How to Pick The Perfect Dress for Your Body Type

How To Dress for your ShapeWe all want to look our best, but finding the right outfit to flatter your shape can be harder than it seems. With so many different cuts and styles of dresses how can you be sure you are buying the most flattering one for your figure. You can’t always rely on the latest trends to be your guide since they may not work for you. Be true to you and follow my dress tips for shopping for your shape.

Straight Frame  

Little definition between bust, waist and hip measurements.

Styles For You: In order to look your best with what is most commonly referred to as a rectangular shape, aim to find dresses that create curves. Shop for fitted sheaths, which are dresses that are made to fit close to the body to show off your figure, but look for draping which will help define your waistline. Wrap dresses are also your best friend since they will create an instant shape.

Stay Away: Avoid the classic shifts, which are dresses that hang away from the body, as they will only make you look boxy.


Curvaceous, with full bust, defined waist and full hips.
Styles For You: The same types of dresses that a woman with a straight frame would use to create curves, can be used to accentuate yours. Get your Kardashian on with knit dresses and classic sheaths with fitted waists enhance your classically feminine form. Look for dresses with a belted waistline to highlight your small midsection.

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Stay Away: Anything that hides your shape will not be flattering, like a shift dress. Also, avoid dresses with tops that add unnecessary volume as they will make you look disproportional.


 Narrowest point is above the natural waist, at the ribs

Styles For You: Find a dress with an Empire waists which will draw the eye up, taking attention away from your midsection. Neck details also bring the focus up, while full skirts and A-line shifts create an hourglass illusion. Keep any details on the dress above the waistline

Stay Away: Avoid any dresses that have belts or add unnecessary bulk, also fitted dresses which bring the focus to your midsection. Shorter hem lines would not be the best option since it will make you look shorter, instead of elongating your torso.

Inverted Triangle (Busty)

 Bust measurement is fuller than hips and rear.

Styles For You: Shop for dresses with open necklines, they will draw attention away from your broader shoulder. Also, solid colors on top and prints or patterns on the bottom will make your lower half seem larger to create a more even silhouette. Halter styles draw the eye downward for a slimming effect. A-line styles with full skirts and details at the hem can help balance out the bottom half.

Stay Away: Avoid anything with a boxy and stiff shoulder lines and dresses with patterns on top. These styles will make your top half seem larger, which is the opposite of what you want to accomplish.


Fuller at the hips and rear, and smaller on top.

Styles For You: The key for dressing a pear or triangle shaped body is diverting the attention up and giving the appearance of a uniform figure. Since you are probably smaller on top than you are on the bottom, you have to keep proportions in mind. Shop for dresses with blousy top portions to balance out your figure.

Stay Away: A sheath dress will be your worst enemy! You will find it hard to buy the right size with these straight dresses, if it fits in the bottom then your top will probably be too big. I am usually a huge fan of tailoring, but I do not think it is worth the money spent when you could look for a more flattering silhouette.

What styles of dresses do you find fit your shape the best? Let me know!

Sherita Rankins
Sherita Rankins

Detroit born, NYC based Model, Actress & Host, is the Editor-in-Chief of Busy Wife Busy Life. This fashion expert and former finance professional loves to travel and is a total foodie. When she is not staying “busy” she loves to cook, play tennis and relax on the beach.

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  1. Ruth Rankins
    June 5, 2016 / 10:17 am

    Thanks to the expert fashion advice that’s aways given in”busywifebusylife’post “, I know when I put on a dress… I no longer have to second guess whether it’s the right dress for me. Busywifebusylife’ is so amazing!

    • June 6, 2016 / 2:00 pm

      Happy to help! I know shopping can overwhelming at times, so it is good to know that I have made it a little easier for you!

  2. Abby Castro
    June 5, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    Love the tips! It’s tough to pick a dress that would complement your body type. But with these tips, you’ll have an idea if something will work or not.

    Abby | Life in the Fash Lane

    • June 6, 2016 / 1:58 pm

      So glad my tips were helpful! I checkout your site and you have great style! Thanks again!

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