A Cocktail Dress For Every Body Type


 A Cocktail Dress For Every Body Type

A cocktail dress for every body type

There's nothing wrong with having an off-the-shoulder top and leg-accentuated skirt and a simple navy dress. But what if you prefer to show your legs or arms in a different way? As the fashion season is upon us, this list of the best cocktail dresses for different body types may help you find a style that fits your personality. Styles like a McQueen beaded mini dress will add glamour to any ensemble but are more suited for someone with long, toned limbs such as Beyonce on her "Single Ladies" cover than shorter women like Christina Aguilera wearing the same outfit on American Idol. And a sparkly number with a low back and cut-outs at the sides is best for women who carry their weight in their stomach, such as Jennifer Lopez.

For the petite woman:

Petite women tend to wear cocktail dresses better than other body types but there are still some styles that won't flatter petite figures. Pay attention to skirts that overwhelm your frame or dresses that are cut too low in the front.

Cocktail dresses that work: Criss-cross details on top draw attention up and down your figure rather than side to side. The longer the dress, the better, so avoid anything ankle length or shorter in black or dark colours. Short dresses in lighter colours and fabrics work too.

Cocktail dresses that don't work: Anything that shows too much tummy will make you look wider than you are, and the same goes for any style with a low V-neckline that exposes your chest. Neon reds should be left to women who have a shorter torso or a similarly curvy shape such as Christina Hendricks. Dresses with cut-outs either across the waist or in the arms look great on petite figures as they draw attention down rather than up.

For the curvy woman:

If you're curvy, then play up your positives while downplaying your negatives. A goal for the emerging season should be to wear dresses that make you look great instead of making you look like you're wearing a swimsuit.

Cocktail dresses that work: The key to looking great in a cocktail dress is not focusing on what's not flattering, but rather exaggerating your best features. Slits at the side and the back, and/or longer sleeves will elongate your limbs and make you look thinner or fuller depending on whether you like how it looks. Dresses with a high neck line are also flattering as they draw attention away from those pesky bulges. We also love the look of arm-accentuating styles such as the halter or straps and a high waist.

Cocktail dresses that don't work: Keep away from short skirts unless paired with long sleeves or a cardigan. The common issue with cocktail dresses that show off a lot of leg is the thigh area, where women tend to carry more fat than anywhere else on their bodies. If you are confident in your top half, then wear whatever you want for your bottom end.


Cocktail dresses go with most body types but you'll want to choose one with long sleeves or a high neck line if you're on the shorter side. If you like to emphasise your curvy shape, then focus on wearing dresses that draw attention down instead of up.

Take a look at some of the best fitted cocktail dresses for women available now:

Click here for more of our Best Dresses for Women guides. If you're looking for something more casual and trendy, take a look at our Best Prom Dresses page. And if you need some help with your wedding gown , click here .

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