Finding the Perfect Dress for Your Body Style

Finding the Perfect Dress for Your Body Style

Finding the perfect dress remains a challenge for many women. They see a dress in a store window or hanging on a rack only to fall in love. However, when they put the dress on, it doesn’t flatter their figure. Sadly, they don’t know how to go about choosing a dress for their body type or silhouette. Learn this information and finding an outfit that flatters your figure becomes an effortless task. How do you determine your body type and what clothes you should purchase to flatter it?

Determine Your Body Type                                              

Grab a cloth tape measure and use it to get body measurements. When taking these measurements, let the tape sit snug to where it might slip but isn’t too loose or too tight. This provides the most accurate measurements, and Filly Flair can help in finding the perfect outfit for these measurements and your overall body type.

Have someone measure the shoulders, as this is difficult to do alone. Start at the tip of the shoulder and move the tape around the body until it reaches the starting point. Keep the tape close to the shoulder to measure the widest point.

Move down to the bust next. Stand up straight and measure the bust at the fullest point. Don’t allow the tape to squish the breasts, as this provides an inaccurate measurement.

After measuring the shoulders and bust, move the tape down to the waist. Although it may be tempting to suck the stomach in, don’t. Find the smallest part of the waist, right above the navel and below the rib cage. This is the natural waistline and where you need to measure.

The hips come next in terms of measurements. Here, the tape measure needs to lie at the fullest part of the rear end. Take this measurement while standing in front of a mirror to ensure the tape doesn’t slip and provide an inaccurate number.

Write the numbers down when taking the measurements. They determine a person’s body type and what clothes will flatter the figure. When choosing a dress with their body type in mind, women find the dress sits beautifully on the body and enhances her looks. Fortunately, most women have a distinct shape that makes choosing clothes based on body type easier.

Apple Shape

Women who have a heavy upper body and a smaller bottom half fall into the apple shape category. They have broad shoulders, a large bust, and a small bottom. Weight gathers around the midsection in these females. When choosing a dress or any clothing, look for pieces that draw attention away from the midsection while highlighting the body’s best features. Some women find they need to show off their legs while others opt for tops with V necklines to make the torso look longer.

When choosing a dress, look for a-line or empire styles and select prints or patterns that add layers. This takes the focus away from the midsection. Women with this body type find dark colors and monochrome outfits flatter their figure, and dresses with full or 3/4th sleeves make them shine. Flowy tops or flared bottoms help to balance the upper and lower half.

Avoid dresses that hug the figure. This style emphasizes the uneven shape. If a dress features a belt, choose a style that places the belt at the upper waist as opposed to the natural waist line to provide balance.


The hourglass figure continues to be the most sought after of all women’s body types. The upper and lower body remain balanced and in proportion to each other, while the waistline remains nicely defined. Women with this body shape find any dress will work as long as it follows the natural curves.

Choose a dress that cinches at the waist to show off the trim waistline, and V neck or sweetheart necklines highlight the upper body. Any dress with a belt that falls at the natural waistline or below the navel looks great on a woman with an hourglass figure, and she can get away with a figure-hugging dress. Look for A-line dresses or similar cuts when shopping, but avoid loose tops with loose bottoms as they hide the curves. There’s no need to do that.


Women with a pear-shaped body carry their weight in their hips, legs, and butt. The lower half of the body is larger than the top half. Many women now wish for this body type, as Kim Kardashian has made it popular. How should these women show off their assets?

Fortunately, with the right clothing, women find they can create the illusion of an hourglass. Narrow shoulders and wide hips need balancing or the woman may choose to wear an outfit that highlights the lower body. Either works with this body type. A-line skirt or dresses that feature a ruffled or patterned top work, as the top adds definition to the upper body. Sweetheart, V neck, boat neck, and scoop neck tops help to balance the bottom. Avoid tight tops paired with loose bottoms, as this throws the balance off.


Women with a rectangle shape have a body that is well balanced from the shoulders down to the hips. The silhouette lacks definition, so the woman needs to emphasize the arms and legs. Imagine having an hourglass figure without the well-defined waist and you have the rectangle body shape. Look for dresses that emphasize the lower half of the body and necklines that make the top appear larger. Sweetheart, strapless, and sleeveless styles flatter this body type, or a woman can pair a dress with a long jacket, cape, or blazer to add drama to the outfit. However, avoid overarching dresses at all costs.


Athletic women often have an inverted triangle body shape. The shoulders on these women are significantly broader than their hips, so the goal needs to be to emphasize the arms and shoulders. To do so, add definition to the hips with the help of a straight-cut dress. These dresses feature an inverted look to balance the body. Avoid dresses that add layer or definition to the upper body. Choose V neck tops to make the shoulders look narrower, and only wear ruffles, layers, or patterns on the bottom half of the body. Keep details on the upper body to a minimum.

Keep these tips in mind when shopping for dresses or any new outfit. Don’t assume you need to change your body if a certain outfit doesn’t look right when you put it on. Choose a different outfit and see how great you look and feel.

Cristina Macias
Cristina Macias is a 25-year-old writer who enjoys reading, writing, Rubix cube, and listening to the radio. She is inspiring and smart, but can also be a bit lazy.