The hourglass is known for its beautiful curves, and it’s understandably the most coveted body type. Even though some may get the impression this is the body type that can pull off any dress, not all the styles will look equally flattering on the hourglass. This detailed guide will help you fully understand your body feature and find the most suitable dresses to best enhance your assets accordingly.
Dresses are just some of the best wardrobe pieces that can really allow you to fully showcase your hourglass curves – if you know how to choose the right ones! As it is a clothing piece that features distinctive seams in a continuously flowing fabric, the right dress can effortlessly bring out the best of your hourglass body shape’s features.
Your shoulders are consistently well-proportioned and aligned with your hips as they tend to have a moderate width that is balanced with the overall frame of your hourglass body shape. Your shoulders are slightly sloped, which creates a gentle curve from the neck to the outer edge of your shoulder line.
To enhance their balanced appearance, you have to be mindful of the shoulder line seam, as well as the neckline design.
One of the greatly desired features of hourglass body shapes is their fuller bust. Your bust line is typically more prominent, which also means that you also have a well-rounded cleavage.
As your fuller bust is one of your best features, you always need to keep this highlighted. You can do so by going for the right dress structure and neckline shape.
Small and Defined Waist
The waist of an hourglass-shaped body is a remarkable and enviable feature that serves as the defining centerpiece of your silhouette. This is why you should go for dresses that cinch your naturally narrow and well-defined waistline to give a striking contrast between the voluptuous curves of the bust and hips.
Your hips exude a beautifully proportioned width that balances and complements the rest of your hourglass figure. They’re relatively wider and curvier, which makes your small waistline more apparent.
While your hips are completely in proportion with the width of your shoulders, they still tend to lean on the heavier side. This is why you have to choose the right dress silhouette that streamlines the curves of your hips without adding extra volume.
Your legs are more toned so they seamlessly bring more shape and dimension to your figure. Depending on the length of your legs, it’ll be important to choose a dress that hits just at the right level to keep your visual line continuous.
Fit and Flare
This dress silhouette is first on the list because it’s the most obvious and proven dress shape that perfectly embraces the curves and balance of hourglass body shapes.
This particular silhouette features a fitted bodice that firmly cinches at the waist and then gently flares out into a full skirt. This design efficiently highlights your small and well-defined waistline, which is definitely an asset you’d love to emphasize.
The fit and flare silhouette accentuates the curves of your waist, hips, and bust. Basically, the fitted bodice enhances your upper body with a streamlined fit, while the flared skirt provides enough coverage to house your wider hips without the additional bulk or volume.
Form-fitting silhouettes will always be your hourglass figure’s best friend, which is why a sheath dress is an excellent choice for you. They are specifically designed to be form-fitting so they closely follow the natural contours of your body.
The slim and tailored fit of sheath dresses helps showcase the curves of your hourglass figure, particularly the waist, bust, and hips. They are able to highlight your features because of the strategic placements of darts and seams that sculpt your figure.
The mermaid silhouette is a perfect pairing for hourglass shapes because of its ability to accentuate and highlight your curvaceous figure in a more distinctive way. Mermaid dresses flatter your full bust, defined waist, and wider hips – but the unique point of this silhouette is its ability to also bring visual depth to your legs as well.
They often feature a flared skirt that starts at or below the knee level. This particular flare adds volume and drama to the lower body as the shape typically begins in a gradual manner, allowing for a graceful and elegant transition from the fitted bodice.
Remember how your beautiful bust shape is one of your figure’s best features? Dresses with a sweetheart neckline will totally make this feature of your shine!
I have to say that sweetheart necklines make an exquisite choice for hourglass figures as they absolutely make the décolletage and bust area more noticeable. Its heart-shaped curve also perfectly traces your cleavage, which instantly brings more depth and charm to your upper body.
V-necks will always be your safe bet when it comes to choosing the right neckline for your dress. After all, V-shaped necklines are universally flattering and their edgy shape dips right at the center of your body which effectively draws the eyes up and down.
The V-neckline easily creates an elongating effect that visually lengthens your frame to enhance the natural proportions of an hourglass figure. Moreover, its symmetrical shape accentuates your décolletage and highlights your fuller bust.
Another neckline to complement your hourglass figure is the scoop neck, which features a cut resembling the shape of the letter U. This usually starts from the edges of your collarbones and gently descends towards your bust area.
The curved neckline draws attention to your chest area and therefore brings your desirable feature into the center stage of your body. It effectively accentuates the natural curves of the upper body without revealing too much skin.
Square necklines are symmetrically shaped to provide distinctive framing for your face and your decolletage. The straight, horizontal line of this particular neckline creates a structured and balanced appearance that complements the curvy nature of your hourglass body shape.
Due to its angular shape, it helps draw the eyes upward and downward along the vertical lines of your frame. This results in a more elongated frame that leads to a taller, leaner, and more toned overall appearance.
If you want some more coverage and support for your full bust, wearing a dress with a halter neckline is a good way to do this without overwhelming the natural beauty of your breasts. Instead of exposing a noticeable portion of your bust, halters bring the focal point to your beautifully rounded shoulders.
Halter necklines usually feature a narrow strap or band that wraps around the neck, which leaves the shoulders and arms exposed. This way, the eyes are more drawn to your shoulders but not necessarily distracting the overall attention that your natural hourglass curves should be getting.
Donning a dress that features a snug fit doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be too tight. In order to bring out your curves more naturally, opt for form-fitting dresses that feature clean lines and tailored seams.
These particular sewing details play a significant role in providing your hourglass body shape with a flattering fit. It’s also worth noting that the structure of the dress can also influence the fit.
Other than form-fitting dresses, you may also want to consider a tailored fit, which may be especially helpful if you’re looking for a fit that has more room and is not too restrictive. This way, you’ll be able to draw enhancement to your natural curves through a more streamlined, bespoke fit.
Choosing the right length to flatter your hourglass body shape has quite an impact on your overall look. The level on your legs where the hemline hits can either draw or detract attention to your shapely legs so choose a dress that doesn’t break the vertical visual line of your silhouette.
You can opt for different lengths depending on your height, from above-the-knee to maxi dresses. Just remember that the goal is to choose a length that won’t overwhelm your hourglass figure’s most prominent features.
PRINTS AND DETAILS
Vertical prints instantly elongate your figure as they draw the eyes up and down. This gives your frame a sense of continuity and therefore keeps your frame looking polished and streamlined.
There are numerous styles of vertical prints you can go for and the intensity of the detail can address the issue of unnecessary bulk or heaviness. For example, if you’re looking for something more muted, try light-colored pinstripes!
Button-down dresses or shirt dresses can be very flattering for hourglass body types due to their ability to draw a straight visual line to flatter your figure. As the buttons are placed vertically, usually at the center, the dress alone creates verticality and additional height extension for a more balanced look.
There are tons of different fabrics to choose from that can flatter your hourglass figure. What you need to consider is the structure and texture of the fabric that ensures the visibility of your curves.
Structured fabrics like polyester, cotton twill, and velvet can offer shape-enhancing features to your body shape. On the other hand, soft, flowy fabrics such as georgette, chiffon, and satin provide a sense of movement that makes your curves even more prominent.
STYLES TO AVOID
Strapless dresses are undeniably sexy and mesmerizing but due to the fact that it only relies on the tight fit around the bust to stay in place, it can be challenging for hourglass shapes who tend to have larger busts. Hourglass figures often have fuller busts so without proper support, strapless dresses may not provide the necessary lift and support – nobody wants any potential wardrobe malfunctions!
Because of the absence of straps and other linear seams or details, there will be a lack of emphasis on your frame. Strapless dresses may not give the additional depth your hourglass figure would want to possess.
Boxy or Shapeless Dresses
Your figure boasts a well-defined waistline and a curvier frame so they are supposed to be highlighted. Boxy or shapeless dresses lack overall definition as they hang loosely from the shoulders without any shaping or structure, so this particular silhouette will only conceal your most coveted curves.
These types of dresses can also disrupt the natural balance of your figure by adding extra volume or bulk to areas where it’s not needed. This will instantly make your figure appear boxier and less shapely, detracting from the inherent beauty of the hourglass shape.
Just like boxy silhouettes, shift dresses are constructed in a way that it hangs straight down from the shoulders. The absence of a waist cinch, makes your figure seem like it significantly lacks shape and definition.
This dress may look polished and minimalistic, but its shapelessness is definitely a missed opportunity to enhance the natural beauty of your curvy figure!
The empire waist dress style features a high waistline that sits just below the bust with a loose-fitting skirt that drapes over the hips and waist. This can be a very nice dress style, but it contradicts your goal of highlighting your well-defined curves, particularly your narrow waist and wide hips.
As a result, the best features of your hourglass figure are instantly hidden. This gives your body a visually unflattering and unbalanced frame.