There's nothing better than a successful shopping trip. However, these expeditions can turn in to a nightmare when everything fits wrong, or just looks wrong. Looking for a dress can be especially confusing. It's helpful to know a few basic dress styles and which style looks best on your figure. When you have this info, your trip to the mall, department store, or even online will go a lot smoother.
The first thing you need to figure out is your body type. This article is a great way to get a good idea. http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Perfect-Black-Dress After you know your body type, knowing the basic dress styles can help you identify which style will be the best look for you and how to wear that particular style. No matter what body type you have, you can find the perfect dress for you and look gorgeous! Now who doesn't want that y'all?
Column/Sheath - Form fitting dresses that are generally solid colors or one pattern with little or no embellishments. They can be any length, but typically hit at the thigh or knee.
Body Types - These dresses are great for hour glass figures. They highlight all the best features of the hour glass perfectly. They can also be great for pear shaped figures. The trick for this figure would be to balance the top with the bottom. You can do this by adding a wrap, or short cardigan to the top. Also look for two toned column and sheath dresses with a lighter color on the top. The ruler figure could get away with the same rules as the pear shaped figure, but would look even better with a different dress style.
Wrap Dress- The Wrap dress is a dress that wraps around the body and ties at the side. The neckline is universally flattering as it is always a V.
Body Types - This dress is great on ALL body types if you know what to look for. Hour glass figures need to find wrap dresses with a natural waist line. This accents the small waist and curves of this figure type. Pear and Apple Shaped women should look for wrap dresses with more of an empire waist line (right under the bust) with a skirt that flows out from the waist to minimize the hips and rear. Ruler figures look great when the dress has emphasizing details at the top (like flutter or slightly puffed sleeves) and also a flowing skirt.
Maxi Dress- A long flowing dress with an empire waistline. These dresses have become extremely popular lately. They are comfortable and very feminine.
Body Types - This dress can look fairly good on all body types, but was made for the ruler figure. This accentuates the long willowy figure of the ruler type. Apple and pear figures should find a dress that hits at they're smallest point and flow generously outward. Hour glass figures can wear this dress well, but it does little to highlight their shape and can add a few pounds if the fabric is too flowy. Hour glasses should look for dresses in this style that have skirts fitting closer to their silhouette.
Baby Doll Dress
Baby Doll Dress - This is a very trendy style at the moment. Baby doll dresses are cute, and generally less formal. Most of these dresses have short or cap sleeves. They can be paired with a cute short 3/4 sleeve sweater if you are self conscious of your arms. This style is definitely younger though. Those that are 40+ should proceed with caution!
Body Type - Another dress that can be worn by all body types, with the right waist and hem line. Apple figures should look for an empire waistline with a flowing skirt. The hem should fall right below the knee. Pear figures need to look for baby doll dresses with embellishment at the top. Ruching across the bust would be perfect. The hem line should also fall right at or below the knee. Hour glass figures should find waistlines that hit at the natural waist. They can get away with a shorter hemline. Ruler figures would also look fab in this dress. Look for detail at top. The waist and hemline aren't as strict for this figure. Going too short however will make you seem younger in this style for any of the body types.
Suit Dress - A suit dress is a dress with matching jacket. They are great for the work place, but can also be beautiful at a wedding, graduation, or luncheon.
Body Type - Any body type can look great in suit dress. The best body for this style is the Apple figure. Look for suit dresses that have a jacket with at least three buttons. The jacket should be very structured and come in at the waist. Stay away for anything too boxy. Pear figures would look awesome when the jacket is short and fitted. This can also be great for rulers that want to add a little bulk. Look for jackets that come in at the natural waist line and fit close to the body. Hour glass figuresshould avoid suits with long or boxy jackets. They can totally over whelm this figure. Close fitting suits with shorter jackets are also a good choice for you.
Empire Dress - An Empire dress has an empire waist line and then flows close to the body and generally down to the ankles or floor. However, there are many variations of this style with shorter hemlines.
Body Types - This is a good style for ruler and pear shaped figures. Both should look for dresses with embellishment on the top. Pear shapes need to make sure the fabric isn't too tight across the hips. Apple and hour glass figures might look for a different style. Hour glass figures could get away with this style if the dress stays close down the waistline.
Shift Dress - A shift dress can also be called a Trapeze dress. These dresses fit tight across the shoulder and the top of the bust and then fall shapeless to the hem. They can also be called tent dresses. It was made popular in the 60s and again has recently become a hot trend.
Body Types - This dress is another great option for the apple figure. The flowing fabric is wonderfully forgiving. Pear shapes can also wear this shape well. Both of these figures should try to find hems at the knee. This could possibly be a good choice for the ruler figure if the fabric isn't too flowy and fits right next to the body. If hour glass figures decides to give this fad a try, they will need to find a thick belt for right at the waist. This style would be extremely overwhelming for any figure that is petite however.
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MissE (author) from Texas on November 26, 2014:
Thank YOU! :)
grace on July 05, 2013:
Ariel on December 02, 2012:
I love your taste in dresses. You may be interested in http://pearlposh.com , they offer a variety of dresses for low prices and free shipping.
Esther Strong from UK on August 18, 2012:
Great advice here - my issue is that I tend to forget (wishful thinking) that I no longer have the shape/size I had when in my late teens/early twenties.
I knew what suited me then and now have a tendency to want to wear the things that would have suited me at that time. I used to be able to just look at an item in a shop and know whether or not it would flatter me, but now I have to actually try every thing on to check!
aries guzago on April 02, 2012:
nice dresses i like all... im a dress maker here in philippines...
basic-wear on March 17, 2012:
Its a great hub and lots of information you have provided in your hub. This information so useful. A shift dress can also be called a Trapeze dress. These dresses fit tight across the shoulder and the top of the bust and then fall shapeless to the hem.
MissE (author) from Texas on March 03, 2012:
Thank you very much!!
MissE (author) from Texas on February 27, 2012:
southernadver from SC, USA on February 27, 2012:
very elegant dress!Nice hub!
MissE (author) from Texas on February 21, 2012:
I agree with the article I mentioned. If it's really full and floats away from you I think it looks good. Some maxi dresses fit right next to your body and those are the ones that will make you look a little more squat. :) I'm pretty short and really, I've come to the realization that unless I'm wearing my high heels or boots, most people will just see me as short anyway. :D I think most maxis are cute regardless of your height. Go for it! Just stay away from really big prints if your petite.
Judy on February 20, 2012:
Ooopsy, actually I think I'm more average than full figured. But definitely short. I bought a maxi dress but now can't decide if I should shortened the hemline so I could look taller rather than shorter. Some websites say it's fine for short girls to wear maxis but some say don't. So I'm confused. What do you think?
MissE (author) from Texas on February 20, 2012:
I was just reading an article about maxi skirts and dresses the other day and it gave some great advice. It said that shorter women should wear fuller shirts if they want to go for the maxi trend. If you consider yourself full figured I wouldn't recommend any hems higher than the knee....actually I don't really like high hem lines on anyone over the age of 5.....but that's just me. :D
Judy on February 20, 2012:
Thanks a lot. I have one question though. I'm kinda short with a full figure. Will maxis look good on me or should I go for a hem that's slightly higher? But how much higher is my dilemma. Appreciate your thoughts please.
MissE (author) from Texas on January 14, 2012:
Thank YOU! :)
Diana Mendes on January 13, 2012:
Great Hub. Liked the information. Voted up & useful. Thanks for sharing.
MissE (author) from Texas on December 19, 2011:
Thanks! The main thing I've learned about fit is that I have to go shopping when I have the time to really try everything on. Women sizes are all over the place.
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on December 17, 2011:
what a great HUB.. so many times I have went to get a dress and left because I got so frustrated that things did not fit right.. Very useful.. I voted up of course..
MissE (author) from Texas on November 29, 2011:
Oh my goodness! You pick out their dresses?! Someone give this man a Father of the Year Award! :) I'm glad it was useful to you.
JH on November 29, 2011:
As a single father of 2 girls - I found this an invaluable resource to help me pick out dresses for my daughters.
kellymom1970 on October 30, 2011:
MissE,what a wonderful hub. I love wearing dresses and skirts. Thanks
MissE (author) from Texas on October 17, 2011:
Thanks! Good luck with the shopping. I hope your DIL2B picked some good colors to work with as well! :)
Debbie Carey from Riverton, KS, USA on October 17, 2011:
good hub! I will use this information while shopping for my Mother of the Groom dress! Thanks, voted up, useful and interesting!
MissE (author) from Texas on September 24, 2011:
Hi Lee! I researched a lot online and in fashion mags. My favorite one is In Style. Thanks! :)
Lee on September 23, 2011:
Your Hub is very helpful to me, im in garment retail business, most of my stocks are ladies dresses and blouses. I wanted to get familiar with these dresses, and be able to help my customer find the dress suiting for them. Can you send me more info on this please? You say ur an LDS? I am too.
MissE (author) from Texas on August 30, 2011:
Thanks! I love dresses when the occasion calls for one, but I don't wear them for kicks. Maybe if I had a really comfy one.... It is sad when someone avoids wearing one because the think they can't though. Everyone can look good in the right dress!
Katya Drake from Wisconsin on August 29, 2011:
Great hub, so much fun. I love dresses and so many women avoid them now. I think if they read your article and follow your advice that will change!
hellotwo on July 28, 2011:
Fashion changes in wedding, you can easily find that a kind of things like wedding dresses in TOPB2C ,which is popular today but next day, for those people who have great interests in wedding apparel, They have to pay much attention to the fashion trends of wedding accessories, wedding party dresses, bridesmaid dresses,flower girl dressesand even the Maternity Wedding Dresses. Believe me, in TOPB2C you can always find the one you like best. People speak highly of this kind of clothing. If you choose it, you can see what a wise choice you have made.
rosarionet on July 02, 2011:
You present a lot helpful ideas! Perhaps I should think of trying to do this myself.
louisvuitton outlet box on June 29, 2011:
Pineapplege on June 09, 2011:
This is great helpful. I can buy a prom dress which best suits me best according to my body type.
MissE (author) from Texas on May 19, 2011:
brennawelker on May 18, 2011:
Thanks for the basic, Great job.
MissE (author) from Texas on May 04, 2011:
Don't we all?! ;)
graceomalley on May 03, 2011:
Lovely wedding dresses. I've been happily married for 20 years, but i still like to look at wedding dresses.
MissE (author) from Texas on March 27, 2011:
Hmmmm.....I have not. I will have to look that up! Thanks!
fabgirl21 on March 26, 2011:
Good Hub! Thanks! I just recently bought a very cute evening dress from Jovani. Have you heard of them?
MissE (author) from Texas on February 17, 2011:
What dress?! Was it hand wash or dry clean only?
Elizabeth on February 16, 2011:
:(( but the dress was pretty
Elizabeth on February 16, 2011:
ooommmgggg!! totally hate it because my dress got torn the next day by washing it.and it was the only thing i had washed
MissE (author) from Texas on February 09, 2011:
Ellarose92 on February 08, 2011:
wow this was a really good helb, and i love all the dresses in the pictures!! i'm defintely bookmarking this thank you!
MissE (author) from Texas on February 05, 2011:
Thanks! Yeah, it really can make all the difference in the world!
QHuman from Ontario, Canada on February 02, 2011:
This is super helpful. Knowing your body shape really does help with buying the best looking clothing for your body.
MissE (author) from Texas on January 13, 2011:
mysisters on January 12, 2011:
This is a great Hub. There is a dress for every body type, you just have to know which one works best for you. Your article has great information for people to figure that out.
MissE (author) from Texas on December 30, 2010:
True, but the good thing about a shift dress is you can belt it or pair it with a cardie and totally make it work! :D
Yena Williams from California on December 30, 2010:
I love shift dresses! They aren't for my "body type" but sometimes, you can't help what you love!
MissE (author) from Texas on December 26, 2010:
Thanks! I like dresses, but I wouldn't want to wear one everyday. Hooray for jeans!!! Maybe that will be one of my next hubs. :D
princess_31 from Egypt on December 26, 2010:
Nice hub. I like the way you have posted so many picture of dresses into this hub.
MissE (author) from Texas on December 23, 2010:
Thanks so much!
NikitaButalia on December 20, 2010:
The information you've provided is really helpful. Especially for somebody whose out to buy a dress, and doesn't know what to look for.
T'is great! :)
MissE (author) from Texas on December 03, 2010:
Which ones? :)
misstr on December 03, 2010:
Most liked the red and blue dress.
MissE (author) from Texas on November 21, 2010:
AutumnLockwood from Northern California on November 21, 2010:
Great hub. One of the best I've read.
MissE (author) from Texas on November 11, 2010:
Moons on November 10, 2010:
Great hub. :)
IdeaMorphist from Chicagoland on November 10, 2010:
So well described! Things Ive known from working in Bridal, but not so sure I could have described it as well at all!
MissE (author) from Texas on November 05, 2010:
So true. Some of it is way over the top! I mean, who really thinks fur is going to be BIG this winter? Some of it catches on on the real world level, some of it really doesn't. Don't be a slave to trend. Dress for your shape and your taste.
lifelongseo on November 05, 2010:
I like those designers, but some designers out there really need
to get back to a real fashion sence of what people really wear and can afford.
MissE (author) from Texas on June 04, 2010:
couponalbum from Sunnyvale, CA on June 03, 2010:
Nice Hub MissE. I have put your hub's link in my hub and joined your community too. I would also like to invite you to join my community. Looking forward for your comments or emails.
MissE (author) from Texas on May 12, 2010:
Isn't it gorgeous! So flattering too.
brandyBachmann on May 10, 2010:
i love the column wedding dress that flares down at the bottom. nice hub!
MissE (author) from Texas on May 07, 2010:
home-works from Wyoming on May 07, 2010:
Thanks for the tips!! Can't wait to go shopping.
MissE (author) from Texas on March 28, 2010:
Awesome! Everyone, tell me if you find anything cute! I found a purple belted column dress at The Limited on Clearance for $49.99. It's so pretty!
Donna W on March 26, 2010:
My daughter and I loved this Hub!
MissE (author) from Texas on March 26, 2010:
Thanks! There are a ton of cute dresses out there this spring. I hope everyone finds one! :)
VeggieJenn on March 25, 2010:
Great hub and nice visuals to go with it!
MissE (author) from Texas on March 17, 2010:
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
cameciob on March 16, 2010:
Hi MissE. This is a great hub, I learned a lot. Everybody shopping for a dress should read your article. I discovered that I am a ruler. Thanks.
MissE (author) from Texas on February 01, 2010:
Thank you for your comments!
Mana on February 01, 2010:
I enjoyed your blog. The dresses are all very nice. Thanks
MissE (author) from Texas on January 24, 2010:
Cheri Taylor from New York, NY on January 24, 2010:
Nice hub i got lots of info needed thanks