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Trying to figure out the best summer dress for your body type might seem difficult. There’s even disagreement about how many body types there are. We’ll stick with four body shapes, though. As you’ll see, some of the other body shapes that you might see mentioned arise from how weight gain changes the way some body shapes look. But, weight-gain changes don’t change the basic ideas about which dress styles best complement each body shape.
It’s easiest to determine your body shape if you have both a tape measure and a full-length mirror. Take your bust measurement, your waist measurement, and your hip measurement. Then stand in front of a full-length mirror and look at yourself from both a front and side view. Once you know your body shape, picking out the perfect style for your summer dresses is simply a matter of balance and proportion. If you’d like sketches of the different body types and the most flattering styles for them.
The Four Body Shapes
The four body shapes we’ll consider are:
- The Hourglass
- The Pear Shape
- The Inverted Triangle or Apple Shape
- The Rectangle or Flapper Shape
If your body type is the hourglass shape, your waist measurement will be around 8- to 10-inches narrower than your bust and hip measurements. Your hip and bust measurements will be nearly the same. When you gain weight, you’ll gain it evenly everywhere, so that your body’s proportions remain the same – your waist is always about 8- to 10-inches narrower than your hips and bust, and the measurements for your hips and bust remain about the same.
The Pear Shape
If your body type is the pear shape, your bust measurement will be about 8- to 10 inches larger than your waist measurement, but your hip measurement will be much larger than that proportionate 8- to 10-inches. You’ll have narrow, sloping shoulders, but your derriere and thighs will be large no matter how much you weigh. When you gain weight, you’ll gain it mainly in your hips and thighs, especially in your derriere.
The Inverted Triangle or Apple Shape
If you have the inverted triangle or apple shape, your body shape will look like an inverted triangle when you’re slim, but an apple shape when you gain weight. That’s because of the way you gain weight. You’ll have broad shoulders, which is an athletic look. Your bust will be larger than your waist, and your body will taper down to narrow hips. When you gain weight, you’ll gain it in your abdomen, which creates the apple shape. You’ll still have a flat derriere, however.
The Rectangle or Flapper Shape
If you have the rectangle or flapper shape, your bust, waist, and hip measurements will be nearly identical. It’s a flat-chested, youthful, boyish look. Like women with the hourglass shape, when you gain weight, you gain weight evenly everywhere.
The Perfect Summer Dress for the Hourglass Figure
If you have an hourglass figure, you can wear any summery dress you like. But, if you have one of those gorgeous hourglass shapes, why wouldn’t you flaunt it? Choose some boho dresses that show off everything you love about your body and definitely wear sashes and belts!
The Perfect Summer Dress for the Pear-Shaped Figure
If you have a pear-shaped figure, look for a dress that draws attention or adds width or volume above the waist while slimming down your looks below your waist. Off-the-shoulder dresses create a horizontal line that adds width. If the dress also features a flirty ruffle on it’s off-the-shoulder look, even better, because that adds volume. Below the waist, you’ll want to look for a slim skirt but not a body-con one. Dirndl skirts are slightly gathered but not super full, so they have some flow and movement. They look cool in the summer heat, but they don’t add too much width or volume.
Another possibility is a dress that mixes an eye-catching print above the waist with a solid color skirt, especially a skirt in a darker color. If you’re all about your bass, though, and you want to show it off, go for a body-con dress. Women with pear-shaped bodies do have waistlines, and they can accentuate them with belts, but be careful that a full, flowing sash doesn’t add more fullness than you want below your waist. A narrow sash or tie belt can create a slimming vertical line for your look.
The Perfect Summer Dress for the Inverted Triangle or Apple Shape
If you have the inverted triangle body shape, you’ll want to slim down your look above your waist while adding volume or width below your waist.
Look for dresses with fitted tops. V-necklines also slim wide shoulders and draw attention, ahem, elsewhere. Full flowing skirts, skirts with flirty ruffles, and skirts in bright colors or prints also add width or volume below your waist. Skirts with diagonal stripes that lead down and out from the waist and center seam of the skirt add width as well.
If you’ve gained weight and your figure looks more apple-shaped, look for dresses with low-cut backs and skirts that are slimmer in front but looser and more flowing in the back. Hi-low skirts with longer hems in the back and shorter ones in front also add interest and volume to the back of the dress.
The Perfect Summer Dress for the Rectangle or Flapper Shape
If you have a rectangle or flapper body shape, you could go with that flapper look with a cute sheath dress that you can wear with a long string of beads. If you want to create a figure for yourself, though, you’ll want a dress that adds volume above and below your waist while slimming down your waistline. Look for dresses with full blouson tops and full skirts with fitted waist or two-piece sets that create that look.
Dresses with short, cropped jackets and fuller skirts are another look to try. Dresses with diagonal lines on the top and bottom that draw the eye in toward your waist narrow the look of your waistline while adding width above and below your waist. Dark-colored belts and sashes that contrast with your dress also enhance the look of your waistline. While body-con dresses won’t add width or volume above or below your waist, they will accentuate your waist. In short, those with hourglass-shaped bodies can wear any style of dress and look good.
Conclusion for Your Perfect Summer Dress
Those with pear-shaped bodies and those with bodies shaped like inverted triangles will want to do the exact opposite of each other. Those with pear-shaped bodies will want to add width and volume above the waist. Those with bodies shaped like inverted triangles will want to add width and volume below the waist.
Those with bodies shaped like inverted triangles who have gained weight so that their bodies have become more apple-shaped will want to look for dresses with more slimming lines in front while adding fullness and interest to the back.
Those with rectangular, flapper-like figures can go with the flapper look or combine the tactics of those with pear-shaped bodies and those with inverted triangle-shaped bodies to slim their waistlines while adding volume and width above and below their waists.