Flattering Formal Dresses for Your Body Shape

Written by Karen Bates (last updated February 25, 2019)

Have you ever gone looking for a formal dress and tried on a few, only to find that some looked stunning while others made you look or feel frumpy?

Shopping for a formal dress can leave you feeling a little frustrated at times, especially if the dresses just don't seem to fit correctly. But it helps to be aware that there are many styles of formal dresses that are made to flatter different figures. One dress that looks perfect on someone with a particular figure might not suit someone with a different figure. It all depends on you body shape and how the dress fits in certain places. Depending on your body shape, you probably want to accentuate certain areas and camouflage others.

Next time you go dress shopping, remember these dress styles and which body shapes work best with them:

  • Ball Gown. A ball gown style is fitted at the top and then extends out at the waist into a full, often poofy skirt. This style can be found as a one piece or in two pieces. This dress is tight around the chest and waist area and works especially well for people with short or thin waists, but it can flatter most body types.
  • A-Line. This dress has a skirt that flares out into an A shape. It is fitted at the top, but not too tight at the waist. This style is flattering on all body types because it can hide your hips or stomach and is only slightly fitted.
  • Empire. This type of dress has a very high waistline that is fitted to the bottom of the bust, then fans out into a fuller skirt. If you are thin and tall this style works well, but because of the high waist of the dress the loose skirt can also work to hide a thicker middle or hips.
  • Mermaid. This silhouette is distinguished by a form-fitting style that suddenly fans out below the knees. This is a good style for those who want to show off curviness, so it is especially perfect for someone with an hourglass figure or someone with larger hips.
  • Sheath. A sheath dress is fairly straight all the way down, without a skirt that fans out. Because this style doesn't offer a lot of room to move, it is best for those with small figures and small hips.
  • Dropped. Dropped waist dresses fan out around the waist. This style is great for someone with an hourglass figure.

With these dress styles in mind, you will be better prepared to find the perfect formal gown for your body.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...


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