How to measure Hips ? 6 types of hips – which one is yours?

Tips on taking hip measurements - where to measure hips and the body figures with different types of hip shapes

“Hips Don’t lie” – Shakira never sang a truer song than this, though she meant it to mean that her hips start automatically to move in dance when she finds her music, not what I mean to say in this post.

Hips tell a whole lot of things about your body. Like body shapes that differ in their silhouettes, hips also vary from body to body. Generally, they can be categorized according to the way the body curves and slopes down the waist to the hips and thighs.

Where is your hip? It is not the widest part of the body as most people generally think of a hip.The hip is measured at 7 -8 inches from the waist (which is the narrowest part of your torso).

Some have a protruding tummy which makes this portion the widest part of their body, some thicker thighs. So when measuring hips you cannot generally say to measure the widest part of the body and leave it at that. Determining the type of hip you have is important in selecting your clothes, like the pants, skirts, and underwear ( not just for determining whether you will die before the age of 30 etc etc as some health articles claim).

The 5 types of hip shapes

It is very important that you understand the hip shape of the person you are taking body measurement because even with almost the same measurement for the hip round or waist round, bodies can have different shapes.

A-line hip shape

hip measurement

In this type of hips, the curves of the body slope gradually without sharp lines or any bulges from the waistline to the hips and thighs in a nice A-line shape. Back and stomach are nicely round without protruding. 

Square shaped Hips
hip types

This is a columnar shape with an average hip area, the outer leg line is perpendicular to the ground, going straight up to the waist; The hip area matches the waist area because of high hip flare (love handles or wide pelvic bone) or because of a thicker waist, with this portion almost matching the hip area. In this type of body, the waist to hip ratio should be nearly equal. You may find that you look flat in almost all clothes, not nice and curvy.

You may want to camouflage the area with long tops, dark colored bottom wear etc.

Heart shaped hips

how to measure the hips

This shape has an average waist and a narrow hip shape with a high hip flare. The hip curves abruptly ( almost diagonally) from the waist over the pelvic bone to progress again diagonally to the narrow hip, resulting in what some might call a muffin top. This type of hips is usually accompanied by slim legs. You may have heard of this shape as V type of hips as well

Low waist pants/jeans are not recommended for this hip shape.

Triangle shaped hips
hip measurements
In this type of hip, an average waist progresses to a wide hip or wide upper thighs; there may be an almost diagonal progression of the curves from waist to the much wider hip.

Narrow Hips

In this type, the whole hip area is quite narrow, when compared to the rest of the body. You can try to bring shape to your hips with low waist styles and well fitted curvy pants/jeans. You will have to bring balance with the rest of the body with clothes having flare/embellishments on the bottom part – flared trousers, gathered skirts etc.

Round hips
hip measurement

This is a very curvy hip with an almost protruding back. You can reduce the effect (if that is what you want) by wearing dark colored bottom wear and long tops. Avoid low waist styles.

Also Check out the related post on the 7 basic body shapes.

How to measure hips ?

To measure your hips, first locate your hip bone.Hip is measured by wrapping the measuring tape around the fullest part of your hip, below your hip bone. You would know very well where your buttocks protrude out the most. That is where you should hold your tape for measuring the hip. 

When taking the hip measure make sure that you have your feet together, not wide apart; at least not as wide as your shoulders

Follow the general instructions for body measurements given in the post How to take body measurements for sewing like Stand with feet slightly apart, hold the measuring tape loosely around your hip and the buttocks with just enough space inside to keep one finger inside, keeping the tape parallel to the ground, all around

In case you have a protruding stomach, which is projecting farther from  your hip level, above it, when designing fitting skirts / pants you will have to take that into account into your pattern.

The ideal body measurements for bust- waist – hip are as per the table given above. The real body measurements as we know it, are never ideal. You can take this as a general indication, largely unattainable and proceed.

Related posts : 7 different types of bodyshapes ; 13 bodytypes according to David kibbe; Different faceshapes 

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

40 thoughts on “How to measure Hips ? 6 types of hips – which one is yours?”

  1. Nice write up. I have triangle shaped hips, and my body measurements are 32½ -25 -36½. Even with what I’ve discovered, I still have my doubts. Some articles say that I’m pear shaped, because my boobs are small, even though it can’t be true, since my shoulders and my hips are of the same size.
    PS: Please, talk about breast types, and what bras are the best, because bra fitting tend to be exhausting for a lot of us. Thank you.

  2. Apparently I got a 36-26-36 as my measurement I think that makes me an hourglass but my shoulders are wider than my hips so I’m not too sure

    • Mine too and I don’t just get it. On tape I have the hourglass figure but in front of a mirror it’s just not it

    • Same, My measurements are 36-34-46 , by definition it is hourglass I guess but I have very wide shoulders, so I have honestly no idea what shape I am and struggle to find my style ;_;

  3. hi! my measurements are 33-24-37 so i guess that would be an hourglass, but i dont feel like i look that way??? i have broad looking shoulders, but they measure just as much as my hips…

  4. My measurements are 36-29-45 what shape would that be considered? Cause my hips poke out abit I would say I’m more curvy in the hip area with a round bubble butt but the curviness is more in my hips.

  5. The widest part of my hips are below my butt (and they’re bone, not fat deposits), whiley hips indent a bit in the middle, then project out again a little at the top, but not more than the bottom. I can’t find my shape. Where do I measure? Bottom, which misses my rear, middle, across the indent (but covers my rear) or the top, which gets some of my rear, and hip? I always have loose fabric across the hip indent part 🙁

  6. According to the pictures, I have heart shaped hips. My waistline is almost level with my belly button so it is rather low on my body, and my thighs are thicker than my lower legs as well. Would I be right in saying that heart shaped hips curve outwardly and result from a low waistline? My body proportions are 34-26-35. And yes, sometimes when I am wearing certain clothing, my hips can look like a false ‘muffin top’. But I am slim with a small stomach – not fat at all. I simply hate the words ‘muffin top’.

  7. Thank you. I see from your drawings that I have a heart shaped hip. I was born with scoliosis so it only is present on my left side. How would I adjust my sewing pattern for a top? I have seen several article for pant adjustments. Thank you for any help you could provide.

    • Hi Dara
      Thanks for reading the article. I do not think I am expert enough to answer your question. My quick thought is that you can maybe make a dress form in your shape and then drape the fabric ( muslin) or paper pattern to fit your shape and make necessary changes. Any asymmetry in the bodyshape can be adjusted this way

  8. I am 32.5-26-36 which means ideally proportioned and an uk size 10. I have been working out consistently for the past 2 years and have finally maintained this body shape. I feel if you get fit and strong you’ll automatically tend to your ideal measurements.

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