How to Find the Perfect Formal Dress for Your Body Type

The perfect outfit for a black-tie or evening event is one that highlights your figure in the best way, no matter what kind of event it is.

You’ll need to look at several different aspects when purchasing a formal outfit. Our style team can assist you if you have any additional questions!

If you're attending a formal event, you should also ensure that your clothes are the right color and suit your body type.

You should look at the type of event you will be attending before buying formal clothing. You also need to find formal clothing that balances your body's natural shape.

There are many different body types, from hourglass to pear shape and apple shape, and everything in between. The key to finding a perfect outfit is finding one that matches your body type. With a good understanding of your body shape, you can dress appropriately.

We're here to assist you if you find this too challenging. Today, we're going to look at some of the most common body types. We'll tell you what to wear, what not to wear, and how to pick the best outfit for your special occasion.


Choosing a Prom Dress For Your Body Shape

The shape of your silhouette is your natural shape (the outline of your body).

If you don't know your body type, measure yourself across the shoulders, bust, waist and hips.

You can discover your body type by reading through the most common shapes and our suggestions for appropriate formal attire. Remember that your size or shape does not matter. You will look and feel beautiful in a black tie dress no matter what your size or shape is!


Apple Body Type

The Apple Body Type has a large upper body with slim legs and thighs.

To dress an apple body shape correctly, look for items that create a nice waist around your midriff. A plunging neckline such as a sweetheart style or a deep v is ideal. So are off-the-shoulder designs.

If you’re attending a cocktail party, take the chance to show off your legs since you tend to have beautiful gams. For a formal event, opt for a dramatic strapless ball gown with plenty of skirt volume in an A-line structure will create more volume for your frame. 

Busty Body Type

If you’ve been blessed with a fuller bust, by all means, flaunt it in a fitted look with slim waistline! The Busty Body Type has a bigger chest but narrower hips. The key to striking balance is to look for pieces that highlight and support your bust and also flatter your lower half.

A dress with an A-line prom skirt will help bring some flare and proportion. Another great option is a mermaid prom dress, which naturally highlights your figure with a short empire bodice. This fitted style also has a nipped-in waist and flares dramatically at the bottom. You can go shopping for skirts that skim your waist and legs. This can create a figure that is sexy and flattering. You can have fun and choose any style of neck you like, such as halter or plunging. Make the most of your upper body and add curves!

Avoid very high necklines on your search. They’ll make you look even bustier and won’t provide a good style. 

Hourglass Body Type

This shape is identified by a slim waistline with a fuller bust and hips of equal width. This creates a symmetrical curve on your upper and mid-body.

This is a very popular look in the fashion business.

You will look amazing in figure-hugging styles that reveal your beautiful natural silhouette in the fashion world. Look for body-conscious jersey prom dresses with an open back. A high neckline will bring out your hourglass form even more as will a dress in a block color. Avoid over-sized styles that drown out your natural figure. Look for any garments that add curves and have a slim waistline. Look for a body-con or flared skirt with a long train, if desired.

Pear Body Type

It's easy to flatter a pear body shape, which has a more narrow upper portion (shoulders) with wider hips, thighs, and bottoms. The following suggestions will help you make the most of your figure. Select a flowing skirt to drape gently over your bottom. To flatter a pear shape, wear a halterneck or plunging bodice dress. You should draw more attention up by adorning your upper half with beadwork. 

Stay away from body-hugging dresses, opt for a loose or flared prom skirt for a formal look. You must choose a top that makes a statement for your formal look. An off-the-shoulder bodice on an A-line style makes for a striking look for a black-tie gala dinner.


Petite Body Type

The Petite woman is often shorter in stature and with a slim, short upper half. Try selecting a beautiful dress in a block color to make the best of this body type. Petite women look great in single-tone prom styles since they don’t break up your body. These dresses draw the eye to the entire length of the gown, elongating your silhouette.

One other style to consider for petite shapes? Dresses with a higher belted waist will give the illusion of longer legs and height to your look. For semi-formal events, you can also wear shorter-length prom gowns (knee length) to show off your legs.


Slender Body Type

The Slender Body Type, also known as Athletic or tall, can be identified as having a rectangular frame and a square shoulder and midsection. Thankfully, it’s easy to add a few gentle curves with the right prom dress. Look for designs that subtly hug the hips and bust with a narrowed waist or flared tail.

For example, a mermaid style prom gown with a fitted one-shoulder design. Sweetheart necklines help create sexy curves and femininity to your figure, especially when paired with a mermaid dress or trumpet skirt. Stay away from column dresses (dresses that are straight up and down). When shopping, choose a fun look that creates texture or volume.

You should try to add a few curves to look your best. A cinched empire waist and a ballgown skirt will also have a similar effect on the eye.


More Dress Options & Ideas

Don’t forget – pear, apple, hourglass, busty and athletic are just a few of the typical body types out there. If you don’t necessarily fit into one of these body categories, don’t panic! You can use your own measurements to decide what aspects you want to highlight and hide.

A good rule is to try to balance your body by concealing where you are widest and highlighting your narrow points. Take your own figure as the first sign. A mermaid prom dress or trumpet style is the best option when in doubt. It naturally creates an elegant hourglass silhouette with minimal fuss.

Still don’t know what to wear to your formal event? You can make a start by narrowing down your choice by color, or by the type of event you’ll be attending. You can also email our team for more assistance. If you sign up to our regular email updates, you can also stay up to date with new trends.
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