The Hourglass Body Shape

My current body measurements are: 
36.5 bust
27.5 waist
35.5 hips

This makes me an hourglass, as my bust and hips are almost the same size and my waist is at least eight inches smaller, creating a curvy shape similar to that of an hourglass. This is disputed however, with some sites saying that the shoulders need measuring as oppose to just the bust and that the waist needs to be at least nine inches smaller.


Famous hourglasses include Marilyn Monroe, perhaps the most famous for this bodyshape, Betty Brosmer and Dita Von Teese.

(All images above are from Google; I take no credit for them).

Whether they naturally acquired this bodyshape or waist trained with a corset (further info on this below), it’s a rather captivating body shape all the same, although reportedly less then 10% of the general population actually has an hourglass body shape, despite it often being depicted as the most ideal figure.

Now, I’m believer that we’re all beautiful,  whether we’re curvy, petite, tall or in between. The fact we’re all so different is what is beautiful. But as someone who’s been naturally an hourglass shape since I was around fourteen years old, I’ve had my own battles with accepting it. I’ve been through the phase of feeling really confident with my naturally wide hips and big bust, thinking ‘curves are beautiful’, but I’ve also felt very uncomfortable in my own skin and ‘too heavy’. Certain clothes can feel unflattering on my hourglass figure and I personally avoid frilly materials or those that accentuate my hips even more so than usual. I go for smaller prints and I like sleeves as I feel it balances my body out better. I also like dresses or skirts that sit just above my knees. Battling the ups and downs of health conditions such as hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue too, means my weight has fluctuated, going up and down. This is where vintage style dresses, I feel, are perfect for this body shape. Whenever I’m wearing a vintage style outfit, I feel confident, sexy and ‘me’. They tend to cut and cling where I like them to and I feel good in my own skin. They’re flattering, compared to a lot of modern clothing that can make me feel boxy, heavy and out of place.


What clothes can create that hour glass look and feel?

If you’re wanting to create that hour glass shape yourself, then certain clothes can help to create the curves. A good bra with good support to hoik those babies up, or, alternatively a push-up bra, can help accentuate your top half and create curves up top. Fitted jackets and cardigans that zip or button up just below the breasts also accentuate curves up top. Wearing dresses and pencil skirts that pull in around your waist and then flare out over the hips create more shape and give a curvy silhouette. I personally really like Lady V Tea Dresses which do just that. Aim for dresses or skirts that sit just above the knee, too and heels (even teeny ones!) help to elongate the legs and balance your body out. You can always use a waist belt to pull in  a baggier dress or top, too and high waisted jeans and trousers also help to give us curves or smooth a silhouette out. Tights pulled up to the waist, under your dress or skirt, also helped to create a well define waist and smooth, curvy hips.

Why don’t we see as many natural hour glass figures today, though?

Celebrities Kim Kardasian and Nicki Minaj, who have very curvaceous bodies, have had surgery to create their figure. But how about Marilyn Monroe and especially Betty Brosmer of the middle image above, from the 1950’s? Well, her waist was crazily small.

It’s understandable that a change in what and how much we eat these days could affect how many natural hour glass figures we see around in society, with the average female waist now apparently being five or more inches larger than fifty years ago, but Betty Brosmer for example had an extremely tiny waist, and this is reportedly down to something called waist training.

What is waist training and how far will some people go to achieve this figure?

Waist training has a body-modifying effect, which played a part in creating those incredibly tiny waists in the 1950’s. Even today, this practice is still used by some models, pin-up girls and burlesque performers, to create the drastic hour glass shape.

Waist training is also often referred to as corset training, waist cinching and waist reduction, but not just any corset is used in this practice. Some corsets out there are merely fashion corsets and will have no effect at all in shrinking the waist down; those who waist train use a corset with strong steel boning and can reduce their waist by reportedly as much as five inches. Apparently, some women suffered from such damage as a ruptured liver in the 1950s for example, because of how tight some of these corsets were.


If you’re personally not a fan of the hour glass figure, or enjoy being another ‘body shape’, then that’s of course fine, too! We should all feel comfortable wearing and looking however we want, but what I’m sure we can all agree on is that the hour glass was made famous by females of the 1950’s era and it’s incredibly interesting how far some were (and still are) willing to go to achieve this figure.

Full Outfit Details Photo One:
Dress- Collectif

Full Outfit Details Photo Two:
Dress- Dorothy Perkins
Bag – eBay find 

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Instagram: @missrachelkathleen

KG Strawberry Limeade Regular


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