These are a couple good references online, to see help you categorize your body type.
I’ve got body specifics that aren’t really the norm, in this country, unless you’re an athlete; in my case, an ex-athlete, I was on the Swim Team in high school (but I still swim laps whenever I get the chance). Yes, I’ve got swimming shoulders (the magazines refer to this as a Reverse Triangle or Inverted Triangle Shape). I actually like my broad shoulders because, well, I don’t feel like a skinny woman, it makes me feel a little more prominent (I like my definition, it makes me feel strong, that I have upper body strength; Women need to do weight-bearing exercises regularly for overall optimal health and well-being, plus the whole osteoporosis thing scares me); I have narrow hips and thighs. I am basically a size 8 on top and a size 0 or 2 on the bottom (it’s really difficult to find jeans that fit me properly). On one hand, some people may view me as “small”, due to my height, some people call me “tiny” (I’m really a Medium) while other Asian groups (Yes, like the Korean shop owner in Hawaii) may view me as “Large.” (I can wear kids clothes sometimes, like in fan sports gear, size Large or X-Large. In Juniors sizing, I am a size 9. In Womens, I’m a size Medium. Just wanted to give you an idea of my various sizes.)
Here are some good tips:
I’ve found that I love the way racerback styles (tanks or dresses) look great on me. (I always wear the right type of bra because I don’t like my underthings being exposed. I also leave the house with makeup and make sure that my outfit is presentable, but that’s me. I used to be so mortified when I was a young girl and my mom would leave the house to go shopping, in curlers and a house dress.) The experts say not to wear boatneck type tops; I think that I only have one of those. I never liked the whole padded shoulders trend and it seems like the styles come back here and there, over the years. If I buy something with pads, I always take them out. I have to be really careful with jackets and fit. The experts on petite frames (short) say not to wear a large floral print, but I usually ignore that tip (I have lots of dresses with floral prints and they looks fine on me). On maxi dresses, the experts advise to keep it at ankle length, but I don’t like tripping on my clothes ( I don’t wear heels). For years, I saw the experts on TLC’s “What Not To Wear” advising their subjects to accentuate the smallest part of their waist—I agree with this tip. I find that I can’t wear shapeless dresses or I get lost in it, and it makes me look bigger than I actually am. To fix this, I add a belt on loose dresses. (The only exception to this rule is swim coverups.) It seems like the “fit and flare” looks good on most body types. When I wear my fit and flare dress, I often get the question, “Did you lose more weight?”
My point is, that you need to dress to your style (my summer uniform is a dress and a cardigan), your comfort level (how much skin you show), and your taste (boho, vintage, mod, preppy, professional, etc.). Find what looks best on you by experimenting. You won’t know for sure until you try an item on! Enlist the help of an honest friend who will be frank with you. I usually ask my husband and if his answer is No, I might get the item if I LOVE it. We all have our insecurities (things we need to work on), but this is meant to help you with finding the right things to wear now, for your current body type, not what it was in high school or whatever. After all, don’t you have a better day when whatever you’re wearing compliments you? I just like dressing up with the best options. I’m not high-maintenance but I like looking like I care about my appearance.