Whether you’re attending a special family event, like a wedding or graduation, starting a new job, or simply expanding your wardrobe, you need some good dresses that flatter your figure and bring out your best features.
When you’re plus-size, it’s even more important to shop carefully for the right dress or dresses. You need to figure out what your body type is, and then choose cuts and styles that play up the attractive parts of your body while drawing attention away from the less attractive parts. Let’s take a look at the five body types -- apple, pear, hourglass, rectangle, and inverted triangle -- and which dress styles to wear with each.
If you have an apple body shape, you tend to carry extra weight in the upper half of your body, but your legs are probably nice and slim. You have a nice bust, but your waist is ill-defined and your bottom may be less prominent.
When choosing plus size dresses for an apple body shape, pick something that draws attention upward to the bust and face, and away from the midsection. A-lines, wrap dresses, and fit-and-flare dresses with full skirts are great for downplaying the midsection. You can also choose an empire waist or a dress with embellishments on the bodice or neckline. A belted style can help define your waist, but a drop waist style is also a good choice for hiding your midsection. Since you have slim legs, don’t be afraid to show them off in a shorter skirt. Accessorize with statement necklaces, scarves, dangly earrings, and hats that draw the eye upward.
If you have a pear body shape, you tend to carry extra weight in your hips and thighs. Your shoulders will be narrower than your hips, and so will your bust. Your small waist and large hips are in style right now, and plenty of people will find your figure attractive.
Many women with pear bodies struggle to find dresses that are fitted at the hips, because those styles tend to be cut for rectangle and hourglass shapes that have more balance between the bust and hips. Choose A-line and swing dress styles that offer plenty of room for your hips. Balance your figure with styles that call attention to your bust, like open, fitted necklines, V-neck styles, and strapless or spaghetti strap styles. Dresses with embellishment around the neckline or on the bodice are also a good choice.
If you have an hourglass body, you have a large bust and hips that are about the same width, with a small waist that’s at least 10 inches smaller than your bust and hips. Choose fit-and-flare dresses with fitted tops and full skirts to accentuate your small waist. Belted styles, wrap styles, and dresses with fitted bodices and/or cinched waistlines are the way to go, but you can even show off an hourglass figure in a form-fitting sheath dress.
A rectangle body looks a lot like an hourglass body, but with a somewhat larger, less-defined waist. If your shoulders and bust are about the same size as your hips, but your waist isn’t a full ten inches smaller than either, you have a rectangle body.
Dress your rectangle body with dress styles that cinch at the waist, including belted, wrap, and fit-and-flare styles. You want to give the illusion of having an hourglass body, so choose styles that make your hips and bust look slightly curvier in comparison to your waist. These can include styles with ruffles on the bodice, but you can also choose a dress with ruching along the waist and midsection or a peplum around the waist. Choose necklines that accentuate your bust, like V-neck, halter, and surplice styles -- they’ll make your waist look smaller, too.
The inverted triangle body type is also known as the athletic body type, because it features strong, wide shoulders tapering down to narrow hips and muscular legs. This body type offers a lot to show off, but you’ll want to choose styles that make your hips look curvier. Choose a full-skirted dress, an A-line style, or a dress with a peplum. Drop waist styles are also flattering on this body type. If you happen to have a larger bust, play it up with deep U- or V-necklines, halter tops, and fitted bodices. Choose a dress with a cinched or belted waistline to give your whole figure a curvier, more feminine appearance.
Just because you’re curvy doesn’t mean you can’t look stunning in the right dress. No matter where you’re headed, choose dress styles that will flatter your figure, so you can look stylish and feel confident in any situation.