The Best Dress Styles for Plus Size Women

best dress style for plus size

Every woman of every shape, size, and color wants to dress in a way that flatters her. We all have features and portions of our body we want to enhance and draw attention to and others we prefer to leave to the imagination. Learning your body shape and the best styles to work with it makes it much easier to dress with confidence. When you know how to emphasize your favorite features, you'll find it easier to love the way you look. Let's see how to identify your body shape and the best dress styles for plus size women to match.

Different Body Shapes

Whether a woman is a size 6 or a size 36, the proportions of her bust, waist, and hips are unique to her. Some women have wider hips and thighs than bust, while others are the reverse. Still others are fairly uniform top to bottom. These body shapes are largely determined by bone structure and genetics. Understanding your proportions is essential for learning to find the most flattering dress styles for your plus size body. 

Body shapes are typically characterized as Apple Shape, Pear Shape, Hourglass, and Rectangle. These are simple shapes that make handy reference guides, not a value judgment. None of these shapes is better than another. Understanding your body shape helps you to discover the most flattering outfits for your plus size shape, so you can dress with confidence while showing off your body to its best advantage. 

How to Find Your Body Shape

Using a cloth body measuring tape, take careful measurements and write them down. Stand up straight, with your arms to your sides. Measure your bust over the fullest part of your breasts. Take the waist measurement at the narrowest part of your waist. Next, take two measurements of your hips. Measure at the widest part of your hips, across the broadest part of your buttocks. The high hip measurement is up over your hip bones, about 7 inches below your waist.

You can input your measurements into this body shape calculator to learn which body shape you are dressing. With this information, our plus size style guide will lead you to your most flattering dresses.

Apple Body Shape

If your body is apple-shaped, you have a large chest and tend to carry most of your weight in your mid-section. Your waist is not pronounced, and relative to your waist and bust, your hips are narrow. How to dress plus size apple-shaped bodies? Consider accentuating your decolletage and legs.

Dresses for Apple Shaped Bodies

Flattering dresses for curvy figures with apple shape include wrap dresses and fit and flare dresses. Wrap dresses are flattering on all body types, accentuating the waistline and making it appear smaller, particularly in relation to a larger tummy. Choose shorter wrap dresses to show off shapely legs. Fit and flare dresses accentuate your breasts and shoulders while the flare balances out slim hips. Dresses that fall to mid-calf elongate the look of apple-shaped bodies, making you appear taller. 

Bias-cut, empire waists, and off-the-shoulder styles are attractive dresses for curvy women with apple-shaped bodies. 

Pear Shaped Body

If your hips and thighs are wider than your shoulders and bust, and you have a defined waist that's narrower than your hips, your body may be described as pear-shaped. You'll want to draw attention to the top half of your body.

Dresses for Pear Shaped Bodies

Again, a wrap style is an excellent choice of dress for curvy figures with a pear shape. So, too, are A-line and X-line dresses or fit and flares with a defined waist and a loose drape over the hips and rear. A V-neckline draws the eye up to your face and creates broader lines across your shoulders. Would you be surprised to learn that some body-con styles are flattering plus size dresses for pear shapes? Look for intricate detailing at the bust and neckline with a sleek fit from the waist down.

Bring attention to your bust, shoulders, and face. Avoid straight-line dresses and drop waists. Look for dresses with bright colors or patterns on the top half rather than the bottom.

Hourglass Shaped Body

Women with an hourglass body shape have bust and hip of nearly equal size with a narrow, defined waist. In general, you'll look for styles that accentuate your waist.

Dresses for Hourglass Shaped Bodies

The most flattering plus size dresses for hourglass figures cinch your waist. Wrap dresses, fitted dresses, those with ruching at the waist, or vertical pintuck detailing are great styles for this balanced body shape. V-necks and scoop necklines, as well as keyhole cutouts, draw the eye to your bust and face. Add a belt to looser dresses, or choose body-con styles. 

Self-ties, ornate belts, and details at the waistline make for dresses that look good on plus size hourglass figures. Avoid drop waists, loose jackets, or any boxy cuts.

Rectangle Shaped Body

If your hips and bust are roughly equal in size, and your waist measures less than 9 inches smaller than your hips, your body shape is described as a rectangle. Generally, you'll look for styles that create a curvier shape.

Because your shape is well balanced, a wide range of plus size dresses looks good on you. Embrace bold prints, ruffled tops, tiers, and asymmetrical hemlines. Peplum tops and dresses, as well as mermaid styles, create the illusion of an hourglass shape. Ruched dresses, fit and flare, and flowy dresses with belts are attractive dresses for curvy figures with a rectangle shape. 

Any dress that makes you feel beautiful is a perfect choice! Armed with your knowledge of your body shape and the most flattering plus size dresses that make the most of your curves, dress with confidence. Remember that this information is simply a guide to the best dress styles for plus size

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