The Right Dress For Your Shape: 4 Tips For The Perfect Fit

Punxsutawney Phil says that Spring is coming early this year, and a few perfectly fitted dresses are just what you need to welcome back the sun. But what’s the right fit for your frame? If you find the notion confusing, you’re not alone; many women find the concept of fit a bit perplexing, especially when fashion magazines insist on describing women as apple-shaped or pear-shaped. With these simple rules, you’ll have a clear strategy for picking the perfect dress, no fruit analogies required.

Pick An Area To Emphasize

Generally speaking, most women can tell you what parts of their body they want to emphasize and which they’re like to play down, and this is a good starting point for picking out a dress. For example, fuller figured women, with wide hips and larger breasts, typically look best in dresses that create a defined waist, whether they’re belted, elastic, or otherwise cinched. From there, it’s easy to play up other features, such as your bust, by adjusting the neckline, hem, and sleeve length.

Streamline Your Structure

One challenge to choosing the right dress for your shape is the fact that, unlike models, most of us have visible imperfections, like a slight bulge around the hips or thighs that rub together. Give yourself the best chance of finding the perfect dress, and ensure that it’s comfortable, by wearing a shapewear garment under your dress. These garments smooth the hips and create clean lines under tighter dresses so that they fit as they were originally designed.

Notice Your Neckline

Another basic rule for choosing dresses: if you love your arms, show them off, and if you don’t like how your arms look, focus on your neck instead. Why the trade-off? One concern is that showing your arms and opting for a lower cut neckline can mean showing a lot of skin, so it’s best to opt for one or the other, rather than both. The other reason for this trick is that, especially if you have broader shoulders, a deep neckline can de-emphasize your arms and make your neck look longer. Spring dresses have a lot of great options in this vein, whether you opt for long sleeves and light fabrics or a short-sleeved tea dress in a slightly heavier, drapier material.

Balance Your Body

Finally, if you’re still less concerned about emphasizing or downplaying certain body parts, you’ll find great dresses by focusing on balance, both on your body and within the garment. A dress that’s simple on top, for example, can handle a heavier ruffle on the bottom, while a bottom-heavy dress will also draw the eye away from your bust and shoulders. Meanwhile, if you have very few natural curves, a dress that creates the illusion of curves with ruching can play up your body’s shape to a dramatic degree.

Spring is a great time to play with fit because the dresses are subtler than summer’s sundresses. You can cover up a little more skin if you’re feeling self-conscious and play with different fabric thicknesses. Summer doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but spring is all about new possibilities, so let them bloom all over your wardrobe.


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