What dress shape suits you best

From maxis to minis, tea dresses to peplums...

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What dress shape suits you best

We’ve looked at many a trend here at A Brand New You but the top fashion statements aren’t always what’s best for us. Patterns and prints are easily adaptable to suit our shapes, but in terms of dresses, we need the lowdown on what best suits our shape. We all want to look fashionable and finding a dress that’s not only on trend but flatters your body can be seen as an uphill task. No garment is as difficult as the dress. Skirts and trousers come in various shapes as do tops, but dresses are one garment that fits in one certain way and that’s it. It’s important to find styles and shapes that suit you, rather than going for the latest fad, so we take a look at the top dress shapes and how to find the perfect dress for you...

First you need to determine your body shape. Then (and only then) you can go on to find the perfect dress. There’s pear, hourglass, slim, apple and each have various requirements. Most women in the UK have an apple shape which generally means we have a bust, hips and less of a defined waist. To find your body shape, Channel 4 Beauty have devised a short questionnaire. From there, you can start searching for shape that truly suit your figure, leaving you less frustrated. For a more detailed look into your shape, on shopyourshape.com, you can tap in your specific body measurements for a more accurate reading.  We all have shopping habits. certain styles we head towards, and once finding your shape, you might find that you’ve been heading to the wrong styles all along. Discovering your shape results in you becoming a more savvy shopper. You’ll be able to walk into a store and detect exactly what you should be wearing instead of strolling around in a sea of confusion.

 

Body Types

 

Hourglass

The body shape that most women want! The trick here is to show off those curves. A-line dresses are perfect for this as well as form-fitting and structured numbers. Stretchy fabrics help skim over your curves whilst investing in a great body con is a must! These are formal and tailored options, but if you’re looking for something more casual, shift dresses and wrap arounds also show off your curves and hide areas you’re less keen on. 

For inspiration, take a look at Kim Kardashian. She has curves to die for and knows how to work them!

 

Rectangle

You’re slim yet need to add some definition to your shape so look to add fabric to certain areas. Ruching and folds in chiffon and silk style fabrics will create curves whilst you have the freedom to experiment with amazing patterns too. Look for lower necklines (especially square or V’s) to focus the eye down to your shape whilst cinching in at the waist to create a curvy silhouette. Dresses can be hard to find in your shape so an array of belts can be your new best friends! 

For inspiration, take a look at the lovely Cat Deeley. She has a gorgeous statuesque frame just like you rectangles. 

 

Apple

With an apple shape, you’re going to be self-conscious of your middle so it’s all about deflecting the eye away. Look for a dress that will skim over your middle and highlight your bust and super trim legs. Empire lines is the best style to do this whilst wrap dresses and flared maxis hide your tummy. Be daring with a low neckline and always remember to steer clear of shapeless dresses that will swamp your frame.

For inspiration, take a look at Drew Barrymore. She has an amazing individual style, yet knows exactly what suits her shape.

 

Pear

Pear shapes are bottom heavy so you need to be adding volume to your top half. A surprisingly easy shape to find dresses for, A-line dresses with plenty of gorgeous embellishment around the top is the perfect style for you. It’s all about distracting your eye from your voluminous bottom half so avoid floaty fabrics or tight stretchy materials on the bottom.

For inspiration, take a look at Beyonce. From catwalk to Queen of Pop, she knows exactly what she should be wearing. 

 

The key to choosing clothes that complement your shape is to know your flaws and best assets. Shopping for a dress is no simple task and the selection of dresses out there may only cater for certain types (usually slim or athletic builds) so you must be prepared to search. Fabrics that don’t cling are the best for those who are more self-conscious whilst the colours of the dress need to ideally complement your skin tone. This factor can go a long way in helping, reducing the work for you by half. If you’re ever in doubt, don’t buy. Dresses need to fit you properly from top to bottom and if you don’t feel immediately great in it, then you won’t have the confidence to pull it off. These various shapes and sizes in each figure type aren’t set in stone and if you find a dress that you feel and look amazing in but doesn’t fit the exact criteria, that doesn’t mean you should discard it. With your clothes, you should be wearing it, not them wearing you and it’s all about the confidence you project. So there isn’t much left to say other than happy shopping! 

A great tip if you’re finding dress shopping a hassle is to take a look at the high street stores from the comfort of your own home. Getting an idea of what’s already out there will mean you’re more prepared! New Look have a fantastic selection of dresses in 13 different styles for you to browse.