slim waist, okay tummy with big thighs and chunky calves (e.g. Halle Berry)
  • The Bell – small shoulders, bust and waist, short waist with big thighs and bottom (e.g. Hillary Clinton)
  • The Pear – small bust, long waist, flat tummy, saddle bags and heavy legs (e.g. Sandra Bullock)

…two apples,

  • The Apple – average bust, tummy larger than bust with flat bottom and okay legs (e.g. Kathy Bates)
  • The Vase – large bust, gently curving long waist, hips same width as bust with slim thighs and legs (e.g. Kate Winslet)

…two rectangles,

  • The Column – shoulder width same as hip width with a slight waist and long legs (e.g. Nicole Kidman)
  • The Brick – broad shoulders, no waist, average tummy, flat bottom with chunky thighs and calves (e.g. Kim Cattrell)

…two hourglasses,

  • The Cello – large bust, hips, bottom and thighs with slim lower legs (e.g. Oprah Winfrey)
  • The Hourglass – large bust, small and short waist, large hips and full thighs (e.g. Salma Hayek)

…and three inverted triangles,

  • The Goblet – broad shoulders, large bust, no waist with narrow hips and long legs (e.g. Catherine Zeta Jones)
  • The Cornet – broad shoulders, small bust, no waist with slim hips and slim long legs (e.g. Cameron Diaz)
  • The Lollipop – large bust with slight waist, slim hips and long legs (e.g. Angelina Jolie)

I like their comprehensive body type descriptions and hope that this information helps you to identify your body type more accurately. Do you feel that the extra details make the descriptions easier to use? Can you identify your body type?