The Best Dresses and Romper Styles for Your Body Type

Last updated on : June 04 2017

dressing for body types

A quick Google search delivers various insights into body types and style recommendations for each. Fashion consultants and stylists often center their creations on the unique body profiles of their models and clients. Yet the struggle of actually dressing to accommodate your body type is not always straightforward, a tad overwhelming, and confusing.

The challenge presents because often our bodies are a combination of two body types, our bust line is a bit heavier, or our waistline is not clearly defined.

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The Key to Dressing Your Body Type

With trends changing every season, it becomes difficult to dress fashionably while also picking clothes that truly flatter our personal style and feminine proportions. The goal is to look great no matter what the current trend is but not to forsake those styles we have created and bonded with. Experts say that understanding your body type is important to ensure that you use fashion like it is intended to be used – as a tool to create a look for yourself that you love. Knowing your body type helps you create a sense of balance through the clothes that you wear, the makeup you apply, and hairstyles you create.

So we thought it only fitting to provide a guide on the best romper and dress styles for body types. We cover simple tips and tricks to help you embrace your natural body and bring out its lovely curves, angles, bulges, and sags. For example, a woman with angular limbs and curves needs to wear fabrics that add softness and fluidity to her look. While one with soft curves should add structure with her dress.

Here are the best dresses and romper styles for a variety of body types. Your body may be a mixture of the two - so use your style instincts and fashionista gut to pull your look together more completely.

How to Dress Your Apple Shape

The apple body shape is characterized by a waistline that is wider than the hips and bust. Sometimes heavier on the top, with a bust that is few inches bigger than the hips. The waistline is usually narrow and limbs are slender. At times, the midriff may appear heavy since the weight is concentrated on the upper body.

Celebs with this body shape include Eva Longoria and Drew Barrymore. 

Without a clearly defined waist, you can be at a loss when it comes to choosing the right dress or romper. However the goal is to create a sensuous silhouette by adding vertical lines and drawing attention to the cleavage area, bust line or your shapely legs.

apple shaped body type

Skin tight tiny and strapless dresses can work well for apple shapes

Best assets

Slim, long, and shapely legs.


  • Pick short skirts, skin tight tiny dresses, etc. to flaunt those lovely legs while also drawing attention away from your mid-section.
  • Empire and A-line hemlines create a balanced, feminine look.
  • Use V-necks and low, round necklines to give a torso-lengthening effect. Tops in darker hues will make your bust look smaller.
  • Go for good bras that lift and support well to avoid a droopy effect.
  • Choose flared, boot-cut, and straight styles in pants or jeans so that they are not too tight and create a smooth silhouette from the shoulders.


  • Outfits with shoulder pads—this will add more weight to the upper body.
  • Dresses with a pinch at the waist or belts will accentuate the parts of your that you do not wish to flaunt.
  • Skinny jeans or wide, baggy pants can make your torso look even wider, and create a shortening effect.

Recommended Styles 

Choose dresses with an empire waist or baby-dolls which serve to draw the eyes upwards. Strapless dresses are great for this body type as they help to channel attention to your fuller bust line and demure shoulders.

Instead of picking dresses with a defined waistline, opt for shift dresses that afford movement. Pay attention to fabrics as well. Go for chiffon, silk, cotton blends, and linen. Apple body shapes easily pull off shorter hemlines so be daring and show a bit more leg. A-line dresses provide a similar look to empire waisted styles as they create the illusion of wider hips.

When it comes to rompers, choose one with no pleats because pleats will add more bulk to your stomach area. Steer clear of loud patterns and large geometric prints, especially in the area above your waist. Drive attention away from your midsection by choosing a romper with a double-layered top detailing – the loose second layer provides a cover that conceals your problem areas with ease.

Women with an apple body type should create an elongated look to add height to their frame and enhance their best features. Showing off long legs create an overall balanced, slimming appearance.

Simple Ways to Style Your Straight Body Type

This body shape is recognized by the straight lines and proportions going from the shoulders to the waist and sometimes continuing to your hips. Also known as the rectangular or ruler body type, this shape has almost an appearance that looks straight so the key is to create curves with your dresses and rompers naturally.

Hilary Swank, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, and Natalie Portman are some famous figures with this body type.

a line dress for straight body types

An A line dress adds shape to a straight body

Best assets

Toned and sexy legs and arms.


  • Wear tops or dresses that are sleeveless to draw attention to your shapely limbs.
  • Experiment with blouses that have V-necks, ruffles, interesting collars, and other details to add texture and a feminine form to your bust area.
  • Boot-cut pants or skirts that are fitted at the hip and flare out in the lower portion create lovely curves. Experiment with colors in bottom wear.
  • Use shape wear to achieve a curvy look with minimal effort. For example, a padded bra or shaping undergarments can create a defined, feminine look.
  • Wear outfits that cinch at the waist and have a soft, feminine shape to enhance your curves. Short, fitted jackets and belts with dresses are easy ways to do that.


  • Clothes that are either too tight or too loose and flowy, as these look unstructured around the waist area.
  • Fabrics that are too clingy, since these make the rectangular shape too obvious.
  • Upper wear with big shoulder pads.
  • Men’s clothing—baggy outfits or pants in a stiff material do not lend a flattering look.

Recommended Styles

An A-line or baby doll dress with a deep-V neck may look racy and a bit more risky on other body types, however, these styles provide instant curves to your linear body shape. Look for dresses with draping, frills, or prints on the bust area to create more depth.

V-necked rompers with darts at the waist are a great idea for this body shape, as is wearing a light colored dress or romper with a waist cinching belt in a darker hue. Resist wearing dresses or rompers with a square-neck, as they create a boxy silhouette instead of a curvy one. Keep your look fluid and soft and avoid tight and tailored rompers and dresses. Instead go for loose fitting clothing to provide a relaxed and natural illusion of feminine curves.

Women with a rectangular body type often feel boyish because of the lack of well-defined curves, but in truth, it is an easy body shape to work with. Choose fitted tops and jackets with interesting bottom wear to highlight your waist and give the illusion of curves. Embrace ruffles and frills to soften your natural silhouette.

v neck romper

Dressing Your Hourglass Figure

Perhaps the most coveted body shape since the beginning of time, an hourglass figure is characterized by a narrow waist and full bust and hips. For this body type, there is only one cardinal rule – always accentuate your thin waist. When you accentuate your thin waist you are able to conceal problem areas easily such as a protruding stomach or smaller breasts.

For celebs with this body shape think Scarlett Johansson, Vanessa Joy Lachey, and Salma Hayek.

v neck dress for an hourglass body

V-neck dresses work well for hourglass shapes 

Best assets

Curves in all the right places.


  • Choose clothes that flatter your curves and fall nicely on your body to enhance your shapely figure. Tailored, well-fitting clothing will add feminine grace and sex appeal to your form.
  • Go for slightly flared or straight skirts and pants to make your lower body look slender and tall.
  • Tops and dresses with a V or round neckline work well for this body type. However, pay attention to how much cleavage you are showing to fit the occasion.
  • Try wrap dresses with simple jewelry to highlight your figure in a visually-pleasing way minus too much bulk.
  • Make your waist the focal point when choosing clothes. Direct attention to your waist area with slim belts and bandage dresses that are nipped at the waist.


  • Do not wear loose, baggy clothing as these can hide your curves and give an unflattering effect.
  • Stay away from clothes that may make you look ‘boxy’ such as oversized cardigans and tunics.
  • Big belts make your midsection look broader, steer clear.
  • Pants and skirts with a low waistline as these make your hips look bigger than their actual size.
  • Tapered trousers and skirts.

Recommended Styles

Choose a bandage dress that cinches at your natural waistline, or a floral fashion dress worn with a belt that defines your waist. Women with this body type should steer clear of empire waisted dresses because they may make you look larger. You have your pick of trendy dresses and rompers as your shape continues to rule the roost at all fashion houses. A classic fit-and-flare dress or a bandage dress is perfect for this body shape.

Steer clear of oversized or loose dresses and rompers as they conceal and ruin your beautiful shape and silhouette. A structured romper is perfect for this body shape as it does not look frumpy, cinches at your best asset – your waist and emphasizes all your curves.

Choose light fabrics and patterns that fall nicely on your curves to bring out your best features. Balance your outfit to protect you shape and show off your well proportioned curves.

Realizing the Beauty in Your Pear Shape

If you need help understanding what the pear shape is, look at Beyoncé or Rihanna. For years being a pear shape was frowned upon, yet thanks to celebrities and socialites like Kim Kardashian West - the shape is lovely, feminine, and alluring. Pear shapes are characterized by your backside and hips being distinctly larger than your bust and shoulder area.

pear shaped body

Pear shaped in a bandage dress - Attention is drawn to neck, shoulders and arm areas. 

Best assets

Women with the pear body type have narrow shoulders and a well-rounded bottom. The torso is also usually shapely, attractive, and well defined.


  • Draw attention to your bust and broaden your shoulders with puff sleeves.
  • Choose necklines that accentuate your shoulders, like scoop-necks and sweetheart. Ruffled tops also work great.
  • Wear strapless dresses—an excellent way to flaunt your toned arms and upper body while balancing out your overall look.
  • Play around with combinations of light-colored tops and darker hued lower wear.
  • Opt for pants that have a straight-leg cut with heels for a slimming effect.
  • Accessorize with a cropped jacket. This highlights your slim waist and gives a leg-lengthening effect.
  • Have fun with hemlines—a tulip skirt or hi-lo and A line styles keep things visually appealing and gives a slimming look to the lower body.


  • Jackets that fall midway on your butt can make you look short, frumpy, and choppy.
  • Capri-style or cropped pants—these make the legs appear wide and short. Also, stay away from heavily flared pants.
    • Stretched fabrics on trousers will draw attention to your lower body and appear strained when you walk.
    • Shapeless clothes—these rarely do good for any body shape.

    Recommended Styles

    The best way to set off a pear body shape is to choose A-line hems, dresses and rompers with an open neck or flowing dresses with a tea-length hem. All these options should draw attention to your delicate neck, shoulders and arm areas. An empire waist dress is also a good idea for this body type as it helps accentuate the smallest part of your body thereby distracting from other parts.

    Choose strapless rompers and fitted dresses that enhance your upper body. When picking rompers, go a size up so you can show off your curvy rear without the material stretching at the seams.

    To give your body length consider footwear with pointed toes to give your legs an elongated effect. But keep the ankle straps at bay.

    How to Pull Off Your Ballerina Shape 

    Women who boast a slender and muscular frame like that of a ballerina (this is also an inverted triangle or wedge shape) are perfectly placed to try avant-garde styles – think modern florals and slinky materials like crepe de chine. With a more muscular body shape and profile you run the risk of looking hard so the goal is to appear soft, caressable, and lovely.  With your ballerina shape you are able to pull off anything because of your toned physique, however, you should take your cues from the straight body types above.

    Actresses Angelina Jolie and Renee Zellweger have this body shape.

    gold v neck dress for ballerina shape

    Show off muscular tones in a striking bandage dress 

    Best assets

    Long and toned legs.


    • Use A-line and full skirts to create a wider silhouette on the lower body and achieve a nice balance.
    • Open necklines like scoop necks and V-styles to highlight a vertical line.
    • High-waisted styles to give your mid-section a flattering shape.
    • Belts over soft fabrics to define the waistline.
    • Choose feminine textures and soft fabrics like chiffon to soften your shoulder area.
    • Celebrate your shape and muscular tone in tight fitting dresses with open or v-necklines.  


    • Big patterns and elaborate details around your neckline and shoulders will make your upper body appear heavier.
    • Necklines like boat-styles, spaghetti straps, etc. that can make your shoulders look wider.
    • Shapeless dresses and chunky knits as these hide your silhouette.

    Recommended Styles

    This body type is best accentuated with a slip dress or a slinky halter neck dress that draws attention to your athletic frame. Choose a modern floral patterned dress that will add volume to your frame. Dresses with a drop waist are perfect for lending shape to your hips.

    A narrow frame gives you the freedom to play around with silhouettes, ruffles, and frills. Be sure to try rompers with ruffles or bows for a fun and flirty style.

    How to Love Your Petite Body Type

    Also known as a compact or petite body shape, a petite woman is one who is under 5’4” tall, with overall smaller proportions. If you are smaller all over, then the best type of dress for you is the mini dress. Whether or not you choose to wear heels to complete the look, a mini dress elongates your entire frame and particularly your legs. Gaining the illusion of being taller is a simple way to give you confidence in your smaller body type. It is also very easy to achieve with the right styles. 

    Recommended Styles

    Choose dresses that are short and vibrant. Dresses and rompers with collars are also a great fit for this body type. Breezy and floral fashion dresses are ideal for providing an ultra-feminine allure, while a round-necked peplum dress easily fills out your petite frame in all the right places. 

    Mixed textures, layered rompers, and bright colors are all a go for you. For rompers, opt for form-fitting ones with tiny spring flowers, or stripes and prints. One of the hottest ongoing trends is vertical stripes. This trend seems to be made with petite women in mind, so pick a waist-cinching short romper with vertical stripes to lengthen your petite frame.

    deep v romper

    Body Challenge: Full Bust in Everyday Clothes

    Women with full busts (think Christina Hendricks of the Mad Men fame) may look like they have it easy and need to hardly pull off any styles, however, they often face the issue of looking matronly. It can be difficult to find dresses that do not make you look over-the-top or at the other end of the spectrum frumpy and unkempt. If this is your body challenge, you must not lose heart and simply embrace the idea of always trying stuff on prior to making any purchase or style decisions. 

    Recommended Styles

    Choose dresses with a modest V-neck, slim waist, and flared hems, perhaps in a jacquard style like the dress Kim K wears below. A high-necked dress with shoulder cut-outs serves to highlight your bosom without making it look risqué. A body-contouring bandage dress with a modest V-neck and a hemline that stops just above the knee draws the eyes from your legs to your understated cleavage in a seamless manner - and you maintain your dignity.

    Color block rompers with subtle accents at the waist create a marked line between your upper and lower body, as do rompers with a tie at the waist or those worn with a belt. In order to create the illusion of a curvier rear, look for rompers that have a generous amount of fabric at the seat and legs. 

    Kim k bandage dress

    Remember that you are easily able to find an abundant selection of styles to fit and flatter your body type here at the shop. Our focus and goal is to create and design clothes with real women, like you, in mind. Each dress and romper is designed to be flattering, feminine, and lovely. Dressing for your body type and shape takes planning and bit of forethought. If you are ever in a bind or can't decide which pattern or fit works best for you ask us in live chat or send us an email - we are always here to help.

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    About the Author

    Sasithon Bella is the kewl in The Kewl Shop. Co-founder, chief buyer, bandage dress guru and a lot more. If you like what you see at The Kewl Shop it is because of Sasithon Bella. You might know her better as Sasi.



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