Menu Join now Search

To Know Your Shape Is to Love Your Shape

Don’t they say that to know yourself is to love yourself? Well, I wish I had said it first, because I couldn’t agree more—especially when it comes to special occasion shopping. It’s so important—for women of all sizes—to accentuate the positive. In order to do that you need to know what the designers know: the 101 of what works and doesn’t work for your body type.

Though clothing manufacturers try to categorize us as pears, apples, and other types of fruit, no two women are the very same shape. Here are a few tips on necklines and silhouettes that flatter the curvy shape. Be inspired but not confined—go for what suits YOU and your style!

Necklines and Silhouettes 101
Off the Shoulder

This neckline is a super choice to show off a strong shoulder and it shapes the bustline to complete a picture-perfect frame for your gorgeous face! If you are more hourglass shape or an athletic boyish shape looking to soften your body, try this one please!

Strapless
The strapless gown is so popular because it enhances your décolletage without taking anything from anywhere else. Consider trying a strapless corseted bodice—this look has a very turn of the century feel to it, but it’s a very modern and sexy shape, especially this season.

Halter
Think Marilyn Monroe standing over the subway railing in Seven Year Itch. It may seem daring with its décolleté neckline and plunging back, but it works well on many shapes. This neckline will define your waistline—especially good if you are more rectangular in your shape. Look for enough support for a fuller chest.

Empire Waistline
This silhouette is a really popular choice for those who are “fuller” through the midsection. You can define the smallest part of your shape, as this cut falls from just under the bustline.

Sweetheart Gowns
Both demure and alluring at the same time, that heart shape neckline bares just enough skin to be alluring and has a very Hollywood 1940’s vibe without being over the top.

Tips and Tricks
Broad Shoulders

Stay away from low necklines, really big sleeve shapes, and embellished styles with beading and lace. Look for lighter embellishments and simple sleeves. Avoid halter necklines!

Fuller Bustline
Shop for off-the-shoulder portrait or v-neckline. Keep the bodice simple with as few details as possible. Stay away from a high neck and low necklines with heavy beading. A sweetheart, v-neck, or off the shoulder neckline is very flattering.

Smaller Bustline
Look fuller up top by adding delicate details to your décolletage and also try an on-the-shoulder neckline.

Narrow Shoulders
Try wearing a jewel neckline to give you the best frame.

Fuller Hips and Thighs
Draw the eye up with details such as beading around the neckline. But that doesn’t mean to overdo it. Less is more!

A dress should make us feel like a million dollars, not a hundred bucks, so know what flatters your very beautiful shape … and flatter it!

Related Stories: Here Comes the Curvy Bride and Shopping Around for the Curvy Bride

More You'll Love

Close