Style is nothing without fit so choosing a perfect dress to complement your figure is important for looking great and feeling confident. Knowing your basic body shape will help you find flattering dresses that accentuate your features. Now that summer has arrived, it’s the perfect excuse to discover beautiful dresses for those summer days and evening soirees.

Take a look at our body shapes guide to help you pick the most flattering dresses to suit your silhouette.

Hourglass silhouette

If you have a fuller bust, rounded bottom and hips, and a small waist, you have the characteristics of an hourglass shape. For ladies that have this figure, experiment with a flattering dresses that contour your shape yet avoid bulk around your curves.

flattering dresses for every shape

To create a visual balance in your outfit:

  • Opt for a V-neck or scooping necklines
  • Try bold and block colours for contouring
  • Accentuate your waist with nipped in or belted styles
  • Avoid fussy styles, dropped sleeve lines and high necklines

Apple shapes

For ladies that have fullness around the middle, great legs and a rounder shoulder line, you have the characteristics of an apple shape. To style your shape, contour your bodyline and avoid detail around the tummy and hips.

flattering dresses for every shape

To create a visual balance in your look:

  • Opt for V-neck dresses to accentuate your chest area
  • Choose wrap dresses which are great for skimming waist and balancing shoulders
  • Wear a statement pendant offering a focal point
  • Avoid wearing belts and dresses above knee length

Pear silhouette

Full hip and thighs, a defined waist and smaller shoulders and bust area often outline this common shape. A great way to accentuate your features and balance your top and bottom half is to create broader shoulders.

flattering dresses for every shape

To create a visual balance with flattering dresses, try:

  • A-line skirts with volume at the hemline
  • Wrap dresses to balance your figure
  • Cap sleeve detailing to focus on shoulder area
  • Opt for V-necklines to accentuate chest area
  • Avoid dropped waistline, flared or ruffled sleeve lines and straight dress styles

Athletic or rectangle shapes

For ladies with an athletic shape, your figure may showcase a straight shoulder line, little waist definition and straight hip and bottom area. If you’d like definition in your silhouette, creating the illusion of curves is a great way to achieve a fantastic look.

flattering dresses for every shape

Create a visual balance with your style by:

  • Adding volume to your outfit with focal points
  • Experiment with prints and colour blocking
  • Wear waist clinching belts to emphasis figure
  • Avoid long, straight dress styles and shift dresses with square necklines

The attire rules that a wedding guest has to abide by are perfectly simple 1) Don’t make it white, and 2) No outshining the bride. Two wedding guest dress rules that are so universal, they might as well come printed on the invitation. The first rule is easy to follow but there is something about number two that makes us rule-breakers. Maybe, it’s because daily life doesn’t offer enough fancy occasions to don heels and a frock. Whatever the reason, the struggle against the temptation to go big is real. This is why we are here to remind you that it’s still possible to be totally on form, while still making sure the bride shines the most.

Wedding Guest Dress Rules To Live By. . .

With our advice, you won’t get accused of thunder-stealing, but you will make a statement. Here are the ultimate things to consider when shopping for unusual guest wedding dresses:

Keep in mind: Florals

Wedding Guest Dress

Florals are always a formal go-to, which means it’s easy to fall out of love with them as they seem to be on a continual loop. Fact is, if you turn up in the same ditsy print dress as a fellow wedding guest, it’s going to be noticed. It’s unfortunate, as there is a place for a floral print at a wedding but the print has to be current, with an on-trend twist. Think of orchids, palm leaves, oversized prints and whimsical additions like peacock feathers and foliage.

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Keep in mind: Length and colour

Wedding Guest Dress

Whether you are shopping for a summer wedding guest dress, autumn or winter, remember that the time and location of the wedding will influence both the colour and length of the dress. More often than not, an evening-do requires a maxi-length and can lend itself much better to colour (like jewel shades) than a day-time wedding. Wearing too solid a colour during the day is distracting in photographs (ditto for too sombre black). However, that doesn’t mean you have to shroud yourself in pastels!  Instead of swaying to a deep colour pallet, look more at the chalk and dusty shades. These shades are famed for not washing out the skin tone but still letting you shine.

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Keep in mind: Pastels

Wedding guest dress We did just slay pastel shades but let us back up and say that they do have a time and place for weddings. If you are a romantic soul by nature, then it’s befitting that you might wear pastels. Or, if you are sporting a beautiful holiday tan, then seek out pastels to emphasis it – just be strategic and avoid shapes which might stand to get you confused as a bridesmaid.

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Keep in mind: It Doesn’t Have To Be A Dress

The minute that the wedding invitation arrives, almost all female wedding guests begin dreaming of dresses. Why not let yourself stand out from the wedding crowd by shopping from coordinates and one-pieces? Just take note that even if your abs are totally beach ready, a wedding is probably not the time to flaunt it – forgo the crop-top and don a jumpsuit!

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It’s true, as a guest the wedding day isn’t about you – but we think it’s fine to want to shine! Think classy and chic, and you’ll go a long way to looking (appropriately) fabulous in your wedding guest dress (or jumpsuit!).