How to Build a Closet: Wardrobe Basics Every Mom Needs


Postpartum dressing is a challenge—it doesn’t matter if your baby is two months or 22 years old, nothing fits the way it used to and it can be hard to know what transitions from music class to date night to the boardroom. We are going to let you in on a couple of secrets… it’s all about the basics and dressing for your shape.

When it comes to body shape, say bye-bye to apples, pears and bananas and hello to shapes that actually make sense. Only 1 in 10 women know their body shape so read on to find out the best basics for your shape.


Also known as an hourglass, the X Shape has proportionate shoulders and hips with a very defined waist. She’s curvy in the bum and the chest, whether that’s extra curvy (think Kim K, Marilyn) or more compact (which is much more common). For X Shapes, the goal is to lead with your curves and choose styles that enhance them rather than fight them.

Your ideal basics: Scoop neck or v-neck t-shirts, stretchy denim and waist-defining dresses.


H Shapes create a column-like effect with the shoulders, waist and hips all about the same width. Typically there’s not a lot of bum and bust action or if there is, it’s proportionate with the rest of the body so the overall impression is a straight silhouette. The style goal for H Shapes is to define the waist and add details that give a good shape.

Your ideal basics: Patterned tops, layered sweaters and cinched rompers.


We refuse to use the term ‘pear shape’! A Shapes have narrower shoulders than hips, a semi-defined waist, and smaller chest than bum proportionately. It’s the shape women most commonly think they are. Sorry to disappoint ladies, but the H Shape or compact X Shape are actually more common. The A Shape’s style goal is to minimize the bottom half of the body while drawing attention to the upper half of the body.

Your ideal basics: Horizontal striped tops, A-line skirts and neckline detail.


Broader shoulders, a medium to full chest, a semi-defined waist and flatter bum define a V Shape. She’s often referred to as the athletic figure. For V Shapes, the style goal is to pick pieces that break up the shoulder line (think v necks and vertical lines) and add visual interest to the bottom half of the body for balance.

Your ideal basics: V-neck tops and dolman sleeves up-top. Pattern and colour on your bottom half.


O Shapes have a fuller chest, rounder tummy, and killer legs. This shape’s style goal is to elongate the midriff and show off the legs. Because she carries her weight in the upper body, cuts that are a bit more structured are a complementary counterpoint to her curves.

Your ideal basics: Scoop neck t-shirts with stretch, high-waisted denim and long cardigans/vests.

And the rule that trumps them all; if you feel good in something, wear it! Confidence is always the most attractive thing a woman can wear.


Rena Bast and Mavis Huntley, Chief Stylesmiths @ Smithery Style


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