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Fashion Designing Guide: Choosing Patterns and Prints by Body Type

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If you look in your closet you’ll notice that you have a lot of dresses of the similar pattern. That’s because you know what looks good on you. Even though it’s safe to always gravitate towards your favourite silhouettes, it’s also important to have an in-depth knowledge of different body types.

Once you are able to differentiate between different body type, it is relatively easy to choose patterns and prints that flatter and at the same time camouflage the body flaws. Styling and designing for yourself or your client becomes a fun, hassle free experience.

Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you can’t skip this step, these are extensively taught at a fashion designing course. To understand the complexity of different body types we have a few pointers that we help you sail through without a hitch. It’s easy to style ourselves if we know the basics. So let’s begin.


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Apple shape– The apple shape body type is overall rounded while the arms and legs are slimmer.

Style Tips– When it comes to choosing colours and prints, you need to give a good thought. Since you need to downplay your upper body, go with dark neutral colours like forest green, charcoal grey, and browns and choose horizontal stripes and tiny polka dots for prints. This would steer away the attention from the upper body.

Avoid clingy and shiny fabrics, instead choose fabrics that accentuate your curves. In fashion design classes, subjects like textile designing gives an in depth knowledge about fabric behaviour.


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Pear shape– The pear shape body is characterized by a smaller upper body. The waist is smaller than the hip and thigh.

Style Tips– There is a wide spectrum of colours that you can try. Here your lower body is bulkier compared to the upper body, therefore try wearing dark colours such as black, dark blue, brown, etc. to slimmer the lower half. Choose bold prints for your upper half. Avoid heavy fabrics such as velvet, jute, etc. as this would add volume to your lower half.

In most fashion designing colleges, elements and principles of design is an important subject as the lesson teaches about the different elements and how to apply each principle in designing.


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Hourglass shape– The hourglass body type is defined with a narrow waist while the upper and lower body is fuller.

Style Tips– There’s very little to avoid in this body type. You could avoid wearing extremely light colours such a white, light blue and pink as they make your lower and upper half look bulky. Almost all prints and patterns look great considering the ideal proportion of your body.


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Rectangle shape– In a rectangle body type the waist, hips, and thighs is almost of the same proportion i.e. smaller.

Style Tips– Choose light colours as it reflects light and make your body look fuller. Opt for big and bold prints as they give the illusion of a curvier body. Choose fabrics such as cotton, linen, georgette as they tend to flatter your figure.

No matter what your body type is, the whole idea is to play around with colours, patterns and prints to enhance your best features. Apply this basic fashion guide in your daily routine and make dressing fun.


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