Dress to Impress - A Guide to Finding the Perfect Dress | Living Life with HarassedMom
So how do you pick the right dress for your body shape you may be wondering?

A Guide to Finding the Perfect Dress

For a long, long time I never wore dresses. I am not sure why exactly; it could have possibly been the really bad fashion choices we had in the 90s and early 2000’s. A few years ago though I took a huge leap of faith and invested in a Me & B dress and it was life changing. I bought it through Superbalist and added a few other dresses at the same time and all of them looked so good. If you haven’t seen their amazing range of dresses, go shop now.

My daily summer wardrobe is now mainly dresses and I am loving it. But I will admit there were some failures, not because there was anything wrong with the dress but because I was choosing the wrong dress for my body shape!

Dress to Impress - A Guide to Finding the Perfect Dress | Living Life with HarassedMom

So how do you pick the right dress for your body shape you may be wondering?

  1. Identify Your Body Shape

The first step in finding the perfect dress is understanding your body shape. Body shapes typically fall into categories such as hourglass, pear, apple, rectangle, and inverted triangle. Not 100% sure which one you are? This quick guide can help.

Hourglass: Characterized by a well-defined waist and balanced proportions.

Pear: Hips are wider than the shoulders, with a smaller bust.

Apple: Rounded shoulders, fullness in the midsection, and a less defined waist.

Rectangle: Balanced proportions with minimal waist definition.

Inverted Triangle: Broader shoulders, narrower hips, and a well-defined waist.

Knowing your shape makes shopping for clothes in general so much easier.

  1. Play to Your Strengths

Once you’ve identified your body shape, focus on highlighting your best features. For an hourglass figure, opt for dresses that accentuate the waist, like wrap dresses or fit-and-flare silhouettes. You will look good in A-line dresses that flare out from the waist, balancing the proportions. Apple shapes can look stunning in empire waist or shift dresses that draw attention away from the midsection (this is me; I am an apple).

  1. Understand Necklines and Sleeves

Necklines and sleeves play a crucial role in framing your face and balancing your overall look. If you have a pear shape and want to draw attention upwards, opt for dresses with boat necklines or embellished details on the upper half. V-neck dresses work well for apple shapes by elongating the torso. For those with broader shoulders (inverted triangle), consider dresses with cap sleeves or a sweetheart neckline to soften the silhouette.

  1. Experiment with Lengths and Hemlines

The length of a dress can significantly impacts the overall look. While midi and knee-length dresses are versatile and suit most body shapes, the key is to find the right proportions. Petite people might opt for dresses that end just above the knee to create the illusion of longer legs, while those on the taller side can experiment with maxi dresses for an effortlessly chic look.

  1. Consider Fabric and Pattern

The choice of fabric and pattern can also influence how a dress complements your body shape. Flowy fabrics like chiffon and silk work well for apple shapes, providing movement and draping elegantly. Meanwhile, structured fabrics like cotton or neoprene can add definition to a rectangle shape. Patterns can be used strategically to enhance or downplay certain areas, such as vertical stripes for elongation or bold prints to draw attention. Choosing the right fabric really can make a huge difference. I have bought simple shirts in the wrong fabric (for me) and they have looked so terrible).



Finding the perfect dress for your body shape is not about conforming to a set of rules but celebrating your individuality. By understanding your body shape and embracing your unique features, you can choose dresses that not only flatter your figure but also make you feel empowered and beautiful. So, whether you’re curvy or slender, tall or petite, the perfect dress is out there – a dress that not only fits your body but celebrates the essence of who you are.



5 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing these tips, I also never really used to wear dresses but now that I’m in my 40’s I have just fallen in love with wearing maxi dresses! I’ve also bought a few from Superbalist and they are stunning, I love that Superbalist has a fit finder feature on their website making it super easy to find my size without having to measure. Amazon also has a lovely range of dresses, I bought a few from them last year. I’m now waiting for Amazon to open in South Africa, I hear its happening in 2024 🙂 Very excited. Have you ever bought from Shein? I’ve heard so many people raving about them but never tried them.
    Lynne Huysamen recently posted…A Busy Parent’s Guide To Choosing A Durable And Stylish Work BagMy Profile

  2. OOh! I need these tips. I always struggle to choose the right dress for me. This is very helpful, thanks for sharing.

  3. I like to wear dresses but I haven’t worn them since padded shoulders were in style, lol. It’s time for me to revisit dresses, I do believe. Headed over to Superbalist to take a look.

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