Most women, love dresses. And why not? They come in all shapes, colors, fabrics, prints, & more. And I’m going to tell you the most flattering silhouettes, necklines & where you can get a dress on a budget.
The Most Flattering Silhouettes:
The Sheath: This probably one of the sexiest silhouettes that a woman can wear. Even better if the skirt is tapered towards the hem (like a pencil skirt). You can get it sleeveless, or with sleeves, & has great versatility because you can wear it to the office, or wear it a wedding. You should have at least one in your closet.
Fit & flared: This is great for office, & to parties as well. The most flattering length, is usually around the knee. It’s also office friendly. This is great because it gives you more of an hourglass shape, & if you have wide hips, this is a great way to hide it.
The wrap dress: Claimed to be created by Diane Von Furstenburg, the great thing about this dress is that nowadays it comes in all kinds of sizes. And if it really is a tied wrap dress, it’s flexible if your weight fluctuates, for you can make it looser / tighter.
A peplum dress: There’s just something about a flared peplum that flattering for almost all figures. It’s like you get a sheath, & fit & flared all in one dress! Don’t feel like buying a dress? There are tops or bottoms with just peplums, so that you can mix & match!
The Modern Dress Silhouettes That Flatter:
The Asymmetrical Dress: This has become really popular in the last several years; varying from looking lovely, draped, & Grecian, or funky & avant grade, depending upon which dress you choose. If it’s lovely & draped, it can make you look very classy; whereas if it’s avant garde it can make you look modern & chic. The choices are wide & they’re entirely up to you.
The Modern Dress That You Must Have:
A Color blocked one: If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, almost every brand has come out with color blocked dresses! There’s something about the color blocking that’s usually flattering to the figure.
A recent trend:
High Lo Hemmed Dresses: (Usually where the hem is higher in the front, & lower in the back) These are really beautiful in cocktail dresses or evening wear. There are some lovely dresses with high lo hems you could i.e. wear to the beach, but I would not try this at the office.
The neutral silhouette:
The Basic Shift: Like I said, neutral. This neither flatters your figure nor accentuates it. I think the basic shift is great for showing off prints, or fabrications like lace, jacquards, etc.
A Sexy Neckline:
The Halter: And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a dress! And the great thing about them is that they come in all kinds of shapes & sizes! Whether it has a collar / straps, this is great for a cocktail / party dress, you may be able to wear this to the office depending upon the dress code. If your office has a strict dress code, then I wouldn’t go for it.
The Classic Neckline:
The Sweetheart Neckline: Usually very popular in evening / bridal wear. This is great for a cocktail dress, & can be appropriate for work if it has sleeves. Women literally have been wearing sweetheart necklines for ages!
The Cowl Neckline: This is great if you are small chested; cowls tend to make chests look bigger than they are. However, if you do have a big chest, this is a neckline I would stay away from.
Silhouettes you have to be careful with:
A line dresses: If it’s slightly flared, it can be flattering for most women, but if it’s VERY flared then you run the risk of looking maternal. (Unless you are expecting!) If you have a dress that’s a wider A line (like the dress on the right) and you absolutely adore it, you can make it look more flattering by belting it. Usually the less flared it is, the more flattering it will be.
Empire Waist line dresses: Usually this only looks good on skinny, skinny girls. Again, you run the risk of looking maternal. The high waistline just naturally makes tummies look bigger than they actually are. If you are expecting, this is a great choice for you! Unless you are really skinny, save this kind of dress until you actually are pregnant.
Where I shop for dresses:
Gosh there are so many websites.
For the inexpensive: Obviously, Forever21, H&M, Target, & Kohls.
For dresses at a great discount, including designer ones: Ideel.com, & hautelook.com, and Century21. I have found great stuff on there! You should check them out, they have designer things on sale all the time! I’ve gotten a lot of my dresses through them. Also it doesn’t hurt to look in Century21, either.
For work friendly or just summer dresses: New York & Company, and Zara. I get a lot of staples at NY&CO, not just dresses. Plus Eva Mendes has designed some beautiful things there! Check out their coupons and sales! Zara‘s dresses can be a bit on the pricey side sometimes, depending on the dress, (sometimes $100 or higher) but that doesn’t mean you can’t check them out when they have sales! Also in the fashion industry Zara is infamous for knocking things off the runway. So even if you are spending $100 on a dress, it’s far cheaper than the dresses you see from the high end brands walking the runways at Fashion Week. Also Macy’s! I think their most fashion forward brand is INC. When you go to Macy’s always make sure it’s on sale & that you have a coupon! (They always have coupons!)
For cocktail dresses: I like to go to AXParis.com. They’re a relatively new site, that I found through USTrendy.com.
Fashion No Nos:
Never wear clothes too big: Do you like balloon dresses? You want to look chic, not like you’re drowning in your clothes.
Never wear anything old, torn, pilled or unraveling: This makes you look much, much older than you are. Or that you can’t afford clothes. This could easily make you look 20 years older than you actually are. Or older!
Never wear clothes that are too tight / small: Too many girls in the US try to force themselves into clothes that just plain don’t fit. Not even just dresses, but pants & undergarments too! I remember once Victoria Beckham mentioning that if you don’t like seeing your pant size, just cut off the tag. It’s more important to get clothes that fit, vs. forcing yourself into clothes that are too small. Also a quote from Michael Kors, “why do the Europeans always look so good? They have a relationship with their tailor & spend the time & money to make their clothes look their best.” You can always have something that’s a little bit big, taken in by your tailor.
I’ve given you lots of places to get dresses. Look good. But more importantly, shop smart.
26 thoughts on “DRESSES!! AND THE SHAPES THAT FLATTER YOUR FIGURE!!”
Hi, I love your dress article and various styles. Do you have any articles about skin tones and what colors should be worn? I’m pale win reddish face with brunette hair and am clueless as to what colors work for me.
Thanks I’m glad you liked it! I haven’t written an article like that but you’ve just given me an idea! Keep posted for I may write about it!
That’s a pretty informative post. I only have one issue. It would be nice to see one plus size picture in there. 🙂 Thank you for the tips.
thank you for your feedback! I did write an article on shopping for plus size women, if you would like, check it out here! https://fashionistabudget.com/2015/10/11/where-the-plus-size-women-can-shop-on-a-budget/
Thank you for such a simple but definitive article on dress shapes!
The tips are helpful to others to find inexpensive clothing
Love all these looks! My fave is the fitted and flared! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for all of the gorgeous & practical advice with images, appreciated.
you’re welcome I’m glad you liked it!
Love all the dresses, makes we want to go out and buy a couple 😉
thanks! Go for it!
This post is really cool. I love to read about these things but I’m usually too stupid to use them in my everyday life but I’ll probably use this when I’m picking out dresses
i’m glad you liked the post!
Love this article It was fun seeing the different shapes together. My favorites are the sheath and wrap.