Friday, January 31, 2014

Wardrobe Project: The Banana Shape

Go Bananas! 
There may be more of us non-Bananas, but there is no larger grouping of any particular shape.

A study of more than 6,000 women conducted at North Carolina State University in 2005 revealed that 46% of women were banana-shaped; just over 20% were pear-shaped; just under 14% were apple-shaped; and only 8% were hourglass-shaped.--Source: Body Type Calculator

Your shape is defined by a waist that is less than 9 inches smaller than either the bust or the hips. You have a smaller bust and slender hips. Your arms and legs are also slender and there is not much definition in the torso. You tend to be considered long and lean.

You will be looking for clothing that will emphasize your understated curves. Your job is to create the curves that your body hints at.

Use pattern and color to make the shape you want!

Waist Not? Want Not!

Select waist lines below your natural waist as this will tend to make your actual waist line look much smaller than it actually is. The dropped waist flapper look, though, might emphasize matters too much. You'll need to try everything on. (See, non-Bananas? Every body has to dress her body!)

Belts are your friend. Belted outfits will create a visual waist for you.

A belted dress with breast pockets
make even this monochromatic number
(usually a Banana no-no) worth a try on!

The Bottom Line

Skinny jeans are a go. Cuffed jeans are fairly safe, but steer clear of cropped pants if they over-exaggerate the long, lean line of your body. In skirts and dresses a knee length and an A-line is flattering. Remember that the character of an outfit changes with the details. Even in the "wrong" category, you may be able to carry it off because of your ability to wear pockets and pleats. Be sure to check the rear view with every choice. You don't want a saggy bottom. Ever.

Skinny jeans will show every curve you've got!


A high neck line makes a smaller bust look fuller, as will going sleeveless. High halters, high scoops and even turtlenecks will flatter your shape. A plunging V or a sweetheart neckline will tend to make you look thinner and smaller than you are. Again, strategically placed ruffles, pockets, and color blocking will help you create volume where you want it.

A turtleneck on a Banana shaped gal is a show stopper!


You can go long, sleeveless, puffy, flowing, short, or capped. It will all depend on how you feel about your arms. Some bananas feel more self conscious about her thin arms. Some want to show them off! It is up to you, really!


Generally, your shape can get away with any shoe. Specifically, it depends on you. Some Bananas have thicker ankles and will want a solid looking heel to balance that. Some can't pull off a kitten heel, some can. Large and clunky might work in a boot for you, but not in a sandal. Don't be shy about trying anything on. Look and see!

The Take Away

Put visual volume where you want volume. Shallow Vs and higher necklines will help! Put your waist below your natural waist and tend to belt. Knee lengths are great. Skinny jeans are your friend. When in doubt, think pleats, pockets, and ruffles!

Gathered fabric and the bold patterning build volume strategically.
The waist is drawn in. The neckline is higher.
This is an awesome choice for a Banana!

For more ideas and tips follow my Banana Shape Fashion board on Pinterest!

Not Your Shape?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link. I really need to know more about different shapes. So many times I have sewn outfits for myself only to findthey don't look anything like the model in the picture. I bet it is because the model has a different shape to me.