All Women's Talk

How to Choose the Right Cut for Your Body Shape ...

By Carly

Women come in all shapes and sizes. The beauty of the female form is its diversity and if women all looked the same, fashion would be intensely dull. Different cuts and shapes in fashion naturally stem from the fact that people themselves come in different cuts and shapes. But, with all of this choice, finding a dress that suits your body shape can sometimes be a daunting task. However, with these four principles to steer you in the right direction, finding the perfect fit has never been simpler.

Table of contents:

  1. Know your shape
  2. Enhance, hide and balance
  3. Know what to covet and avoid
  4. Experiment

1 Know Your Shape

Hubert de Givenchy once said, “The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress”. However, in order to find a dress that follows your body, you must first know your body. This is perhaps the most important of the four principles. The more you know about your body shape the quicker you’ll be able to find things that suit you. Here’s a quick guide to the major body types:

Apple: Big boobs, tends to carry weight around the middle.
Hourglass: Big boobs, small waist, large hips.
Pear: Bottom-heavy
Lollipop: Top-heavy
Boyish: Straight up and down, smaller breasts.

Whether or not you are tall or petite should also be taken into account.

2 Enhance, Hide and Balance

When looking for a dress, you should not only be looking for a cut that is flattering but also for a cut that enhances your figure. Knowing exactly what your best assets are and what you want to hide will make finding that perfect dress all the more easy. Balance is also important. Not all female body shapes are in perfect proportion but choosing the right dress can help even things out.

Enhance with: Embellishment, bright colours and patterns.
Hide with: Free flowing materials (such as jersey and chiffon) in darker colours.
Balance with: Structure and added volume such as draping and ruffles.

3 Know What to Covet and Avoid

Apple: V-neck and Sweetheart necklines show of your amazing cleavage. Don’t go for A-Line cuts or Empire Line dresses; get something that cinches in and defines your waist. Grecian styles work well on you.

Hourglass: Wrap dresses look heavenly on you as the V-neck highlights your bust as well as drawing attention to that cinched in waist. Be careful with patterns and embellishment, though; they could make you look heavier than you are and mess up your perfect proportions.

Pear: You can afford to go all out on your top half with detailing, prints and draping. Ruffles and structured shoulders also look good as they balance out your bottom half. Empire lines also work well to hide larger hips but avoid anything that highlights or adds volume to your lower half.

Lollipop: Body-Con dresses look great on you. V-Necklines also highlight your best assets. Avoid high-necked dresses and ruffles on your top half as it may make you look swamped.

Boyish: Structured dresses give the illusion of curves. Retro Full-Skirted dresses also work well. Avoid anything baggy; it may make you look shapeless.

4 Experiment

When you find a cut that suits your shape, keep a look out for it. Also, keep an eye out for variations. If you suit halter neck dresses, try a sweetheart cut next time. Or if baby doll dresses look good on you, why not try and empire waist dress? Also, don’t be afraid of trying something you previously thought wouldn’t suit you; as long as you keep in consideration your body shape, you will never steer wrong. For example, if you are petite you might avoid full-length dresses but in fact they can look really dramatic on smaller women. Keeping in mind that a lot of heavy material will swamp your small frame, stick to lighter fabrics such as chiffon. Also, keep the waistline high and the cut streamlined to give the illusion of height.

So, forget surgery and forget airbrushing your selfies – dressing for your figure is the quickest and easiest way to look and feel amazing.

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