The Most Flattering Dress Styles for Every Woman’s Body Shape

Woman Wearing a Dress

Different dress styles suit different figures. No matter how amazing the dress might look on the hanger, it might not look as fabulous once you try it on. Instead of wasting time and money on dresses that don’t flatter your figure, you need to know what type of dresses look best on you.

Fortunately, figuring out your body shape can make shopping for a dress much easier. In this guide, you’ll find out the differences between each body shape, and which dresses can best flatter your figure.

1. Hourglass

If you have an hourglass body shape, your bust and hip measurements are roughly equal. You have a smaller, curvier waist and a well-defined waistline.

Hourglass Body Shape

Best Dress Styles for Hourglass Shape

  • Wrap Dresses: Accentuate the waist while highlighting your curves.
  • Fit-and-Flare Dresses: Emphasize the small waist and flare out at the hips.
  • Bodycon Dresses: Hug your curves to showcase your figure.

For inspiration, check out this adorable fit-and-flare dress that is available in nearly 40 color options.

2. Pear

With a pear (or triangle) shaped body, you’ll have wider hips than shoulders. Additionally, pear-shaped ladies tend to have thinner arms and a curvier lower half.

Pear Body Shape

Best Dress Styles for Pear Shape

  • A-Line Dresses: Balance your proportions by flaring out from the waist.
  • Empire Waist Dresses: Highlight the narrowest part of your body, just below the bust.
  • Maxi Dresses with Slits: Show off your legs while drawing attention away from the hips.

If you are having a hard time finding a dress you like, take a look at this casual summer dress with an empire waist. Just make sure it fits in with the wedding dress code or formality of the event.

3. Apple

Women with apple-shaped bodies are curvy. Their waist is not as defined as hourglass figures. If you have an apple-shaped body, your weight will be evenly distributed throughout your midsection, with your arms and legs on the thinner side.

Apple Body Shape

Best Dress Styles for Apple Shape

  • Shift Dresses: Create a streamlined look by skimming over the midsection.
  • Wrap Dresses with V-Necklines: Enhance your bust while defining the waist.
  • Swing Dresses: Flowy and comfortable while minimizing the focus on the midsection.

Apple-shaped women will look amazing in this floral print swing dress.

4. Rectangle

Athletic figures, or rectangle figures, tend to have fewer curves. With this body type, your proportions remain balanced from your legs to your shoulders.


Best Dress Styles for Rectangle Shape

  • Sheath Dresses: Add subtle curves without exaggerating them.
  • Belted Dresses: Create the illusion of a defined waist.
  • Ruffled Dresses: Add volume to the bust and hips for a curvier appearance.

For inspiration, check out this lovely belted dress. Plus-size ladies can look for a similar vibe from one of these plus-size stores with dresses.

5. Inverted Triangle

Ladies with an inverted triangle silhouette typically have a large bust and broad shoulders. Just like an upside-down triangle, your upper half is wider than your lower half.

Inverted Triangle

Best Dress Styles for Inverted Triangle Shape

  • Off-Shoulder Dresses: Draw attention away from the shoulders and emphasize the waist.
  • Flared Skater Dresses: Create volume at the hips for a balanced look.
  • Halter Neck Dresses: Highlight the shoulders while defining the waist.

If you need ideas, click on this lace halter neck dress.

Finding the Best for Your Body Shape

Wearing a dress that accentuates your body will not only make you look great, but it’ll also give you a huge confidence boost. Whether you’re headed to a formal event or spending the night out, you should always try to find a dress that complements your figure.

For more style guides, check out these tips on how to find the perfect pair of women’s jeans.

Image credit: Pexels. All other images were created by Megan Glosson.

Megan Glosson

Megan Glosson is a passionate writer based in Nashville, TN. She enjoys writing about topics related to health, wellness, and everyday life, especially when the topic has a personal connection to her own life. Megan is currently published on over a dozen websites, including YourTango, Feel & Thrive,, and The Mighty. Megan also serves as a content editor for Unwritten, a digital publication focused on millennial lifestyles.