Bodycon, Skater, Peplum, Maxi, Midi and Mini. Dresses come in so many shapes and sizes that shopping for a dress that fits perfectly can be really time consuming and a real pain.
Frequently the search for the perfect dress ends in just wasting time, pure frustration or even worse a poor fit dress that will only walk around in the daylight once. Meaning that besides the whole frustration of getting that dress, you also wasted your money on something that doesn’t flatter you. Know the feeling?
looking in several retail stores or searching online, this task can be really
hard to get done successfully. However, once you figure out your body shape, finding
the perfect dress can be fun and can really take the stress out of your
|Image credits: Wonderlane - Flickr|
All women are different. We all have different tastes, styles, sizes, preferences and of course body shapes. If you still don’t know your shape, you can use this online body shape calculator and, through your measurements, you can have an idea on what to look for.
Please keep in mind that there are no good or bad shapes (we never get tired of mentioning this). Body shapes are just categories that aim to help women find the best clothes for them. Every shape is equally beautiful, you just have to figure out what works or doesn’t work for your figure. Embrace your shape and dress it wisely!
Pear body shape
Pear shapes are described as having their hips wider than their bust / shoulders with a really defined waist, which means that this figure naturally carries more weight in the hip zone.
Though this is the most common body type, we often see women struggling in finding dresses for this shape. But, let’s carefully look at this shape again: smaller bust and shoulders and wider hips. In other words, this means that you have to find a dress that shows off your smaller half (in this case the shoulders or bust area) while disguising your lower half, or one that adds volume to your bust/shoulders area while disguising your hips, but always enhancing your defined waist. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing a groceries bag.
The trick is to find a skater dress or a-line dress that disguises the hips without adding too much volume where you naturally already have it. Empire waist dresses will also look great on you. Here are some ideas on what kind of dresses you should be looking for:
|Left to Right: French Connection; Fever; Monsoon|
Inverted Triangle body shape
This body type is completely the opposite of the Pear shape, as it carries more weight on the upper half. This shape has a wider bust / shoulder area and the hips are generally smaller, meaning that the perfect dress for this shape will have to have more volume on the bottom half, disguising the upper half to visually create the right balance.
If you’re an inverted triangle shape you should be looking for dresses like skater dresses, full or a-line dresses or with details like flat pockets or embellishments on the hip zone. The upper halves of the dresses need to draw the attention away from the bust, defining your waist. To draw the attention away from that area choose narrow v-necklines, for example and darker colours. Please keep in mind that by darker and solid colours. Wrap style dresses with narrow v-necks are perfect for this body type. Here are some examples:
|Left to Right: Boohoo; Dorothy Perkins; Savoir|
Straight body shape
Straight shapes are really balanced shapes that have bust and hips practically the same size. Their waist however, though it’s there, it isn’t as defined as the hourglass shape and that’s why they are called straight. Of course, though the name of the shape is straight doesn’t mean that you don’t have a waist… it just means that is not as defined as the hourglass figure shape.
The best way to find the perfect dress for the straight shape is to look for dresses that emphasize your waist, whether with a belt or dresses with some structure and a defined waist. You can also look for dresses that add a bit volume to the bust/shoulders area and also in the hip zone, but always enhancing the waist. Another tip: You can also wear some shapeless (kind of “boxy”) dresses and pull them off by adding the perfect belt and accessories to it. Some dress ideas below:
|Left to Right: French Connection; Koko; Exclusives|
Hourglass body shape
Hourglass shapes are the lucky curvaceous ones. They are called hourglass because their shape resembles an hourglass, meaning that the shoulders/bust are as wide as the hips with a tiny waist. This was the shape of the iconic Marilyn Monroe and this is often the shape that most women wish they had. But, we never get tired of saying this, if you’re not an hourglass, don’t worry, there are lots of gorgeous women that don’t have this shape and they also have gorgeous bodies.
Back to the tips… well, there aren’t many tips that we can give to this already curvaceous shape, except that embrace your shape and show it off. Bodycon dresses, wrap style dresses and dresses with pencil skirts are the perfect choice for showing of your curves. Other type of dresses will also look great on you, but keep in mind this tip: when you add volume to your top half, balance it below in your lower half, as this body shape already has the perfect proportions and doesn’t need any visual tricks to add or remove volume.
Remember this: don’t hide your womanly curves behind “baggy” or “boxy” dresses… show them off! Here are some dresses that will look great on you:
|Left to Right: So Fabulous; Missguided; French Connection|
Oval body shape
Also called “apple” body type, the oval shape has a full tummy and a not so defined waist. The bust is wider than the hip zone and the legs are really slender.
To look stunning on a dress, the oval shaped woman should look for dresses that create a waist and disguise the midsection, while also giving some volume to the hips. Since your legs are slender, you will look great with mini dresses, but you can wear whatever length you feel comfortable with… an advice: for your best, shop for mini or midi dresses.
Aside from the length of the dress and back to structure: wrap style dresses with a-line skirts or empire waist dresses will look perfect on this body type and will help in disguising the midsection (tummy). Here are some examples of what you should be looking for:
|Left to Right: Monsoon; French Connection; French Connection|
Diamond body shape
This shape can be really hard to dress up and we understand that women with this shape can have lots of difficulty in finding the perfect dress from them.
The diamond shape has their hips wider than the bust zone and a full midsection (stomach area). Regarding the ratio between bust and hips, this body shape is similar to the pear shape, however the pear shape has a much defined waist and the diamond shape has a full midsection and doesn’t have a defined waist.
The challenge for this shape is to disguise the hip zone as well as creating a waist. The dresses that look best on this body shape are mainly empire waist dresses, with wide necklines (v or u) and details around the shoulders and bust area. You can also look for off the shoulder or one shoulder dresses, also with empire waists or high belted waists. Here are a few ideas on what will look perfect on the diamond body type:
|Left to Right: Boohoo; Monsoon; Boohoo|
Please note that, though these tips can be very important, these are just guidelines. Sometimes, when a body shape runs near more than one shape (eg: if you’re a pear tending to be hourglass, for example) it’s often that some tips from other shapes can also look good on your body type too. However, once you know the basics, it can really be much easier to find clothes for you.
And finally, remember this: it’s not about the size you wear it’s about the shape of your body.
But do tell us your experience on this. What is your shape and what kind of dresses do you love to wear?