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Which Cocktail Dress Suits Your Body Type?

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Choosing a cocktail dress is all about balance. Follow the advice of this image consultant, and you will be on your way to looking and feeling fabulous at your next social event.

Francis Bacon said, “There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” How many times have you stared into a dressing room mirror feeling that your body proportions were strange? Now you can select a cocktail dress that flatters your body shape.

Bridgette Raes (www.bridgetteraes.com), New York City image and style expert and author of Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want, shared her knowledge with me.

Pear Shape
Pear-shaped women have narrower shoulders and are heavier on their bottom halves. Bridgette suggests avoiding halter top dresses. The inward angling of halters causes shoulders to look narrower, resulting in broader-looking hips and thighs. Dresses with wide or square necks build up the shoulder line, thus balancing the lower half. Choose a slight A-line shaped dress with a defined waist. A structured fabric will camouflage thighs. If a skirt is too billowy, larger hips and thighs will look bulkier.

Inverted Triangle Shape
Women with wider shoulders are generally narrower on the bottom. They look great in deep V-necks, halters, and one-shoulder tops. These angled necklines have a narrowing effect on ample shoulders. To balance the upper body with a narrower lower half, choose cocktail dresses with fuller, flirty skirts and slimmer bodices. Fuller skirts make hips appear broader, balancing out shoulders.

Round Shape
Ladies with round figures should not hide under shapeless cocktail dresses. Since the rib cage is usually slim on this body type, Bridgette suggests a cocktail dress with some slight shape a few inches above the natural waist. Avoid dresses with horizontal seaming, especially at the waistline. A slight ruching or gathering in the tummy area will conceal lumps and bumps. A fit and flare trumpet style skirt gives a rounder body a curvy figure.

Rectangular Shape
This lean, straight body shape is without much waist definition. Try on cocktail dresses that cinch in the waist. Princess seams will create the illusion of a curvier figure. Trumpet skirts make hips appear more voluptuous. Incorporate details such as ruffles or gathering over the bust area.

Hourglass Shape
An hourglass figure is all about the curves. It’s best to choose clothing that doesn’t fight those curves. Select cocktail dresses with defined waists since the waist is the slimmest part of an hourglass shape. Pencil skirts accentuate natural curves well while tapering the size of hips and thighs. Necklines are best kept low, as in deep V-necks and scoops. Be careful of belting as it shortens the torso making a large chest look even larger. Avoid the extra bulk of three dimensional embellishments over the chest area.

Bridgette admonishes that although hem lengths are getting shorter again, a timeless cocktail dress is just below the knee. Think “counterbalance” as you select a cocktail dress for your body shape…then your proportions won’t look so strange at all the next time you stare into that dressing room mirror.

Image source: http://fashionazz.com/short-cocktail-dresses-classy-elegant

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Short Cocktail Dresses photo

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Short Cocktail Dresses photo

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Short Cocktail Dresses photo

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