The ultimate dress guide for your body shape | finder.com.au

Information verified correct on October 24th, 2016

Treat this as your fashion bible when it comes to the best way to fit your frame and what dresses to wear to flaunt your assets.

Ladies, take a minute in front of the mirror to consider what best reflects your body shape. Do you have broad shoulders and a small waist? You’re a strawberry. Heavier on the bottom, lighter on top? Perhaps you’re a pear. Got boobs and butt? Hello Beyonce.

As women, we generally have a good idea about what assets to flaunt and what to wear to boost our confidence. But let’s take a closer look and determine exactly what shape you are and the dresses you should be buying this summer. Hey, we could all use an excuse for a wardrobe overhaul. Let’s get to work – it’s time to up your style game.

A guide to buying the perfect dress


How do I know if I am a strawberry?

The strawberry body shape is the opposite of a pear body shape. If you have a strawberry-shaped body, you have a broader chest, wide shoulders and a narrow waist. Look for dresses that emphasise the lower part of the body.

What types of dresses should I wear?

Look for styles that are plain on the top and party on the bottom. The goal is to soften the shoulders by drawing the attention below the waist. Examples include A-line dresses, peplum dresses and swing dresses.

Celebrity match:

Gemma Ward

Do's and don'ts:

  • Do: Add attention to your lower half by wearing prints and embellishments below the waist
  • Do: Wear lightweight, draping fabrics on top
  • Do: Wear wide-leg pants or flares
  • Do: Wear bright colours on the bottom
  • Don’t: Wear frills, ruffles, prints on your top half
  • Don’t: Wear shoulder pads
Shona Joy Wrap Midi Dress $295
Bead tassel hem cami dress black floral $31.50
Wiggle Dress with Split Front $89
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How do I know if I’m a pear?

It’s all in the hips, baby! A pear-shaped woman has a wider lower body compared to her upper body and her hips are wider than her shoulders. Highlight the upper body and elongate from the waist down to balance your figure.

What types of dresses should I wear?

Fit and flare dresses will be a wardrobe essential. Dresses that are fancy on the top include frills, shoulder-baring and V-neck styles, cinched at the waist and flare on the bottom. Dresses that fit this shape should emphasise the shoulders, torso and stomach. Try an A-line hem or cut-out and wrap dresses.

Do's and don'ts

  • Do: Wear fit-and-flare-style dresses
  • Do: Wear wide-legged pants to balance out your hips
  • Do: Bring attention to the top half of your body by wearing strapless or off-shoulder styles
  • Don't: Wear bodycon dresses
  • Don't: Wear clothes that bring attention to your hips and thighs

Celebrity match:

Leighton Meester (Settle in to watch Gossip Girl for #inspo, guilt free!)

70s belted mini dress $81
Twist front pencil with metallic belt dress $117.00
Bluejuice paloma dress $109.95

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How do I know if I’m an hourglass?

If you’ve been blessed with an hourglass figure, you’ll be curvy in all the right places (boobs and butt!) with a smaller waist. You want to embrace your curves by wearing feminine, figure-hugging styles.

What types of dresses should I wear?

One word: bodycon. Highlight your best assets by wearing slim, silhouette-style clothing.

Celebrity match:


Do's and don'ts:

  • Do: Accentuate the waist (belted jacket, crop top and pencil skirt)
  • Do: Wear low V-neck tops (flaunt it, ladies!) that will draw attention towards the waist
  • Do: Look to light, clingy, sheer fabrics
  • Don’t: Wear baggy, bulky or stiff fabrics
  • Don’t: Wear boxy clothing that will cover up your curves (you’ll come off looking heavier overall)
Oh My Love High Neck Midi Pencil Dress $81.00
Atmos&Here Dinah Crossover Print Dress $59.95
Skye sweetheart off shoulder bodycon dress £18
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How do I know if I’m an apple?

You’ll carry weight around your middle and you're broader in the back, ribs and shoulders while being slimmer in your legs. The trick here is to draw attention to your legs and minimise your midsection.

What types of dresses should I wear?

By creating symmetry all over your body with dresses that don't accentuate your waist, you can bring the attention to your arms and legs. Think short hemlines or bare shoulders.

Do's and don'ts:

  • Do: Choose styles that are loose around the midsection
  • Do: Wear a monochrome palette
  • Do: Wear shorter hemlines that will show off your pins
  • Don't: Wear clothes that cinch in at the waist

Celebrity match:

Amy Schumer

Talulah Cara Mini Dress $260.00
Emilia tie neck floral shirt dress £15
Chiffon bardot cap sleeve shift dress purple
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How do I know if I’m a rectangle?

A rectangle shape is similar in size across both shoulders and hips. You want to trick the eye and create an illusion of curves with your clothing choices to avoid looking boyish.

What types of dresses should I wear?

Emphasising or enhancing curves with dresses that cinch in at the waist are top of the list. Feminine styles that are frilled, collared or embellished will work in your favour as well as styles that focus on the arms and legs.

Do's and don'ts:

  • Do: Choose styles that cinch in the waist
  • Do: Add layers to create more dimension to your outfit
  • Do: Wear colour on the top or the bottom to create contrast
  • Don't: Wear boxy clothes

Celebrity Match:

Alexa Chung

Ribbed asymmetric bodycon dress black/white $29.40
Jenn tuxedo style wrap bodycon dress £20
Shona Joy Drape Cocktail Maxi Dress $280.00
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Doone Roisin

Doone Roisin is the social media butterfly and Fashion Editor at finder.com.au. She's an online shopping enthusiast ready to show you what to buy and how to wear it, the best sales around town and insider tips to make note of.

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