Now that you’ve finished all of your holiday shopping–(okay, maybe not), the time has come to find the perfect holiday dress for you. What sounds like a simple task can turn into quite the production: Will Grandma think you look slutty in spaghetti straps? Will the fabric withstand tugs from your 3-year-old cousin? And perhaps most importantly, will you look hot enough at your friend’s Christmas party to make your ex-boyfriend cry with regret that he dumped you? Well, we hope so (on the last one), but unfortunately we can’t answer that for you.
We can, however, help you out in one important area–finding a dress that flatters your figure so that you look your best, even after downing that third helping of pecan pie. Trust us, if you’re feeling good about yourself and what you’re wearing, the rest of the night will follow suit. Follow our lead in finding the perfect holiday frock depending on your body type below:
1. If you are busty: Clu Black Sleeveless Dress, $299, atlagarconne.com, or Carlos Miele Purple Padded Cap Sleeve Dress, at carlosmiele.com.
If you’ve got a lot goin’ on up there, be proud, but don’t let it all hang out. Find a dress with support that still provides some sensuality. A v-neck cut is perfect (as long as it’s not too low) as it lets you flaunt your curves while still providing the right amount of shape. The cut will help with proportions so that your bust looks as symmetrical as possible.This black sleeveless Clu dress is perfect for a more formal gathering, while the embellished shoulders on this Carlos Miele frock add a touch more excitement for a fun holiday fete.
2. If you are “apple” shaped: Dallin Chase Black Herringbone Babydoll Dress, at dallinchase.com, or Guishem Black and Gold One Shoulder Dress, at stylecaster.com.
Apple body shapes can vary, but they typically store most of the weight around the middle–whether that be in the chest, waist, abdomen, or all. Your legs and arms aren’t usually your problem areas, so you’ll want to flaunt your limbs while playing down your heavier assets. This Dallin Chase babydoll dress is great for women with apple figures who aren’t overly busty. The empire waist and flowy skirt will conceal any extra baggage you’ve got around the middle. The structural ruffles on this gorgeous Guishem cocktail dress will also help distract from your mid section, and the thicker one-shoulder strap will provide plenty of support for more busty gals.
Lucky for you, being petite provides a wider selection of shapes for your choosing. The biggest no-no is to not go too long. Trust us, you want to wear your dress, not have it wear you. Since almost anything looks good on petite figures, you can go the experimental route with a dress like this one-sleeved asymmetrical LBD. Or, for a more classic holiday party wear a festive minidress like this silver version by Mara Hoffman.
Curvy women can also vary greatly in shape and size, but in general, you’ll want to keep the length longer, and the waist slightly cinched. Throwing yourself in a shapeless tunic may make you feel better by covering up, but you’ll only end up looking boxy and awkward. Curvier women look great in pencil skirted shapes, and these two dresses also provide supportive fabrics that will help you dazzle at any holiday party.
5. If you are pear-shaped: Banana Republic Black and Brown Tiered Silk Dress, at bananarepublic.com, or Thrive Navy Sleeveless Silk Dress with Gathering, at thrivela.com.
As a pear-shaped woman, you may often feel most uncomfortable with the bottom half of your body. Your arms may be sleek and your abs toned, but when you look down in the mirror you sometimes feel dumpy on bottom. Luckily, there are simple ways to play up your assets while hiding your less flattering features. Because you are bottom-heavy, you’ll want to even out proportions by choosing a dress with a wider neckline and thicker straps like these two options above. This will create the illusion that your shoulders and hips are similar in width. You’ll also want to avoid dresses that are too clingy or tight on top, because that will only accentuate the differing sizes in your bottom and top halves. Stick to shapes that are slightly waist-cinching and you’ll feel fabulous all night.
6. If you have a boyish figure: Haute Hippie Illusion Fringe Sequin Dress, $590, at 25park.com, or Nellie Partow Emerald Velvet One-Shoulder Dress, $530, at shop.plumstyle.com.
Since you’re pretty much like a stick straight up and down, you’ll want to add some shape to your figure. For small-chested women, go with a fun neckline like this bow dress to distract from your flat top; the loose-fitting fabric above the waist will also create the illusion of a bigger bust. If you’re self-conscience about overly-toned arms, try a t-shirt dress like this sparkly number by Haute Hippie–especially one with an embellished, fun fabric will distract all eyes from your minimal curves and have you dazzling (literally) all night.