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
Follow:

Jersey is a fabulous material; it’s comfortable, flattering and, above all, versatile. At first glance jersey’s tight-fitting properties may make it a daunting prospect but in reality the seemingly clingy fabric can flatter women of all shapes and sizes. Various brands and fashion designers have used jersey in their designs but few would call themselves ‘jersey specialists’ yet British brand CeMe London do claim to be just that. Their contemporary, creations are all made using soft, pliable jersey making them incredibly easy to wear and could comfortably fit into the wardrobe of any modern woman. Jersey allows CeMe to make form fitting, flattering clothing; CeMe’s dresses are designed to make women not only feel feminine but look it too. To celebrate this wonder material, and CeMe’s stylish designs, we thought we’d give a quick round up of the jersey specialists’ best pieces.

The little black dress is a wardrobe staple and jersey makes an ideal LBD fabric; CeMe make some truly attractive LBDs. This particular black dress is modern but elegant, modest and wearable but also flattering and feminine. This is a dress you could wear to the office, the bar or even to a special event.

Jersey is also very good for draping as this stylish grey dress proves. CeMe use draping in quite a few of their designs and this technique helps to flatter the body without drawing attention to unwanted lumps and bumps. With its trendy cowl neckline this dress would look great simply teamed with a killer pair of heels.

Many of CeMe’s designs come in simple block colours and many of us often think of Jersey in terms of plain, classic colours. CeMe, however, also use bright, modern prints in some of their dresses; this not only adds interest but also presents a contemporary take on jersey-based design. This appealing print dress has a classic silhouette, like many of CeMe’s jersey designs, but its abstract up-to-date print gives it a decidedly modern air. This is a dress you could wear with a leather jacket or a blazer, to work or on the weekend; in short this is a versatile, contemporary dress.

The occasional print aside, CeMe’s designs may seem a bit minimal at times but that’s not to say they couldn’t cause a stir. This white asymmetric dress may look simple yet it’s also incredibly glamorous. This is a dress that flatters you in all the right places; really it needs only a pair of heels and the right accessories and it’ll be ready to hit the town. This is a dress that proves that less really is more and that’s the wonder of jersey; with this wearable yet figure hugging fabric even the simplest designs become extraordinary.

Hannah Balsdon

 

Follow:

Like the classic shift and the sexy sheath the wrap dress is iconic style that everywoman should have in her wardrobe. A wrap dress is flattering, feminine and easy to wear; this simple form flattering style can be worn by women of all shapes and sizes making it a modern classic. Over the decades there have been many different versions of the conventional wrap dress but some designers use traditional wrap-dress shape to create unique, new styles. This approach allows designers to utilise the flattering ‘wrap’ silhouette and tweak it to suit their own aesthetic and vision. One such designer using the ‘wrap’ to create stylish pieces is Katya Wildman. Katya’s brand, Bombshell, is known for producing sensuous figure hugging dresses and, as such, the brand’s designs often feature a ‘wrap’ style shape. It’s very hard to resist Bombshell’s sexy designs and their sarong/wrap style dresses are particularly desirable. As such we thought we’d give you a quick round up of some of our favourites…

This sensuous red dress looks fit for a 1950s screen siren; it combines an enticing red print with a warp dress style profile. This is a dress that was just made for hourglass figures and, these days, very few clothes are. Yet for all its sensual glamour this is a versatile little red dress that could take you from office to bar.

Sticking more closely the tried and tested traditional wrap dress this dress has all the style of the original iconic piece but with a twist. The dress has a concealed zip on the front which allows the wear to bare as much or as little flesh as they like. In essence here is a dress that possesses both the professionalism and free spirited sexiness that everyone remembers from the wrap dresses of the 1970s. Bombshell have just brought the 70s dress up to date and added an extra dose of sensuality.

Wrap dresses aren’t just for daywear, the style’s sexy silhouette works equally as well at night too. Bombshell’s elegant evening dresses, like the brand’s daywear, also draw on the ‘wrap’ shape. This feminine and ladylike little number uses a wrap outline to subtly flatter the female form. Like all of Bombshell’s designs this dress is sexy but here the sexuality is muted and restrained making this a dress fit for even the most sophisticated events.

Hannah Balsdon

Follow:

Based in the South West of England family owned brand Lily and Me combine beautiful textile design with considered detailing to create unique, stylish clothing. The brand’s dresses are delightfully feminine but also wearable and even functional; these are clothes that would fit into many a contemporary wardrobe. Lily and Me’s designs strike a perfect balance between the quirky and the accessible making them easy to wear but also unique. This is clothing with heart and a distinctly laid back, British feel with Lily and Me’s dresses looking as stylish in the countryside as they do in city.

Lily and Me’s pieces may be feminine and even pretty in places but they are also refreshingly fuss-free. These are dresses and tunics designed to be worn on a daily basis; this is clothing that can be thrown on over jeans or leggings or layered up under cosy knits. The brand uses clever design and inventive nips, tucks and stitching to create flattering silhouettes that really celebrate the female form without being too showy or immodest. This season the label uses features such as draping and cowl necks to give their pieces a pretty but flattering feel.  The result is dresses and tunics that look completely different to what you generally see on the high street and yet that would make a great addition to any contemporary wardrobe. Lily and Me’s relaxed aesthetic is further enhanced by their use of unique prints and a calming colour palette; these are clothes that, paradoxically, manage to be interesting and unassuming at the same time.

Unfussy but interesting, wearable but quirky Lily and Me’s designs are ideal for the woman in search of something different but accessible. This is a brand with a unique style but also an understanding of the female form. In essence these are cute, stylish clothes that would suit women of all shapes and sizes.

Hannah Balsdon

Follow:

London based fashion label Rumour are committed to creating wearable but stylish clothing for the modern, professional woman. Coco Chanel once said “dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”. Rumour takes this advice to heart and focuses on designing dresses that ensure that the wearer will make just the right impression. As a result the brand’s pieces are contemporary, stylish and effortlessly feminine. Rumour works closely with suppliers to source the very best materials and also seeks out the best manufacturers to give their clothes a high end finish. These are, in essence, clothes fit for hardworking, discerning women; women who value quality as much as style and are willing to invest smart, attractive clothing.

Rumour’s dresses flatter the female form and yet are perfectly suited to a professional office environment. These are dresses that combine contemporary smartness with classic figure hugging silhouettes.  Rumour’s eye catching designs make you feel like a woman but additionally possess a neat elegance that makes them ideal for the modern workplace; essentially this is power dressing for the 21st century.  Yet for all the label’s formality and professionalism Rumour pieces also have a individuality that sets them apart from other office wear. Idiosyncratic prints and modish styling all make for clothing that is distinct and unique without being too over the top. These are dresses with their own personality that somehow manage to be flattering and functional as well.

Office wear can often be a bit dull, unattractive or unfeminine but Rumour actually produce clothing that is fit for a professional setting but also perfectly desirable in its own right. In short this is clothing that any hardworking but style conscious woman can wear with pride and, for many women, such a prospect must seem pretty irresistible.

Hannah Balsdon

Follow: