Image Consulting

Body Types. Ectomorph. Mesomorph. Endomorph

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Blog, Matching Yourself, Shopping, Styling tips | 14 comments

Continuing my MatchYourSelf series started with this post where I talked about how it is important to factor your body characteristics into your ideal wardrobe building, I decided to dedicate this post to Somatype. Somatype, in other words your body type, plays important part in determining your ideal clothing. It resonates a lot with the line in face and body system and I believe might be easier for some people to understand and apply.

Continue reading and you’ll find out three major body types.
The term Somatype was developed by William Sheldon to describe three basic body types – Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.

Ectomorph

Straight, angular, lean, skeletal body. An ectomorph woman may have a narrow bust and hips. Ectomorphs have minimal fat deposits and usually don’t gain weight easily. They have lean muscles, light build with small joints. Usually ectomorphs have long thin limbs. Think about model bodies here.

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs are usually people of average size and musculature with average busts and average hips. A mesomorph is most likely to show muscle tone. These are people with large bone structure and naturally athletic physique. They gain weight more easily than ectomorphs. Mesomorphs usually have thick skin that tans easily. The most healthy and athletic looking people they are. 20 years ago most models were mesomorphs, that was before this emaciated, zero fat super skinny bodies trend flooded the runways and distorted the masses’ perception of the beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endomorph

Full bodied people with a large bust or chest. These people have a propensity for adipose or fat deposits. Endos are normally a short build with thick arms and legs, they have round physique and find it hard to lose weight but are at the same time very easy to gain muscles when exercising.

 

Between the extreme ectomorph and the extreme endomorph there are hundreds of variations. Some people can be classified as a border somatype:

  • Ecto/Mesomorph or Meso/Ectomorph
  • Meso/Endomorph or Endo/Mesomorph

Somatype can change depending on diet and exercise. Typically you are in your ideal somatype when you exercise regularly and eat healthy.

 

How to determine your body type or Somatype?

First of all by simply looking at yourself in the mirror. If your body size seems to be in proportion to your height, then most probably you are a meso. If the body appear narrow – then you are an ectomorph, and on the opposite, if your body looks wide then you are endomorphic.

If still unsure try measuring yourself. Measure the bust and hip circumferences and then find your height and bone structure in the chart below. If the your measurements match the chart, then you are a meso. If it’s less, then you are an ecto; and if it’s more then you are an endo.

Women – Mesomorph
Bone Structure
Height
Circumference
Fine
Medium
Strong
Short
Bust
32-34
34-36
36-38
Hip
33-35
35-37
37-39
Average
Bust
34-36
36-38
38-40
Hip
35-37
37-39
39-41
Tall
Bust
36-38
38-40
40-42
Hip
37-39
39-41
41-43

 Dressing your body type

Looking back at the line in face and body post  it will probably be true to say that most ectomorphic people will have a straight line dominating their features; endomorphs will definitely be on the curvier side; while mesomorphs will be a combination of both, straight and curvy lines. Consequently, being say an ectomoprh you follow the recommendations for straight lines and so on. You can find the clothing advice in this post.

To further illustrate the point I put together a couple of outfits to help you get a feel and general understanding of the direction you should be going if you want to dress according to your body type.

Endomorph

This set will work perfectly for an endomorphic body because the garments share the same characteristics with the body seamlessly blending with the overall look

a set for an endomorph

  • The fabrics are soft and draping
  • Rounded details
  • Curved lines
  • Soft pleats and gathers
  • Absence of straight and angled lines
  • The overall look is soft, flowey, gentle and feminine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are usually skinny, skeletal people consisting of straight lines and angles. If you are the one, look for the same in clothing

set for an ectomorph

  • Tailored, boxy styles
  • Crisp fabrics
  • Pockets
  • Pleats
  • Straight, angular styles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mesomorph

If you are a mesomorph your body is not that curvy as endomorphs’ yet not that angled and straight as ectomorphs’, therefore the balance is the key. Your styles are in between these ultra-feminine, soft cuts and crisp, laconic and minimalistic designs. When shopping for a mesomorphic body, keep in mind the following characteristics:

a set for a mesomorph

  • Natural drape in fabrics
  • Classic styles
  • Minimal pleats and gathers
  • Semi-fitted styles
  • Classic, natural lines and shapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading, I hope you find this information helpful. Happy shopping and please comment if you have any questions about body types and choosing the best outfits to complement your shapes.

 

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14 Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Oksana

    so if I dress up according to my body type, would it just look more harmonious, or more beautiful? I.e. what is the underlying concept here – to make you look more beautiful (aka hide undesired features and make good features more visible), or just create a “harmonious” look?

    • MatchYourSelf

      It’s an interesting question, Oksana. Thank you.
      Do you think beauty exists without harmony or harmony exists without beauty? To me they are just different sides of the same concept. But if by beautiful you mean bringing attention to what is the best in you and keeping the areas of your concern in shadow – then we talk about dressing your body shape (vs body type), which would be the next step towards building your ideal wardrobe. Somatype is just one factor among many others image consultants take in consideration when working with a client

      • Oksana

        oh.. ok. So it’s just 1 factor to consider.

        How about if a big person wears something tight… that won’t look harmonious? but maybe sexy? what’s more important – harmonious or sexy (if we’re aiming at male’s attention). Or should I say, can harmonious be also sexy? Because I think harmonious is eye pleasing to everybody. But what if male audience is my primary target? :)

  2. Abigail

    To be honest, I think dressing to match your body type is pretty ridiculous. I am an ectomorph but I like the clothes you picked out for endomorphs. I think people should wear what make them feel good, not what other people say would look good on them.

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Abigail, thank you for the comment.

      When I just got introduced to that concept I was also somewhat hesitant to accept it. However when I started paying more attention to such things, I noticed that when a person is dressed according to their body characteristics, they look much much better. This becomes even more obvious when you compare two items, one that is right for you and another that is wrong, by trying them on one after another. The difference is drastic. Believe me that came as a shocking revelation to me.
      The sets that I showed in the post are only meant to give the general understanding between the difference in how you dress for different body types. Of course, there are tons of variations and styles to choose from and find what you like and what is also a good match for your body.

      • Abigail

        However, my goal isn’t to look good; it’s to look a way that I like. I don’t doubt that this could be useful to people who want to look good, but I’m more interested in dismantling the idea of what looks “good” and what doesn’t.

  3. site

    Im getting a javascript error, is anyone else?

  4. Zoe

    Why does Endomorph get all the pretty clothes while Ectomorph is dressed like a grandma and the Mesomorph like Ellen Degeneres? I think the Ecto and Meso can certanily have figure fitting clothes that are flirty and stylish to! It’s like they didn’t even try for the later two. What the heck?

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Zoe,
      Yes, they certainly can. Whatever is in the pictures are just the examples, the general guidelines that are by no means intended to show the entire range of dressing possibilities. May be I’ll make a post showing how latest trends can be interpreted and adopted by different somatypes. For now I suggest you check out my post on peplum tops where I talk about how different body types can wear them. Cheers :)

  5. Sarah

    Maybe I’m just being crazy here, but I’m feeling a lack of love for the ectomorphs!
    While describing mesomorphs, you state “20 years ago most models were mesomorphs, that was before this emaciated, zero fat super skinny bodies trend flooded the runways and distorted the masses’ perception of the beauty.” but in the paragraph above, you described the ectomorphs as model-like. While it’s okay to have a preference, I don’t think referring to models/ectomorphs as looking “emaciated” or “skeletal” several times in the article is really the way to go. Especially since most ectomorphs are, as you said before NATURALLY small.
    Not trying to attack you personally, just not a fan of some of your word-choices throughout the article.

    • MatchYourSelf

      Hi Sarah,

      thank you for your feedback. May be I wasn’t clear enough but when I said “that was before this emaciated, zero fat super skinny bodies trend flooded the runways and distorted the masses’ perception of the beauty” I referred specifically to the period when aesthetic canons got so distorted that the majority of models in order to keep up with them had to literally starve themselves, I was basically talking about being unhealthy skinny, not naturally skinny, something like that skinny. I think you remember the times when it practically became a norm, now there is a shift happening towards more healthy looking bodies on runways, which I’m happy about.
      And by no means I meant to attack ectomorphs, it would have been ridiculous as I’m one of them.
      For “skeletal” it was the word my image consultant teacher used to describe this type of physique and I picked it up. I didn’t realize it might be received negatively, but since it can, I will be more careful selecting the words. Thank you for bringing that to my attention :)

  6. Jess

    On your meso chart you list short, average, and tall, but what would be the actual measurements for those categories?

  7. Daniel

    Ectomorph is the best body time for both women and men. I am an ectomorph and can eat whatever I want without gaining fat. This is priceless =))
    Daniel recently posted…5 Best Weight GainersMy Profile

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