Real Life Body Shapes – I


Real life body shapes - I shape - how to dress and flatter it
The I body shape is characterised by a long lean body, shoulders are similar to hips, though sometimes marginally wider, (but never linebacker).

There isn’t a particularly defied waist, many describe themselves as boyish.  Here are 3 examples.

How to dress your I shape body:

  • If you want to create more curves, look for volume or detail in the areas you want to enhance.
  • Layers can work well, as can flounces and volume.  Trapeze styles work on your frame.
  • If you have a longer neck, high neck tops work well for you, crews, turtle and boat necks are all great options.
  • You don’t need to shy away from horizontal stripes.
  • Double breasted styles can work well for, whether in jackets or coats.
  • Trench coats are ideal for your shape.  Any sort of belted jacket or coat should work on you.
  • Jeans can be wide, skinny or straight, bootleg can also work.
  • If you have a flat bottom look for flaps on back pockets.  You can also wear jeans with pockets that sit on the outside, or pocket detail on the hips.
  • You can rock the cargo pant too, pockets on thighs will add extra shape.
  • Don’t shy away from trousers that are lighter than your tops.
  • Skirts can come in many shapes, from tulips to straight, circle, gypsy and flared.  Pleats and gathers work for you too.
  • Shift dresses can look gorgeous, also try shirt dresses and empire-baby-doll styes, though you’ll most likely find that styles like wrap dresses don’t work so well as you are too straight for their curve loving shape.
  • Try prints and patterns to add extra shape, don’t shy away from either swirls or even geometrics.
  • If you like sharply tailored styles, button-up shirts with collars will fit your shape and flatter.
  • Tops with volume and banded hems can work.
  • Avoid clothes that really need curves to fill them out.
  • Avoid chunky heeled shoes, they will appear to weigh you down.

Celebrities with I shaped bodies include Cameron Diaz, Rachel Zoe, Kate Hudson and Nicole Kidman.

Here is more about dressing your I shape.

whats my body shape


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  • Again, Imogen, the pictures are invaluable. It's really striking how clear it is when there is a good visual. I see the differences between the shapes much better now. And you're right, the I is very streamlined–nothing screams line backer. That's for certain!

  • I think that many of us by nature, turn to clothes, which suit us best. It is like with colors, of which I had a small post yesterday. I have not placed myself yet to any body shape. But, reading your description of the clothes, for the I shape, I recognized myself there. The cargo pants, tulip skirts and the belted coat. I also favor texture. Thank you!

  • This is me, all right. And I also have a very flat chest. I'm just one straight line. I like layers and volume, so I'm glad to hear that's recommended! Your posts are very helpful. Thank you.

  • Interesting! How does the I differ from the H? They appear very similar, yet the H is advised not to belt at the waist but the I can? The real people photos really help to see the real shapes in the "raw" so to speak.

  • Tried to send you an email but it didn't work :c.

    Here it is:

    I was looking at your body shapes post, and am a bit confused as to which exactly is my shape. I've got really, really broad, square shoulders and basically, I look like a guy from the front. My chest isn't small, it just looks like it because of the shoulder width(d cup). I've got a defined waist, and a fairly hefty butt. So in side view, curves like a mountain road. From the front…manly.

    What would you call that?

    Also, how can I subscribe to this?

  • Wow, thank you! These posts are invaluable!!! Speaking as an “I” (now I know), I did click on the “H” shape first and kept thinking, “Gosh, this isn’t me.” The “I” I just knew it was me when I clicked. I think the main difference (I could be wrong here) is how streamlined, petite, and fine-boned the I’s look. Also, for years I’ve thought it funny/odd that my shoulders are actually a little broad. You hit the nail on the head and confirmed that I am indeed an “I” by pointing out that subtle broad shoulder feature. I actually like the broad shoulder feature by the way, as it makes for a nice contrast when I wear a belt or waist-defining top… aids to the illusion of an hourglass, if that makes sense.

  • This is me.. I all the way.. sucks that we gotta be called boyish and linebacker…seems like this site looks down on this shape…

    maybe you can add on here a few exercises to enchance your shape..

    • Victoria – not sure why you think that we look down on the I shape – models are I shaped most of the time! I only mention Boyish as that’s a word that my clients who are I shaped have mentioned to me about how they view their shape. I’m not an exercise physiologist and can’t recommend exercises. I believe you should love your shape, whatever it is. Learn to dress it in a way that makes you happy. It’s an easy shape to dress!

  • Oh ok…idk why women refer to themselves as boyish but this is a great website …I’ve been dressing myself wrong for years lol ty for the response …took many years for me to love my body

  • Please , Please help me !!!

    I think I am a mix of two different shapes, I just think I have it right when I read another web site and get all confused again ! Could I mail you my exact measurements, and would you tell me what I am?

    Would really help, think I have been getting it wrong all my life

  • I think the lady in the second photo has a defined waist…she looks more like an X shape than an I (to me anyway.) Her waist goes in (especially on the right side) and seems clearly defined- I think.

  • I am an ‘I’ shape and I really like how I look in clothes. In a bathing suit however, I do feel very boyish, it’s true. Very…pre-pubescent.
    I guess another thing about me is that I have short legs and a long torso, so I tend to look a bit ‘stumpy’ on the bottom, so I look just ‘ok’ in skinnies.

    • Chris, I feel the same way. I’m an I, but since I have short legs (long rise,) I feel stumpy if I don’t wear heels. I never wear skinnies:-(

      Is there a way of wearing leggings or skinnies if you’re an I with short legs??

      I’d like to camouflage my tummy a bit since having a baby, but it’s harder with shorter legs, particularly if you don’t always want to wear heels.

      • Wear a column of colour – this will elongate your body. Then add a short or cropped jacket/cardigan or top to draw the eye up the body and away from where your pants end. Or wear skirts!

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