Real Life Body Shapes – 8


Real Life Body Shapes 8 Shape

Have you got a high “shelf” like hip?  I often think of this as the Barbie Doll body shape – it’s what I call the 8 shape and is one of the two hourglass shapes (the X shape is the other hourglass shape).  

What you  notice with an 8 shape is that there is a defined waist and then the hip comes out directly from just under the waist – at the high hip.  and then it tapers around (sometimes with a hip dip) down to the thighs.  You need to dress this shape quite differently from the X shape hourglass!

As you can see in this real life example, shoulders and hips are in balance (though some 8 shapes have narrower sloped shoulders, and wider hips, so should dress their upper body like an A shape, and lower body like an 8 shape).

Notice her high hip – I’ve marked it on this photo.  They often feel they carry their weight in the behind.

She carries her curve high, not lower down on the hips, like X shapes tend to.  Her legs are slim, and she doesn’t have saddlebags.

Here is another 8 shape, this one has a similar width at the high and low hip (and a small hip dip).  She also has narrower shoulder than her hips, so will dress her upper body like an A shape.  You may find this post that explains the difference between high and low hip body shapes useful.
8 Shape



Dressing the 8 Shape Body

  • Clothes that suit best have waist definition and are straight through the lower half (not flared or A-line).  Most 8s find that anything boxy or square, without waist shaping, tends to be too tight across their high hip area.
  • 8s can have either equal width shoulders to hips or narrower shoulders to hips.  If you have a narrower shoulder line, read up on the A shape for dressing your upper body (don’t take the tips for lower body from the A).
  • You will find that straight or bootcut jeans work well.  Avoid wide leg trousers and jeans.
  • Slim, flat-front trousers work well.  Avoid pleats at the waist as they will be pulled open and create unnecessary bulk.
  • Skirts are best when they are straight, they can flare from the knee, but not from the hip to be flattering.
  • Avoid skirts that are gathered or pleated from the waist, unless they are that 1950s flounce style.
  • Cropped jackets work for you, as do belted styles such as trench coats.  If you want to wear trends like the boyfriend jacket, leave open, then belt over it.
  • Peplums were made for 8 shapes.
  • Double-breasted jackets and coats are not good for 8 shapes, there isn’t usually enough shaping and the extra fabric creates bulk.
  • Try belting over a long line cardigan in a fine knit.
  • Make sure that you don’t have obvious pocket detail over your high hip area, look for coats and jackets with pockets set into the garment, rather than stitched onto the outside.
  • Wide waistbands work well on trousers and skirts.
  • Feel free to try a variety of belts at your natural waist, if you have a shorter waist try a thinner belt, if you have a longer waist you may be able to do a wider belt.
  • You may or may not have a rounded bottom, though rounded bottoms are more common amongst 8 shapes.  If you do, avoid flap pockets on jeans.
  • Open necklines look great on 8 shapes, they draw attention up toward your face.  Look for detail around the neckline to help do this.
  • If you have narrower shoulders, look for puffed sleeves, shoulder detail and ruched sleeves to balance your bottom.

For more about dressing your 8 shape body read here.

Celebrities with an 8 shape body include Catherine Zeta Jones and Beyonce.

More Tips on Dressing Your Shape

Get Your Body Shape Bible Here

Understanding Body Shape – The Waist

How to Dress With Conflicting Body Shape Advice

Not sure of your shape?  Then do my free body shape calculator quiz here – or if you’d like my professional opinion – you get this as part of my 7 Steps to Style program (plus a colour analysis and so much more).


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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  • Imogen, thank you! I too have a high hip & never knew why A-line skirts didn't suit me but straight skirts were OK. Now I know. I recently sewed a wrap around skirt & it makes me look like the side of a house…same reason…it's flared.

    Can 8 shapes also have larger thighs?

  • Based on this post, I am pretty certain (finally!) that I'm an 8, and if I can find my digital camera around here I'll snap a few pictures and see if you agree. I have slightly narrow shoulders, and I don't *think* I'm particularly bootylicious, but the high hip comment really got my attention. I've had my measurements taken in a laser body scan (for custom-made sewing patterns) and was shocked to realize that my high hip (3" below my waistline) was the same as my hip measurement (taken about four or five inches lower down). Then when I went back to your "What to Avoid – 8 Shape" post, it all clicked. As much as I adore pleated and gathered skirts, I look about 20 pounds heavier in them than I do in a more closely fitted straight skirt. And I have slender legs/thighs that look best in boot cut pants.

    It's taken me a long time to come to this conclusion though, because I was convinced I couldn't be an 8 by comments in a couple previous posts. You mentioned in the earlier "Body Shapes Explained" post regarding a woman with an 8 shape that, "She'll find that she always needs to have the waist band taken in on pants and skirts," which is absolutely not the case for me. I find that anything that fits me well through the hips/butt is too tight across the high hip/waistline. It's the second biggest reason that I sew for myself – it's so hard to find RTW skirts/pants that fit both my butt and waist/high hip area.

    I think I have finally decided I am a short-waisted, busty 8 after all. Yay for me! (Now *where* is that camera…?)

  • I`ll immediately send you a picture, IΒ΄m so curious.
    Thanks for making us more confident and beautiful.

  • Thank you, Imogen – actually illustrating the body shape on a real person is so helpful. I can really see what you mean about the high hip! I think I have one, too, but I'm not sure whether or not I'm an 8 shape. I have a small bone structure, small rib cage with C/D cup boobs, but I also have a flat bottom, short waist and quite broad shoulders, so maybe I am more of a V shape? Actual bust and hip measurements are the same though… Hmmmm! Would love to see more "real life" examples!

  • Your 8 shape has been a revelation. I am an 8 with narrower, sloping shoulders. Shoulder pads make a big difference. I have a rear end, low and flat, but definitely there! No wonder A lines don't flatter me! Thank you so much for this. It is particularly helpful to women who sew.

  • I may be sending a photo along – I'm not sure if I'm an H, an 8, or something totally different. My shoulders throw everything out of whack.

    This is REALLY helpful, by the way, to have a real person to look at. I get confused with all the descriptions.

    (my CAPTCHA is "lardas". πŸ™ )

  • Yes, seeing a real person helps a ton! I am pretty sure I am an X – can someone with saddlebags not be an X??

    – tall & slim anon

  • I'll send you one at the end of the summer and beg for your analysis. I'm on a quest to lose some extra pounds I should have lost long ago and am very intrigued as to what's hiding under here.

  • Wow, that's a lovely shape. I'd do anything to look like this, but unfortunately I'm stuck with an A shape. My younger sister is a tall, pretty 8 though.

  • Totally agree on 8 shapes not looking good in A-line or flared skirts as I am one myself. I love the idea of analyzing real figures too – this is fantastic!

  • Alison – Yes they can have larger thighs.

    Amy – I'm getting emails from – it could be the size of your picture – sometimes they don't come through when they're too large.

    Christine B – don't have to be bootylicious to be an 8, just have to have the high hip. It could be that you're wearing your waist bands lower, on your hips not on your natural waist which is normally significantly smaller than the hip measurement.

    Pearlaceous – send me a pic!

    Nancy – yes 8 can have either square or sloped shoulders.

    Brianna – looking forward to your pic.

    Tall and Slim – yes saddlebags can appear on different shapes not just Xs and As, but they are more common on those shapes.

  • Reading the post, and then the comments, I began to despair of ever figuring this out, because it seems too complicated an analysis. But then the light went on (I think) — is an 8 simply a short-waisted X?

  • Sisty – no the difference is the hip hip of the 8 vs the low hip of the X. 8s carry their weight mostly up high, just under their waist. Xs carry their weight lower down on their bottom and thighs.

  • Imogen, thank you for this post! Finally, some clarity! I will try to send you a couple of photos, but right now I'm pretty sure I'm an 8, as I'm clearly seeing a "shelf". Finally I understand why most trousers that fit great in the lower hip and thigh area are too tight in the upper hip area. However, I don't have a problem with a fleshy butt (it's not small but it's slightly flat), rather my absolute worst area is the upper hip and lower tummy. I always gain weight there first. Is this possible for an 8 type? Also, you mention several times that 8s and Xs are mostly long waisted, but my waist is quite short (but long slim legs, so some compensation there I guess :-)) Can one still be an 8 and be short waisted? Finally, my top and my bottom half are in balance, although I used to measure my shoulders to my lower hips like they tell you to and invariably, the shoulders would seem to be a tad wider. I think, and tell me if that makes sense, that type 8 should compare their upper body to their 'shelf" area and not to their lower hips, because the upper hip is their widest spot. Does that make sense do you think?
    Thank you!!

  • Thanks Imogen,
    so now I think I'm an 8, but mij hips are slightly wider than mij hips. But I do have lots of high hip.
    And I usually look nice in Aline skirts but I have some great looking dresses with a straigth skirt…

    Can I be an 8 with X-ish hips?

  • Ineke – yes you can be a bit of a merged shape. Dress each part of you in the shapes that fit best.

  • Imogen, thank you for such a wonderful site! I am a 5'3" (just!) shape 8, are there any further suggestions for the vertically challenged? Claire

  • Thank you so much! I've never been able to figure out my bodyshape before, but that first picture looks just like my body!. I've never heard of the body shape 8 before.


  • Dear Imogen,
    please, is it possible to send you a photo to understand better if I'm definitely 8 shape or not?
    Thank you!

  • I can relate to the "high hip" but that's kind of where I stop — I have a very short waist and a rather large bust. Proportionally, I'm 5'2" but with a 32" inseam so essentially I'm all boobs and legs — that doesn't sound like an 8 to me but the V pics don't look like me either.
    Color me confused!

  • Heey Imogen!
    I just discovered your amazing site after spending ages on the net trying to find out what my body shape is – I think that Im a 8!Im short waisted and Ive got the high hips.Boobs are quite big , thick thighs and I have a big bum. My only doubt that Im not an 8 is – I dont really have much hips.(Well I guess Im still growing- Im 15) Im finding it so hard to find clothes that flatter my body.The outfits that you've suggested look great but I don't feel like they'll make my body look in proportion. They're all waist defining and Im scared that I'll look like I'm only boobs and legs.I really want to send you a picture but the email isnt working:(

    Help please
    Kinda Regards

  • Hi Imogen,
    I keep coming back to this post over and over again as I learn something new every time. The picture of the lady in the white vest makes me feel kind of ok with my tummy as I recognise the spare tyre below the waist and at the high hip. This has always been my big body peeve but I am deciding from now on to get over it and move on. This has also helped me immeasurably with my 8 shaped clients. Thanks you – I'm a fan for life.
    P.S. Also love your travelling light e book and I will be putting a review and link on my blog in the next few days – Check it out at

  • Hi, I'm an 8 shape (and relieved that a 'diagnosis' has answered some questions for me, thanks!)
    One of my major struggles is finding trousers that fit well, I think because of the high hip. So many trousers and jeans nowadays are low waisted and the waist really lands at the wrong part of my body – ie, where it's pretty big. My waist is lost, and underlined by a big muffin top. πŸ™ Natural waisted trousers are pretty good but can give me a big expanse of tummy and rear. Would anybody recommend a best trouser in terms of the rise? I have found that a wide waistband and side zip help combat bulges in unhelpful places. Thanks. (ps I also have quite large thighs at the top)

  • I'm an 8 without extra weight at the high hip and the thighs of an A. Would be an X if I had a little more bulk between high hip and thigh.

  • ahh, I dont know if my bodyshape will fit in anywhere.
    Im more like a grail, ornated. πŸ˜›
    my shoulders are square and boyish, bust large, waist small and then the high hip shelf and then a big low hip/bottom, which is much bigger than the shoulder width in circumference but not in frontal width. Im also slender-boned which makes it all more confusing because the tops will be slouching at the slim arms. we are probably all a little incoherent like this though.

  • Thanks for posting such useful information about real body types. I have the figure 8 body type, and usually wear the very clothes you recommend. Now I know why those styles work for me! I haven't seen this information anywhere else, and am so glad to have verification of what I've known all along.

  • I was once told by a dressmaker (when fitting my wedding dress) that the reason the dresses didn't fit me straight off the rack is that I had "high hips". I always thought I had a short waist and didn't understand what that meant. But my hips do jut out pretty much right below my waist, so now I get it. Trying to wear a wide stretchy belt is what helped me figure this out. (It rolls over because the angle is so sharp from my waist)

    However, I'm not sure I'm an 8 because my widest measurement is still at my thighs. I also have a broad back and shoulders. I'm like an hourglass with high hips and wide thighs. I also have big calves. I keep trying to find a good body part to accentuate!! Advice?

  • I'm fairly sure I'm an 8, but would it be okay if I sent you a photo to see if I'm right?

    And thank you soooo much for describing these body types – I now get why I have such trouble finding pants to fit!

  • WOW! I've never found a place that has accurately described my body type before. I've never felt that I'm an exact hourglass, in part because of my sloping shoulders and also because of the placement of my hips. So now I know I'm an 8, with sloping shoulders A top. This is so helpful. Thank you.

  • Imogen, is the 8 Body Shape the same as what is called a Spoon shape on other websites? Also, what advice would you give for a 5 ft. 2 in. tall size 6-8 petite figure 8 who has a short waist and long rise and does not have sloping shoulders? (shoulders, high hip and low hip measurements are exactly the same – 38 inches; waist is 28 inches; bust is 36 inches). Thanks in advance for any helpful advice you can give.

  • Imogen thank you so much! For the longest time I have known that my figure wasn’t one of the typical ones, this is so great to read and was extremely informative. Thanks also to the real life models who make it so clear to see 8 shape accurately. I’m much more confident about my body shape now!

      • Thank you! I have to say you are the first person to help me understand why a certain style skirt just does nothing for my shape – knowledge is power. Thanks again. πŸ™‚

  • Thank you, Imogen. I’ve always found body shape advice to be inadequate, simplified beyond usefulness, or just not based in reality. Lacking a coherent way to describe or really think about my figure, I often find shopping for clothes dissatisfying…and then it’s hard to explain what went wrong! Somewhere between an 8 and an A for me. My sisters have similar concerns, and I know that they are going to love this.

  • Thank you, Imogen. I’m short waisted, but my legs are average length I feel that my decollete is very short, the pendant necklaces on models in the stores end up between the girls. I measured and I’m 10″ from bottom of chin to mid nipple. I feel so “chunky”, spaghetti strapped tops look hideous on me any suggestions for the summertime? My shoulders and hips are the same my bust is 1-2″ smaller than my shoulders and hips.

    • Spaghetti straps tend to work on the narrower shouldered woman, and one with a small bust who is also not hip heavy. They are hard to wear for so many so you are not alone!

  • Hi Imogen

    Thank you, I finally figured out my bodyshape. I am most definitely an 8.

    My problem area is my waist. ThereΒ΄s a big difference between my waist and hips, but somehow my waist gets lost when I wear clothes and I always wear fitted clothes. Also my waist goes in and out in a very sharp angle, which makes my body look a bit strange. is there any way to dress to make my waist appear more curved instead of angular?

  • Imogen! Thank you! I am a figure 8/spoon and feel extremely grateful to have stumbled upon your site, so many fantastic suggestions!

    I am v slim but I still carry that 1 or 2 kilo extra on my hips, love handles and lower abs. The tiny bit of overweight is concentrated in one place! What sort of swimwear do you suggest? Either one-piece or bikini?

  • Thanks for addressing the high hips! It’s a part of my body I always have a problem explaining to friends. My best friend in particular loves that you can see my hip bones but every time I wear the trendy “low-rise” skirts and jeans that hit at the “hips” I ALWAYS get that shelf look. It just makes me look lumpy. Especially under slim fitting dresses! I could use some advice for bathing suits. Contrary to your recommendations, I like A-line skirts, but of course let them hit at the waist (after they’ve been taken in). The high waisted trend really does me justice right now! I can see where some women would be able to wear straight skirts and pants at the hips, but I’m 6’0″ with a long torso (haha I’m just long everywhere aren’t I?) and I have a really small waist and narrow shoulders and practically no chest so I’m on the lookout for styles that actually work for me! Anything sitting at the hips usually makes my legs look short and with a long torso that’s a horrible look even if you’re super tall!

    • Julie – you are an unusual 8 if you have a long waist – most have short waists! If you want to make your shoulders broader look for horizontal details like epaulettes on jackets, shirts with a yoke and wider necklines and collars.

      • Okay, so I did some measuring of my proportions yesterday, and it turns out I actually do have a short waist- a really short one- but with a long rise. If I referred to it as “having a long torso” that’s because I have major issues with all those cute cut-out monokinis. That might just be me being a 6 foot amazon.

        Speaking of bathing suits, what would you recommend for someone like me? Short waist, long rise, high hips BUT with a overall longer upper half (I determined a lot of that length comes from a long dΓ©colletage). I also have a small bust, sloping shoulders and I’m VERY slim, like a tall string bean with a butt. I posted a similar message on your swimsuit for your shape article but although the classic 50s one-pieces are adorable, I’d definitely stretch out the crotch region and I worry my tallness will give it that “this is my little sister’s bathing suit” look.

  • Hi, Imogen! Just discovered your blog, and am loving it. I notice that you’ve helped a few people on here figure out their body types/proportions by having them send in pictures, and I’m wondering if I could get a little help in that regard. I’m about 6’1″, 200 lb, and moderately athletic, and tend to have an awful time finding clothes that fit properly and flatter. I’m fairly sure I’m an 8, but I think I’m short-waisted; I certainly have a long butt. I know certain things reliably look great on me, but have difficulty with day-to-day wear – just looking to update my style!


    • Kamela – many 8’s are short waisted and some have long rise too – you will want to look further than body shape at body proprtions – which are as important if not more important than body shape.

    • Also Kamela, as someone who is outside of ‘manufacturing standard’ you will have great difficulty finding clothes that fit and flatter – you will need to factor in alterations, or having clothes made – you may find trousers particularly difficult to fit and so finding a great tailor could be your best investment.

  • Thanks for posting this. I’ve had trouble pinpointing my exact body type in the past from other sources. I always felt that I fell in between an hourglass and a pear shape as other places called them, because I had certain things on my body that seemed to have a little of both. None of the other body shapes seemed to actually fit me.

    But this particular body shape-8, as you call it, fits me perfectly! I feel like I have even more ideas about things to try in the future for clothing. I really appreciate this. πŸ™‚

  • Imogen, thank you very much for your precious post! So long I couldn’t understand why X clothes don’t suit me. I even started to think that I’m H shape. But now I clearly see myself on the pictures above. And all your recommendations work just amazing. ^_^

  • Hi Imogen! I love this post, as I am most definitely a slim 8 shape. It makes finding skirts so difficult, as the things in the stores are all A-line and hit directly at the waist, or else gathered/pleated. Is there any kind of gathered/pleated skirt that can work on 8 shapes? I love the look of a gathered or narrowly pleated skirt, but they bind at the waist and add bulk at the hips-not ideal. πŸ™
    Also, I’ve found that wearing a circle skirt that begins an inch or so under the waistline really looks nice–flatters the hips and lengthens the waist. I think it’s the smoothness of the waistline that does it.

  • Thank you so much for this post! I have always been confused because I felt I didn’t belong in any of the regular categories. Sometimes I thought I was an hourglass because my shoulders are broad and I have pretty decent boobage but then I have this small waist that immediately flares out into my high hips then there’s a dip and flare out again. Before I got married I was pretty skinny, not much of a butt though it was round but almost nonexistent. After being married I gained weight and I have a round butt and my waist hasbecome more defined. I love my body but it can get frustrating when you feel like you are not the popular figure that suits popular trends. Btw I’m also 5’9 so I was often told I’m a skinny hourglass. Lol

  • Hi Imogen,

    Thanks for this series (in particular and your excellent blog in general)! I was hoping you could help me determine my body shape, since I think I’m a combo platter. πŸ™‚

    I have straight shoulders and a short waist, with the high hip shelf of an 8. I tend to gain weight in my lower abdomen and thighs; the thing is, when I gain 5 kgs +, my widest part is my outer thighs. Does that make me a pear? I have a relatively flat rear, which tends to droop and grow by width (versus protruding). My measurements always grow and shrink in the same proportion, E.g. 36-28-38, 37-29-39, etc.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you so much!

    • Ana – you sound like an 8 shaped A – so the shelf of an 8 but the bottom width of a pear. Sadly measurements are only a tiny part of the picture so without seeing you I can’t make anything more than a guesstimate.

  • Thanks for the prompt reply. πŸ™‚

    I do think I look more like the second photo you have here versus the A photos. My outer thighs go out, but not nearly as much as in the A photos. Plus when I’ve asked friends if I’m bottom heavy, nobody thinks I am. Though maybe that’s just the illusion of clothes, lol! I definitely look best in boot cut trousers and straight skirts; Flared/A line make me look much heavier on bottom than I am.

    If I was to send you photos, what would be suitable attire?

    Also, if I am a combo 8/A like you mentioned, which advice do I follow for each area (upper/lower body)?

  • i need help with my body type after i had my kids my hips became shaped funny i have this dip after my “shelf” any sugestions on how to hide it and look good??

  • hi, i have a high hip but very chunky calves. they make up most of what give me my hip shape. am i still a figure 8?

  • Hi

    I am totally not sure what shape I am. I am 5’2 with a very short torso & long legs. I think i am an inverted triangle (broad shoulders not big boobs!) with not much waist definition. I actually have mild scoliosis so one side has some definition & the other is practically straight
    If I send in a photo, would you be able to help me work out my shape please?
    If yes, please let me know the email to send the photo to.
    I really hope you can help!! Thanks!!

    • Sheena – you sound like you’ve hit the nail right on the head – V shape – it’s all about the shoulders to hips ratio for the V shape – and they usually have a short waist too!

  • Hi fantastic artist
    I have a big problem with jeans .. Im 8 shaped with wide but flat butt .. They look like elephant butt !! What to do help plz

  • Hi!
    I was hoping you could give me some styling advice; i’m aged 18, an 8 shape and finding it hard to find clothes that are age appropriate and dont look like i’m about to go to the office. What would you recommend i wear for casual and semi formal occassions? I live in a rural area in new zealand so finding styles that dont look too upmarket is also a challenge .

  • Oh i forgot to add that i weigh 109kg and that makes finding clothes difficult somtimes.
    So i guess i’m askng what is age, shape, and weight appropriate?
    Thanks πŸ™‚

  • I’ve been trying to figure out my body shape for a long time… my measurements vary from a pear to an hourglass depending on the website I reference but I have never felt the results were accurate. All of your clothing recommendations are spot on to what actually looks good on me. Thank you for this post!

  • I just wanted to thank you for this most! I’ve never seen my shape on anyone except for my mom and grandma. This helps me so much! I always wondered why my hips made me look so much bigger.

  • I think I am 8! I knew I was somewhat of an hourglass shape but what is confusing is that like an X and an 8, my widest point is my waist and hips. I don’t have any issues with my body except when it comes to bikinis and tight dresses but I only have myself to blame because I literally don’t exercise and eat whatever I want (I’m 20 and lazy) But I do want a bikini body I can feel totally confident in. I do want to send you a picture and see your thoughts.
    Kudos on a wonderful website!

      • Sorry! Don’t mean to be so annoying! I can’t seem to find a working email! I would just put in on here but I feel like you don’t get the full effect when I have clothes on and I’m not comfortable posting a picture in my underwear (even if no one can see my face). Is there an email I could try?

  • Oh my goodness!! I have finally found my body shape!! I always referred to my hips at “shelves” because they are soo big and high(way bigger then the woman up top)! I still absolutely hate them but im glad to have finally, after years and years, be able to understand myself and the type of clothes a little better! Amazing! Thank you!

  • Isn’t this pretty much like the apple shape? Because girls with this shape have love handles and store weight in the LOWER tummy section? Like that whole section around the belly button. Not up high on the stomach, but low. They have thin legs too

      • Idk man, seems like it’s just a different apple shape
        All the weight is stored in the stomach area
        Although, like you say, 8’s have a defined waist, they gain weight in the stomach/belly button area.
        Pears and hourglasses maintain a thin stomach area

        • LIan – you are right – many 8s do gain weight on their stomach, but some will gain over the buttocks and maintain their waist. The 8 has a high hip, they are not necessarily an overweight 8 (they can also be an overweight H shape). Some Xs and As will put on weight on their stomach – that’s dependent on body proportions. Sadly there is no one size fits all!

  • Oh my God THANK YOU!! I have always been so confused about what my body shape was until I happened upon our blog. Before today, I didn’t even know what the heck high hips were! I just thought I had permanent love handles or something. Thank you so so much!

  • Hi Imogen. I thought I’m a hourglass but somehow I have a large waist and if I put on some weight the bulge piles noticeably on tummy area. I doubt that my body measurement is deviating from the assumed figure in mind until your post introduce a new ‘spoon’ figure. I am enlightened that I might fit into this pattern. My shoulders are angular, slim forearms, slight tone thighs and proud to have round bottom. I’m at 33-29-37. And I like to know your say if I might fit into this shape? Thanks

    • Cristal – you can be an 8 shape with slimmer shoulders than hips – quite common. Also, many 8s are short waisted so when they put on weight they lose their waist and become more like an H shape (straighter through the body). You will probably want to dress your upper body as an A shape (narrow shoulders) and lower body as an 8 shape.

  • Hi, I have a definite 8 shape. I am a size 10 with a small waist and that ‘shelf’ like hip, including an unsightly dip between my high hip and low hip. I was wondering, what are your thoughts on high waisted items of clothing for this body shape? (e.g. shorts, skirts, jeans…) My dilemma is, that especially with very tight things (which smooth out the fat) or looser things (which hide the bumps) high waisted clothing looks good. HOWEVER, because my high hip lies where most people would wear their high waisted items, it can also look rather odd wearing things up higher than they should be (of courseit looks terrible having them sit on your widest point so wearing them higher up is the only option!!) . Thoughts???

    • It’s a tricky one – if you are tucking in sometimes it will make your waist look shorter, but if you wear high waisted with out tucking it can work. There is usually a sweet spot to end tops and have waistbands that is unique to each person, and something you need to figure out when looking in the mirror and trying a bunch of options.

  • Thank you so much for helping me figure out my shape! This has helped me to see my body so differently. I wonder if fellow 8’s have had the similar frustration with clothes becoming more and more low-waisted. I find that I have to get bigger sizes because I’m fitting things at my widest point (high hip) where many are fitting at their narrowest. My whole life people have been astonished at the size I wear (usually 12/14), and they assume I was much smaller. It’s made me a lot less frustrated in the dressing room to just chalk it up to my tricky to fit 8-shape, than the extra dessert I had.
    Imogen, I would love to hear your thoughts on how to dress in leggings/tighter jeans with an 8 shape. On one level, I feel like this is a good trend for me as I have long, thin legs (at least to mid-thigh), but is wearing the voluminous top a bad idea for an 8? Because I’m not feeling confident enough to do leggings on the bottom and form-fitting on top! I’m fairly small chested (B), but usually have to get size L in longer shirts to get around those hips. In the mean-time, I’m feeling like I need to scoop up all peplum shirts I see as it’s so flattering to my shape and it happens to be in style right now. Hopefully that trend will stick around.

  • Hi there,
    This is such a fantastic idea-I have tried & failed miserably over the years to work out my body shape. I’m really not sure if I am a 8 or a pear shape or hourglass, where do I email a picture for you to help me work this out please? I am getting so fed up with trying to buy clothes that flatter me instead of making me feel even worse about myself than I already do.

    • Hi Babymona – you can send one here if you like. But remember, there is much more than just body shape that goes into choosing flattering clothing – it’s just one small part of the puzzle. If you’re interested in learning about you as a whole I’d recommend you do my 7 Steps to Style program which takes you through everything you need to know.

  • Hello, I’m pretty sure that I have an 8 body shape figure. This body shape explains my body almost perfectly other than the fact that my shoulders are wider than my hips. Would I still be considered this shape even though my shoulders are about 1 1/2 inches wider than my hips? Everything else about this description fits my shape almost perfectly. Would I still be considered an 8 shape or am I a mix of two body shapes? (most likely inverted triangle which I always thought I was) Thanks(:

    • Christie – you can be an 8 shape bottom and V shape top – humans are not all exactly one shape! Just dress your shoulders with the information about a V shape, and your bottom half as an 8 shape.

  • I thank god for this web page you have created πŸ™‚ do you think you could write up a post on what this shape would suit swimwear wise. i am 19 years old, and have always looked at my shape different than anyone else. My hips store alot of weight, making me look like a muffin top when i wear jeans or anything I am a size 12 only because of buying clothes larger so my hips don’t show ! i have never worn a bikini because i have never been confident enough, i have given up in believing there is a swimsuit that will make me feel good. Also having smaller boobs makes my body so uneven. Help !

    • Sounds like you are an 8 shape Kelsey – have a look at the posts here for 8 shapes! You look best in 1950s style swimwear – it’s made for your shape!

  • Hi, there. I’d like some advice regarding the 8 shape. I’m most certainly an 8 shape; I have very high hips, etc., but I’m also very overweight – obese, actually. Every place I go talks about slim figure 8s, but not overweight ones, and being overweight, I can’t take the advice on straight skirts because they badly emphasise my lower abdomen. I’ve had good luck with a-lines, which you say to stay away from, so are there any other types of skirts you can recommend?

    • Normally when 8 puts on weight they either become an H or an O, some may become more A shape too. So look at the guidelines for those shapes

  • Hi, I’m an 8 shape and i was just wondering if you could do an article on what type of lingerie is best for 8 shape bodies. I have a hard time finding anything that would cover up my high hips, or make them look better. I feel like my high hip stick out so much and makes my body look weird. Please help

    • Kyra, if you want longer looking legs go for higher cut briefs. Otherwise, start appreciating your body – you have the same shape as Marilyn Monroe – and nobody thought she didn’t look fabulous in a swimsuit or lingerie (check out some photos of her). They do not look weird, they look like a woman’s hips!

  • Hi, am I an 8 shape?
    I often look top heavy if I don’t wear something fitted on top.
    What I don’t like with the more “curvaceous” siluettes is that they make me feel older, I’m 23 and want to wear edgy stuff. The clothes that are flattering are not usually really modern-looking :/

    • Nena you are absolutely an 8 shape with that classic shelf hip. Yes it can be hard to fin clothes that fit your more curvy frame in the younger stores.

      • Wow, this is exciting! Yes, I want to improve my style and I’ve found that the clothes that look good on me are more of a “classic” siluette. For example, I have a 50’s style swimsuit and it was like the first time I felt sexy on swimwear (it’s really hard to find swimwear that looks good on me because of the big boobs and shelf hips). But these classic siluettes don’t look really ‘young’ or edgy… I’m even thinking of dying my hair with a crazy hair color so it tones down the “classic ness” of the whole look.

      • By the way, do you know a celebrity or fashion bloggers that look like me (8 shape with big boobs and slim hips). So I can look up for more fashion inspiration.

  • Dear Imogen,
    Clearly you have helped many with this 8 shape revelation, however I don’t get it at all. I am definitely an 8 shape – size 4, 115 lbs, high “square” hips but not short in the torso, shoulders about the same width as my hips looking straight on, small back, average breasts, average bottom, thin arms and thin thighs with no saddlebags. If I wore any of the cute outfits you show as examples for an 8 shape, I would instantly look fat in the middle section. Perhaps you are trying to bring the balance into an hourglass shape with peplums? If so, this does not work for me at all – just emphasizes the middle and makes my hips look even wider. I also have a relatively small head, so I do not want my hips to look wider than my shoulders. I personally think peplums were made for boy hips, not high-hip 8’s. So I’m confused about why you encourage this but apparently it works for others. What I try to do is find bottoms that are very narrow in the hips – never any gathers – and then bring my tops down to meet the mid or low hip to completely camouflage my high hip bones. I would love to hear your response to this and whether there are any others that agree.
    Thanks for reading my comment.

    • You just may be an exception to the average rule, which is why they are guidelines not rules. Without seeing you I can’t really give any specific advice. Ususally the peplum works because most 8 shapes shelf hip makes anything that is cut close to the body, too tight. The peplum follows the line of the high 8 shaped hip.

  • I would like to send my picture to see if I am a 8. I would like to know if you could help me. Please advise if I can send you a picture and where can I send same. Thanks.

  • Hi there
    I am 5 feet 2 inches height nd have measurements…. I tend to gain at around hip thighs and have love handles,, with moderate size but… Which body shape would I belong????

  • I am a classic 8 shape, however I am 156cm tall and I have H cup breasts….. How could I dress to flatter but not feel like I am advertising my bust?

    • Hi Ines – I used to have H/I cup breasts and have written lots about how to dress them so they are not the focal point – just have a look at the posts here or search in the search function at the top of the page “large bust” and it will bring up all my advice. Large scale jewellery was the best piece of advice I ever found worked!

  • Hi!
    I’m just kind of looking around at all sorts of info and am having a bit of trouble. I had a session with a stylist once and was told I’m an hourglass, but my measurements are off. Admittedly, I’ve also have had weight issues for a good half or more of my life so far, despite not looking as heavy as I am (I seem to put weight on evenly though I’m heavy enough for it to start obscuring my waist). So my question really is, can hourglasses/8 shapes (as I think I’ve identified high shelf hips) start to resemble H-shapes more as they get heavier?

    My shoulders are somewhat broad too and I really would’ve gone with a V-shape if not for my hips which are nearly as wide as my shoulders. It’s just my waist that’s not ‘small enough’ to fit into the criteria of hourglass though I still tend to look best when highlighting it as it’s still the narrowest part of me. My body shape right now resembles a V stacked on top an O, though a broad one. I don’t really look out of balance anywhere, just bigger (though one of the areas I carry extra fat is my upper arms which can make me look broader than I am in the shoulders).

    Sorry if this is confusing, I’m still trying to understand bodyshapes and figure out what is a realistic size to aim for for weight loss.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Hi Rain, absolutely an 8 shape who puts on weight often becomes an H shape (and then can become an O shape with more weight). If your shoulders and hips are in line then you are not a V shape – but if you have square shoulders you can feel like they are broader than they are. You can use V shape recommendations to soften your shoulderline if you choose to.

      • Thank you, Imogen! That’s very helpful – I always just assumed I had broad shoulders because my mother has them and she told me I do too, but I honestly think they just look broad because of fleshy upper arms. Because of this, they also stick out over my hip width, but just drawing a line from the ‘corner’ of my shoulder to the widest part of my hip, it’s a pretty straight line downward. I probably really do have square shoulders though, the line is quite straight across and they almost sort of look…for lack of better term, regal? If that makes sense. But yeah, no sloping unless I’m hunched over whatsoever. I’ll take a look at V-style recommendations, thank you so much!

  • Dear Imogen,
    I am an 8 shape that is a little overweight. Well, I was thinking of losing some weight, and I was just wondering what part of the body 8 shapes tend to lose weight from first? Just wondering because I really don’t want to lose too much off my hips.

    • Really depends on your genetics and frame Bobo – question – where do you put weight on first? That’s usually where you’ll lose if from first too.

  • Oh, this is really helpful! From the first real life photo, I was like “okay, that’s closer than any other real life body shapes I’ve seen on here.” And then you said an 8 shape can have narrow shoulders and showed the last girl. That’s what my shape looks like. Then I saw the recommended clothes, that’s pretty much the clothes I have (with some small changes in the tops that look more A-ish recommended) for winter clothing.

    I think I took your quiz (quite a few times actually) first before reading and it said I was most likely an 8 shape. Seeing real people instead of just drawings really helps. Yep, I’m pretty sure I’m an 8.

    FINALLY! Thank you so much. Any time I’ve tried to find my body type recently online (though, most of them asked for bust/waist/hip measurements), most of them put me as an I but the suggested clothing for I shapes looked terrible on me. I don’t think I’ve ever changed clothes so fast. Some that took in shoulder measurements told me I was an A and, well, the tops generally worked. Bottoms…Not as terrible as I-shaped clothing but obviously not right.

    “Skirts are best when they are straight, they can flare from the knee, but not from the hip to be flattering.” Oh, so that’s why I can get away with some flared skirts and not others. Well, this will certainly help with getting new clothes since I really need a new wardrobe. Nice to know what flared skirts I can get away with, it will make shopping easier. πŸ™‚

    Also, this might be my terrible search skills but I’ve noticed most recommended clothes are more appropriate for cooler/cold temperatures than hot temperatures (not swimwear). Do you have a post more focused on wearing summer clothes for your body type? If you don’t, could you write one, please? I live in an area where even during winter, throwing a semi-light jacket and long pants on is enough to keep warm. Thanks again, it’s nice to know what clothing will and will not suit you before even trying on anything.

  • It’d be great if you could post some photos of these girls dressing the correct way, something like a before-after photo for us to see the result of these tips πŸ™‚

  • Hi Imogen! First off, thank you for all this free content, I really appreciate it. Especially since I don’t exactly have reliable income at the moment and enjoy an in-depth look at body shapes, variations and fashion. I did your “Evolve your style” after much hesitation and loved it. I now have brooches invading my room because of it which I don’t mind. It’s amazing how something so small can change an entire outfit.

    Having said that, I’m still somewhat confused about my horizontal body shape. You mention that an 8 shape can have slightly narrower shoulders but I was wondering if the opposite was true. Can an 8 shape have shoulders that are slightly broader than the hips? I have a defined waist and my high hips are visually the widest part of them. I don’t have measurements but my shoulders aren’t that much broader.

    Honestly, the only reason I haven’t sent you a picture is because I have a low-quality camera phone (my only camera option right now). Am I an 8, V with a defined waist or is there another body shape I should be looking at?

    • Yes an 8 could have broader or narrower shoulders as the shape is more about the hip shelf rather than width of shoulders to hips – so you might find that you take shoulder recommendations from the V shape and work with skirt/pant recommendations for the 8 shape. If it’s only just a little different then just work mostly with 8 shape recommendations.

  • Hello Imogen,
    I’m struggling with body shape as I’ve realized that much of my wardrobe just is not flattering on me anymore, especially after having a baby and gaining instead of losing weight.
    This is me now:
    I feel like I fit a lot of the criteria for an 8 shape, but feel like my larger middle could rule me out. But some of the advice for H and O shapes doesn’t feel like it fits so I’m left in a very confused position. I’m 5’5 and short waisted.
    Thank you for all of your wonderful content that you’ve provided!

  • hey. i have measured and i got the results of an 8 shape but my waist isn’t very defined. here are my measurements.(in inches) shoulder:40 bust:35 waistline:32 hips:39 am I really a figure 8? Plz send advice tips plz.

  • I’m just going to thank you for your work here. It was your blog that finally helped me realize that I was indeed just a really fat version of the 8 (when I first found your blog). What I thought was my waist was actually my high hip all along. Now that I’ve lost some weight, I see my waist, which does seem quite small compared to my rather large and high hips.

    I thought I was just an apple shape, or an inverted triangle, and wore clothes that were suited for those types until I was in my mid-20’s (basically, loose and baggy all around). I looked ridiculously big all of the time, but I simply accepted this as the “best I could do” until I found your blog.

    Not happy about my body type per se, but at least now I can accept it and dress it correctly, which saves me money as well. Shopping has gotten so much easier, and it really is all thanks to you.

    So I appreciate this post greatly. Thank you.

  • Hello, Imogen!
    I cannot tell you how I’ve enjoyed your posts, especially during this world-wide pandemic and time of social distancing. It’s so nice to look at your posts and “escape” from all the worrying for a minute. I’ve been weeding out my clothes and a few years back you told me I was 8 shape with a very long rise. That solved my jeans/trouser dilemma and I personally find that a 10- 11″ front rise (with an even higher 14 1/2″ back rise) looks best on me and stops panty peek when I sit down, but I find that my no-show hipster style panties slide down my bottom and drive me crazy! Do you have a post about panties for the 8 shape (or all shapes, for that matter?) I know I have a really long rise, but I’m afraid to buy high waisted panties and end up looing like grandma! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! πŸ™‚

    • No underpants posts sorry – but this is where personal preference really comes in – the reality is – high waisted pants tend to look more “Nanna” but then the comfort and other factors may outweigh this for you!

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