Whether you’re an hourglass-shaped woman with an extremely curvy body or a rectangle-shaped with a straight silhouette, there’s a prom dress out there that’s tailored to your body type.
This guide will get you started on how to find the perfect prom dress for your body type, without sacrificing your comfort or personal style. Let’s get right to it.
Fit and flare dress
Jennifer Hudson is an apple-shaped woman that has always looked amazing in prom dresses. So, how does she do it? Well, there’s one style of dress you would always see on this beautiful actress: the fit and flare dress.
Everything about this dress screams that it’s made for your body type. For those that are not familiar with this dress style, it’s exactly what it sounds like. From the fitted bodice to the flare at the bottom of the skirt, this takes on a shape that flatters your figure.
Apart from this, the fit and flare dress is incredibly versatile, which makes it a perfect choice as your prom dress. You can rock this silhouette to your dinner event, especially with a style that flows naturally below your knees to create proportionally shaped hips and a narrower waistline.
Empire waist dress
As an apple-shaped woman, you naturally have a heavy top that you would have to balance out to create a proportional silhouette. One way to do this is with an empire waist dress. This style of dress highlights the narrowest part of your body, which is usually under your bust.
Doing this creates a more defined waistline that contributes to a feminine curvy silhouette. Since the empire waist dress draws the eyes upward, this is great for giving you an elongated look that will flatter your legs and reduce attention on your muffin top. So, if you have a little tummy bulge, this dress will conceal it naturally.
Flowy maxi dress
Think of how amazing you would look in a dress that flows freely to the ground and highlights all your beautiful curves, especially when combined with the right pair of shoes. A dress that can have this effect on your apple shape is the flowy maxi dress.
It’s always best not to compromise your comfort and personal sense of style when looking for the perfect prom dress. The good news is that the flowy maxi dress ticks all these boxes.
They have a loose fit style that keeps you comfortable while the flowy movement towards your ankle creates an unbroken vertical line that creates the illusion of being tall by elongating your body frame. This works best because it’s not fitted on your upper body to draw attention to your midsection area.
Since A-line dresses come in a wide variety of styles and lengths, you can definitely consider them as one of your choices of prom dresses. What matters here is the amazing A silhouette that starts with a stylishly fitted bodice and creates a flare from your waist to give you apple shape a curvier outlook.
This is similar to the fit and flare dress, and is one of the best out there for apple-shaped women that would love to enjoy a balanced shape when they go out for events. The fitted part of the A-line dress highlights the flattering aspects of your upper body while the lower flare conceals your tummy bulge, to give you an overall hourglass-like silhouette.
Bateau A-line dress
A-line dresses are a top choice for women with a pear body shape. This dress has all the features to add balance to your body shape by increasing the volume on your upper body while doing the opposite for your lower body.
With A-line dresses, you can naturally slim your hips to create a well-defined waistline. This works even better with the right neckline, such as a fitted open neck style like the bateau neckline.
Since you’re mostly smaller on your upper body with minimal bust, this neckline helps to draw attention upwards to increase the illusion of a bigger upper body. This is ideal for creating a curvier silhouette that leaves you looking amazing.
You can choose to rock this style of dress in the short or long version.
Off-shoulder wrap dress
You simply can’t get tired of wrap dresses and how flattering they look on pear-shaped women. With a lovely off-shoulder wrap dress, you can reduce attention to areas of your body that disrupt your figure, like a muffin top.
This dress can also enhance your best features, giving you a look that makes you stand out beautifully. The most distinct feature of the wrap dress style is the waist-cinching effect it gives with the lovely fit around the narrowest part of your body before flaring into an A shape that flatters your lower body.
This makes the ratio between your upper and lower body more proportional, and the best part is you can adjust this easily to your comfort level. The off-shoulder neckline is important for drawing attention upward as well.
Similar to the amazing effect of an A-line prom dress on your body shape, the X-line dress is another alphabet-themed dress that works great for pear-shaped women. Balancing your body proportions is super important for your body type and the X-line dress is one of the best ways to achieve this.
With this silhouette, you can make your hips appear curvier without sacrificing your comfort as it flows freely over your body figure. So, if you’re looking to create an hourglass figure seamlessly by balancing your wide hips, here’s the perfect candidate. You can wear this with a square or cowl neckline.
Square-neck empire waist dress
How often do you find dresses that make your tummy bulge look non-existent? It’s easy to feel self-conscious about your stomach protruding through your prom dress and drawing attention to this part of your body.
However, there’s an easy and comfortable fix for that, which doubles as a breathtaking dressing for your next formal event. The square-neck empire waist dress cinches your body right below your bustline, which is the perfect position to create the illusion of an elongated body with long legs.
This helps to create a balanced silhouette where there is less attention on your hips, and of course, your midsection. The flowy style also gives a Cinderella feel, and it’s best to wear this made with comfortable soft fabrics.
V-neck flowy dress
Women with an inverted triangle shape typically have small hips, large bust area and wide shoulders. If this describes you perfectly, here’s one dress that will flatter your unique body type.
Wearing dresses with a V neckline helps to accentuate your figure and gives the illusion of a curvier silhouette. The V-neckline dress is a fabulous choice for you as an inverted triangle-shaped woman because it works for your figure all day.
Starting with your broad shoulders, it makes them appear narrower compared to the lower half of your body. This works by drawing the attention away from your shoulders and more towards your bust to minimize their look.
The V-neck flowy dress is a great choice for any inverted triangle shape woman looking to eliminate the visual horizontal line around their upper body and elongate your overall body frame.
Create a stylish and sophisticated look with a prom dress that absolutely shines on your inverted triangle body shape. One of the most flattering necklines for your body type is one that has an asymmetrical shape. Yes, this is not just for the hemline of dresses.
The perfect example is the one-shoulder dress that easily breaks up the width of your shoulders, so it appears narrower and doesn’t draw as much attention. The direct effect of this is a well-proportioned appearance that’s flattering on your overall frame.
So, if you don’t mind showing off your lovely neckline and spicing things up with lovely accessories, this one-shoulder prom dress is for you.
Avoid dresses with shoulder pad
Since your shoulders are broader than your hips and you need to minimize them to create a more proportionate silhouette, it’s not a great idea to wear dresses that will do the opposite instead.
Dresses with shoulder pads will visually make your shoulders even broader, and with more attention on your wide shoulders, this won’t flatter your inverted triangle shape. Instead, it will lead to an imbalance on your overall figure due to the heavy details on the upper half of your body.
Rather than prom dresses with a shoulder pad, focus on those with minimal details around this area of your body like a one-shoulder dress.
Not every prom dress has to be long and flowing, especially if you’re trying to dress for your body type. One of the best choices for your inverted triangle body shape is a peplum dress with a flared waistline that you can confidently rock to several events.
Peplum dresses have perfectly tailored features for the inverted triangle shape that it’s easy to think it was made for this body type. The fitted top-half and flounce at the waistline work together to create curves on your lower body, leading to the illusion of an hourglass silhouette.
It also helps to enhance your shoulders, so that it appears more proportionate with other parts of your body.
One of the most important things for the rectangle body type is to create high waist definition. Naturally, the rectangle body shape has a straight shoulder line with the bust and hips having almost the same width.
This gives a straight silhouette without no curves across the body frame. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t boost your body definition to look even better. You can create curves by breaking up your straight silhouette with the right dress.
This starts with a dark-colored belt on a brightly-colored dress. A belted dress is perfect for balancing your top and bottom by completely altering the shape of the dress. Since you can adjust this freely, it’s easy to create a silhouette that appeals to your comfort level.
The draping feature of wrap dresses makes them another amazing choice for the rectangle body shape. Remember the goal to create curves on your silhouette? Wrap dresses also make this seamless.
The secret is how it falls nicely around your straight body frame and takes on a curvy shape. To ensure that you draw attention to this curvy silhouette, you can wear wrap dresses with prints and patterns placed strategically around your body.
Alternatively, you can use strategic color-blocking on your wrap dress to naturally draw attention to your waist and further enhance the illusion of a curvy body shape.
Empire waistline dress
Rather than dresses with a straight up and down cut like shift dresses, lean more towards wearing an empire waistline dress as your prom style. This is one of the best options out there for the rectangle body type as it is a universally flattering dress that prioritizes your comfort.
The empire waistline dress complements your body type by adding volume to your lower and upper body, to create the illusion of curves. Therefore, it is effective for creating a feminine silhouette without being restrictive on your body.
From the fit on your bodice to how it falls freely towards your ankle, this simple yet sophisticated style is the prom dress for you.
Avoid baggy dresses
As weird as this sounds, many rectangle-shaped women believe that baggy dress styles can help to conceal their straight silhouette and give a nicer outlook. However, this is far from the truth.
Baggy dresses make the rectangle body type look bottom-heavy with a squarish silhouette. It does nothing to flatter your body shape or enhance it. Therefore, it’s best to avoid baggy prom dresses.
Better options are slightly fitted styles like wrap dresses and belted dresses that can be adjusted to your unique taste.
Bias cut dress
For hourglass women with a proportionate figure, all you need is a dress that shows off this lovely curvy figure. One of the best styles for this is one with a bias cut. If you’re not sure what this is, a bias cut is usually at the hemline of the fabric of the dress, where it is cut at a 45-degree angle diagonally.
There are lot of impressive benefits to this for hourglass-shaped women. This bias cut makes the material of the dress to stretch more and drape snugly over your body. Ultimately, there’s no doubt that the dress will hang on your curves well and highlight them in a way that flatters your entire silhouette. This can come in handy in a long prom dress.
Fitted sheath dress
Dresses that give a form-fitting silhouette are always a win for the hourglass body type. Since the focus should be on highlighting your curves seamlessly while showing off your beautifully balanced neckline, a fitted sheath dress is one of the best prom dresses out there for you.
Apart from highlighting your curves, it gives you a more feminine and elegant outlook that will make you the star of the show. While most sheath dresses fall a little above the knee, you can wear this in a longer style for that Cinderella-like feeling.
Overall, this is one of the easiest ways to accentuate your waistline and hips without the need for extra details like ruffles. The fitted sheath dress can also elongate your body frame to give the illusion of being a few inches taller.
Combine this with a comfortable pair of heels and you’re ready for an amazing day.
V-neck wrap dress
The hourglass silhouette wasn’t made for structured dresses that will give you a boxy and shapeless look. Rather than this, a better choice is the V-neck wrap dress that’s great for creating a vertical line that elongates your body frame.
A V-neck wrap dress is a timeless combo of a neckline that elongates your neck so you have a cleaner and neat silhouette, and a versatile dress style that further accentuates your natural curves. It’s a killer combo for a prom dress.
So, if you’re a short woman with an hourglass silhouette, this works for you perfectly. That doesn’t mean that taller hourglass-shaped women can’t wear this, especially as it’s incredibly figure-enhancing and will always make you look good.
Black A-line dress
Everyone needs a little black dress and for the hourglass body type, yours can be the elegant black A-line dress. Just like wrap dresses, the black A-line dress will enhance your natural curves and draw more attention to your best features.
The black here works some real magic by slimming your silhouette so you look leaner and taller. This is all thanks to the fitted top that moves into a gradual flare toward the bottom of your hips.
It’s perfect for creating a balanced silhouette. It’s also worth mentioning how comfortable the fabric can be especially in cotton and linen materials.
This guide has covered pretty much all the major body types but the ultimate advice here is to choose a dress you like. Prom is all about celebrating and having fun. So, even if you have to dress for your body type, be sure to choose one that’s truly you. Have fun!