The Shape Factor: How 1 post about body shape got 58K views

Many moons ago I worked as a personal stylist and I delighted in my job. Helping people find their best fit was easy for me. Fit was the first observation I made about a shopper. After a conversation, I would better understand their preferences and after looking through a past purchase history or heavily scrutinizing their outfit, I was able to determine which items in the store would be best for them. It was those countless hours in fitting rooms with customers that gave me a passion for fit. 

On any given day I could be found counseling women on how to cope with silly sizing standards and restoring their confidence that the size 4 dress in the new brand was essentially a size two in their old favorite brand. I spent many hours reassuring southern men that a ‘slim fitting’ denim was certainly not a ‘skinny jean’ and would neither compromise their fragile masculinity nor reveal their secrets to any onlooker passing by. I was top denim seller in the department by-the-way. And finally, I was an early champion of curves, I spent a large percentage of my days convincing women with curves that it was absolutely OK to accentuate them and to not hide behind layers. In fact the fitting room was much like a confessional for many clients. My understanding of fit and the consumer comes from a very personal level of experience. My perspective on fit solutions essentially mimic the successful experiences I had in fitting rooms and building loyal customers.

Example blog post from the original blog.

Example blog post from the original blog.

When I first started my blog, it was originally dedicated to fit and styling. I developed my blog when I had an online clothing store and used it for affiliate marketing and to keep a feedback loop with my customers. I kept my readers abreast on how to rotate their looks as well and how to personalize trends. I received great feedback from my styling posts, but one post actually reached 58,000 people.

When I posted a very simple blog about body shapes, gathering existing information from across the web for my readers to view, over 58,000 women read it and many began to write me about their shape. The feedback was amazing and answering those questions felt like I was back in my personal styling days! Essentially I became a virtual stylist. To better help people I used Polyvore to put together looks with my items and others to help them understand their shapes better.

The experience made me realize that shape is a big deal to people all over the web. Not having all the shapes represented in ads, or online makes it difficult for women and men to really understand how items will fit on their bodies! It helped to fuel my passion for fit and my perspective on fit technology. It is also why I advocate that fit technology isn’t just about software or hardware, it’s about accommodating the shopper by understanding them, their preferences and what’s best for their bodies.

My passion for styling and shape is also why I created Shop By Shape™ which is a simple way to organize digital catalogues that’s based on the shape of your customers. This is just one example on how fit perception can be enhanced digitally. For information on the concept please feel free to contact me! It works for smaller and larger brands alike and the results are higher conversions online and less returns due to fit. There is no direct link for SXS on the website but the link will take you there directly.

Below is the list of body shapes from the blog I wrote. The five traditional shapes are no longer the standard, all 12 shapes should be understood when attempting to understand fit and body. So what’s your fit strategy?



Large Chest (same size as hips)

Small waist

Short waist

Average/Long legs

Hips proportionate to breasts

Generous thighs

Average/Broad shoulders


Broad shoulders,

None defined waist line

Average tummy

Flat bum

Chunky thighs

Average legs

full calves


Small/Average Breasts

Slim waist

Pelvis and hip width similar (shelf like)

Average/short legs

Bigger thighs,

Larger calfs

Narrow/Average shoulders


Larger breast

Slight waist definition

Slim hips in comparison to shoulders

Long legs

Average/Broad shoulders


Broad Shoulders

Small chest size

No waist definition

Slim hips

Long slim Legs


Narrow shoulders

Small cup size

Long waist

Flat tummy

bottom heavy

Shorter thick legs



Average/Broad shoulders

Large Chest

Shorter waist

Large hips,

Large glutes bottom,

Big thighs

Slim lower legs


Broad shoulders

Large Chest

No waist definition

Narrow hips

Long legs

A bit of tummy


Shoulder width same as hip width

slight waist

Longer legs


Significantly slimmer shoulders as compared to hips

Small cup size

smaller shorter waist

Average or long legs

Larger thighs

Larger bottom


Narrow shoulders

Average cup size

Average leg length

Tummy bigger than breasts, mid section is largest


Larger cup size

Gently Curving longer waist

Hip size equal to chest size

Slim thighs and legs

small, slim waist

Average or long legs

Larger thighs and rear

Jessica CouchComment