Focus on Fit: Triangles & Inverted Triangles
Last week, Deb discussed the most flattering sweater styles for hourglass, rectangle, and oval body types. This week, we’re going to cover the two other main body type groups: triangles and inverted triangles (see Invasion of the Body Type Snatchers for definitions). As might be expected, the style tips are more or less opposite for these two triangle body types; what’s flattering for one group is generally less complimentary on the other group.
Triangles should put visual interest toward the neckline of their sweaters. Stranded patterns and other circular yoke designs are great for triangles because the emphasis is on your shoulders, creating a more balanced look. The Enid Cardigan has a great stranded pattern to bring the focus to your upper half. Likewise, the classic Tangled Yoke Cardigan has a fantastic cable detail around the neckline. If you prefer seamed sweaters, look for color blocking toward the neckline, as seen in the Hollin Pullover. Cowl collars and other wide, striking necklines are also flattering.
Length is also important for triangles. Sweaters should hit above your hipline; making them hip-length or longer often adds width to an already shapely area. As a triangle myself, I like my sweaters to hit just below the waistband of my pants. Likewise, long dramatic sleeves should be avoided, as they draw attention to your hip area. Shorter sleeves bring more attention to your upper half, so look for short to three-quarter-length sleeves.
Inverted triangles should follow the opposite advice from triangles. Put visual interest at the hemline to visually balance your shoulders. Colorwork, like in the Banded Sweater, can add visual interest to your lower half. Play with interesting hemlines, like in the Joan of Arc Sweater—the texture and high-low hem both help to balance out broad shoulders. Tunic-length sweaters are ideal for your body type. Details like a peplum also add a little volume to your lower half; try a pattern like the Sylph Cardigan.
Avoid boatneck and cowl necklines, which just add more volume to your upper half. Inverted triangles should also avoid dolman sleeves, which add bulk. When it comes to sleeves, longer sleeves are good at drawing the eye downward, and long sleeves with interesting design features are even better; try a flared bell sleeve.
As with all style guides, there’s a big ol’ asterisk to this: Wear what you want. The most flattering sweater is one you love and feel great in. Are you an inverted triangle who loves classic Shetland yoked sweaters? Go for it. Are you an hourglass who likes to wear baggy, oversized sweaters? Rock it, sister.
As a certain pirate once remarked, these are more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Don’t feel like you’re stuck with certain styles just because they follow “the rules.” A sweater that makes you feel confident and fabulous is a thousand times more flattering than a sweater someone else has decided is “best” for you.
Cast On & Make it Yours