Summer Dresses to Suit Your Body Shape

July 15, 2011

Ask The Stylist, Daily Digest

Summer Dresses to Suit Your Body Shape

By AnnMarie Proudfoot

With summer dress mania getting into full swing, for some, the shopping experience of finding the perfect dress can be a nightmare. How many times have you traipsed through the shops searching for wedding or summer event dresses and come away thinking that nothing suits you? You are not alone dear reader.

Here are some key points about your body shape which will help and maybe even make it fun.

Pear Shape

Characteristics – Fuller on the rear and hips and smaller on top.

Goal for your shape – To balance out your proportions and draw the eye upwards.

You should go for dresses with detail on top or strapless to focus attention on your upper body. A-line and or full skirts will help skim over your hip area. Waisted dresses are a key shape for you to emphasise your smaller waist.

This magnolia print prom dress (€46, Warehouse) would look well on you. Remember to have some fun with strapless and detailing on your top half.

Apple Shape

Characteristics – Full bust, waist and upper back slimming down towards the legs.

Goal for your shape – To accentuate your best bits and create some shape to your waist while balancing the torso.

Empire line and baby doll dresses will create balance to your body shape and help disguise any lumps and bumps around the mid area. You should also invest in a well fitting bra to give a good shape to your bust. Remember to show off your great legs! This turquoise Grecian necklace babydoll dress (€150.00, Debenhams) will suit you to perfection.

The Strawberry/Triangular Shape

Characteristics- Broad shoulders, fuller bust and narrower hips.

Goal for your shape – To add balance and shape to your hips and legs and draw the eye downwards.

You should opt for dresses with flared hemlines to help add balance and proportion to your shape. Waist and hips detail draw the eye downwards. This Digital Tulip Print Maxi Dress (€83.33, ASOS) would be just lovely on you.

Remember, you are lucky to be able to be more adventurous on the bottom half, so go ahead with detailed hemlines and eye catching footwear.

Hourglass Figure

Characteristics – Curvaceous with fuller bust and hips and defined waist.

Goal for your shape – Show off your natural curves and accentuate your waist.

Ensure you have a good fitting bra to support your full bust. Wrap dresses and dresses with fitted waists will work really well for you figure. A small draped sleeve will give you good coverage if you have larger biceps. Keep prints small as larger prints will overwhelm your great shape.

Try this crepe shift dress by Oasis (€70.51) is for you.

Remember, you have great curves, so embrace your feminine form and show them off!

Slim and Straight Shape

Characteristics – Straighter figure top and bottom.

Goal for your shape -To create curves, curves, curves!

Bias cut dresses work well for you and chiffon and draping add a softness to your shape. You’re in luck as the draped dress is a big trend this season thanks to Burberry.

Fuller skirts and detailing on the hip or bust area will give you a curvier effect. Remember, because your figure is so balanced, you don’t have to focus on one area. This Wallis pleated dress with embellishment trim on the collar would suit you down to the ground.

If, after reading this, you think that you these shapes don’t really sound like you then just remember; many people are on the border between shapes, so you could have a few characteristics from several types. You are unique after all!

There’s no need for a bodysuit and multifacing mirrors a la Trinny and Suzannah – but do take a good look at yourself in a full length mirror to see what shape you are most like. No cheating, or you could end up with a dress disaster!

So get into your shape and pick up this summer’s must have dress.

Related posts:

  1. Trousers to Suit Your Body Shape
  2. Shorts To Suit Your Body Shape
  3. Jewellery to suit your face shape
  4. Celebrity Doppelganger 3
  5. How to Choose a Perfect Pair of Jeans
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14 Responses to “Summer Dresses to Suit Your Body Shape”

  1. caterine buckley Says:

    seen many long dressess in manic in manor mills dresses start at 30/45 with dimond detail on top much cheeper than

  2. Annemarie Says:

    cool. i have to say I am a bit disappointed with of late

  3. AnnMarie Proudfoot Says:

    Thanks for that Caterine, great prices too!
    I would agree with the range just isn’t great. I really like the range ASOS have at the moment, they have a good selection to suit all budgets.

  4. Jenny Says:

    Thanks AnnMarie, great article!
    I love maxi dresses but am quite short(!) – is there any way for me to wear them without looking swamped?

  5. AnnMarie Proudfoot Says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks. Maxis are great I agree, and yes you can wear them if you are petite just have to keep a couple of things in mind before choosing one and you will look fab!
    1. Wear it with a pair of high wedges as this will give that extra height you need and keep that great 70’s appeal.
    2. Keep it nice and fitted on the top half to compensate for the flared hem so it does not end up looking like a tent!
    3. A-line or bias cut hems will be best suited to your shorter frame as it will ensure there is not too much excess fabric.
    4. Keep the print small, (small prints for a small frame)to avoid you looking swamped. Solid colours are also good to elongate the body.
    5. Pick yourself up a nice belt to put around the waist to help structure the shape and when wearing a jacket keep it nice and fitted and short to the waist.

    Hope this helps, happy shopping!

  6. Annemarie Says:

    Hi Rach, Yes it’s from Chica, by Ingenue and called the Gulu Dress! It’s just lovely isnt it?

  7. Nora Says:

    love the advise, I think you will always know what suits you in a dress when you put one on, always take time and try a good few.

  8. Linda Says:

    I love these articles the only problem is that I never really know what body shape to classify myself as! Thanks for the tips on the maxi dresses, I love the look but I’m only 5 foot tall and petrified of looking stumpy in them.


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