COLUMN Body Shape

COLUMN Body Shape

These Body Shape Style Tips are intended specifically for women who are feeling lost with their personal style and need some guidelines and boundaries to start with, until they find their confidence.

The best thing about fashion is that anything goes!  You can pull off pretty much anything if it authentically suits your personality and you have the confidence to pull it off.  However if you don’t, I have found that some of these style tips have helped my clients to start off by experimenting with new looks, leading eventually to greater confidence.

Column Shape Or For Ladies Who Want to Add Curves

Column shapes aren’t particularly common in the UK but they are generally shaped in a very up-down fashion, making them quite boyish in appearance.

When I say a column shape, as always when talking about body shapes, I am using extreme examples, as it makes it far easier for people to understand how to work with figures.

A column figure describes someone with a small bust or sometimes a flat chest, with a flat stomach, slim hips and quite long limbs. Columns often find it very difficult to put on weight in general.

The main challenge with this body shape is that very often, columns don’t feel feminine due to their boyish frame, but luckily clothes have an answer for everything!

Column Golden Rules

In general, you need to add points of interest, shape and volume to your body in all the right places in order to create the appearance of feminine curves. Volume should be created on the hips, bum and bust, and points of interest or shape can be created on the waist, bust and neckline to break up the length of the body.


Like pears and diamonds, column shapes can often have quite a small bust so you can give it a boost with plunge style bras, padded styles or chicken fillets which will instantly give it some oomph.


Columns are an interesting shape as they can play with lengths a lot more than other body shapes. The lengths and placement of garments (e.g. where things stop and start) add shape and curve to a body; and if you’re a column with very little shape, this can be a great tool to use. For instance, by wearing a skirt or cropped trouser which cuts off at the widest part of the leg (the calf) you create a more shapely leg. A sleeve that finishes on the forearm breaks up the length of a long, slim arm.

Point of Interest

If you are feeling your bust looks flat, look for tops with colour, pattern, ruffle, pockets etc on the bust, shoulders or neckline. You can also use layering in order to add volume and create lots of interest, for example wearing two contrasting vest tops rather than just one plain tank. Play with mixing different colours, fabrics, textures and shapes to create lots of interest and detail on the body.

Belts can help you to create more interest and shape, however if you’re a column or don’t have many curves on the waist, stay away from wide belts as these will look too much on your boyish frame. Instead opt for a thinner style of belt, and if you can get one that will wrap around the waist a couple of times over some layers, this will create a great look for you.


Being a column can sometimes mean that clothes can look as if they ‘hang’ off your frame, which instantly makes you look less toned, less healthy and older so it is vital you ensure all of your garments fit well to your body, especially sleeves, trouser legs, waistbands and shoulders.

If you worry that ‘fitted’ garments show off your lack of shape, you need to start playing more with layers and textures so that you can maintain the good fit of garments, but add depth, interest and shape to your look.

Dressing the Upper Body

Look for heavier or more textured fabrics if you want to add some volume and weight to your upper body. Team this with embellishments or details on the top to add more interest.

Avoid long, open, deep necklines which will make you look longer and leaner and could be too much on your figure. Shorter, shallower and more interesting necklines would be ideal such as one-shoulder, mandarin styles, heart shaped, boat necked or slash neck would be better choice.

Opt for colour, pattern, embellishment, ruffles, layering or anything else that adds interest up top. In terms of length, probably better to go for shorter tops, jackets, cardigans finishing mid-tummy in order to break up the body as much as possible, adding shape; rather than lengthen it with long lines of garments such as a long plain black dress for example.

Dressing the Leg for Columns

Trousers with soft pleats or pockets on the hips will add shape to your legs, as like the apple shape, you have slim hips, bum or thighs.

Loose style trousers or culottes, or any style that is loose and baggy will add some depth and volume to your slim leg.

Unlike many other shapes, you can even get away with a wider, cropped trouser as this breaks up the length of the leg AND creates some shape – something a pear shape should never do for example.

Use skirts and dresses that are shapely such as tulip, peplum and bubble style skirts in bold colours and patterns to give you an instant bum and hips, however try to stay away from very straight and lengthening styles such as pencil skirts which may exaggerate your boyish frame.

You can also wear leggings, treggings, cropped styles and skinny jeans as long as they’re teamed with a chunkier style shoe and a looser top which creates volume and shape to re-balance the figure whilst still showing off your fantastic pins.

You can get away with a wide variety of shoes if you are a column however I would probably avoid anything that creates a lengthening and narrowing look on the foot such as a pointy stiletto.

Other Body Shapes that may be worth checking out: –

Many women also have to deal with body shape challenges when it comes to proportion in terms of: –

  • Plus Size Body (Main Challenge Area: Find it hard to Find Stylish Clothes and may want to Look Slimmer)
  • Tall Women (Main Challenge: Find it difficult to get clothes to fit well in the arms and legs, and often avoid heels)
  • Petite Women (Main Challenge: Find it hard to get clothes to fit well around the torso, shoulders and in terms in length.  Can look drowned easily)