Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes

If you need styling tips for plus size inverted triangle shapes or the “strawberry” body type, this post is for you! 

It has only been requested for about three years.  Sorry, guys!

But, before I even get into my tips, I feel like I need to emphasize the following:

When it comes to styling tips, tricks, guidelines, and suggestions, please ALWAYS remember…

  • Fashion is meant to be fun, creative, and an expression of the self.  There are NO RULES.
  • Ultimately wear what you want.  Wear what makes you feel good and brings you joy.
  • Everyone is unique.  No suggestion will work for everyone because everyone is different.  Some people are short, tall, long torso, short legs, small bust, big bust, no waist, wide hips, etc.  I could go on and on.  We are all unique combinations.  Use what works for you.  Disregard what doesn’t.
  • Experiment!  Because you are unique, you are going to have to experiment.  Try out some of my suggestions.  Use what you like.

Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes

Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes - Strawberry Body Type - Alexa Webb

Are you a plus size inverted triangle shape?

So let’s start with figuring out who is typically considered an “inverted triangle shape.” 

Inverted triangles, also called “strawberries,” generally have shoulders and/or busts larger and wider than their hips.

  • Your shoulders are the widest part of your body.
  • Your bust may be larger.
  • Your hips are narrower.

Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes - Strawberry Body Type - Alexa Webb

Styling Plus Size Inverted Triangle Goals

No matter your shape, typically the “goal” is to create the illusion of a proportional hourglass shape: bust and hips the same size with a defined waist.  Balanced.

So for an inverted triangle shape, we try to make the hips look more similar in size to the shoulders while keeping the waist looking smaller.

  • Balancing the hips with the shoulders and bust.
  • Breaking up the visual width of the shoulders and bust.
  • Emphasizing the waist when possible.
  • Drawing attention to the lower part of the body.

I used quotes around “goals” for a couple of reasons.

One, no matter your shape [or size], celebrate, appreciate, and love your body.  It’s the only one you’ve got!

And two, although the hourglass is the coveted “ideal” shape, celebrate the assets you have! 

Plus, beauty ideals are really bullsh!t, right?

Oh and confidence is the most attractive thing.  Ever.  Hands down.  Ok, I’m done.

Now let’s get into the specifics about how to achieve these “goals.”

Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes

Let’s start with the top and work our way down.  The most flattering necklines are going to be those that break up the line.

So, v-necks and deep scoops are going to look best. 

If you need to wear a higher neckline, you can break up the line visually by adding an open cardigan or jacket.

Asymmetrical necklines also make a good choice.

It is best to avoid necklines that make you look broader in the shoulders or bring attention to the shoulders. 

Try to avoid turtlenecks, crew necks, boat or bateau necks, ballet necks, jewel necks, and off-the-shoulder styles.

You may also want to avoid embellishments on the shoulders or upper sleeves.  I also think it best to avoid puffy and ruffle sleeves.

A Word on “the Girls”

If you have a large bust, you might be concerned about cleavage, especially in a professional setting.

Remember, we are just breaking up the line. 

You can always add a layer under a neckline in a different or contrasting color to get more coverage.

For example, add a white scoop neck tank under a black deep v-neck dress.

Or as I mentioned above, you can wear a higher neckline and break the line with layers on top.

For example, top a white jewel neck blouse with an open black cardigan.

But, if you aren’t in a professional setting and want to show off your assets, I encourage you to do so!  A little cleavage never hurt anyone!

And lastly, don’t try to use “minimizing” bras or worse, ill-fitting bras, to make yourself look “smaller.”  You’ll more likely end up looking smooshed, saggy, or unsupported.  Plus, aren’t we trying to embrace our assets?

Ok, so now that we have the necklines figured out, let’s talk about the styles of dresses that will look best.

Plus Size Inverted Triangle Dresses

For inverted triangles, a dress that adds a bit of volume to the hips is ideal.  Look for these styles:

  • “true” wrap dresses
  • fit and flare
  • sheath
  • a-line
  • peplum dresses

“True” vs “Faux” Wrap Dresses

To clarify, a “true” wrap dress is one in which the tie, neckline, and fit, can be adjusted when the dress is tied closed. 

Whereas a “faux” wrap dress looks similar in style but can’t be adjusted because the pieces are sewn together in such a way as to create the illusion of a wrap dress without the adjustability.

Often you will see inexpensive or budget options in this “faux” wrap style. 

One of the reasons is that the “faux” wrap dresses cost less to make as they use less fabric and they take less time to sew.

So, if you can afford a “true” wrap dress, they are totally worth it!  I love these true wrap dresses from Kiyonna.

Fabrics Make a Difference

Because we’re looking to create a new silhouette by adding some volume to the hips, we need structure.  And the best way to do that is to choose fabrics with some heft.

These days many dresses are made with knits.  One reason is knits make things easier to fit.  Plus, knits are comfortable and forgiving.

But, if you’re looking for knit dresses, opt for heavier good quality knits. 

Or even fabrics like ponte and “scuba,” which have great structure.  And avoid slinky knits like modal.

Of course, woven fabrics are a better option than knit.

More Plus Size Inverted Triangle Dresses

Plus Size Tops and Tunics for Inverted Triangle Shapes

Ok, so now that we have dresses covered, let’s talk tops.

Peplum tops will likely be the most flattering style.  Wrap tops are also a good choice. 

And don’t forget the necklines I talked about earlier!  If you’re looking for t-shirts, opt for deep v-necks or scoop necks.

Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes – Jackets

When it comes to jackets, just think of the goals I outlined earlier. 

These are the styles that will be most flattering for inverted triangles:

  • cropped
  • waist-length
  • wrap
  • belted
  • peplum

Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes – Bottoms

For bottom separates, consider pieces that will offer a balance between the upper body and lower. 

For pants and jeans, look for:

  • wide-leg
  • flare leg
  • straight leg
  • boyfriend or mom jeans

I know they are popular, but skinny jeans and leggings are not very flattering for inverted triangles.

Be Bold

Consider color and print on your lower half which will help to add balance.  Bold prints and micro prints are great choices.


For skirts, consider adding volume to the lower half. 

These are the styles that will be most flattering for inverted triangles:

  • pleated
  • a-line
  • full skirt
  • circle skirt

Avoid column, straight, and pencil skirts.

Well that was a lot!  But, hopefully, you now have some good ideas for things you might want to try.

If you have any questions, please leave in the comments below.

This post is just the third in a series about dressing for your plus size shape.

Styling Tips for More Plus Size Shapes

Not an inverted triangle?  Apples go here.  Pears go here.  More posts like this to come!

For more styling educational posts like this one, go here.  

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on or purchase through certain links, I may receive a small commission.

28 thoughts on “Styling Tips for Plus Size Inverted Triangle Shapes

  1. Another great article Alexa. I like to read the theory of necklines for each shape; thanks for including it within the piece.

  2. I have a question about body types. I have never been able to determine what my real body type is. I feel like I go straight up and down but big in general. I have big legs (muscular), but not too big for my body nor too small. The same can be said for my arms as well. I don’t have a waist, and I don’t really have much of a torso. I have very long legs, but you wouldn’t tell just by looking at me. I am at a loss as to what I am. Any thoughts??

    1. I mean not for nothing, but y’all (hourglass) have the most desired shape!!! Everything you put on I’m sure looks good on you! Lol I’m an inverted triangle and the STRUGGLE is REAL!! Especially with bottoms! Nothing stays on, unless I wear a belt ( and not every thing looks good with a belt or has the built in for a belt-like workout pants for example!! ) but anyways I wish I had an hour glass shape..

  3. Ms Davenport, I beg to differ. When I shop in stores, it seems like most the clothing, and the models are made for hourglass shapes.
    Thank you for this article for inverted shapes

    1. Immaterial. My comment is about styling tips from Alexa, not what’s in the stores. I have been requesting tips for hourglass shaped women for as long as I have been following her, but she never does them. I like most of her posts, which is why I would like her to do some tips for my body type!

  4. I guess i would consider myself apple or pear shaped. Quite actually I like my thicker figure, just hate my belly! It sometimes looks like I am pregnant. I know this is due to my thyroid and cortisol belly, but I would love to see good ides for outfits that don’t make me look even more prego when I am not.

    1. I would go with a mid-rise. You could try low(er) rise as long as it doesn’t create a muffin top situation. But bringing the rise down will make your hips appear wider and therefore more balanced with your shoulders.

  5. Hello! I really liked the advice, but I am more visual. The models are really pretty but in my opinion they are not really inverted triangle body types. I feel that they have a nice curve to their hips, which I do not have at all so it makes it difficutl to imagine myself using those tips on myself. Thank you

    1. Hi Rubi,
      Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot afford to hire models and have photoshoots for all of the pieces I suggest. So I have to use the images available to me, which typically feature hourglass models.

  6. Love the suggestions but the models are not inverted triangle therefore its hard to assert that these styles work for this body type.

  7. I feel that the plus size models in this article are more pear shaped than inverted triangle. I have wide wide wide shoulders, thin but shapely legs and my waist and hips are the same measurement. I do suit v-necks, straight leg, or boot cut pants (as long as I fit them to my hips and high waisted pants are not possible because the thighs and hips are huge and baggy), longer jackets or cardigans look Ok, shift type dresses are OK, but wrap dresses look terrible on me. They tend to be very loose around the hips if I buy dresses or tops to fit my upper body. Skirts look ridiculous and tend to flop around my hips. But still, thank you for the ideas that I can use to dress my awkward, mannish body.

    1. Hi Ingrid,
      Thank you! I’m glad you found the post helpful.

      The models are not meant to be examples of inverted triangles. I simply included photos of garments that will likely flatter inverted triangle shapes. I thought the visual aid might be helpful despite the limitation of the model’s body shape.

        1. As I mention above… Unfortunately, at this time I cannot afford to hire models and have photoshoots for all of the pieces I suggest. Additionally, I try to update the images so that the clothing suggestions are available year after year. So I have to use the images available to me (via retailers), which typically feature hourglass models. Sorry that it is counterintuitive.

  8. TYSM for taking the time to make this post. I’m from Mexico and I’ve been wearing skinny jeans and rounded neck shirts for many years (I’m 23 now) and I always felt like I didn’t look as good as other girls & didn’t had a cute style. Now I know the reason and since I know my body type I’ve been looking for clothes that help me highlight my attributes. I will definitely be constantly checking this post and will also recommend your page to those who like to know more about their body type.

    1. As I mention above… Unfortunately, at this time I cannot afford to hire models and have photoshoots for all of the pieces I suggest. Additionally, I try to update the images so that the clothing suggestions are available year after year. So I have to use the images available to me (via retailers), which typically feature hourglass models.

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