Don’t Waste Your Money – X Shape


Not sure of your body shape?  Read up on the Body Shapes Explained posts to help you find it.

If you are an X shape, then you are best to avoid looking at clothing with these features:

  1. Lots of horizontal detail across the hips.
  2. Patch pockets on the hips
  3. Tops that don’t show off your defined waist.
  4. Jackets that aren’t tailored to show off your waist, and especially those that end around your lower hips, you’re better off with a shorter high hip length.
  5. Distressing on jeans across your hips
  6. Anything boxy or square
  7. Ending your tops down on your low hip (same as for the A shape).
What do you Xs avoid taking into the change room?


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  • Yay, I am happy to see you did X next, cuz I am an X.

    I've made many mistakes over the years – distressing across hips, patch pockets, boxy vests (do ANY vests work for Xs?) … eventually I noticed they were wrong!

    The one I struggle with is jackets that end at the low hip. I've a long torso, and jackets that are meant to go a bit past the crotch generally end right at my crotch level … on the up side they show off my waist. So I still wear them, because 3/4 length is just too unrelaxed (I'm a total relaxed/natural type) and usually doesn't show off the waist either, and short jackets don't keep me warm enough.

    I hate belts or anything that I can feel tight on my waist, so my only way to show it off is to wear fitted tops – which is just fine.

    Needless to say it's really hard to find pants that fit well (loose in the hips, high enough rise). I am learning to sew!

    As for skirts, I can't wear short ones because of leg hair (I've a LOT and any way I remove it doesn't last at all; I haven't tried laser but shaving would have to be done twice a day, and waxing leaves them smooth for at most 1 week, then they have to grow for 3 to be waxed again). So I go for long a-line skirts, which looks beautiful, but is a bit odd – few people (esp. in their late 20s like me) wear such long skirts. Or maybe I'm just being self-conscious.

    What you taught me to avoid is tops with detailing at the bottom, cuz that is not where I want attention.

    I've also been experimenting with layering tops to compliment my long rise.

    So after all that rambling, I would add to your no-no's list:

    – non-a-line skirts
    – skinny jeans/pants
    – short shorts

    A big YES for me is 3/4 length sleeves – they point to the waist, whereas long sleeves point to the hips.

    – tall & slim anon

  • I'm an X also -assessed by you when i visited Melbourn in October, actually, a great experience! I've reread your advices for the X-shape and agree these are flop proof choices. But – sometimes I want variety. I'm rather tall with an average weight for my height (1.72 m/63 kg) and don't have looking taller and slimer as a main goal when I dress. Actually I would feel quite comfortable in the outfit shown with skinny jeans anf ruffled top. This way i would show my legs, and onlookers would just presume my upper body was in proportion with my lower body, hiding the facts that I have a short waist, long rise and am not very well endowed. Admittedly, they would also see my saddle bags, but maybe that doesn't mather that much? Am I completely wrong here?

  • It is funny how this to the hips boxy no waist jacket is wrong for every shape! Who does it suit then? Men maybe?

  • Sigrid, I can relate. I also have no need to look slimmer/taller – the opposite, if anything! I think the main thing at the end of the day is your attitude. So if you feel good in the outfit you describe, it'll show. Otherwise maybe take a photo of yourself in this, so you can have a slightly more objective way of looking at it.

    – tall & slim anon

  • Can X shapes wear raglan, dolman, or batwing sleeves?
    I also like 3/4 sleeves.
    Princess seamed, fit and flare dresses are my favorite. The fit nicely on the top half of my body, and flare over my hips.

  • I avoid boxy jackets. I now avoid long jackets too. I have a couple of longer jackets that I had made for me overseas but am never happy wearing. Somehow they just overwhelm my petite frame. I am trying to incorporate more belts into my look too.

  • I am an X with short, thin torso, very narrow waist and wide hips (they're in line with my shoulders, but my back bottom adds a lot to the hip circumference). I am relatively tall, having a normal weight (175cm, 62kg).
    Hip length jackets combined with skirts look terrible on me. On the other hand, I can pass with hip length jackets when I'm wearing pants with flared, wide legs. I avoid low raised pants and jeans, since I have a rather big bottom that tends to peek out from these garments. Also, tapered pants are a big no to me – they make my hips look enormous. I avoid tulip skirts, while pencil skirts look nice on me.
    I love cropped jackets and cardigans, and I believe I look better in form fitting dresses than in skirt/blouse combos.

  • I avoid anything double-breasted and anything cropped, including pants. I'm an X with a larger chest, and recently I did a full closet purge. I realized I had a lot of long jackets, baggy tops and other wrong shapes. I sold some things to consignment, then dragged everything else to the tailor. It was a big undertaking, but now I have great jackets that hit at the hip, skirts that end at the knee, and dresses that fit both my bust AND my waist.

  • Sigrid – you could get away with the ruffle top as you've not got a large bust. As you have a long rise you want something that goes down a little further. I tend to find clothes with waist shaping more flattering.

  • Just figured out I'm an X – so thank you for that! I've always avoided baggy or straight tops/blouses or dresses that don't accentuate my waist. And I belt pretty much everything! I've found that I can rock vintage 70s swing jackets if they fall above the hip bone and have 3/4 sleeves IF I belt whatever top I'm wearing underneath. That's about the only boxy style I can get away with though.

    Because I'm petite I have to be careful with the length between shoulder and waist, my upper torso is the shortest part with a high natural waist line. I love high waisted pencil and A line skirts, but have to make sure they end at or above the knee. Could you do a series on dressing Petite and Tall frames?

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I could not choose between pear and hourglass, since neither fit! I’d never heard of x shape until now!

    Like some prior responders, I’m long in the torso, and long from hip to crotch, and long from shoulder-top to bust, too!

    Bat-wing sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, peasant blouses, square necklines, long flowy circle skirts and a-line skirts have worked well for me in the past. I tend towards high-waisted relaxed fit jeans, and dark loose-fitting pants in the thighs.

    Thank you for defining x shape!

  • After years of trying to figure out my body type, it turns out I’m an X! Wearing belts is problematic for me — I have long legs, a short waist, and a large bust — but the other X recommendations look perfect. Thank you!

    • Body shape guidelines are just that -guidelines and as we are all unique, not all suggestions may apply (or you can modify them for your shape), so it’s good that you figure out the best basics then can work around your proportions, scale and body variations (which are not part of body shape and all impact on what you wear).

  • I’m glad to find the X style! My biggest challenge is that I’m petite, and my waist/torso is quite short.

    With kids now, my “mom shape” makes me not love belts or accents around the waist anymore. (I’m still an XS/S/2-4 size, and have a thin frame, but the midsection firmness is not the same). I’ve been suggested to wear push-up bras to elongate my torso, but I’m not sure if that really works.

    Any suggestions (besides tummy-focused undergarments)?

    • high armholes on garments help – as does a good bra! But you may just not want to accent your waist -think about clothes that skim without clinging, and don’t draw attention with belts.

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