Discover Your Body Type (and Why It Matters!)

Discover Your Body Type and Dress to Flatter It

By: Nada Manley,

It’s wonderful to discover your body type. In my world, one of the things this has changed is that Juicy doesn’t mean what it used to mean. Very early in my marriage, the word Juicy meant bedazzled velour and matching sets and hoping-to-be-a-mom-soon-so-I-might-as-well-dress-like-one comfort. (What can I say? I’ve always been a trendsetter. Really? Oh. I had no idea you felt so strongly about velour. I promise I’m not wearing it anymore. I hope we can still be friends).

After years of Juicy and Couture going hand in hand, I spotted the first pair of pudgy baby cheeks belonging to my first pudgy(ish) baby, and after that, the word juicy forever came to mean my girls and their squeezable, smushable parts. Cheeks and bellies and toes all became juicy, and I love to tell them: “Who’s juicy and sweet and can’t be beat?”

They’re blessed to have such a wordsmith for a mom.

(Do you have a child who brings out your smushing instinct? Eva’s cheeks and her slightly round belly are just so juicy to me, and every time I see her, I want to smush her. Okay, almost every time. Except when she is whining. So about 4% of the time, then. Lola doesn’t have any smushy parts, but I want to smush her anyway.)

Anyway, that was totally off topic. All of this to say that I am no longer trying to be juicy. I am not a fruit. Fruity, occasionally, but definitely not a fruit. And neither are you.

So let’s just put the whole apple-pear-asparagus body type thing to bed once and for all, shall we? 

You are not an apple. Or a pear. Or an eggplant.

And neither am I. Sure, my belly fluctuates between not-so-flat and definitely-not-flat, which, by certain standards, might classify me as an apple. Add to that the string bean legs I was teased about in grade school, and I have become a salad.

me as produce


And not even a very good one. I need some blue cheese crumbles or something.

Helpful Hint: Does your stomach size fluctuate too? I have discovered a super-simple solution. Tunics! Tunics make it possible for me to eat chocolate. Problem solved. You’re so welcome.

And now, allow me to introduce you to a body type system that is pleasingly fruit-free: The Style Dial®.

Discover Your Body Type

Now that we’ve decided I’m no longer an apple and you’re no longer a pear or an eggplant or an artichoke, let’s get to the truth about body types. We like to complicate things and assign shapes and fruit and cutesy nicknames, but in reality, at the very basic level, you only need to answer 2 questions to discover your basic body type. And here’s  a pretty picture to explain it all.



That’s it. Two questions. Sure, this handy dandy chart is an oversimplification of all of the beautiful possible shapes of womankind, but it’s a start. (Keep reading! The questions are coming!)

Allow me to elaborate.

According to the system I use, created by The Stylist Online, there are 3 basic body types: Style Dial® 1, 2 and 3. The Style Dial® recognizes the fact that there aren’t only 3 women in the world, and that’s why it’s shown on a dial. We will all fall in different places on the dial, based on our unique body shapes. In addition to the 3 main body types, there are also types that combine the characteristics of two types, such as a 1 (3) or a 2 (3). Confused? I can explain.

The chart below shows the 3 basic types and a description of the characteristics found in each type. If three or more of the items for one body type describe you, then you may be onto something.

style dial

Question 1: Are Your Hips Curvy? Or, to put it differently, are your shoulders narrower than your hips or about the same?

If you have hips, a bum, or (as is often the case) both, you know it. No one has to, you know, point it out. Love them or not, they are there, and you have to address them. Or, more accurately, dress them. As the song says, your hips don’t lie. And in this case they point you to a Style Dial® 2 Body Type. No hips, or hips proportional to your shoulders? Head straight to question #2.

Question 2: Is Your Waist Straight or Defined?

The next big question refers to waist size. A defined waist is one that is 2″ (or more) smaller than the upper hip measurement. If the difference between your hips and your waist is less than 2″, you have a straighter, less defined waist.

A classic Style Dial® 2 has a defined waist. If your waist is straight, then you’re a 2(3).

If your body is straight, with no hips or waist definition, and you tend to gain weight all over or in your midsection, then you’re a Style Dial® 3.

If your body is proportional, with your hips and shoulders about even, and your waist is defined, then you’re a Style Dial® 1. Proportional hips and shoulders, but with less definition in the waist? Then you’re a Style Dial 1 (3).

One more note: It is possible, with weight fluctuation, to go between a Style Dial® 1 and a Style Dial® 3 body type, but if you’re a Style Dial® 2, you will always be a  Style Dial® 2, because your curvy hips are based on your bone structure and are not dependent on weight.

Still Confused?

Don’t worry! That’s what I’m here for! I offer a free Style Dial® analysis and Personalized Style Snapshot for all BeautyMommy subscribers, and it’s so easy! It only takes a few minutes! Just click on the Body Type Form right here.

Voila! I’ll analyze your body type, give you your magic Style Dial®, and set you up with a private Pinterest board filled with looks tailored to your body type and your style.

Now will you forgive me for that velour tracksuit?

Discover Your Body Type and Dress to Flatter It

Nada Manley

About Nada Manley

BeautyMommy Nada Manley is a Stylist to the Moms. Nada is a wife, a mom of two daughters (Lola and Eva), a stylist with The Stylist Online, a style journalist and fashion columnist (GateHouse Media, My Coast Magazine, NailPro), a published author (Secrets of the Beauty Insiders), a Christian, a closet consultant, a professional shopper and an obsessive tea drinker. BeautyMommy offers style solutions, beauty tips and shopping advice for busy moms, all delivered with a sense of humor.

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