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Dressing For Your Body Shape Series | Fitness Wear

I'm skipping a few categories in our body shape series. Don't worry, we'll cover them all in the next few weeks. It's just that I put up a post on Instagram about eating cake and thought I really should get myself motivated. After all, swimwear will be on the agenda in a couple of months so what better place to kick start that motivation than fitness wear. I mean if you've got nice work out gear, you're more likely to go to the gym yes? In theory that is.

Now, I've never actually discussed fitness wear and body shape on the blog before. To be honest, it hadn't even occurred to me that it mattered until recently. Get in there, shake it all about, get out, that's my attitude towards the gym. But there's such lovely gear about these days, why not make the most of this most miserable part of your life. Go on, tell me you hate it as much as me (the exercise, not the gear).

So, I borrowed a few bits from Ilu Fitness (they all love exercise and fitness gear by the way) because I wanted to get my head around how the designs work for each body shape. It was a useful exercise and I have a much better understanding of how to apply our 'rules' (used in the loosest sense) to fitness wear. I hadn't really appreciated the thought that goes in to each garment until now.

There may be a lot of repetition, please bear with me. Hopefully I won't bore the (fitness) pants off you. Also, this is only a guide, not cast in stone, so if you're happy in a baggy t-shirt that you got for free when you joined the gym (go on admit it, that's the only reason why you signed up on a 12 month contract) and a pair of bobbly M&S leggings, you darn well wear them. But if you're someone who seems to be spending increasing amounts of time in fitness gear ie all day because after your workout, you meet your friends for coffee, go food shopping, nip to the post office, pick the kids up, cook dinner and look down and realise you're still clad in lycra at 9pm, you might want to up the game somewhat, so this is for you.

Also bear in mind that some pieces work on different body shapes for various reasons so for example a stripe on the leg may elongate it for someone but for another, it may draw the eye down and away from a large bottom.

Find your body shape here.

Shall we get going. Nb. you don't have to wear your leotard to read this post but for the sake of getting into the spirit of things....just saying.

Neat Hourglass

Your figure is neat in every way, neat bottom, hips and bust, all perfectly proportioned. Oh lordy, this is your time to shine. You get that lovely figure out and flaunt it in front of my slightly podgy-in-the-middle rectangle. I hate you. No I don't, but I will look upon you with envy. Basically wear what the darn well you please. But you already knew that didn't you?

Honestly, there isn't much to say for you because you look good in it all.

Full Hourglass

You have a full bust, hips and bottom. All are in perfect proportion. You may not feel entirely comfortable flaunting your curves. Not to worry because there are a few tricks that you can take on board. 

1. Don't draw attention to your boobs, bum and hips. This means avoiding detail in these areas. Take the leggings that I have recommended for the Neat Hourglass above. See that contrast panel? It will draw the eye right down to the area that you want to minimise, your hips. Instead look for leggings that have detail lower down the leg.

2. Keep the neckline low (which is more comfortable to work out in anyway than something that strangles).

3. You may feel more comfortable in a drapey top than one that clings. Look for something that follows the body line rather than a boxy t-shirt which will add pounds.

I have the set above which I put on the blog last year. The top is really clever - double layered; tight underneath to hold everything in and then the looser top layer follows the body line which is very flattering. You can pull the vest top down or up (shown in the photos below). The stripe in the leggings is deliberately positioned to draw the eye down and away from hips/bums/bellies and anything else you may want to hide!

Signature Compression Leggings
Back To Fitness Top (similar)


You have a curvy bottom half and your shoulders are noticeably narrower than your hips. Normally I would suggest building up the shoulder line to balance out your hips but it's not so easy with fitness wear (unless you want to do an American Footballer impression). But there are a few little tricks that you can adopt.

1. Don't draw attention to your bum and hips. This means avoiding detail in these areas. Take the leggings that I have recommended for the Neat Hourglass above. See that contrast panel? It will draw the eye right down to the area that you want to minimise, your hips. Instead look for leggings that have detail lower down the leg. 

2. Stick to darker colours (with accents if you like) on your bottom half.

3. Wear bright colours on your top half to draw the eye upwards. 

4. Avoid bands at the bottom of tops as these will sit on the hips.

5. Try layering a colourful bra top under a plain looser fitting top to add interest to the shoulder line.

Fitness Wear For The Triangle
Supersoft Sunset Capris
Superset Sunset Crop Top
Easy Layer Vest

Inverted Triangle

Your shoulders are wider than your hips so your objective is to give the illusion of a balanced figure.

1. Avoid plain black tight legging styles as this will only draw attention to your larger top half. Instead, opt for leggings that have detail, colour and/or pattern and play with lengths.

2. Vest tops are ideal for your shape as they don't build up the shoulders unlike a cap sleeve.

3. A darker coloured top works well as deeper shades minimise

Steffi Studio Capri Leggings
Steffi Studio Vest

These bottoms are pretty amazing aren't they? The colours are so vibrant that you can't fail to be happy wearing them. Although I'm not an inverted triangle, my shoulders are slightly wider than my hips. Have a look at this photo below. Where do your eyes settle? I'm betting the bright, jazzy leggings. Perfect! That's exactly what we want to achieve. The black top pales in to insignificance doesn't it. This one isn't the same as the above and whoops, I should probably have worn a sports bralet underneath. But you get the general idea. The top I've recommended above has a waist band which means that the fabric pouches over giving the illusion of hips (curves), great for an Inverted Triangle.

I love these Steffi leggings, they're so comfortable and a great length for summer.

Steffi Studio Capri Leggings
Easy Layer Vest

Lean Column

You have for want of a better term, a runner bean body shape. Long, lean and straight. Maybe you would like to create curves in your gym gear? 

1. Layer a crop top under a loose fitting one.

2. Use different bright colours on your top and bottom rather one top to toe flat colour.

3. Contrast stripes and patterns are also good at breaking up the length of your body and give the illusion of curves.

The graduating colour of the top above adds interest and the band at the bottom offers a little waist definition. While the patterned leggings add texture to your frame. 

This alternative combination also helps to give the illusion of curves. And a looser fitting jacket also works in the same way (as opposed to a tight fitting tracksuit suit or sweatshirt).

Supersoft Yoga Leggings
Chic Calm Yoga Tank
Cocoon Cardi


You carry weight around your middle (and may be boobs) but have a flat bottom and no waist. Your aim is to disguise these little imperfections.

1. A loose fitting top will drape over your tummy and take care of any lumps and bumps. Avoid tight fitting and/or crop tops (perish the thought Donna). 

2. Choose leggings in supportive fabrics that hold you in.

3. Detail (eg. a contrasting colour) on your bottom and hips will build up this area.

4. A flash of colour in your leggings will draw the eye down to your legs away from your problem areas.

5. Pattern is excellent at disguising!

The panel on the leggings is so clever. It's shape serves to reduce the appearance of the size of the tummy but builds up the bottom (see below, I have no bum but the shape of the panel at least gives me a little bit of something). 

The back to fitness top is also great for a rectangle as the top layer drapes over the tummy but the clever under layer holds everything in place. 


You carry your weight around your middle and have a flatish bottom. You may not feel comfortable wearing skin tight lycra Jane Fonda circa 1981 style. Thankfully there are far more flattering options for you to embrace.

1. You have fabulous legs so wear a good pair of fitted leggings with a wide waist band which will help them stay in place. 

2. Make the most of your bottom half. You can do plain bottoms, pattern or something with a flash of colour running through them (the latter are great for drawing the eye down to your good bits).

3. Look for loose vest style tops as opposed to boxy t-shirts.

The flash of pink really does draw the eye down to your fabulous legs while the top of the leggings minimises the tummy area. The foldable waistband holds everything in. The back to fitness top is an absolute life saver. The vest top underneath sucks everything in and the top layer drapes over the tummy, far more stylish than a shapeless t-shirt.

Alternatively, if you don't like the idea of something tight, then a simple draping vest and bright patterned leggings would work. Something like this....

Steffi Studio Capri Leggings
Easy Layer Vest

I'm honestly blown away by the thought and design that has gone in to these items. Not just aesthetically pleasing but clever panelling, double layered tops, flashes of colour all work to help us disguise or build up areas. Each piece is made from the softest fabric and yet it holds you in at the same time. Comfortable and practical.

You might be interested in the other posts in this series which you can find in this blog post about discovering and dressing for your body shape

Thanks to the people over at Ilu Fitness for letting me borrow these items. This post is not sponsored and I didn't receive payment for it. 
2 comments on "Dressing For Your Body Shape Series | Fitness Wear"
  1. It looks like the leggings are a good length. Do you know what inside leg they are?

    1. Yes they are a good length. I don't know what the inside leg is but I'm 5 ft 8 and there's more than enough length for me x