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Body Shapes explained: The 8 Shape

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

The often misunderstood cousin of the X-shape, the figure 8 body shape is a version of the hourglass. 8 shapes are often frustrated that traditional body shape advice for hourglass figures doesn't work for them. The 8 shape has a lot of similarities with the X, but also some notable differences. It is also balanced, with shoulders and hips the same width, and a defined waist. However, unlike the X shape, the 8 shape's hips are widest at the top of the hip bone, and not at the hip socket. This creates a little "shelf" underneath the waist, with the rest of the hip dropping down straight or slanting only slightly. Wonderfully feminine, even seductive, it nevertheless can cause some problems with fit of clothes, and 8 shapes have to be careful lest their outfits look "boxy" or ill-fitting.

If you are 8 shaped:

The 8 shape: hourglass with a high hip
Body shapes explained: 8 shape
  • You have shoulders and hips same width, with a defined waist

  • The widest part of your hip is high: at the top of the hip bone, not at the hip socket

  • The hip protrudes like a little "shelf"

  • You have probably heard that you have an "hourglass" figure

  • You have probably tried advice for hourglass figures, only to find that it doesn't work for you

You will look great in:

  • Tapered pencil skirts

  • Flat-front, straight-cut or tapered pants, no flares

  • Cropped jackets, trench coats

  • Peplums, wide waist-bands

  • Open necklines

  • Fabrics that drape but don't cling

  • Narrow belts and other waist detail


  • Flared or pleated trousers

  • A-line, pleated, godet, tulip or bias-cut skirts

  • Boxy jackets/tops

  • Double-breasted jackets and coats

  • Wide belts - the space between your waist and hip is not enough to accommodate a wide belt. You should opt for narrow ones instead.


Focus attention on waist and keep skirts and trousers narrow


Buy garments to fit the widest part of your hip, and have the waist and/or thighs taken in

Famous 8 Shapes:

  • Salma Hayek

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones

  • Nigella Lawson

  • Helen Mirren

  • Marilyn Monroe

  • Sophia Loren

  • Christina Hendricks

  • Sofia Vergara

  • Dita von Teese

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