Obsess the Dress

It has been many years since the dress has been as popular as it is today.  Currently fashion is having an obsession with the dress.  I have said it for the last few years-now is the time to buy a dress if you haven’t already done so.

Dresses are so feminine and can hide a multitude of sins, but not every dress is the right dress for you.  Do you know how to shop for a dress that will flatter and fit your body line and proportion?  Remember, your goal in dressing is to create the illusion of a perfect shape (the hourglass) through balance and proportion. This is achieved not only by the shape of the dress but also by varying the color (dark on top and light on bottom or vice-versa).

Check out the simple tips below to balance your proportions and you will look good and feel great in the latest styles.

If your body line is:

Rectangle (straight) you have little definition between your bust, waist and hip measurements.  A fitted sheath will play up your lines.  Baby-dolls and A-line styles will help create some curves.  Choose dresses that have some detail, embellishments or gathers at the top to add some dimension. Note this dress creates more of a waistline.

Triangle (pear) you are fuller at the hips and bottom and smaller on the top.  Choosing dresses with fitted, open-neck or strapless tops will enhance your upper body and draw the eye upward (away from the hips).  Wearing darker colors on the bottom, lighter on top will create the illusion of more width on top (two-tone), while A-line shapes will help hide a wider hipline.  Be sure to not go too full with the skirt or it will add bulk.  Note this fabric drapes smoothly over the hip area without adding extra width.

Hourglass (figure 8 ) Curves are your asset; you have full bust, hipline and a defined waist.  Choose wraps, and dresses with fitted waists.  The hourglass is a classic, feminine form that can wear many styles.  Focus on drawing attention to your waist.  The wrap dress cinches in the waist while the fabric accentuates curves without hugging them.

Diamond/Circle (apple) Weight is carried around your middle.  There is little or no definition to your waist.  Baby doll and empire waists are best for you.  Take attention away from your middle and allow fabric to drape smoothly down not hugging your mid-section.  Focus on necklines that draw the eye upward to your face.  Often this shape has gorgeous legs, so don’t hide your beautiful gams!  A-line and fuller skirted looks can give the illusion of a more defined waist.  Note this dress falls away from the tummy area and the neckline is open drawing the eye upward.

Inverted Triangle (full bust) you have a well defined bust that is fuller than your hips and bottom.  Select necklines (V and U) that will draw the eye downward for a balanced more slimming look.  Lighter color blocking on the bottom/darker on top will give the illusion a balanced look.  Choosing A-lines and fuller skirts will balance you out and give you a more hourglass appearance.  This neckline and simple fullness at the waist draws the eye down balancing the top to the bottom.

Go and obsess the dress and remember look good, feel great and have fun doing it!

Posted by: Karen Hughes, Founder of Image Assets, an Image Consulting Firm serving the Alpharetta and Metro Atlanta areas. As a seasoned certified image consultant, Karen follows a simple philosophy: educate, empower, and enrich the lives of her clients. Her philosophy is enmeshed throughout her practice and can be observed in her workshops, clinics, and one-on-one consultations. Her energetic and interactive style makes her a sought-after training resource for organizations and individuals alike. Even the most difficult topics seem effortless for Karen as she tackles such challenges as professional etiquette, business dress personal image and body shape


  1. Daughrity Prom Dresses says:

    Styling tips for tall women – To give a shorter appearance wear long tops exceeding upto the legs as it gives an illusion of shorter legs.

  2. I agree, but most women want to appear “taller”. So those of you who are taller (6’+) go for it. Wear longer tops, but don’t hide those long legs.

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