A Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Party Dress For Your Body Type

Liz Doupnik
A Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Party Dress For Your Body Type
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From office shindigs to slightly more elegant affairs, our calendars are filling up fast with holiday (and pre-holiday!) parties. While we’re looking forward to the festive fun, we’re facing the inevitable question: What to wear?

Of course, we all want to look as chic as possible at any fete, but we also want to feel comfortable in clothes that both dazzle and flatter. When it comes to shopping for the perfect holiday look, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and grab the nearest dress that’s either the trendiest, the most affordable, or the most basic without considering how it’ll really fit your shape. And while you may be drawn to specific silhouettes, it might be worth your while to take a moment to consider if they’re truly accentuating your very best features.

For example, if you’re drawn to stylish calf-legnth dresses, but you barely clear five feet, you may want to think about hiking that hemline up a few inches to elongate your frame (and highlight those legs!). That’s just one piece of advice you’ll find here, so read on to discover the best dress silhouettes for your particular body shape — from beanpole to bodacious—to look and feel your best this holiday season.

Read on to learn which dress styles will accentuate your best features and where to buy them now!

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Approach your holiday festivities in the best shape possible—literally.
Read on to get the scoop on what type of dress silhouette will flatter
your figure best this season, and where to buy 'em now! 


Your Body: Under 5'3" and small-boned

Your Dress:
Opt for a body-conscious style with peplum detail. The emphasis on your
hips will give the illusion of slightly more voluptuous curves, while
still highlighting your legs and arms.

Dress, $34.95; at H&M

Sequin Peplum Dress, $130; at Topshop

Peplum Dress, $69.90; at Zara

Tibi Lace-Appliquéd Twill Dress, $495; at Net-A-Porter

DKNY Metallic Floral Lace Peplum Dress, $480; at StyleBop

Make The Sky Blush Dress, $125; at Nasty Gal


Your Body: Your shoulders and and hips are about the same size, and your waistline is defined.

Your Dress:
Fit 'n' flare dresses are your BFF. Accentuate that waistline with
numbers that cinch in above your belly-button and have fluttery feminine

Oasis Baroque Jacquard Dress, $131.93; at Asos

T by Alexander Wang Sleeveless Neoprene Inverted Pleat Dress, $325; at Opening Ceremony

Chrysanthemum Tea Dress, $198; at Anthropologie

Sparkle & Fade Carved Shoulder Metallic Circle Dress, $39; at Urban Outfitters

Alice + Olivia Lace Dress, $495; at Shopbop

Brocade Fit 'n' Flare Dress, $295; at Erin Erin Fetherston


Your Body: Narrow on top, wider at the waist and through the legs

Your Dress:
Empire-waist styles will emphasize your petite top half, while cleverly
hiding anything you don't want seen from the stomach down.

Rare Embellished Waist Dress, $61.57; at Asos

BB Dakota Olsen Sequin Pleated Dress, $88; at Revolve Clothing

BCBGMAXAZRIA Sequin Dress, $351; at Bloomingdale's

David Meister Salon Z Empire-Waist Floor-Length Gown, $383; at Saks Fifth Avenue

Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Jersey Dress Empire-Gathered, $295; at Bloomingdale's

Taryn Dress in Silk Chiffon, $59.99; at J.Crew


Your Body: Super-slim, straight up and down

Your Dress: Draped, gathered and ruched styles with Grecian influences give a curvier impression at the waist and the bust.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Boudicca Metallic Stretch Jersey Dress, $340; at Net-A-Porter

Alexander Wang Draped Crepe Dress $222.75; at the Outnet

Wyatt Slate Green Jersey Asymmetrical Drape Dress, $62.99; at Bluefly

MM Couture Gold Tank Dress, $89; at Piperlime

Vera Wang Lavender Label V-Neck Chiffon Drape Dress, $230; at Zappos

Lanvin Draped Belted Crepe-Jersey Dress, $872; at the Outnet


Your Body: Full-figured with serious curves.

Your Dress:
If you're not totally into the the idea of a short dress, and feel like
a maxi might be too much fabric for your frame, try styles that have
uneven hemlines. Those that are slightly higher in the front are a great
way to camouflage any trouble areas while infusing offering some style
and structure.

Chiffon Dip Hem Dress, $84; at Topshop

Asos Curve Chiffon Dress With Gathered Skirt, $67.72; at Asos

Ecote Black Magic Dress, $79; at Urban Outfitters

Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent Python Print Cap Sleeve Dress, $398; at Barneys

Ella Moss Bella Slub High-Low Dress, $228; at Neiman Marcus

Wrapper Women's Plus Size High-Low Jersey Dress, $44; at Amazon


Your Body: Extra-tall with crazy-long legs

Your Dress: While
shorter gals could look frumpy in midi-length and below-the-knee
hemlines, these styles suit your leggy frame to a T. Here, we found some
super-chic and extra-playful options.

Mara Hoffman Fitted Keyhole Dress, $275; at Nordstrom

Meadow Print Tassel Midi Dress, $130; at Topshop

Two Tone Dress, $65; at LnA Clothing

Cut-Out Collar Dress, $135; at Opening Ceremony

Marc by Marc Jacobs Zora Striped Midi Dress, $274; at Bergdorf Goodman

Accordian Midi Dress, $138; at Anthropologie


Your Body: Slim through the hips and legs, broader on the top. You're a dame!

Your Dress:
Long-sleeves are not only elegant, they're super flattering when it
comes to your shape. Classic wrap-dresses draw the eye downward while
the sleeves balance out your shoulders and chest area.

Alice + Olivia Emmie Belted Wool Wrap Dress, $484; at Saks Fifth Avenue

Fosette Dress, $262.50; at Diane von Furstenberg

Skater Dress With Ballet Wrap and 3/4 Sleeve, $43.98; at Asos

Parker Wrap Dress, $217.99; at Zappos

Maje Slow Crepe Wrap-Effect Dress, $375; at Net-A-Porter

MICHAEL Michael Kors Ruched Hardware Wrap Dress, $120; at Macy's

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