How To Wear A Strapless Dress

Last updated on : September 11 2020

strapless style dresses

There is no secret that women come in all shapes and sizes, and that the best way to bring out your curves is to dress according to your body type.

In this article, we highlight how to choose the best bare-shoulder and strapless dress styles for your body type, and other need to know facts about these dresses. You can apply these principles to tube dresses too.


The Best Strapless Dress For Your Body Type.

Pear Shape

The most common women’s body shape is considered to be the pear. With this shape, your booty and hips are more extensive than your shoulders and bust line. 

You also have a delicate upper body structure with sexy arms and shoulders. These attributes make a dress without straps a fabulous choice for you. 

Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, and Rihanna all have pear-shaped bodies, and boy, do they flaunt it - as should you.

The perfect choice in this style focuses attention on your upper body. Scalloped and embellished necklines are great ways to draw attention upwards. 

Go for an A-line because these slim your hips and accentuate your upper body as do knee-length hems with empire waists. Long dresses are also an option if you have the height to pull them off.

knee length strapless dress

A knee-length or midi bandage dress is an excellent choice for a pear shape.

Apple or Diamond Shape

With an apple-shaped body, you have a full bust, broad shoulders, and a fuller torso. Your arms, legs, and hips tend to be thinner and shapely. Any weight you gain will mostly go to your waistline. 

Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Hurley, Rosie O’Donnell, Tyra Banks, and Catherine Zeta-Jones are celebrities with this body shape. 

Show off your full bust in a strapless sweetheart A-line dress. These dresses work because the A-line lengthens your body while the sweetheart neckline attracts attention to your cleavage and frames your face. 

Since you have thinner and shapely legs, try short and sexy to show them off too. 

You should, however, avoid dresses that attract attention to your waist and your stomach area, so stay away from belts or clothes with built-in waistline features.

sweetheart bandage dress

Short A-line bandage dresses work for apple shapes. 

Rectangular and Straight Shape

If you have a square or boyish-shaped body, then you have something in common with celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Naomi Watts, Keira Knightley, Trinny Woodall, and Reese Witherspoon. 

More than 45 percent of women in the US have this shape. Picture an hourglass figure and now mute the waist a little bit – this is the look of rectangular body shapes - characterized by narrower hips, a smaller bust, and an undefined waist. 

One of the best things about your body type is that weight gain gets evenly distributed. So you can get away with carrying a few extra holiday pounds.

The perfect dress for you is one that creates curves and provides an attractive silhouette. Those that give you a more defined waistline are the way to go. 

Choose fitted bodices, preferably with border prints as these create an illusion of curves. A strapless peplum dress will provide additional shape and so works well too. 

Keep in mind that whatever dress you choose, it should add volume to both your upper and lower body proportionally. Choose knee-length or short styles because women with this body type have shapely legs.

corset lace bandage dress from the kewl shop

Choose a dress that defines your waistline for rectangular shapes

Inverted Triangle Shape

Also known as an athletic body type, broader shoulders and narrower hips characterize inverted triangles. You have a more extensive upper body with a fuller back and bust. 

Celebrities with an inverted triangle body shape include some of the most famous models in the world — Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Gisele Bündchen, as well as renowned actress Renee Zellweger.

Even though you have a good bust line, your best assets are your shapely legs - so show them off. 

Dress in a way that attracts attention away from your broader shoulders and more significant upper body and accentuates your lean legs and slimmer lower body. 

Try an A-line or mermaid with an empire waist, either mini or maxi, will look great on you. 

The objective is to add volume to your lower body — for example, full skirts with embellishments that draw the attention to your hips.

beige mermaid strapless bandage dress

Mermaid styles help balance an inverted triangle shape.

Hourglass Shape

This shape may be the most coveted and envied of all the body shapes; however, only a small minority of women have one.

Most supermodels do not have this body type because it is too curvy with a full bust line, shapely legs, and a well-defined waist. 

Some of the most well-known celebrities with this shape are Beyonce, Kate Winslet, Mariah Carey, Jessica Biel, Kim Kardashian, Shakira, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

If you have an hourglass figure and are on the lookout for the perfect dress without straps, you are fortunate because almost any will work.

Whether you want to wear a cute strapless bodycon dress with a sweetheart neckline or a tube dress with a sheath skirt, you will look great. 

The general rule is to accentuate your waistline and curves, so wear dresses with waistline definition or accessorize it with a belt. Stay away from baby dolls and empire waist dresses that hide your waist. 

A pencil style or anything tight and sexy is often the way to go.

white strapless bandage dress

A skin-tight strapless mini bandage shows off your hourglass shape.  

How To Keep A Strapless Dress Up

The golden rule is to test before you buy. 

Having to deal with a dress that keeps on falling is not a good idea, especially if you need to resort to sticky tape, wearing a shirt or slip underneath or worse. Avoid these fashion faux pas at all costs.

Look for dresses that have beading on their underside that fits firmly against your skin, avoiding slippage. Also consider dresses that have hidden or hideaway straps, for emergencies, when all else fails.

What To Look For In A Strapless Bandage Dress 

The strapless dresses shouldn't let you down. Before investing, look for a thin rubber or silicone strip that holds tight against your skin, preventing the dress from falling.

Additionally, look for luxury bandage material that has thickness and stretch, ensuring the dress stays firmly against your skin at all times. The dress should be sturdy enough to wear without a bra and cater for all bust sizes. 

What Bra To Wear With A Strapless Dress 

Naturally, a strapless bra style or bodysuit is your best option. 

If you are comfortable with your tummy and not looking for added control, opt for the dress alone without a bra. 

Otherwise, choose a bodysuit to slim down your stomach and provide more support and control. 

Read our article What to Wear Under a Bandage Dress for more detailed information.

What Jewelry Works Best

We consulted jewelry designers, influencers, and stylists about the best necklace styles and jewelry options for strapless dress styles.

Here are some of the responses:

Diamonds in The Library: "When you have a lot of chest and shoulders showing it gives you so many options for necklaces: it's the perfect time for one big statement piece, but you shouldn't forget to try other things, too. Consider a long necklace that will draw the eye up and down your body, or several layered necklaces to give an unexpected complexity to your look. Or you could always skip a necklace in favor of truly major earrings." 

Love & Pieces: “When wearing a dress without straps is a perfect opportunity to make a statement with your jewelry. If the neckline and dress are simple, choose a bold necklace that will pop and pull your look together. If you’re not comfortable with a statement necklace, go for some great earrings. Right now, earrings are hot. There are so many options to choose, including climbers, tassels, hoops, and  threaders.”

The Diary of a Jewelry Lover: "These dresses are a bold style statement. To complement it, pick one item of jewelry that stands out, but don't over accessorize. If the dress is classic and chic, go for some glamorous chandelier earrings on their own. Or a bold chunky necklace with small stud earrings. A high fashion dress can suit a long necklace well or solid cuff bangle. However, if it is highly patterned, consider simpler jewelry, such as small diamond earrings." 

What Hairstyles Suit A Strapless Dress

Strapless dresses offer a beautiful display of your shoulders and frame your face in femininity and subtle sexual invitation. A strapless neckline is versatile and works well with both updo and free-flowing hairstyles.

A sexy look needs an updo hairstyle to show skin. For a conservative look, wear your hair down in free-flowing curls.

You want to accentuate your collarbone with these dresses. Apply smoothing balm and blow dry your curls to frame and highlight your shoulders, neck, and collarbones, whether you choose an updo or free-flowing style.

Read more about matching your hairstyle to your dress neckline and how to match your hair color to your skin tone.  

What Color Dress To Wear

We all have a favorite color that we love to wear. But did you know that the color of your dress choice also says a lot about your personality, mood, and emotions? 

Read these articles to understand more: 14 Things The Colors You Wear Say About You and How To Wear A Sexy Red Dress

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