Which Dress Style Suits My Shape?

December 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion Tips & Finds


There’s a great choice of plus size evening dresses out there, but finding ‘The One’ takes time and careful consideration over what suits your body type. As party season rolls back around take the guess work out of dress shopping and check at our guide to dressing to suit your shape.

Pear Shape

If you, like Kate Winslet and Jennifer Lopez, are biggest around the bottom and thighs, then your body shape is classified as a pear. Proudly display your slimmer upper half in a dress with a fitted top, whilst keeping the waist down a mystery. An embellished bodice or low neckline will draw attention up and away from the hips, whilst an a-line skirt will skim over your widest part and balance your proportions. Avoid tight and stretchy materials as these can make you look bigger than you are, and dresses which flounce at the bottom will add volume where it’s not needed.


Lucky hourglass ladies boast the most envied body shape. Out at the chest, in at the waist, and then out again at the hips, you join fellow hourglasses Nigella Lawson and Scarlett Johansson. Dresses were made to show off your womanly curves so there is little that you won’t suit, but to make the most of your figure, opt for a fit and flare dress that cinches at the waist and flutters outwards at the hips. A busy upper half will throw your body off balance, whilst skirts that cling too tightly can make you look bottom heavy.

V Shape

V shaped or ‘strawberry’ figures are broader up top than at the hips, creating an inverted triangle shape. If this sounds like you, you’re in good company; strawberry shaped celebrities include Jennifer Saunders and Catherine Zeta Jones. The aim of your evening dress should be to add width and volume around the hips, creating a more balanced look. Dress with a fitted bodice and a flared skirt will flatter and create proportion, whilst a dress with one strap will help to narrow your broad shoulders. Off the shoulder straps will have to opposite effect so avoid these, as well as sleeves with frills or puffs.

Rectangle Shape

Straight up and down? You have a classic rectangle shape, just like Cameron Diaz and Fern Britton and you should look for evening dresses that add definition and curve. Starting from the top, a halterneck or slash neck will look great on you, as will an embellished bodice that can help to break up your linearity. Any skirt style will suit your long, lean legs so feel free to add drama with a floor sweeping gown or go glamorous in a seductively short number. Dropped waists and dresses with no shape will emphasise your boyish frame so these are best avoided.

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