What are the keys to creating flattering outfits for the X body shape (it’s one of the two hourglass body shapes)?
The X shape has similar width shoulders and hips, with a defined waist. If you want all the details grab your Body Shape Bible here.
The widest part of the hip is at the upper thigh (unlike the 8 shape hourglass whose widest point is higher just below the waist – find out more about the 8 shape here).
So when putting outfits together, you want to think about these key points:
Highlight your Waist
Big, baggy and boxy are not the silhouettes for you. Think about all outfits being drawn in at the waist, either because the garment naturally fits that way, or a belt has been added to draw in excess or voluminous fabric. So for all those voluminous blouses and sweaters, you need to do some sort of half/French tuck or draw them in with a belt to highlight your waist!
Your body is designed for the fit and flare silhouette! It follows and harmonises with your gorgeous curves.
Don’t Add Additional Width to Your Hips
Most X shapes I’ve worked with have told me that they don’t want to emphasise their hips. So to ensure that you don’t do this, avoid ending tops and jackets around your low hip (top of thighs). Instead, end tops at the waist (you can tuck) or end at the high-hip (hip bone) for a flattering silhouette.
Choose more cropped jackets and tops rather than the longer thigh-length options.
Avoid any horizontal details around your hips. This includes tops and jacket hems, and also hip pockets on cardigans or longer coats, horizontal distressing at the crotch of your jeans, and patch pockets on pants.
Curved hems that are higher at the side and dip down at the front are always a flattering option if you want to hide your tummy a touch!
Draw Attention Up With Detail
Draw attention up to your upper body with interest and detail. You can use colours, patterns and accessories to do this. It’s always flattering to add some sort of focal point to your portrait area no matter your shape!
Outfit Ideas for the X Shape Body
With these simple guidelines in mind, you can play in your wardrobe and create stylish and flattering outfits. Here are some examples.
- Think about how you can dress up or down an outfit using simple accessories. For example in the outfit above left (blue/cream/taupe) I’ve given you two options for an outer layer. You could work with a more cropped snuggly cardigan for a more casual look with a scarf, or for a slightly edgier look go for a shorter length denim jacket and a necklace.
- Express your personality with your choices. In the 2nd outfit in red and peach, I’ve given you another two very different looks with that top layer. An argyle sweater that would work for someone who has a creative and more dramatic streak who enjoys some pattern mixing, or a leather jacket that adds an edgy look to an otherwise elegant outfit. You could wear ankle boots or a cute mule as a shoe, again completely changing the tone of the outfit.
- If your style is more simple, think about one piece outfits such as a dress or jumpsuit. When these are made from gorgeous fabrics and styled with an accessory or two (such as a patterned shoe or interesting necklace, they really come alive.
- Don’t want to add layers? Consider how you can use built-in details and textures such as the green and blue outfit 2nd from the right above. A textured wrap shirt and an analogous colour scheme create harmony and interest whilst still being quite simple and stylish.
- And finally, your outer-layer can really change up the feel of the outfit. A blazer is always going to dress up an outfit, whilst a more casual and softer fabric jacket such as the bomber will have a lower-key look. Think about your footwear too, if you add sneakers it’s more casual, whilst a boot is more dressy.
Discover Your Shape
Not sure of your body shape? Take my free body shape calculator quiz – instructions and quiz here. If you’d like my professional opinion on your shape, you can get it as part of my 7 Steps to Style System – which walks you through everything you need to know about flattering your figure, your colouring and understanding how to express your personality through your clothes and outfits as well. It’s the full image program that will assist you in defining your style so that you can build a wardrobe full of clothes that you love to wear.
Further X Body Shape Reading
What Guidelines to Follow When Your Body Shape isn’t “Standard”
Your style tips for body shape and proportion always fascinate me! I have learned to dress my own body but I really struggle with helping others when they ask for tips! I am learning so much from your posts. Thanks for linking!
Wonderfully helpful tips and styling ideas.
I just learned about these body shapes and I’ve determined I am an X shape. These tips fit me to the tee- it’s almost scary! I always felt I was making up these clothing rules for myself, so it’s a relief to see it written out cohesively. And moreover, explained!
Are there any celebs with an X bodyshape that I can look to for further outfit inspiration? (I wonder if Isabelle Mathers or Lais Ribeiro is a X shape…)
I truly cannot thank you enough for this post!!
There are probably a lot of them – it’s not an uncommon body shape – both Lais and Isabelle look like one
This was so informative. Are you planning to do this type post for Type 8?
Yes I will!