Here’s our simple approach for finding the best dress for your body type!
To find your perfect dress style(s), it’s a good idea to meet us in the middle. Yes, at your waist! To find the perfect dress to fit your body shape, determining where and how the waist of your dress hits you will make all the difference. Trust us!
Similar to the A-line, empire dresses are fitted through the bust. The main difference is that from the bust down, the empire just flows, rather than making a distinctly angular shape.
This style is another winner for just about everyone. If you’re an apple or on the curvy side, empire dresses will help you play up the bust and minimize everywhere else. If you’re more petite, this style will help define your silhouette – especially in maxi length.
A line dresses are fitted to your waist, and then flare out gradually to the hem. The magic in this shape is that it can minimize the midsection, hips, and thighs, and draw attention to the bust half at the same time (depending on the neckline). There’s a reason that most bridesmaid dresses are A-line: It is singular most flattering fit for every body type. The good news is that you actually WILL wear this style again and again, because it comes in way more varieties than just heavy pink satin!
This style usually conjures up the roaring 20’s and flapper dresses. We love this style in a mini length, which modernizes it a bit. The key to pulling off a drop-waist dress is making sure that it doesn’t hug you anywhere. It looks best when it hangs freely. This style looks amazing on athletic, lean, and boxy shapes who don’t have much curve throughout the hip.
There are a lot of options out there, which means you should have at least two of these styles in your wardrobe!
What is a fit & flare?
Cue the confetti drop: The fit and flare looks great on just about everyone, and will never go out of fashion. This iconic style is fitted through the bodice, flaring out right below the hip. It creates a slimming, balanced silhouette while accentuating the good and hiding everything else.
A fit & flare is best for these body types:
Because of its balanced proportions, this dress is truly a winner for almost every body type. Apples may find that it creates a more defined waistline. Athletic shapes will love it for the extra curve. And since the fit-and-flare resembles an hourglass on the hanger, it’s an obvious fit for hourglass shapes.
What is a shift dress?
Also called a column dress, a shift is fairly rectangular in shape. Since this style isn’t fitted, it’s definitely forgiving and comfortable. That said, the shift dress is a great go-to for work wear since the office isn’t really the place for body-conscious styles.
A shift dress is best for these body types:
Shifts look great on long and lean, apple, and athletic shapes – especially when worn with a heel.
What is a sheath dress?
The sheath dress is form-fitting and shaped by darts (usually through the bust). This style is great for date nights and cocktail parties and has a nice balancing effect overall.
A sheath dress is best for these body types:
Hourglass shapes will love this style, as it highlights all their best features and draw attention to their slimmer waist.
What is a trapeze dress?
The trapeze dress is to the A-line what the flare jean is to bootcut: a more exaggerated version. While the A-line is fitted through the waist, the trapeze isn’t fitted anywhere. If you lay this dress flat, it looks like a triangle. This style moves like a dream and works best on athletic and long, lean shapes. Curvier gals can pull off the trapeze too, but may miss the opportunity to highlight their best features.
A trapeze is best for these body types:
If you’re athletic-shaped and looking to add the appearance of curves, this style will work wonders for you too.
What is a wrap dress?
Shout-out to DVF for bringing this incredibly flattering style into the spotlight. It’s hard to go wrong with a wrap dress, both for their iconic value and body shape-friendly fit.
A wrap dress is best for these body types:
If you’re an apple, hourglass, or generally on the curvy side, this style will play up or create a natural waist while emphasizing the bust. This creates a balancing effect on your overall silhouette. Plus, the knee-length fit makes this style perfect for day-to-night styling.
From sky high to floor-grazing, get a (ahem!) leg up on what lengths you’ll love.
Let’s start at the top, shall we? A good rule of thumb is “fingertip length” (where your fingers hit when your arms are straight down at your sides) as to avoid, shall we say, wardrobe malfunctions. Of course, there are exceptions, but if you’re not sure, then stick with that.
Minis can be super fun, flirty and worn by most body types. The key is your comfort level and the shape of the dress. Do you love your legs? Are you a little adventurous? Then go for it. Minis can actually lengthen legs when paired with a great heel, so even if you’re not tall enough to dunk, you can still pull this length off.
Knee-length dresses are definitely safe for work, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t also be sexy. Knee lengths are slimming, lengthening and help balance your silhouette.
If you’re on the curvy side, a hem that falls just below the knee will look amazing, especially when paired with a killer heel. If you’re showing off your shoulders or bust, knee-length is also a nice way to let those features shine, without any hemline competition.
Great news: This length can look awesome on every body type and it’s also the most comfortable dress style ever. If you tend to be on the athletic side, go ahead and rock a more billowy, shapeless style. If you’re on the petite side, you might want to add a belt or go with a more form-fitting cut so the dress doesn’t wear you. And for curvy gals, a belt at the waist or under the bust will highlight your shape without hiding your favorite parts.
Take note of the hem length and style combo that’ll best flatter your figure & lifestyle. Then, schedule a Fix & tell your Stylist about your ideal dress features in your Fix Note.
If you’re still not sure, here are some examples to inspire you:
– Are you straight-shaped & adventurous? Opt for minis, sheath and drop-waist styles.
– Are you classic hourglass? Rock a sheath, empire, or wrap dress.
– Are you apple-shaped? You’ll look awesome in A-line, shift, wrap and empire style
Figured out your fit formula? Now tell your Stylist by updating your Style Profile today!