How to Find Dresses that Flatter
The average adult makes roughly 35,000 decisions every single day. Obviously the majority of these are low stakes, but even the simplest yes/nos take up valuable brain space. Might as well make things easier where you can—starting with your closet. Dresses are a simple, one-and-done solution, taking almost all of the effort out of outfit planning. But finding your new favorites—the ones that work best for your shape, proportions and style preferences—can be a challenge. This guide will tell you what to look for and suggest the most flattering dress silhouettes for your body type.
The trick: Keeping your curves in proportion.
How to do that: Go for fitted, structured styles that emphasize your waistline. Body-con dresses with built-in stretch are a good choice—they bring focus to the natural balance of the bust, waist and hips while giving you freedom to move. Look for details that draw attention where you want it. This dress brings the drama with a plunging neckline, while ruching hugs your curves and offers definition.
The trick: Elongating your frame.
How to do that: Look for dresses that hit around mid-calf to draw a strong vertical line. This one is tiered to create a flattering high waistline, and the seaming gives it a soft structure that floats off your body without clinging. A sleeveless style draws the eye up and shows off your shoulders.
The trick: Creating a waistline.
How to do that: Find something flouncy, with definition at the waist. This fun mini has puffed sleeves and a ruffled skirt to add volume, while the wide waistband draws in your midsection for an hourglass effect.
The trick: Drawing the eye up.
How to do that: Look for details that accentuate your upper half. We chose a dress with a fitted, square neckline framed by puffed sleeves, so your face gets all the attention. The A-line skirt and its deep side slit create a fluid silhouette that falls away from the hips.
The trick: Drawing the eye down.
How to do that: A pleated maxi dress like this helps bring everything in balance. The deep V-neck and draping sleeves lengthen your upper half, while the full skirt adds volume right where you need it—and makes your legs look a mile long.