Dresses for Body Types: Embrace Your Features

Whether you are looking for a casual party dress or the best wedding dress for you, it’s important to understand how to embrace your natural features.

There are five main different body types. While you should keep in mind that no body type is better than the others, you’ll want to dress for your body shape to make the most impact with your style.

Our guide is designed to give you an overview of the different body types out there and the variety of dresses for body shapes that might suit your needs.

Dresses for Body Shapes: Understanding the Difference

As we mentioned above, there are five main body shapes – don’t worry if you don’t fit exactly into these shapes, you might have a combination of features. Simply pick the shape that is closest to your body. The main body types are:

  • Hourglass
  • Pear (also called triangle)
  • Apple
  • Athletic (also called rectangular)
  • Inverted Triangle

Each of these shapes can be flattered by a specific type of dress or style of clothing. We go into more detail below.


Hourglass shapes are defined by hips and shoulders that are equal in width with a smaller waist.

Dresses that are most flattering for this body shape include deep V-necklines, more form-fitting dresses, and dresses with embellishments such as belts around the waist. Oversized, baggy, and shapeless dresses should be avoided.


Pear-shaped body types typically have a smaller upper body and larger hips; their shoulders will be narrower than their hip width.

With this body type, it’s important to accentuate the top half of the figure with more details in the bust area of the dress or a strapless neckline.


Apple body shapes have smaller midsections and slim hips; they may also have wider shoulders, but the waist lacks definition.

Dresses that flatter this body type include shorter dresses that highlight the legs, or dresses with embellishments around the middle to give the waist more definition. Tghter skirts with loose-fitting tops are another option that will balance out the silhouette.


Athletic or rectangular figures have less definition around the waist, and the shoulders and hips are fairly even in width.

Dresses that flare out to give the bottom half of the body more definition and those that have intricate or embellished necklines are the best options for this body type.

Inverted Triangle

The inverted triangle body shape has broader shoulders and a top half that is larger in width than the bottom half.

Dresses that accentuate the bottom half of the body such as full ballgowns and longer A-line skirts will help create more definition in the waist and hips. Stay away from necklines that draw too much attention to the bust or shoulders to ensure your silhouette stays balanced.

Best Dresses for Each Body Type

Below, we give some examples of dresses that perfectly suit each different body type.

Little Black Dress for All

Style 54827 black is the perfect LBD for adding some sparkles!

The little black dress is flattering for most body types, depending on the style of dress.

Individuals with apple body shapes should aim for a shorter little black dress. Those with pear shapes or athletic features should search for a style with an interesting neckline or embellishments. Hourglass figures will benefit from a clingier figure-hugging dress, and inverted triangle body shapes will look their best in a full A-line skirt.

Full Ball Gown Glamour for Inverted Triangle

Style 54806 is the modern cinderella ball gown in Periwinkle.

Accentuating your bottom half with a ball gown and staying away from unique neckline details help to make an inverted triangle silhouette more balanced.

Off-the-Shoulder Style for Pear

Style 54206 is the perfect off-the-shoulder dress.

Lots of details in the bust area or a unique neckline help to balance out the figure of pear-shaped bodies and draw attention to the bust line.

Watercolor Print for Athletic

Watercolor prints – styles 54270, 54290, 54319.

Ruffles, embellishments, and soft, romantic prints (like watercolor or floral options) are a great way to enhance natural athletic features and give your figure more of a rounded shape.

Short and Sweet for Apple

Style 54405 in Candy Pink is short, fun, and flirty.

Dresses that show off the legs and those with embellishments such as belts and ribbons that highlight the waist are perfect for apple body types.

Figure Hugging Style for Hourglass

Style 54419 in light Blue.

Whether you’re tall and slender or shorter and replete with those woIndividuals with hourglass figures will love figure-hugging styles that show off their waist and cling to natural curves.

Confidently Embrace Your Natural Features

Sherri Hill Body Type

When it comes to dressing for your body type, it can be confusing to narrow down which styles best accentuate your natural features and give you the most flattering silhouette.

Keep our guide for dressing for body shapes in mind while looking for your next outfit, but also remember your own comfort. Make note that whichever style lets you feel your most confident is going to be the one that you look greatest in, regardless of whether or not it is traditionally suited to your body type.