There’s no doubt that dresses are one of the most versatile items to have in your wardrobe rotation. Women who have an hourglass figure are free to try out any cut or silhouette that naturally maintains their well-proportioned features. This guide will show you the key dress styles and details to look out for when you’re shopping. Keep scrolling for our dress recommendations and style advice.
The bottom line
An hourglass body type is determined by a defined waistline, with the bust and hips about equal width. (Not sure of your measurements? Watch our video to find out your unique body shape.) When on the hunt for new dresses, you’ll find that the best options for your hourglass figure achieve three things:
1. Trace your curves
Celebrate your shape with streamlined styles—anything oversized will add bulk.
2. Focus on your waistline
It’s your defining feature, so anything cinched or banded will instantly flatter.
3. Fit comfortably
Look for smooth, stretch fabrics that give your curves room to move.
The best dress styles for an hourglass figure
Universally flattering, this versatile style is the quickest—and easiest—way to celebrate a curvy build as the accompanying tie cinches the waist. This one’s puff sleeves draw attention to your top half by adding drama to your shoulders. (While we love voluminous details, hourglass figures are most flattered in styles that add volume to the top or bottom of the dress, not both.) Paired with nude sandals, it’s a sophisticated and sexy look.
Not a dress, but this one-and-done garment does wonders for hourglass figures. A modern jumpsuit will put the spotlight on your bust, waist, and hips all in one go. This one has a banded waist that flaunts curves with mixed patterns that a symmetrical frame can easily pull off. Curious which shoes to wear with a jumpsuit? We recommend a pair of chic knotted ankle sandals for daytime outings.
Though the hourglass is considered one of the easiest body types to dress, finding pieces that fit properly at the waist is one of its most common issues. This style mirrors your well-defined shape by cinching in at the middle. Made iconic by Marilyn Monroe, it features a flowing skirt that falls gracefully over the hips for comfort and maximal mobility. This one comes with a contrasting waist tie—as you already know, it’s all about celebrating your waistline.
There are few looks we love more than sheath dresses for hourglass shapes. This curve-hugging mainstay is typified by tailored seams that lend a subtly slim fit that’s especially flattering. A peplum adds instant femininity while drawing attention to the waistline.