Finding the perfect long dress for an illustrious evening event can prove to be a challenge, especially when there are so many options to choose from. You’ll probably find yourself asking, do I go with a long dramatic mermaid trail or opt for a comfy cropped length dress? The key to getting your look right on point can be as simple as understanding your body shape. We all, at some point or another, make the mistake of trying to fit the mould of a trend we watched on the red carpet rather than choosing a look that best suits our figure.

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As disappointing as this might sound, not all styles suit all body types. It’s safe to say you aren’t really doing yourself any favours trying to wear a dress that is not designed for your distinct body shape. Now, that’s not to say that a particular dress silhouette is off limits to a girl with a certain body type. Don’t take us the wrong way, we are not here to enforce the rules of what you can and can’t wear. We simply want to help you choose the right gown so you can easily achieve an A-grade style and enjoy the selection process. By giving you the appropriate tools we believe you can flawlessly and effectively pick the right outfit for your formal event each and every time.

So let’s begin with the basics, deciphering what body shape you actually are!

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The 4 main body shapes

THE PEAR SHAPE

Do you have narrow shoulders in comparison to your hips? Perhaps you have fuller hips with a waistline wider than your bust. Well then, structured tops are a better option for you as they draw all the attention to your narrow shoulders/waist. A statement neckline can help you highlight your best assets being your waist and back. Some of the styles that work fantastically well with this type of shape are a cowl neck, plunging V-neckline or perhaps dramatic bell sleeves.

THE HOURGLASS

Typically, this body shape has a well-defined waistline with both your bust and hip measurements being evenly proportioned. A fuller bust line, hips and thighs are also known as the main characteristics used to describe this body type. The key to dressing for this body type is to define your waistline. Show off your sexy curves in a form-fitted silhouette, try a wrap dress or dazzle in a fit and flare style. Keep your neckline simple by opting for a round neck or choose to show off your arms in a cap sleeve style.

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THE APPLE

When it comes to the apple body type, the most common distinction is broader shoulders! Although generally well-proportioned you don’t necessarily have a well-defined waistline and are not especially curvy around the hip area. As a general rule, it’s best to steer clear of any structured waistline silhouettes as they tend to be more focused on accentuating the hips. A breezy A-line silhouette on the other hand is your best friend! Also, a maxi style featuring a cropped hemline is a great pick for your body type!

THE RECTANGLE

Are your shoulder and hip measurements equally the same? Not particularly curvy? Maybe your waistline isn’t small and well defined? If your weight is evenly distributed, that is typically straight up and down, your body type is slightly more athletic in character. Generally speaking, an athletic figure looks great when it draws attention to its arms or defined shoulders. Therefore, wearing a halter/racerback style or anything strapless can help complement this shape beautifully. 

Don’t fit the mould? That’s ok, everyone’s body shape and size is different. This is what makes us so wonderfully unique as humans, we don’t stick to a “one size fits all cookie cutter scenario”. Perhaps you’re a combination of different body types. For example, you might have both a slightly more defined waistline and broad shoulders. The trick here is to pick a style that accentuates your best assets and remember, when in doubt keep it simple.

It’s so great to see designer brands embracing this shift in body perception and accommodating this shift accordingly. Through a slightly more realistic approach, designers are now able to smartly select easy-to-wear fabrics, have a better sense of the environmental impacts in fashion production and use fail proof classic tailoring techniques. It is important to understand that overall fabric choice plays just as big of a role in successful body sit as the silhouette form itself.

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Finding the right Long Dress

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The Ball Gown is a great option for most body types, however works particularly well with a Pear Shaped Figure. A ball gown conceals the lower body and accentuates narrow shoulders thus making them appear broader in appearance.

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The Mermaid Gown is a great option for the Hourglass Figure. Its charismatically form-fitted silhouette is the perfect pairing to a slightly more curvaceous physique. The balancing properties of a fit and flare skirt help compliment and define a smaller waistline. 

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The Empire-waist Gown is a great option for an Apple Shaped Figure as it accentuates the neckline and creates the illusion of hourglass symmetry. The perfect style for showing off your beautiful broad shoulders while at the same time flawlessly defining your collarbones. 

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The Trumpet Gown is a great option for a Rectangle or Hourglass Shaped Figure. Its stunningly form-fitted silhouette featuring a defined flare at thigh level perfectly accentuates your smaller waistline whilst complementing your broad shoulder neckline.

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The A-Line Gown is a great option for All Body shapes. Traditionally it has a fitted bodice all the way down to the waistline and then magnificently flows out to the ground, hence creating an A-line effect. This makes it the perfect pick for all shapes and sizes! For a guaranteed winning look try classic A-Line silhouette today! 

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The Sheath Gown is a great option for an Apple or Rectangle Shaped Figure. Its straight statuesque silhouette works well in elongating the figure and also helps accentuate and show off a wider neckline. A strapless style will help draw focus to toned arms or defined shoulders. For more hot tips read our Picking the right jumpsuit for Your Body Type blog post!

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