Shopping & Style

Shopportunities: How To Dress Up When Dresses Aren't Your Thing

Flatter your figure when it comes to cocktail dresses and long evening options

BY June 14, 2016

Help! I don’t wear dresses, as I can never get the right fit, but I have to buy a cocktail dress and a long, evening option for an upcoming wedding. What are the best styles for my figure type?

 —Melissa P., Fort Myers Beach

Your email provided detailed information (more than we can publish here), so for the benefit of other women who share your silhouette, I’ll mention you have a full bust, little waist definition, slim hips and great legs. For your cocktail outfit, look for a shift dress style that’s cut fairly straight in the body, so it skims over your bust and mid-section. Make sure it fits you in these areas—it can easily be taken in a little at the hips if necessary. (Note that a shift dress is not the same as a sheath dress, which is more fitted and nipped-in at the waist.) Show off your shapely legs with a stunning pair of heels. If you want a different style for your evening dress, try an “empire line” cut. The bodice of an empire line dress has a horizontal seam directly under the bustline; the remainder of the dress falls from this point, which creates a very flattering silhouette with the added bonus of creating visual length. You never know—you might find you really do enjoy wearing dresses after all.


Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. If you have a question for Cheryl, send it here.


Related Images: