top of page

Body Shapes explained: The I Shape

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

The shape of catwalk models, the I shape has shoulders and hips of equal or near-equal width (shoulders can be a bit wider - "coat hanger shoulders"), but with no clearly defined waist. This is a slender straight-up-and-down body, often described as "athletic", "boyish" or "willowy". Fashion leans towards catering for this body shape, therefore it is relatively easy for I shapes to find clothes that fit, unless they're very tall. Making sure these clothes are flattering is a matter of styling, though, as outfits can easily look shapeless, masculine or downright dull on an I shape body.

Body shape I column by My Tall Stylist, Karin Davidson, Image Consultant

If you are I Shaped:

  • You have hips and shoulders same width, or shoulders a bit wider.

  • Your waist is not clearly defined, in other words not significantly smaller than you hips and shoulders.

  • You have a willowy, boyish build and are probably an ectomorph

  • You could be a catwalk model!

You will look great in:

  • Almost anything, as long as there's some feminine detail or shaping in the outfit to save it from boxiness or dullness.

  • Straight leg or slightly bootleg pants, cargo pants, capri pants

  • Pencil skirts, low-waisted or mid-rise pants.

  • Frills/details on top half (if small bust)

  • Texture, layering or detail on hips and thighs, such as patch pockets on pants, tiers on skirts, peplums etc.

  • Stiffer fabrics

  • Halter tops and crew neck t-shirts


  • Soft, drapey fabrics

  • Raglan, dolman or kimono sleeves

  • Anything with built-in curves that you can't fill out, such as sweetheart necklines, A-line skirts/dresses, or gathered-waist skirts.

  • Skinny pants or leggings: they will make your legs look even skinnier and will not balance out your shoulders, resulting in a masculine or even emaciated look.

  • Wearing belts and tucking shirts don't always work for you: it can over-emphasise the waist, giving you a convex shape, which is not flattering.


To create the illusion of womanly curves (concave shape)


You may need to take garments in where there is too much fabric, often around the seat or thighs.

Darts can be added to blazers and shirts to create shape.


  • Kate Hudson

  • Nicole Kidman

  • Rachel Zoe

  • Cameron Diaz

  • Kate Moss

  • Keira Knightley

  • Cara Delevigne


bottom of page