A-line, empire, fit-and-flare, shift, wrap, halter — there's no shortage of dress styles out there, but what should you choose? When you wear a dress, you want to feel elegant, cute or show-stopping — and to get the best fit, it helps to know what flatters your body shape.
Wearing a flattering dress helps you highlight your favorite assets. In this guide, we'll explain how to choose a flattering dress for your body shape to help you add beautiful pieces to your wardrobe that make you feel your best.
How to Dress for Your Body Type
If you've only picked out dresses based on the styles you liked instead of what works best for your body type, these tips will help you get started in your search for flattering dresses. When you dress for your body type, it's often about three goals:
- Create balance: A well-styled dress should flatter your body shape and balance out your look. Certain body types feature wider and more narrow areas, so creating balance with flattering dresses provides a more proportional look.
- Camouflage certain areas: We all have days where our body type isn't our friend, and in those cases, we want flattering dresses. Plenty of colors, patterns, details and fits work to camouflage areas of your body that you don't feel like showing off that day.
- Accentuate your assets: If you love your body shape, your goal is to dress in a way that shows it off. Flatter your curves or draw attention to different areas of the body by choosing the right fit and silhouette for your shape.
Sometimes, all three of those goals combine in one piece, and sometimes, you have a particular idea in mind when you search for a flattering dress. Whatever you're looking for, knowing how to dress for your body type will make you feel fabulous and fashionable.
What Flatters My Body Shape?
Every body type is different, but luckily, there are plenty of dress styles and silhouettes out there. With so many options and possibilities, it can be a bit overwhelming, but this guide will help you discover what styles flatter your body shape. To know how to dress for your body type, you need to consider your shape — so, check out the dresses for each body shape below to see what figure you have and how to dress for it:
1. Dresses for Pear Body Shapes
If you have a pear body shape, you have narrow shoulders and wider hips and thighs. The goal for this body type is to bring the attention up to your bust or shoulders while drawing attention away from your lower half. Different dress styles and accents will help you achieve that look, like:
- Beading, lace or embroidered details in the bust area to create balance with your hips.
- A V-neck to give the illusion of wider shoulders and a larger bust.
- An A-line dress that doesn't hug your hips to balance your figure.
- A statement necklace to draw the eye up.
Avoid fabric that hugs your curves and dramatically short hemlines if you want dresses that flatter this body type — but always remember to consider your style and comfort as you decide on a dress.
2. Dresses for Apple Shapes
Also called a circle or round body shape, apple body types have a less defined waist but are still curvy in their own fabulous way. To find flattering dresses for apple shapes that add some balance to your look, try these styles:
- A dress with a full skirt rather than fitted material to draw attention away from your waist, stomach, hips and thighs — if that's what you want from your look.
- A dress cinched at the waist or just above the waist to give a subtle illusion of more defined curves.
- A dress with a belt or another type of tie-up dress to give you control over how much you emphasize your waist.
- A dress with the illusion of a separate skirt and top to define your waist and balance your proportions.
If you've got an apple body type, you can shop those options or other curvy dress styles to find pieces made with your shape in mind. With any dress style you choose, consider adding a belt and statement pieces on the top half of your frame, like earrings, necklaces or scarves.
3. Dresses for Rectangle Body Shapes
Rectangular figures are uniform throughout their measurements. If you have a rectangle body shape, your shoulders, bust, waist, hips and thighs create a straight-line appearance. The goal of flattering dresses for your body type is often to create curves, which happens at different parts of your dress:
- Neckline: Sweetheart and scoop necklines give the illusion of a fuller bust. Add a statement necklace above the neckline of your dress to help draw attention upwards.
- Sleeves: An off-the-shoulder dress draws attention to your shoulders, which you can balance with the rest of your dress. Puffy sleeves, ruffled sleeves and other styles add more volume and give the illusion of wider shoulders in your silhouette.
- Skirts: Fit-and-flare styles give you the illusion of curves around your hips and thighs, but you can also choose styles with ruched and ruffled skirts for more drama and texture.
When picking dresses for a rectangle body shape, don't be afraid of color. Use patterns and colorful details strategically in your dress to draw the eye to certain areas. The waist, in particular, is a great place to draw attention with color or texture to get the illusion of curves.
4. Dresses for Hourglass Shapes
An hourglass body shape narrows at the waist, widens at the hips and often broadens at the shoulders. If you have a natural hourglass shape, you have plenty of dress options. Your figure is the proportional style that many flattering dresses try to achieve, so look for options that flaunt your assets, like:
- Fitted dresses
- Sheath dresses
- V-neck styles
- Mermaid dresses
If you like the style of flowing dresses that don't have a defined waist, you can still wear them, but consider adding a belt to flatter your shape. For your other accessories, consider wearing heels if that's your style. They'll elongate your legs and make your figure even more fun to flaunt.
Shop Flattering Dresses at My Sister's Closet Boutique
Now that you know how to dress for your body type, fill your wardrobe with flattering dresses from My Sister's Closet Boutique! With everyday prices and pieces that don't compromise on quality, you know you'll get stunning pieces when you shop with us.
Shop our dresses today to find the perfect style for you and your body type. Don't forget the accessories, and be sure to check out the other stylish clothes we offer to find plenty of flattering options!