Athletic: Show off an ultra toned frame in a sheath gown that hugs the length of your body, or reveal sculpted shoulders in a dress with no straps. If your body is a boyish straight-up-and-down shape, create extra curves with a ball-gown style that cinches in at your waist and descends into a full, floor-length skirt – the bodice will flaunt your great upper body, and the pouf skirt will transform you into a princess bride. A ruched bodice also creates the illusion of curves, as does a slightly padded halter neck.
Curvy: If you’re voluptuous, a gown that hugs (without clinging) your curves is essential so you don’t appear frumpy. Stick with sturdy fabrics such as duchesse satin and taffeta, or use a stiff fabric as a base and add an embroidered tulle overlay for a romantic look. Empire-waist dresses are comfortable and allow you to breathe, as the skirt starts just under the bust and flowes away from the body, lengthening your torso. A scooped neckline will enhance a larger bust while a halter neck will give you the lift you need. Strapless gowns aren’t off limits – look for a form-fitting design so you’re supported, not sagging.
Petite: Elongate your frame with a mini skirt, trumpet skirt or sheath-style gown. Your legs will appear short in a dropped-waist style, so select a skirt that falls from your waist to lengthen your lower half. Avoid overly detailed styles you’ll get lost in, such as voluminous skirts. A deep V-neck is well-suited to a slender upper body – it creates a great shape for women with small- to medium-sized breasts.
Slim: A slim frame suits a style that gives the illusion of curves, such as one with draping, pleats or a peplum waist. Try a trumpet skirt that flares out at the bottom, or highlight your waist with an A-line skirt. If you’re tall and thin, the simpler the style, the better. To enhance your statuesque proportions, opt for a floor-sweeping hem.