The Right Dress For Your Body Shape

It's a secret that stylists have known for years, that no one looks good in every shape and style of dress. In fact, that is what they are paid to do, weed out the chaff for their clients and present them with a selection of dresses that they will look fantastic in.

But did you know that you can do this for yourself too? Read on to find out how to pick the right style of dress that will flatter and enhance your body.

Body Types

First of all, you need to identify the shape of your body. Depending on where you get your information from there are quite a few different ‘types’ of body shape. To keep things simple here, we are just going to look at the main five. These are apple, pear, straight, busty and hourglass. If you have a body type that doesn't quite fit into those categories, search around the internet for some advice. There is plenty out there to help all sizes and shapes of people.

Of course, you may have a figure that is an overlap between two different types. For example, you may have an hourglass figure, but also be quite busty. A good rule of thumb is that you pick the type that deals with the area of most concern.

So if you are concerned about accentuating your hourglass go for the dresses recommended for hourglass shapes. Or of you are concerned about minimizing your bust, go for the dresses suited to the busty type. Remember getting the right dress for you body shape can really improve you appearance.


Apples usually have slim arms and legs. They carry their weight around their core. They can have trouble defining their waist. Clothing should draw the eye to their slim legs and arms and away from their midsection.

The perfect dress shape for an Apple is an empire line. This is a dress that is tight over the bust and is gathered in underneath the bust line. This produces a high and defined waist. As this point of the body is often the naturally smallest point. The material of the dress then flows over the enlarged midsection, but you still get that classic in and out shape.

As apples often carry their weight around the core of their body, a dress that is on or just above the knee will accentuate their great legs. Some apples are happy with sleeveless dresses, but short sleeves work equally well. Just look for a balance between the core of your body and your limbs.


Women with a pear shape, are petite on top and have larger hip and legs. In fact, there can be a quite, marked clothes size difference between the top and bottom of their bodies. This mean the main aim for the pear shaped women is to get the upper and lower body balanced as much as possible.

This mean that they need dresses that emphasize their small upper body and waste and that skim over their bottom half. Dresses with 50’s circle skirt work well for this as they highlight the waste and have plenty of room in the skirt.

Maxi dress is a solid color can also help minimize a pear’s bottom half. Chose a sleeveless version to show own your slim arms.


Women with a straight or more athletic figure are usually slimmer and physically fit. But their body doesn't have many womanly curves.

So the aim of dress a straight shaped body is to create curves where there are none. There are several ways of doing this. The first is is to use the structure of the dress.

So, look for flowing fabrics and cuts that soften the edges of a straight figure. A line and shirt dresses work well as long as they are tailored and not shapeless.

The second is to embrace your figure and work a tunic dress. Pick something short that emphasizes your legs and pair with some killer shoes to match.


This is the Marilyn Monroe shape. You are curvy with a small waist. Lucky you! The most important thing here is finding a dress for an hourglass shape is to not hide that tiny waist.

That means you need to get a dress that comes in at your natural waist. Tank top style dresses work well to show off your curves. While a V-neck wrap dress is a great choice for the day.


As a busty shape doesn't need much explanation, so let's move straight on to the advice.

A problem that busty women can often find is that if something that fits their upper half well, it may be totally the word size for the rest of their body. However, there are some retailers that now do specific ranges for the bustier lady. So they are normal sizes but with a more generous top half.