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A Clothing Guide For Women With An Athletic Shape

Being body confident isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us. We can all confidently say there’s a part of our bodies we would love to change. Women, however, deserve to feel empowered regardless of their shape or size. 

Showcasing the right outfit can go a long way in boosting our confidence and making us feel proud of the skin we’re in. Here at Kit and Kaboodal, we’re your helping hand when dressing for your shape. 

If you play many sports or have a particularly active lifestyle, then it’s likely that your body is strong and slightly straight up and down. While the body you’ve worked hard for generally looks great in almost everything, there are still a few tips and tricks to help you flaunt that athletic build in style. 

What is an athletic body shape?

An athletic body shape is where your weight is evenly distributed throughout your body, meaning that your hip measurements usually align with your shoulders. An athletic, or rectangular, body shape means your waist is straight up and down without holding any curves. 

Athletic body types boast a well-toned muscular body, with tight calf and thigh muscles, a broad elongated neck and well-built shoulders and arms. 

Athletic Shape Tops

Tips for dressing an athletic body type

The main thing to remember when dressing for an athletic shape, is to balance out your muscular, broad upper half by drawing attention or accentuating your legs. 

A general rule is one or the other; volume belongs on the top or the bottom, not both. Say you go for an oversized or flowy top, and ensure your trousers are skinny or structured, or go for a more figure-hugging top, then opt for a wide-leg or breezy style trouser. 

Here are our key rules to play by:

1. It’s all about the top 

You’ve trained hard for those muscular arms, so it’s time to give them the attention they deserve. Your go-to pieces are: 

  • Racerbacks 

  • Halter necks 

  • Strapless 

  • Scoop/round necklines 

Style secret: Statement collars, embellished necklines, or necklaces are your thing. High necks with open backs allow you to show off your toned frame.

We often hear of athletic body types looking to add curves to their waistline. If you’d like to create a curvier silhouette, pick out tops you back tuck in or belt up to create the illusion of a curved, cinched-in waist. 

2. Layers are your best friend. 

Athletic shapes are lucky when it comes to layers, as our favourite peacoats, bomber jackets, and dusters work perfectly. 

For those looking to create more of a defined shape around their midsection, we suggest looking for a cropped or elasticated waist to pull in and give the impression of a nipped-in waist. 

Alternatively, those wanting to minimise or disguise their waist should go for A-line cuts and hems that reach the hipline.

You’re best opting for more structured, fitted styles if your shape is more slender. 

3. Dresses DO work for you. 

There’s a common misconception that athletic body types should stay away from feminine styles, but most shapes work when it comes to dresses. It's just a case of playing to your strengths to make you feel confident. 

Athletic builds have wonderful, powerful legs, so what better way to show them off? 

Play around with shorter hemlines and let those muscular calves do the talking. 

If skirts are more your thing, they can be worn in more or less any style or length, but we would stick to A-Line styles with a heel for the most flattering fit. 

A jumpsuit can be extremely flattering if dresses still aren’t for you. Pick out a halter neck style to show off your back. 

Style secret: Make dark colours and vertical stripes your go-to style staples! 

Athletic Dresses

Trousers for Athletic Shapes

4. Let’s talk denim

Denim jeans deserve a place in every wardrobe. However, with so many styles to choose from, how do you know which suits your shape best?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

As we’ve mentioned, the rule of thumb with athletic shapes is to complement your chosen top shape. So, if you’re opting for an oversized top? Grab your skinny jeans! 

Petite women 

Floor-grazing denim jeans or bootcuts paired with a good pair of heels can elongate the body to provide the appearance of a slim silhouette.

Tall women 

If you’ve got a long torso, go for a medium waist rather than a high-waisted style, as your straight midsection won’t carry the style as well.  

What to stay away from 

While we’ve focused on what works for you, it’s equally as important to learn what doesn’t quite work for you. To embrace your unique shape and show it off in its best light, we would avoid padded shoulder tops, overly tight clothing, baggy jackets with no shape, boxy t-shirts and plunging V necklines. 

When it comes to accessories, adding a slight heel always works to elongate your shape, so be sure to stay away from completely flat shoes. The great thing about an athletic shape is the ability to play around with cool trainers and sneaker styles, so if you’re going flat, that’s the way to go rather than a pump or sandal style. 

While we provide this advice to help you feel your best, don’t let this stop you from choosing something you’ve fallen in love with. After all, if it makes you feel wonderful, it’s worth having in your wardrobe. At Kit and Kaboodal, you’re sure to find women’s clothing that’s sure to do just that, from everyday basics and jeans to skirts and dresses for every event in your calendar.

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