It’s happened to practically every woman at least once: you see a gorgeous cocktail dress on the mannequin or the rack that you simply must have. You run to the dressing room with it, visions of how good it’s going to look on dancing through your head, only to get changed and find that the dress does absolutely nothing for you. The sad truth is, no dress is right for every woman’s body type. Having an eye for great clothes means not just picking out great pieces, but also picking out pieces that flatter you. Here is what to look for in a cocktail dress.
Super slim bodies are athletic and boyish. Curves are minimal and a straight or nearly straight line can be drawn from the shoulders to the hips. Women with this body shape may want to choose dresses that imply curves, such as those with ruffles or detailing around the chest or hips. Empire waist dresses are also a great choice as they add volume to the hips while emphasizing the slimness of the waist.
Women with an hourglass shape are lucky, as they can pull of practically any style of dress. Hourglass-shaped women have proportional hips and bust, but a much narrower waist for a body that is perfectly curvy. If this sounds like you, choose dresses that flaunt your shape rather than disguise it. You can generally get away with tighter dresses, as well as ones with lower necklines that show off your curves.
Pear-shaped women are fuller below the waist than they are above it. If this is your body type, you want to choose a dress that draws attention away from your lower half and on to your slimmer, shapelier upper half. Strapless or plunging dresses are a great way to do this, as are ones with detailing on the bodice. Avoid full skirts that add volume to your hips, though.
Apple shaped women carry their weight around the middle of their bodies for a shape that is overall round. On the plus side, they also generally have fuller busts. When dressing this body type, choose a dress that is fitted but not clingy. You may also want to consider dresses that have a belt or detailing around the midsection to help define the waist.
You’ll be much happier and more confident in a cocktail dress that suits your body shape rather than trying to wrangle one that was never made for you.