There is a broad spectrum of lipomatous tumors that involve soft tissues including ordinary lipomas, variants of lipomas, heterotopic lipomas, lipomatosis, hibernomas and liposarcomas. The recognition of these tumors is important to avoid diagnostic pitfalls. The MR imaging appearance of the lesion, including location, shape and internal architecture, suggests the diagnosis of lipomatous tumors. The signal intensity on T1-, T2-, fat-suppressed T2-weighted (FS-T2) images or short tau inversion recovery (STIR), T1- and fat-suppressed T1-weighted images after Gd-DTPA administration can be a useful aid in distinguishing between biologically different types of lipomatous tumors. The imaging features are often characteristic and reflect the histological pattern of the tumors. We present an overview of the lipomatous tumors and we correlate MR imaging appearance with histological findings.