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The Three Body Types and Choosing Fabrics that Flatter You

Are you familiar with the three body types called ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph? Officially they’re known as Somatotypes. These body types are hereditary traits based on your skeletal frame, muscle mass, how much fat your body stores and where you store it.

Three women stand together wearing white bikinis. They all are different body types or somatotypes.

Body types from left to right: Endomorph, Mesomorph, and Ectomorph.

American physician and psychologist Dr William Sheldon devised somatotypes in the 1940s. You can read more about his research here.

Today Sheldon’s body types go further than just describing a person’s physical build. Most people are a mix of two somatotypes. The most common combinations are mesomorph-endomorph for women and endomorph-mesomorph for men. There are recommended diets and exercise programs to benefit each physique.

That’s very interesting, but how does this information relate to the clothes and fabrics you wear?

Well, there’s a range of fabrics that flatter each somatotype. Having a good idea of which materials suit your body type will help you make great choices when you’re shopping for clothes. So, not only will you love how the garment looks and fits, you’ll feel good too!

Discover Your Body Type(s) and Fabric Recommendations

Tip: If you are one somatotype on the top and another on the bottom, use the fabric recommendations for both. E.g., If you are ectomorph on top and mesomorph on the bottom, wear fabrics for ectomorph from your waist up, and then use materials that suit mesomorph from your waist down.

Endomorph:

• Your body has curves. It looks round and soft.
• Body fat settles in the lower half of the body, e.g., tummy, hips, thighs, and bottom.
• Endomorphs typically have shorter limbs, and often, narrow shoulders
• Your body tends to carry extra fat by default (this body type has a higher body fat percentage than the other two body types)
Famous endomorphs: Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Sophia Vergara, Oprah, Marilyn Monroe, Russell Crowe, and Chris Pratt.
Models wearing soft, floaty fabrics which are perfect for the Endomorph body type.

Shop these items by clicking on the image.

Recommended fabrics for Endomorphs

Fabrics that drape and skim (not cling) over your curves are ideal. They should be fluid to medium stiffness – anything stiff or bulky material will add visual weight to your curves. Think soft and flowy.
Best fabrics include cotton jersey, viscose, bamboo, rayon, silk, lightweight wool, wool challis, chiffon, crepe de chine, fine gauze, silk crepe, silk jersey, velour, fine cashmere, most types of knits, and fabrics containing elastane (including denim).

Mesomorph:

• Appears muscular. You have more muscle than fat on your body.
• These people find it easy to gain and lose weight and are naturally strong.
• Usually has a medium frame and tends not to be overweight or underweight.
• Their bodies are often rectangular with an upright posture. (Sometimes they have broad shoulders)
Famous mesomorphs: Madonna, Janet Jackson, Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, Chris Hemsworth, and Mark Wahlberg.
Models wear clothes made from fabrics that are suitable for the mesomorph body type.

This shoppable board is for those of you with a mesomorph body type. Click here or on the image.

Recommended fabrics for Mesomorphs

If you have a Mesomorph body type, look for fabrics with some fluidity and a ‘hint’ of stiffness, i.e., nothing too soft and flimsy, but also nothing too heavy or rigid. You can get away with clothes that cling because often, your body is toned.

Look for these fabrics: linen, medium weight cotton and cashmere, denim, knits, wool crepe, fine wool gabardine, flannel, suede, wool jersey, boucle knits (think Chanel jackets), chenille, velvet (beautiful for evening and winter wear), and anything crocheted.

Ectomorph:

• Lean, slim build, often with long limbs (sometimes with protruding bones)
• Finds it challenging to gain weight
• Low body fat
• Has a fast metabolism
Famous ectomorphs: Cameron Diaz, Taylor Swift, Gisele Bundchen, Kate Middleton, Zac Efron, and Tobey Maguire.
Models wear garments made by fabrics suitable for someone with an Ectomorph body type.

Click here or on the image to shop this board.

Recommended fabrics for Ectomorphs

Stiffer fabrics with structure will add visual weight to your lean silhouette. Anything materials that are tight or clingy will draw attention to your bones.

Suggested fabrics for this body type are leather, cotton, pure linen, organza, raw silk, Thai silk, taffeta, brocade, corduroy, stiff lace, wool gabardine (often used to make coats and suits), microfiber blends, and denim.

Next Steps

Are you curious about your ideal style and how to achieve it? Your body type is just one piece of your overall style. A Personal Style Consultation covers everything from your personality, lifestyle, and the way you want to be perceived, to body shape, proportions, line, scale, patterns, face shape and jewellery (plus more!). It’s a fun and highly informative session that is specific to YOU. (No more trawling the internet for hours trying to find information that might be relevant for you.) In three hours you will have everything you need. You’ll find out what you love and want to change and have all the tools you need to make it happen, so you feel ‘style confident’ every day.

Sticky
Feb 15, 2022
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