We all are beautifully unique. This concept has been hopefully told to us since we were little. However, believing and embracing it is another story. Unfortunately, women often seem to spend a generous amount of time focused on other women. We compare looks, bodies, clothing, you name it. How much time do you spend focused on what other women are doing or wearing? It’s time for a change.
Spring is here and with it, time for dresses. Time to go frolic and spin in fields, or in reality, to go to thousands of weddings and dance our faces off. Whatever the occasion, dresses too come in different shapes and sizes. Some play well with us, and some play well with others. Finding what works for your shape is key.
For the sake of time I will break the female gender into body three types. This is no doubt over simplifying, but it will do for the basic idea of learning shapes and what styles work with what. Find which category (or two) that you’re nearest and soak up these helpful little hints, which I have learned from women much wiser than myself.
You have a beautiful feminine shape. Everyone’s shape varies, but generally speaking you have more of an hourglass figure. No matter your height, you want to bring the attention to your waist. Dresses that shape at waist look wonderful on you. Dresses that hug your figure are very flattering, but beware not to get too tight. Having a dress that comes in at the waist, but has a pencil skirt, for example, is the perfect balance of sexy and classy. If you desire a girly look, circle skirts can also be fun and flirty.
Another way to bring all eyes to the waist is with belts or elastic. Find a dress with a waistline detail to pull the fabric in. If you want to wear color but are worried about a print being to distracting, try color blocking (using large areas of solid color). This will keep the attention on the curves while still allowing for some excitement.
You are little. You might also be tall, you might be shorter and petite or you might have more of a boyish/athletic build. Slender, like curvy, also comes in many adorable shapes and sizes. The key with dresses for you is detailing. Because of your little frame, you can afford to wear dresses with ruffles, embellishment, or cut out details. Throw on a print or loud dress when appropriate. With your shape it will be hard to have “too much” print.
If you have more of a boyish figure, chose a more feminine shape such as a high waist to accentuate your curves. Focus on fabrics with drape like silks or satin. As for necklines, because you are slender, a petite spaghetti strap looks very pretty. Halters and scoop necks can also help highlight your shoulders and collar bone. Find which of these details help to accompany your slim shape best.
Your beautiful self is fuller in figure. The fullness of bodies vary too and finding out how to dress for yours is important. You may have a larger chest. If this is the case, balancing out your hip area is the focus. Try wearing a dress with a full skirt that is heavier on the bottom. This will help the body to look more proportionate. If you tend to have more shape at the hip, an A-line skirt will add some structure with out being overwhelming. Boat necks will draw the eye to the shoulders and help balance your top with your bottom.
As far as detailing goes, it’s all about flattery. If you have a little waist, show it off. If you have little legs, wear a knee length skirt to see some of them. Add heavier detailing such as print or embellishment on the smaller part of your frame to help your body look more balanced. Fabrics with draping usually look very good on fuller figures as well as one shoulder dresses. For color, stick to solids and simplicity. It works wonders.
This spring embrace boldness and try something new that works with your figure. I say it’s time to put down the comparison stick and champion others along, including ourselves. You’ll look good doing it. After all, if we are going to be in a dress, it might as well be a flattering one.
Illustrations via Marshall Roemen