Dresses for Your Cornet Body Shape

Cornet body shape Trinny and Susannah

It’s quite possible that as a young girl you were a tomboy, climbing trees and sharing your brother’s clothes. Being one of the boys was great fun! You weren’t meant to have a feminine bend to your body at thirteen. Later, when those curves, along with your boobs, failed to sprout as you entered womanhood, resembling a boy became less appealing. No longer wanting to be integrated into the boy’s gang, you wanted to attract them instead. With your triangular shape, you probably felt less sexy than your curvy companions experimenting with push up bras and hip wiggling. Wearing saucy clothes seemed pointless without a decent D cup or waist to cinch in.

So now you stick to vests, jeans and t-shirts… sporty gear that suits your athletic frame. You’ve tried other stuff, more skirts and dresses, but they just seem to hang off you.

Take heart dear cornet… because it is this very same athletic build that is so perfect for the catwalk. All those designers adore your boy/girl shape. They quite rightly reckon that on you their clothes move in a way that shows them to their best advantage. To couture queens you are literally a human coat hanger.


Yet so many Cornets seem to feel gangly and unconfident. Oi – Olive Oyl! Learn to play up the drama of your angular body in everything you wear. Imagine yourself prancing down the catwalk of your own life, pausing only to strike a great pose on each street corner. And remember that Popeye would die for you.

With your coat-hanger shoulders and racehorse legs you can get away with wearing anything from a bin liner to a ball gown. We could write pages listing the encyclopaedia of garments that look amazing on the Cornet body shape. For you, it is more about learning what not to wear.

  • Baggy, shapeless dresses just hang off your slender frame whilst tailoring always flatters.
  • ¾ sleeves make your arms look like spindly – stick to short or long sleeves.
  • Spaghetti straps are too flimsy to balance your angular shoulders – try wide straps.
  • Deeply scooped necklines make your chest look deflated. Better to choose slashed or asymmetric necklines.

Your tendency is to choose androgynous, masculine cuts. These always look great on you but sometimes you long to show something a little softer. You try on a floaty chiffon number, and you feel like a scarecrow. The art is to create an illusion of curves whilst at the same time disguising your lack of them.

Here are some key tricks:

ruffled evening gown - trinny and susannah

 Vintage dress image courtesy of Rococo Vintage

Ruffles are extremely flattering on you. They soften your silhouette and add a feminine feel to your upper body.

Surprisingly, stripes and checks can be your greatest friends. Learn the art of choosing stripes and checks that run at divergent angles around your body. This has the effect of confusing the eye and creating an illusion of curving lines. It’s Op Art!


Always be on the lookout for ways to accentuate your hips and add a bit of wiggle. Angled pockets are a great help – the more flamboyant the better. Create an exaggerated contrast between the width of your waist and the width of your hips.

vintage dress for cornet body shape - trinny and susannah

 Vintage dress image courtesy of Couture Allure

Like your Brick shaped and Column shaped sisters, your Cornet silhouette benefits enormously from draping and gathers. Asymmetric panelling lends a sense of curviness to your hips and torso whilst off-centre draping on a skirt will give you swishy movement as you sashay across the room.

Vivienne Westwood dress for Cornet Body Shape - Trinny and Susannah

Finally, a pattern that varies in size and direction diverts the eye creates an impression of movement around your body.

gathered and draped dress

 Vintage dress image courtesy of Rococo Vintage

p.s. You may have noticed that many of the dresses shown here are by Vivienne Westwood, a designer often associated with dressing curvy, buxom women. Yet many of the cuts that she comes back to again and again feature slashed necklines, asymmetric seams, draping and gathers and all-over prints – all so flattering for Cornet, Brick and Column body shapes. Make no mistake, Vivienne is one of the great experts when it comes to wringing every inch of femininity out of your body shape. And another thing – if you’re looking for beautiful detailing, ruffles, quality fabrics and prints it is always worth checking out a good vintage store. Rococo Vintage and Couture Allure always have gorgeous garments in stock

Inspired? Here are some great dresses that will add curves to your Cornet body shape.


Do you have a Cornet body shape? Tell us about it – the pros and the cons!


  • Reply April 1, 2015

    Deanna pryce

    I am a cornet! Through and through! And you gals have it nailed when it come to body types! you were my inspiration for the perfect metamorphosis of taking my fashion designing to fashion inspiring women!

  • Reply March 1, 2016


    Hi there, I’m a cornet in Australia
    And not sure where to get affordable clothing that suits cornet, as there’s designs tend to be in expensive dresses only. Do you also have suggestions for pants? I don’t like the look of bell bottoms and they are not suitable for work. Thank you

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