Everything on Dress Types and Body Shapes
Everything on Dress Types and Body Shapes
Fashion is about expressing one's self-confidence and looking and feeling your best in what you wear. The female body comes in many different shapes and sizes, all of which should be celebrated. It is essential to learn how to dress according to your body type if you want to find the dress style that looks best on you.
A perfect dress – a girl’s true best friend
Being able to identify your body type is the first step to finding the perfect dress style. The majority of women fall into one of four groups: pear-shaped, hourglass-shaped, apple-shaped, and athletic-shaped. Whenever you've figured out your shape, then the subsequent stage is matching your body type to the ideal dress style and cut. Below we've compiled a guide with some of our favorite dresses that we think look great on different body types.
Dresses for pear-shaped body types
A pear-shaped body type refers to a body shape where the hips and thighs are wider in proportion to the bust and waist. People with pear-shaped bodies tend to carry more weight in their lower bodies, and their waistlines are often not as defined as other body types.
To dress a pear-shaped body type, it can be helpful to choose clothing that balances out the lower half and creates the illusion of a more defined waist. This can be achieved through the use of A-line or empire-waist dresses and skirts, which flare out at the hips and cinch in or above at waist. Avoiding clothing that is too tight around the hips and thighs can also help to balance out the proportions of a pear-shaped body.
We recommend these dress styles for a pear-shaped body type:
An A-line dress is a type of dress that is fitted at the waist and flared at the hem, creating the shape of the letter "A." This style of dress is named after its shape, which is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top.
A-line dresses were popularized by fashion designer Christian Dior in the 1950s. His collection was called the "New Look" because it represented a significant departure from the utilitarian fashions that were popular during World War II. Dior’s dresses featured full, voluminous skirts that were achieved through the use of crinolines and other structural undergarments. The narrow waists and full skirts created an hourglass shape that was considered very feminine and glamorous.
In the 1960s, Yves Saint Laurent introduced his "Trapeze" collection of A-line dresses, which were even more exaggerated in their A-line shape and became popular with young women. The A-line shape has remained popular in the decades since and is still a staple in many women's wardrobes today.
An empire-waist dress is a type of dress that is fitted at the bust and flows out from the waist, creating a high-waisted silhouette. This style of dress is named after the Empire style, which was popular in the early 19th century and featured high waists and full skirts. Empire-waist dresses are often considered to be very feminine and are suitable for a variety of occasions, from formal events to casual gatherings. They can be made in a variety of fabrics and lengths, from full-length to mini-length, like our Miss Darcy Dress.
Dresses for hourglass body types
An hourglass body type is characterized by a defined waist, full bust and hips, and a balanced upper and lower body. People with hourglass bodies tend to have a relatively equal distribution of weight across their bodies, with the bust and hips being roughly the same width. The waist is typically well-defined and smaller in comparison to the bust and hips. To dress an hourglass body, it can be helpful to choose clothing that highlights the natural curves of the body and defines the waist. This can be achieved through sheath dresses, bodycon dresses, bias-cut dresses, as well as belts, and other waist-cinching accessories.
A sheath dress is a type of dress that is straight and figure-hugging, falling to the knee or below. Sheath dresses are often made of a stretchy, form-fitting fabric such as jersey or a lightweight knit, and they have a simple, streamlined silhouette. Sheath dresses can be worn for a variety of occasions, from casual to formal, and are suitable for many body types. In the 1920s and 1930s, sheath dresses became popular as a more modern, streamlined alternative to the more traditional full-skirted dresses that were popular before the First World War. The sheath dress gained widespread popularity in the 1950s. In the 1960s, designers such as Mary Quant and André Courrèges began to experiment with shorter, more youthful sheath dresses, which helped to establish the mini dress as a fashionable garment. In the decades since, the sheath dress has remained a popular choice for women and has been worn for a variety of occasions, from casual to formal.
A pencil dress is a type of dress that is designed to hug the body and show off the figure. The term "bodycon" is short for "body-conscious," and these dresses are typically made of a stretchy, form-fitting fabric such as jersey or spandex. Bodycon dresses are usually knee-length or shorter and have a streamlined silhouette that follows the contours of the body. They gained popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s, thanks to celebrities such as Madonna and Britney Spears, who wore bodycon dresses on stage and in music videos. In the decades since, the bodycon dress has remained a popular choice for women and has been worn for a variety of occasions, from casual to formal.
A bias-cut dress is a type of dress that is cut at a diagonal angle, relative to the fabric's grain. Cutting a dress on the bias allows the fabric to drape and flow more naturally, and can create a more fluid, streamlined silhouette. Bias-cut dresses are often made of lightweight, flowing fabrics such as silk or chiffon. They are a good choice for people who want a dress that is elegant and flowing, and they are often worn by women who want to show off their figure in a more subtle way.
This technique of cutting fabric was popularized in the 1920s and 1930s by fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet, who used the bias cut to create fluid, streamlined garments that followed the contours of the body.
Dresses for apple-shaped body types
An apple-shaped or inverted triangle body type refers to a body shape where the bust, waist, and hips are all approximately the same width, and there is little definition between the waist and the hips. People with apple-shaped bodies tend to carry their weight in the midsection. To dress an apple body shape, it can be helpful to choose clothing that creates the illusion of a defined waist and balances out the upper and lower body. This can be achieved through the use of wrap dresses, A-line dresses, and shift dresses that take attention away from the midriff. Jersey dresses are also a good option for women with apple-shaped body types, as they adjust to and emphasize the curves of the body.
A wrap dress is a type of dress that wraps around the body and is secured with ties, sashes, or buttons. The wrap design allows for a flexible fit and can be adjusted to flatter different body types. Wrap dresses are often made of lightweight fabrics such as jersey or silk, and can be worn for a variety of occasions.
The wrap dress is a style of dress that was popularized by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg in the 1970s. Von Furstenberg's wrap dresses were made of jersey, a stretchy and form-fitting fabric, and were designed to be easy to wear and versatile. The wrap design allowed for a flexible fit and could be adjusted to flatter different body types.
Jersey dresses are made of jersey fabric, which is a type of stretchy, knitted fabric known for its comfortable, casual feel. Jersey dresses are often form-fitting or have a fit-and-flare silhouette. They are usually worn in a relaxed, casual style and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They are a good choice for people who want a comfortable, easy-to-wear dress that is suitable for everyday wear.In the 1920s and 1930s, jersey dresses became more popular as a more modern, streamlined alternative to the more traditional full-skirted dresses that were popular at the time.
We put the shirt dress under the apple body shape, but shirt dresses can be a flattering choice for a variety of figures. The collared neckline and button-down front can help to elongate the torso and draw the eye upwards, creating the illusion of a longer, leaner frame. The waistline of a shirt dress can be cinched with a belt to create a more defined waist, making it a suitable choice for hourglass figures.
Shirt dresses were a popular choice among actresses like Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall.
A shift dress is a type of dress that is simple and loose-fitting, falling straight down from the shoulders without a defined waistline. Shift dresses are usually knee-length or shorter and have a straightforward, unstructured silhouette. They were popularized in the 1960s thanks to designers Mary Quant and André Courrèges, as well as celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn and Sharon Tate.
Dresses for athletic-shaped bodies
An athletic or rectangle body shape refers to a body type that is toned and muscular, with broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and well-developed muscles. To dress an athletic body shape, it can be helpful to choose clothing that highlights the natural curves of the body and defines the waist, such as A-line dresses, frocks with ruching and draping, or halter dresses. It can also be helpful to choose dresses with V-necks, which can help to elongate the torso and create the illusion of a more defined waist.
A halter dress is a type of dress that has a neckline that ties or fastens behind the neck, leaving the shoulders and upper back exposed. Halter dresses are usually sleeveless or have thin straps that wrap around the neck, and they are often made of lightweight, flowing fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk. They are a good choice for people who want to show off their shoulders and upper back, and they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
This type of dress was popularized by Halston, the mononymous American fashion designer whose body-freeing take on fashion was a defining look of the '70s and continues to inspire fashion designers.
V-neckline dresses have a neckline that is shaped like the letter "V" and dips down in the center of the chest. They are generally flattering for people with wider shoulders and torsos because they help balance them out visually. They also can be a particularly flattering dress for people with small busts, as they can help to elongate the torso and create the illusion of a fuller bust.
A true classic of old Hollywood fashion, made famous by the glamorous actresses of the silver screen. These dresses, with their bold upper body and elegant lines, were a staple of the red carpet and a favorite of icons like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Whether paired with a statement necklace or a pair of statement earrings, the strapless dress is a go-to choice for formal events and special occasions. And with the right fit and style, it can be just as chic and timeless today as it was in the golden age of Hollywood.
One-shoulder dress shapes
The one-shoulder dress is a playful and flirty choice that was favored by many fashionable women of the 20th century. This style, with its single strap or asymmetrical neckline, is a chic and unique alternative to the traditional strapless dress.
One-shoulder dresses can be a great option for a variety of body types. The single strap or asymmetrical neckline can help to balance out broad shoulders or add the illusion of width to a narrow frame. The one-shoulder style can also be very flattering for those with an hourglass figure, as the single strap or neckline can draw the eye upwards and elongate the torso.
Dresses with ruching or draping
Dresses with ruching or draping can be a good choice for athletic body types because they can help to balance out the proportions of the body and create the illusion of curves. Athletic bodies tend to be toned and muscular, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, and they may not have as much natural definition in the hips and bust. Dresses with draping can help to add volume and shape to the lower body, creating the illusion of curves and a more balanced silhouette.
A dress that features a simple and form-fitting silhouette and was a popular choice among fashionable women of the '90s, including Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. These dresses, often made of silk or satin, have a sleek and effortless look that is both sensual and sophisticated.
Slip dresses are a versatile choice that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. They are a perfect choice for a formal event, such as a black tie gala, and can also be dressed down with a denim jacket and sneakers for a more casual, laid-back look.
Slip dresses can be a great choice for those with a slim and lean frame. The form-fitting silhouette can help to elongate the body and create a streamlined look. But slip dresses can also be worn by those with a curvier figure, as long as they are well-fitted and made of a stretchy fabric that accommodates curves.
How to find the perfect dress?
Finally, to find the perfect dress, there are a few things you should consider:
What’s your body type?
Different dress shapes can flatter different body types. For example, if you have an hourglass body shape, an A-line or fit-and-flare dress may be a good choice because it will cinch in at the waist and flare out at the hips, creating a balanced silhouette. If you have a pear-shaped figure, an empire or A-line dress may be a good choice because it will draw attention to the upper half of your body and balance out your lower half.
What’s the occasion?
The occasion for which you are wearing the dress will also influence your choice. For formal events, a ball gown or evening gown may be appropriate. For semi-formal events, a cocktail dress or a midi dress may be a good choice. For casual occasions, a sundress or a maxi dress may be suitable.
What’s your personal style?
Ultimately, the perfect dress should reflect your personal style and make you feel confident and comfortable. Consider your preferred colors, patterns, and styles to choose a dress that aligns with your taste.