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Classifying Body Types

By Michelle Ecker on July 06, 2016

The New York Institute of Art and Design offers online image consultant training and because we do, we like to provide free tips for image consultants. Enjoy!

Classifying Body Types

If you want to become a professional image consultant or personal stylist, one of the most important skills you’ll need to develop is the ability to flatter a variety of body types. Outside of the more specific world of fashion, human shape for both women and men has historically been broken down into 3 general anatomical categories, all of which you should become familiar with.

Ectomorph- This individual is lean and slender with a body build on the more delicate side, usually having long arms and legs, small shoulder width, small hips and a small chest. These people are much thinner, with very little muscle. If you’re ever working to style dancers or models, they will likely fall within this category.

Mesomorph- This individual is much more muscular than an ectomorph, usually thicker overall with muscle and strong build. They don’t necessarily have long limbs (but might), and they usually have broader shoulders. If you’re ever working to style an athlete or a client who works out regularly, they will likely fall within this category.

Endomorph- Lastly, this individual is often short and stocky, lacking muscle definition. This person usually has more body fat than others as well- in women, typically in the lower part of the body and in men, typically in the abdomen.

Regardless of your client’s build, as a successful stylist, you should not only familiarize yourself with the scientifically correct way to reference it, but the fashionably shrewd way to flatter it in style.

Want to learn more? TThe New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online personal style course that can teach you how to become a personal stylist. Request your free course catalog today!