Body Type

5 Tips for Dressing Your Inverted Triangle Shape

If your body resembles an inverted triangle it means you have broad shoulders, narrow hips, an undefined waist, and a large bust in proportion to the rest of your body.

It may look like you are wearing shoulder pads when you are not. A better way to describe it is you have a swimmer’s shape.



Great examples of women with the inverted triangle body type are Jamie Lee Curtis, Princess Charlene of Monaco, Teri Hatcher, Pamela Anderson, and Catherine Zeta Jones.

inverted triangle figure


How do you dress for this body type?  You need to balance your broad shoulders with your small waist and hips. Here’s what to wear:


Skirts that add volume to your hips, such as pleated A-line or full skirts work best. Pencils skirts that don’t narrow at the knees can work too.


The best pants for an inverted triangle are bootcut or relaxed fit pants with a wider hemline. Pants with pocket flaps on the back will help your bottom look bigger as your body type tends to have a small bottom. 


Strong V-neck tops and scoop neck tops are attractive. One-shoulder tops and off-the-shoulder tops draw attention away from your broad shoulders. Soft fabrics that drape soften the shoulders. Stay away from tops that widen the shoulder like tops with boat necks or with wide or oversized collars.


Shorter jackets that flare out slightly at the hips will broaden your hips and balance your figure. For example, a peplum jacket is great because of the way it adds width to your bottom half.


Strapless. or one-shoulder dresses highlight your gorgeous shoulders. Dresses with hip detail help balance your shape. Bias cut dresses look fabulous too.  


Choose bottoms in bright, light colors and tops in dark colors. This will add more weight below your waist.


Bold Patterns and Textures below the waist will add some bulk here and even you out.

One Last Tip

As I mentioned earlier a gal with this figure type has a large bust in proportion to the rest of her body. While that’s pretty sexy when you’re young, after 40 when everything starts to sag and bulk up you can look really top heavy and matronly. So my tip to you gets a great bra that hikes your breasts up and off your tummy. Your bust should sit halfway between your shoulders and your elbow. The perkier you look, the more youthful you will look.

Are you starting to get a better understanding of how to Dress Over 40 if you are an inverted triangle shape? Want to know more about the styles of clothing that will work best for your body type? Then check out the online fashion tool, My Private Stylist.

It’s a fantastic computerized fashion tool that pinpoints your unique body shape and reveals the styles you need to wear to flatter your figure and make you look fabulous! 

If you have broad shoulders and small hips, you know it can be tricky to look balanced. In this episode of The Fabulous After 40 Podcast, I give tips and tricks to balance and Dress Your Inverted Triangle Figure, so you look wow in your clothes.

You will learn:

  • the dressing goals of the inverted triangle figure
  • which tops to wear to soften your shoulders
  • the most flattering necklines for broad shoulders
  •  clothing to avoid
  • the best skirts and pants to balance your figure
  • how the right colors in the right places can make you look more proportionate

Enjoy this podcast, and let me know what dressing challenges you have come up against being an inverted triangle and how you’ve gotten around that.

Also, please Click to Review & Rate the ‘Fabulous After 40 Podcast’ on iTunes! I value every review I receive and often read them on the show. If you take the time to leave one, THANK YOU – You’re Fabulous!

Here’s the podcast: How to Dress Your Inverted Triangle Body Shape.



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7 thoughts on “5 Tips for Dressing Your Inverted Triangle Shape

  1. I am 90 and I have exercised all my life. Unfortunately, I have have lost about four inches in height and my thighs and hips have gotten skinny. I have have a 42 inch chest and 33 inch hips. Therefore, I buy small pants and large tops. This might seem unbalanced, but my underbust is 34. So except for shoulders and upper bust, I am balanced. I am too small to wear wide pants and flared skirts. In fact I like to show off my narrow hips. In order to fit my bust, I have to buy size 12 dresses which sometimes have to be tailored. I can’t do anything about my old face, but my old figure is fabulous.

  2. This helps! Especially when we aren’t allowed to try items on in the stores. I wasn’t sure of the correct pattern for a shirt with my triangle build. But now I know, and I can’t wait to receive it in the mail.

  3. Great article!!! It’s the FIRSTTTT time I’ve seen something that’s TALKING to my body shape! I’ve ALWAYS described myself as an upside-down triangle. Those were my EXACT words for years (decades?). I”m 44. People would laugh, thinking I was kidding – but no. Dead serious. I did gymnastics as a kid, then cheerleading, and well.. weight training for most of my adult life… Women in my family all have wide backs. Being athletic from childhood to early adulthood – the hips never arrived (neither did the boobs! ha!) – explained the c-section route for all three kids. So growing up, being a teen, and into womanhood – was always challenging, disappointing, and depressing. I didn’t fit anything! So my clothes were very minimal, on the ho-hum side. Thanks for writing this –

    1. I am also 44 and have said “upside down triangle” forever!!!! And, same as you, wide back, gymnastics when younger- all the same… the only difference is I have a large chest (blah!) … I got such a kick out of reading your comment because NO one I know “gets” it. When I was younger, the “mean kids” called me Hulk Hogan because I was broad lol! Luckily I was too goofy to even care that it was supposed to be an insult. I thought they were calling me strong ! Lolol! Over the years I have figured out what is most flattering for this body shape, but I do best with casual. When it comes to dressing up, I still struggle – oh well- maybe by the time I’m 50 I’ll figure it out! :)

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