The Five Best Formal Dress Styles For Your Body Type

So you have a big night out on the horizon, and you’re looking for that perfect dress. Perhaps you already have a certain style in mind. It’s important to remember that some styles work better with certain body types. If you know what body type you are, it will make dress hunting a more enjoyable experience. These tips will help you in your search and make you look your very best.

1. Apple

This body type has a wide torso with a full bust, waist and upper back. Women with this body type tend to have broad shoulders with spender arms, legs and hips. Weight tends to gravitate to the waist. The upper body is larger when compared to the lower body.

Apple-shaped women should avoid halter, off-the shoulder and boat necklines since they accentuate broad shoulders. A good choice would be dresses with strapless, scoop or rounded necklines with a narrow bodice. Try a gown with a V-neck or a plunging neckline to de-emphasize your round shape; a full skirt also helps. A dress with an empire waist draw attention from your heavier upper half.

2. Pear

This is a common body type. Pear-shaped bodies are smaller on top than they are at the hips, which is where weight tends to gravitate. This body type may have a slender neck and narrow shoulders.

The best way to balance a pear-shaped body is with a full or A-line skirt, which will flatter a slim waistline and emphasize the bust while disguising hips. Avoid pleated or gathered fabric at the waist as this will accentuate wide hips. Fitted tops with embellishment will add volume to your bust line. Lighter colors on top and darker colors on the bottom will draw attention away from your lower half.

3. Straight

A straight body type has very little curves and a small frame. This body style tends to have a small bust and weight is generally evenly distributed throughout the body.

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The best thing to do is add the appearance of curves by drawing attention to your bust. Dresses with an embellished neckline or bodice or with an empire dress also add volume to the chest. You can also try a ball gown to draw attention to your waistline; or try embellishment at the waist, such as a stylish belt. A dress with gathered chiffon can help add bulk. Stay away from sheathes or other straight up-and-down styles.

4. Hourglass

Think Marilyn Monroe. The hourglass figure is curvy but proportional, with a well-defined waists. Weight gain is evenly distributed throughout the body. Women with an hourglass figure are lucky because they can wear just about any style, since nothing needs to be hidden or enhanced. Dresses with a corseted bodice or ball gown styles work well with this body type, as do strapless or off-the-shoulder dresses. The only thing to avoid are heavily beaded dresses, which could add bulk.

5. Curvy

The fuller-figured body type has a lot of abdominal weight and a larger bust. The waist line is not well defined. Weight tends to accumulate at the midsection.

The best plus size evening dresses will disguise a thicker waist. A-line and empire styles will both help draw attention from the midsection and conceal the waist and hips. Gowns with a deep v-neck, sweetheart or scoop neckline will put focus on your arms and neck. Try thick straps or a halter style neckline to draw attention from your waist. A ball gown style is another flattering option for curvy figures.

Armed with this knowledge, finding the perfect formal dress will be a more enjoyable experience.