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BellaNaija Style presents the Body Shape Series Vol. 4: String Bean

Eki Ogunbor



The BN Body Shape Series with Eki Ogunbor is back with another shape today. The last three posts on this series have been on the Apple shape (click here if you missed it), the Pear shape (click here if you missed it) and the Carrot shape (click here if you missed it).BN body shape fruits

The body shape we’ll be discussing today is the String Bean shape. It’s referred to as straight/athletic, banana, rectangle, ruler and even newspaper. You can get away with wearing almost anything, just be careful not to make your straight/wide waist look more undefined.

Our favourite string bean girl today is artiste and now fashion designer, Mo Cheddah. She’s such a fashionista, she hardly ever gets it wrong!MO CHEDDAH STRING BEAN BODY SHAPE MARCH 2016 BELLA NAIJA_Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 17.14.00

string bean body shapeCharacteristics of the String Bean Shape

  • Your hips and bust are balanced and your waist is not very defined.
  • You possibly have a bottom that is more flat than round.
  • Your legs are shapely and possibly one of your best assets.
  • In some cases, people could mistake you for an athlete or a tomboy.

Tips for Your Top

  • Define your waist, it helps make your body shape into more of an hourglass. Do this with belts, a wrap top or a wrap dress.
  • Empire waist dresses/tops help define your waist and your bust.
  • Layering helps add some dimensions and curves to your straight body shape. Be open to tops & dresses with frills.
  • For necklines go for scoop or sweetheart necklines, off shoulder, wide U or V neck tops. These necklines help add curves to your top half and make you look more feminine.
  • Textured sleeves help create roundness around your extremities and this will help you look more feminine and rounded.
  • Show some skin. Flaunt your shoulders with halter neck tops or shoulder cut outs. Crops tops are also a good idea.

Tips for Your Bottom

  • Skirts with volume help a lot to enhance your hips and create a smaller waist. Think bubble skirts or skirts with ruffles and layers. A-line and flared skirts work well too.
  • Wearing trousers/skirts with pocket details help add volume around your hips.
  • Flared leg jeans/trousers help give your lower body a little more shape.
  • Show off your legs but be careful with length and how short you go.


  • Clothes that are too tight, it’ll emphasise your straight shape.
  • Tops with a square neckline, it’ll make you look straighter especially if you have broad shoulders too.
  • Dropped waistlines, they make your waist look lower and more straight.
  • Double breasted jackets or risk looking a little manly.
  • Straight cut trousers will make you look straighter, unless you balance it with some volume on top.
  • Straight dresses could also be unflattering.


Tying the shirt around her waist gives her extra hips for this casual look.

MO CHEDDAH STRING BEAN BODY SHAPE MARCH 2016 BELLA NAIJA_Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 17.08.07

She’s our queen of the night in this dress, always define your waist!

MO CHEDDAH STRING BEAN BODY SHAPE MARCH 2016 BELLA NAIJA_Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 17.08.46

Love this all white babydoll look on her.

MO CHEDDAH STRING BEAN BODY SHAPE MARCH 2016 BELLA NAIJA_Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 17.09.16

This jumpsuit adds curves in the right places for her.

MO CHEDDAH STRING BEAN BODY SHAPE MARCH 2016 BELLA NAIJA_Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.32.51

Wearing culottes also adds some dimension to your frame so you don’t look so straight.

MO CHEDDAH STRING BEAN BODY SHAPE MARCH 2016 BELLA NAIJA_Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 17.07.36 MO CHEDDAH STRING BEAN BODY SHAPE MARCH 2016 BELLA NAIJA_Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 17.04.48

Showing a little leg never hurt anybody. And for both looks her waist is defined with a belt which works perfectly for her shape.

Actress Cameron Diaz is another girl with an athletic figure.


I really like this dress on her, the belt really helps define her waist.

WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 10: Actress Cameron Diaz attends premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Sex Tape' at Regency Village Theatre on July 10, 2014 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

The cut of this jumpsuit is similar to the one Mo’Cheddah has on. I think it’s a definite win for athletic shapes.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Actress Cameron Diaz attends the "Annie" World Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

A fit & flare/A-line dress always works.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Actress Cameron Diaz attends the Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony Hosted By Seth MacFarlane at NASA Ames Research Center on November 9, 2014 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize)

Creating volume by tucking in a loose fitting top adds dimension to her figure, her some curves while flaunting the ones she already has and defines her waist perfectly.

Another actress with the string bean body shape is Nicole Kidman.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Actress Nicole Kidman attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

I love this dress on her, the wide band does well for her waist and gives her a subtle hourglass look. and she’s showing a bit of leg, which is great.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 13: Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman attend the "American Idol" XIV Grand Finale event at the Dolby Theatre on May 13, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

I love this dress on her. Even though its a pencil dress, the print and the belt work well together and give her the perfect curves for her string beans shape.

attends the 'Queen of the Desert' photocall during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Another A-line dress for the win.

First lady of the United States Michelle Obama, is another example of an athletic shape and her style is amazing.


Such a beautiful dress. It flaunts her toned shoulders and defines her waist.


Love this dress on her, especially the print.


I need this whole outfit in my life, that belt is so contemporary – with the gold plate, and cute!


NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Cameron Diaz attends the 2014 Museum Gala at American Museum of Natural History on November 20, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Although I love the colour of this dress, I don’t think the silhouette does well for her body shape at all.

<> on December 9, 2014 in Miami, Florida.

For this look I think she could have done without the jacket, don’t cover yourself up too much. You risk looking bulky with broad shoulders.

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 16: Nicole Kidman attends OMEGA 'Her Time' Gala Dinner at Palazzo Del Ghiaccio on September 16, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for OMEGA)

I love this dress, a black dress is always great in my opinion but I think because it’s so simple, it makes her look too straight. Maybe an embellished waist would have made the difference.

attends The London Evening Standard Theatre Awards after party in partnership with The Ivy at The Old Vic Theatre on November 22, 2015 in London, England.

I also think the same thing happened here with this dress. I like it but again it just doesn’t help her look her best.

That’s it for the string bean shape! Look out for the fifth and final edition in the series this week!


Photo Credits: Mo’Cheddah’s Instagram: @mocheddahHarpers Bazaar | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images | Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for OMEGA | Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Columbia Pictures | Daily Mail | Jason Merritt/Getty Images | Theo Wargo/Getty Images | Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize | C Flanigan/Getty Images | Jason Kempin/Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.

Eki is the Editor for BellaNaija Style and Lifestyle Editor for She has a Vogue Fashion Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design and also attended Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the University of Kent. Eki headed the Design Operations at a top Nigerian womenswear fashion brand before finding love at BellaNaija Style. Eki loves all things creative. Follow her on Instagram @ekiogunbor BellaNaija Style: [email protected] | @bellanaijastyle BellaNaija Beauty: @bellanaijabeauty BellaNaija Living: [email protected] | @bellanaijaliving


  1. Squad

    March 23, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    You mean figure 1 or plywood shape?

  2. Ela

    March 23, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    [email protected] figure 1 or plywood

  3. beauty

    March 23, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Nice write-up…I love nice defined shoulders and arms in a lady as well as nice legs.

    • Tosin

      March 24, 2016 at 2:10 am

      i love shoulders on anybody. you should see my face now reflecting on the joy of shoulders.

  4. HMMM

    March 23, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    which shape is Genevieve NNaji?

  5. Bidee

    March 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Great analysis, however I totally disagree hat Michelle Obama has a straight/ruler/banana shape. Absolutely not! The American first lady is the best at hiding her curves. Even in he favorite skater dresses, you cannot ignore those hips. Please do remove her from this list. While she may be athletic due to her workout regime and height, she is definitely not straight. More pear than anything. You may check this site for her statistics –

    • Sylvia

      March 23, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you o. If Michelle Obama isn’t a pear, then I don’t know who is. You should check out pictures of her wearing figure hugging clothes (which is very rare by the way), she is way bigger on her buttom than her top. Same thing was said about Jennifer Hudson being an apple, when i noted she’s an hourglass, people on here argued with me. The only time she’s an apple is when she adds weight (unfortunately for her, her weight fluctuates a lot). You can search for pictures of her slim. It’s not just peculiar to Jennifer Hudson, even my cousin who I always thought was apple shaped became more or less an hourglass after her drastic weight loss.

  6. "changing moniker"

    March 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    i’ve enjoyed this series….
    going back to look for where i belong.

  7. Anon

    March 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Michelle Obama athletic shape? With those big hips of hers?

  8. Sabifok

    March 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    So basically shaped like ewa?


  9. Word

    March 23, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I gave up on ur analysis the moment u put tyra banks and toke makinwa in the same shape category

  10. Modella

    March 23, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Interesting,Mocheddah is my go-to fashion girl.Surprise Eku Edewor isn’t on this list or Agbani.what category are they then?

  11. tk

    March 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Is it possible to be bigger and still string beaned? and examples too

  12. Engoz

    March 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    My shape. Body con dresses are a disaster on my body, except the dress is cinched well at the waist. I like my shape though, it’s just cute, petite with nice legs, no exaggeration. Can’t imagine myself with a bigger body.

  13. nene

    March 23, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    seems this is an advert for mo chedda cuz a lot of nigerian celebrities have this figure. eku, agbani, rita dominic, d’jia, lala akindoju, niyola, etc

    • Ch

      March 24, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      @Nene, whilst I agree with you, she wouldn’t have been able to use Lala Akindoju for her illustration ‘cos I haven’t seen her get it right on the red carpet ever. Even the AMVCA 2016 was not it at all. Her stylists need to work harder to style her particularly unique string bean shape. Or maybe she should just change them altogether because I really love her and her work but my heart sinks anytime I see her at events.

  14. Idomagirl

    March 23, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Sorry, Michelle is pear shaped, she just covers her hips.

    MoCheddah always slays ?❤❤❤

  15. Babygiwa

    March 23, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Michelle is pear shaped though.
    Mo, the fashion slayer! Pretty.

  16. Muriel

    June 7, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I am disappointed. Period. How can you copy and paste oyibo characteristics for us? I was so glad when I found this believing that it would be a genuine work on Africans. Well am a banana with square shoulders and I have a big or rather, long bum. Which a lot of naija girls have. Besides I expected more African examples, plus M Obama is a pear! Stop copy and paste.

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