What Body Shape am I? The Answer

Body shapes - Trinny and Susannah


In our last post we shared a letter from Gabi who asked, ‘what body shape am I?’ We challenged you to give your verdict and you rose to the challenge admirably both here on the blog and on our Facebook page. Well done!

We were blown away by how clueless many of you are. An Hourglass? An Apple? Fat?! Sheesh, we have devoted our LIVES to teaching you this stuff and this is what we get. So, we realise that our work must continue. No matter, we love it and we love you all too.

Here is the answer…

Dear Gabi,

Thank you for your kind words and for your great letter. It raises some issues that we come across again and again so we hope that our answers to your dilemma will help many other women as well.

Firstly, you ask if your body shape can change. The answer is yes, it can. Anatomically our body shape is determined by our bone structure (shoulder width, leg length – this does not change), and muscle and fat. Those parts, as every woman knows, can change with weight gain or loss, exercise or surgery. So, a small-bodied, broad-bottomed Skittle might put on extra weight in the derriére region and transform into a Bell. A broad-shouldered Cornet could never morph into a narrow-shouldered Bell but, with breast enhancement surgery she could become a Goblet.

The next thing that we love about your letter is that you have sent us a forensic breakdown of your measurements – Gil Grissom would be proud – which is absolutely useless!

But as soon as we saw your very clear photographs we knew that we could ignore all that and help you. Ladies, can we say this a hundred thousand times? When it comes to analysing your body shape, throw away your tape measure and LOOK in the mirror.

It’s about shape not size. It’s about proportion, not measurement.

Gabby, you are confused about the length of your legs. Yes your inseam is 32″ but at 5’10” you are a tall woman so, proportionally, your legs are not long.

Gabi, we are delighted to tell you that you are, as you suspected, a Brick.

Characteristics of the Brick body shape:

  • Broad shoulders
  • No waist
  • Average tummy (despite your protestations Gabi, your tummy is not large!)
  • Flat bum
  • Straight up and down legs, on the chunky side

This is great news. Other women with Brick shapes include Kim Cattrall and Jennifer Hudson. Knowing your body shape is just the first step. The next step is understanding the principles of dressing your shape.

Our next post will be all about what to wear to make your Brick body shape look fabulous.

T&S x

brick body shape - trinny and susannah


  • Reply October 25, 2014


    Thanks so much, ladies, for the time you took with your assessment and in the further education!! I do have your books, I have watched your shows…I recommend others do as well, and that we all pay better attention to the details. :)

    If I lose weight and my legs and bum get far more slim, would I still be a brick? If it ever happens, LOL, I’ll send you another photo set and see what you think. Until then, I need to figure out how to work with my brick. Cheers!

  • Reply October 25, 2014


    PS…I do have your books, What Not to Wear and Body Shape Bible, so I’ll start doing some homework again now that you have confirmed my brick-i-ness. And I’ll do my homework on accepting the truth of my shape. :)

    Honestly, I loved my youthful boyish shape, am confused by current “curves,” and I’d like to look “flat,” lean and long, so those are the styles that I’d seek. Casual dresses seem to me to be a sticky wicket for good fit, LOL…

    I love all your tips and your work and your style sense, thanks much!

    • Reply October 26, 2014


      Last question, ladies, LOL…sorry to try your patience! When a brick slims down, particularly in the bottom half, what does she become?

      As I look at all the pictures of your types again, comparing them to pictures of myself when slender, I think I am a Cornet. (My son says Column, but my legs aren’t long enough for that one, right?) So when my legs/bum slim, since I do have those broad shoulders and would be far more slender, would I then be a Cornet?

      Would the wardrobe style be similar enough that I wouldn’t need to purchase Brick items now and Cornet items later? Or do you think I will always be a Brick even when slim? Thanks!!!

  • Reply October 26, 2014


    I know I’m obsessive, LOL…perks of being a type A personality. If you have a chance, could you address the definition confusion I’m getting from reading online about the Brick body shape? Using your work, other bloggers are talking about your 12 shapes and sharing defining characteristics. The few I’ve read say that Bricks have short legs, long torsos, and average to large chests.

    I get the sense that you hate measurements, haha, but I erred in my numbers to you. I can see you rolling your eyes now! :) I imagine you will say it doesn’t matter, but I know that snapshots can be difficult in showing precise reality (the reason I wanted to add stats initially). I cringe to look at the photos I sent you, as to how my thighs look… I wonder if in person you would see a different perspective. My legs do look shorter in the photo than in real life.

    My inseam (yes, I had measurements done again, sorry) is actually 34″ and when I compare my proportional measurements, my legs don’t calculate short, I don’t think…my leg length from “break of leg” is 36″ and total height 70″, my hip to knee and knee to ankle measurements are the same, too. So my legs are not less than half my height…my inseam is 48% of my height…so my legs aren’t short, right? My vertical body shape seems to be balanced based on measurements.

    Or is leg/torso length and chest size irrelevant in the Brick assessment? I’m wrestling with accepting Brick when I feel like a Cornet carrying an extra 10 pounds. You want to slap me… :) No worries! Thanks for all your time, I admire you both!

  • Reply October 26, 2014


    Im so glad you found out what you are Gabi, I have problems with my shape (I think I am a Vase) but as I use a wheelchair a lot – do I look like I’m a completely different shape when I’m sitting in it?

    Its very hard to judge your shape when it changes as you spend a lot of your time seated, but I still want to look nice and dress well even sitting in my wheelchair.

    Sadly there is no help available for people with disabilities to look good – its difficult when you have a disability or long term illness of any sort.
    I have Osteoarthritis & Fibromyalgia which cause me to need to use a wheelchair or walk very small distances with my crutches.

    I take a lot of heart from my T&S books I have them all including “Who do you want to be today?” which has lots of things that inspire me to think differently – do you have this book Gabi?

  • Reply May 8, 2015


    I have a big belly, I gain all weight in my belly and have no waist. I’m 28 pounds overweight. I have a small bust, arms, thighs and legs. What do I wear to hide the belly and define a waist?

  • Reply May 6, 2016


    How do you tell an hourglass shape from a pear shape? I have very wide set hips and sometimes I look at myself and it appears I am an hour glass other times I look and I think my boobs im comparison to my hips make me a pear. I just can’t figure it out. My butt is not big but my thighs are thick. I’m definitely either a pear or hourglass at this point I think I’ve over thought it I just can’t see it now.

  • Reply July 30, 2016


    I have to disagree with the brick body type. I’d say “cornet” all the way, although to be honest, from what I’m seeing I’m not a fan of this system in general. You’re extremely leggy (if you’re actually 34″ at the inseam that is very long. 32″ would not be short, however – more average).
    You have broad, strong shoulders, a small bust, long limbs and not much waist definition. They describe bricks as being generally shorter and stockier than you, with more volume in the chest and less length in the limbs. They kinda contradicted themselves when giving you their “diagnosis”, from what I can see.
    That aside, I think the brick type is just fine. This system seems to discourage women from enjoying their natural body types, and focuses too much on what to hide rather than what to embrace.

  • Reply September 28, 2016

    Chantel Heaven marie Wensley

    hey everyone…I could really use some help. Struggling with body shape and basically how to dress, I feel like when I lose weight and am fit my body shape changes drastically from where I am at right now…volumptouous and soft and carry about 20lbs too much 😂😂
    I understand it isn’t about measurements but I can tell you my hips and bust are basically the same size, heavy breasted, bigger butt (but looks somewhat square shaped) and literally no waist….I’m serious..I have no idea how I even have organs let alone carried children (stretched beyond belief) I’m very petite and when I was younger I was even petite in the sense of weight.
    I’m 5’0 with long legs in comparison to body height. My last rib rubs on my pelvis (hip)
    I would think hourglass but I can’t tell because of my lack of waist.

    Am I allowed to post photos?

    Thanks so much.
    Love and light.

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