Choosing the right party dress for your body shape

Okay I’m know I’m kind of skipping over Halloween and Bonfire Night, but I’m already so excited about the upcoming festive season. I think it started last week when I opened my first presents of the year as part of a Secret Santa gift exchange. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about all the fun things I’ll be getting up to this Winter and my party plans have inspired this blog post about special occasion outfits and dressing for your shape.fitted party dress for hour glass body shape

Hour-glass or busty body shapes should accentuate the waist

With lots of festive parties to attend and end-of-term Christmas balls to dress-up for, there’s plenty of “little things” to worry about when choosing a dress for a special occasion; like what colours and fabrics to wear, what flatters and, on the flip-side, what does not look good on your body shape. This is equally true for wedding outfits, bridesmaids and prom dresses so hopefully this guide will be helpful all year round – not just for Christmas!

Body Type 1: Petite If you stand about 5 feet and 3 inches above the ground (or less, like me!) dresses made specifically for a petite body type are the best way to go. The pattern will be cut to smaller proportions and won’t swamp your frame. Other tips for small or petite body types include showing a little leg because it makes you look a little taller, adding heels, and an asymmetrical hemline will help to further illusion too.fitted party dress for petite body shape

Fitted dresses are great for petite figures

Body Type 2: Hour Glass

If you’ve got a little bit of curve to your figure; your hips are proportionate to your bust and your upper half is around the same length as your lower half, you’ve got an hour glass body type. For the best look with this body type, opt for a dress that accentuates your waist. A dress that narrows and fits properly around the waist will bring out your hour glass features and increase your “wow factor”. Plus you could add a belt, or look for dresses with ribbons that tie at the waist.

Body Type 3: Busty

You’ve got a “busty” figure if your body is a little larger in your upper half, and your lower half is less defined with a narrow waist. To help find the right dress, select a dress that brings focus to your face and balances your upper and lower halves. A skirt with volume will balance out the shape. If you’ve got a busty body type, don’t go too short with your dress or you’ll look top-heavy. It’s all about balance.empire line christmas party dress

Embellised tops & empire lines are ideal for apples

Body Type 4: Apple If your body carries its weight through the core (apple pun!) of your body, opt for a dress with an empire waist and/or embellished top. These two dress features will create just the right curves, and if you love your legs then be sure to show them off!

Body Type 5: Pear If your hips are larger than your bust, choose party dresses that add volume to your upper half, accentuate your narrow waist, and bring less emphasis to your lower half. Perhaps you might like to opt for a fitted open neck, strapless top, or a full A-line skirt. PeachesBoutique.com has a really good selection of dresses for this body type.strapless a line party dress for pear shape

Strapless A-line dresses are perfect for a pear shape

Body Type 6: Slim If your body is thin throughout, you’ve got yourself a slender body type. The goal with this body type is to select a prom dress that creates drama and curves. Choose a dress that adds volume to your upper and lower body, and add a belt or opt for an empire waist.

If you are looking for a stunning dress for a Christmas ball, wedding outfits ,or even browsing online for prom dresses by fashion designer Sherri Hill, having some idea of what you’re looking for in advance when shopping for special occasion dresses isn’t such a bad idea.

I compiled this list of party dresses versus body type to help make dress selection easier. This way you can focus on design, and spend less time stressing over dress proportions, and really enjoy the process of finding your ultimate party dress.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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