When it comes to looking your best, creating balance in your silhouette can go a long way. That’s why an hourglass shape is so coveted; the top and bottom are balanced out symmetrically with a narrow middle. Bombshell celebrities have shown off this iconic shape for decades.
But is an hourglass figure attainable for everyone, or is it just something you see on magazine covers and in your social media feed? While not everyone has an hourglass body bestowed on them by their genetics, you can create an hourglass shape with the right strategies, no matter what your natural body type.
We offer four simple strategies for how to get an hourglass shape.
1. Know Your Body Type
- An hourglass figure is what everyone wants and what some women naturally have. This is when your bust and hips are close to the same width, your shoulders are not prominent, and your waist is the slimmest feature. The result is curves in all the right places.
- An apple figure is when you have a fuller bust and midsection with narrow hips. The waist is not well defined.
- An inverted triangle figure is when your shoulders and your bust are the widest part of your figure, while the waist and hips are narrower.
- A pear figure is when you have full hips and the waist, bust and shoulders are narrower.
- A rectangle figure is when all four measurements are similar, and you have few curves and definition throughout your figure.
Even if you don’t fall into one of these categories perfectly, you can generally get an idea about what features might be out of balance. This is important to know because it will help you know how to accentuate your best features and create curves where you want them.
Note that none of these body types are limited by size! Your figure can fall into any of these categories from XS to plus sizes.
Once you know your body type, you can easily create more hourglass curves by drawing attention to the right areas and minimizing other areas.
2. Create Curves with Shapewear and Shaping Apparel
Shapewear is a fail-proof way to instantly create the hourglass curves you desire, no matter what your natural shape! Here are some strategies you can use with each body type.
Hourglass: accentuate what’s naturally yours. Bring out those curves by slimming and smoothing the waistline as well as providing lift and control for your hips and bust.
Recommended shapers for hourglass shapes include:
- Underbust Waspie Mesh Corset by Hourglas Angel HA201: Our mesh waspie corset is the perfect solution for creating hourglass curves under your close-fitting dresses, skirts and other styles.
- Mia Corselette Body Shaper by Vedette 136: With this versatile shaper, slim your waist up to three sizes while enhancing your bust and your rear, all in one shot.
Apple: with shapewear you can define your waist as well as accentuating curves in your top and your bottom, eliminating the round shape in your middle.
Recommended garments for apple shapes include:
- Size Me Down Adjustable Waist Trainer by Hourglass Angel HA 113: Using firm compression, this high-powered garment provides instant slimming and curves.
- Captivate High Waist Butt-Lifting Shapewear Shorts by Lt. Rose 21990: The rounded seaming in these boy-cut shorts creates a natural lift to your backside, while the high waist cut provides coverage and control for your midsection and a slimmer waistline
Inverted triangle: since you’re top heavy, you can use shapewear to accentuate your waist and add curves to your butt and hips.
Recommended garments for inverted triangle shapes include:
- Alexandra Butt-Lifting Shaper by Vedette 504: Get the benefits of a waist-shrinking shaper without flattening your backside, and enjoy a tight, tucked tummy with a lifted booty.
- Perfect Butt-Lifting Jeans by Hourglass Angel 3803: These Brazilian-style jeans are specially seamed to lift and round your rear, while also drawing the eye to the right places, so that your bottom looks perfectly curvy from every angle.
Pear: You already have lovely curves on your bottom, so you’ll want to use shapewear that smooths your hip and butt if needed. You can also accentuate your narrow waist and add curves to the top.
Recommended pieces for pear shapes include:
- Latex Waist Trainer Vest by Hourglass Angel HA103: This high compression latex waist trainer dramatically slims the waist while providing and extra lift for the bust.
- Best Body Shaper by Vedette 104: This body shaper smoothens and controls the abdomen, mid thighs, and back, reducing the waistline by up to several inches.
Rectangle: With shapewear, your goal is to create feminine curves by accentuating your slim waist and adding volume to the top and the bottom.
Recommend pieces for rectangle shapes include:
- Perfect Butt Thermal Pant by Co’Coon 1478: The open bottom design of this hosiery weight item creates a lifting effect that rounds the rear into a perfect shape.
- Clasica Latex Waist Cincher by Ann Chery 2025: The waist cincher immediately creates a beautiful curvy shape sculpting inches off of your midsection and lifting the bust.
3. Dress for Your Body Type
Once you’ve laid the foundation with the perfect shapewear for your body type, you can dress with pieces that draw attention to all the right places. The effect will be an hourglass silhouette for every body type.
If you’re a natural hourglass shape, wear pieces that show off your curves in every way, including waist-cinching dresses, low-cut tops, and form-fitting pants.
If you’re a natural apple shape, wear clothing that draws attention away from your waist and creates an appearance of volume where you want to have curves. Textured or wrapped tops with open necklines will serve you well. You’ll also benefit from pretty belts, leggings and skinny jeans, which can give the appearance of length on your legs and elongate your whole figure.
For inverted triangles, you’ll want to take the opposite advice. Wear simple tops and focus on garments that accentuate the waist so that you’re not adding more weight to the top. Choose jeans and bottoms that enhance your curves and draw the eye to the rear. You can also have a lot of fun with different styles of skirts and looser pant cuts.
If you’re a rectangle shape, choose clothing that has lots of accents and details where you want to create curves, like around the neckline. Pants that are flared, straight or wide can also add shape. Fabrics that cling can suit you well.
For pear shapes, create more balance on top with textures and creative necklines as well as accessories that draw attention to the top like scarves and jewelry. Avoid pants and skirts that cling to the hips; choose styles that flow from them instead.
4. Enhance Your Physique with the Right Exercise
What exercises can you do to get an hourglass figure?
This is more of a long-term strategy since you can’t dramatically change your figure overnight, but certain exercises can help you create more of an hourglass shape. The key is strength training.
Many people make the mistake of doing a lot of cardio or strength moves that aren’t targeted to build muscle in the right places. But with targeted moves, done with enough frequency, you can create more curves by building muscle mass where you want them.
For a rounder butt and toned legs (especially benefits apple, inverted triangle and rectangle shapes), do a variety of squats, lunges, dead lifts and step ups. Use weights for the best results.
For a slimmer waistline and flatter belly (benefits every body type), focus on core exercises like sit-ups, planks, crunches, bridges, and regimens like Pilates.
For toned arms and chest (benefits pear and apple shapes), focus on a variety of moves like pushups, weighted curls, tricep kickbacks and dips, rows, chest presses and raises.
While all body types can benefit from doing all of these types of workouts, you can focus on your target areas more if you want to build your curves there.
For the best results, do a mix of high and medium intensity cardio along with these strength training moves several times a week. Work with a trainer to ensure that you’re using proper form. You may also benefit from the help of a nutritionist in order to optimize your meals along with your exercise plan.
Remember that it takes time to transform your body in this way, so be patient and consistent. In the meantime, love the body you have and take advantage of all the ways you can create an hourglass figure with your wardrobe.