Style council: Finding a dress to suit your body shape

Shop different dress styles now!

It can be tricky sometimes to know which dress to buy when there are just so many out there to choose from!  You’ve got to keep plenty of things in mind: colour, occasion, necklines, hemlines, strap-size, fabrics, embellishments… and so the list goes on.

Knowing what will actually suit you is a very good place to start – from there, you can pick the colours, fabrics and decorative elements that you like and which will suit the the occasion.

Read our handy tips below and then shop for your perfect dress

Pear-shaped: If  you have a body shape that falls into this category (rounded at the hips and bottom, tapered at the shoulders), then you will probably be looking to disguise your lower half and draw attention upwards!  To do this, try choosing a dress with an intriguing neckline, such as an asymmetrical style, halterneck or empire line bust.  A-line styles skim over troublesome areas – look for ones which flare from the waist or from under the bust.  Exaggerated shoulders (very on-trend) also help to put some balance back into your proportions – try ones with shoulder pads or with puffy or sharp peaks.

Hourglass: Curvy ladies don’t be shy – if you’ve got it, then flaunt it!  Think about flattering your shape by going for styles which hug your curves in all the right places but don’t cling too tightly – try a figure-hugging pencil dress or A-line style.  A cinched waist will help to define your silhouette, and a slightly plunging neckline will flatter your bust.

Inverted-triangle: Ladies with this shape often try to disguise their shoulders by covering them up – but this can sometimes end up backfiring and do the exact opposite.  Try wearing strapless or halter styles (or something sleeveless) and focus instead on creating fullness on the lower half to balance things out – a full circle, A-line or peplum skirt work well to add shape.

Tall & slim: If you’re short on curves, then create them with volume at the neckline and hips and go for styles with cinched or belted waists.  Ruffles and ruching at the neckline are perfect for creating a curvy bust, and peplum styles will add shape to your lower half.  Don’t be afraid of showing off your never-ending legs with a short hemline – they’re your best asset after all!

Petite: The aim for most ladies with petite figures is to give the illusion of height or longer legs – you can do this by going for a dress with an empire waist and short hemline (to make those legs look longer) or by choosing a column dress that falls to the knee, to give you an overall taller appearance.  If you’re looking to add curves, follow the advice above and add ruffles at the neckline or on the hips.

Product information for dresses pictured above:

T-Bags Jacquard mini dress, £122.50 from TheOutnet
Karen Millen satin halter dress, £165
Oasis Rapture dress, £70
Lipsy Jewelled gathered bust dress, £65


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