How to determine your body shape

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How to determine your body shape
Determine your body shape to help you make flattering clothing choices. (Getty Images)

Everyone is born with a certain type of body shape that no amount of dieting and exercise is ever going to change. Use the following tips to determine your body shape. This knowledge can help you determine which clothes are the most flattering to wear, and it can even help you create a fitness routine that will benefit you the most.

Things you need

  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Become aware of the basic body shapes for men and women. Women most commonly fit into the category of pear/spoon, hourglass, apple or ruler. Men are usually categorized as ruler, apple or cone-shaped.

  2. 2

    Look at yourself in the mirror. Decide what type of shape you think your figure is.

  3. 3

    Take your measurements to provide more accurate information for determining your body shape. It's best to get someone to help you take your measurements since it is difficult to do on your own. Measure the across the middle of your chest (men) or breasts (women), and always exhale before measuring. The waist is measured 2.5 cm (1 inch) above you belly button, and your hips are measured at the widest spot.

  4. 4

    Read your measurements to find out if you're pear-shaped/spoon-shaped. You'll typically be heavier on the bottom compared to the rest of your body, but it does not mean you're fat. A pear-shaped person has a significant difference in the measurement of their hips and chest, but not their chest and waist.

  5. 5

    Determine if you're apple-shaped. If you are, then your waist measurements will be significantly larger compared to your hip and chest measurements.

  6. 6

    Find out if you're a ruler or a cone. Ruler-shaped people have little difference between the measurements of their chest, waist and hips. Cone-shaped people have chest and waist measurements that are fairly close, but have hips that are about 15 cm (6 inches) or so smaller than their chests.

  7. 7

    See if you're an hourglass. Hourglass-shaped people have chest and hip measurements that are very close to one another, but have a small waist. To be classified as a true hourglass, there needs to be at least 15 cm (6 inches) difference between your waist and chest and your waist and hips.

Tips and warnings

  • To quickly find out if you are an apple or a pear, calculate your waist-to-hip ratio. Measure your waist and hips, then divide your waist size by your hip size. If your ratio is more than 0.8 for women or 1.0 for men, then you are considered an apple.

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