The Ultimate Guide to Dress Buying

With winter gone, and summer just around the corner, the warm and sunny days are practically begging us to bring out our dresses. Whether you’re out and about in the city or going to a formal event, a dress is the perfect choice for any occasion.

However, with all the different choices and dress styles, finding the right one seems like mission impossible, especially when you add the fact that there are plenty of online stores, as well as physical stores, where you can buy them.

Finding the perfect dress may seem hard at first, but once you know a few basic principles, shopping for your dream dress becomes a breeze. It may also be worthwhile browsing online for women’s dresses to get a feel for what’s out there. This should give you inspiration and you can get visuals of all the different styles available.

Here’s our guide to buying a dress that will fit your body type and make you look like a Hollywood star.

Consider The Occasion

Before diving into shopping, you need to consider the type of occasion you’re buying the dress for.

For formal events that have a special dress code or are more ceremonial in nature, such as a charity ball or a banquet, consider a full-length ball gown or a full-length dress.

More informal events such as award ceremonies or a night at the opera calls for a full-length flowing gown or a knee-length cocktail dress.

For everyday occasions, you can’t go wrong with a knee-length dress, a maxi dress, or a multi-purpose dress. For those occasions, you can also vary the length – anything from a form-fitting mini dress to a long and flowing dress goes.

Keep Your Budget In Mind

Your budget should also be a thing to consider. Nowadays, there are dresses that suit every budget. For high-end buyers, you can choose from a variety of exclusive designer gowns. There is also the option of having it custom made which will allow you to have multiple fittings to ensure the dress fits you perfectly and maintains a comfortable and elegant cut.

If your budget is limited, consider buying your dress in an off-season or during a seasonal sale. You might also find better deals online. Consider investing in a versatile dress that can be worn for different occasions and expanding your dress collection over time with more specific dress types.

What’s Your Preferred Style

Keep in mind your preferred style as well. If you don’t feel comfortable in a mini-dress, then consider buying a knee-length or a long dress. Not a fan of flowing gowns? Choose a dress that fits your body shape more snuggly.

Choose a style that brings out your best features as this will allow you to accentuate your figure and leave room to accessorize for a complete look.

Consider Body Shape

Your body shape should also be taken into consideration as not all dresses will fit all body shapes. Choosing the right dress for your body shape will enhance your best features and cover up the less flattering ones. With that in mind, here are the most common body types and tips on what works for each one.

Strawberry Shape -Women with a strawberry body shape have broad shoulders and backs, with slender hips and legs. They should avoid dresses that add bulk on the top and opt for deep necklines and flared or fuller skirts along with fluted hem lines.

Pear Shape: The opposite of the strawberry shape, the pear shaped women who have wider hips and smaller bust in comparison. They should opt for dresses that accentuate the waist such as A-line dresses that have large sleeves to add a bit of dimension to their upper part of the body.

Apple Shape -Well-rounded with slender legs an undefined waistline are the typical characteristics of apple body shape. Choose dresses that will cover up the waist area with belts and sashes. Low neckline, A-line dresses are the perfect choice for apple shaped women.

Rectangular Body Shape

Rectangular  Shape -refers to a body shape that has little or no curves. If you’re body type is rectangular, you’d do well with a dress that bares your shoulders, coupled with a belt to draw the attention towards the bust line and give the impression of a curvy body.

Hourglass Shape -The most coveted body shape of them all, the hourglass shape means your hips and shoulders are often the same width, with a slightly thinner waistline. You can wear most types of evening dresses that have a natural flair and use a wide sash to accentuate the waist.

Choosing the Right Size

It goes without saying that you should try on any dress that you plan on purchasing. However, if you are in a hurry and are buying your dress online, make sure to opt for a store that has a size chart. The size chart will give you an indication of what size you should order. Avoid using your normal size without consulting the size charts and taking your own measurements as you may be buying from an international store whose measurements and size charts are vastly different than what you’re used to.

Find Your Color

Don’t ignore the importance of color when it comes to your dress. Keep in mind that dark colors will make you appear slimmer while light colors, especially white add more volume. Your natural skin tone will play a crucial role in determining the right color for your dress. If your skin has a blue undertone, opt for greys, white, black and jewel tones. If, on the other hand, your skin color has a warmer tone, opt for reds, oranges, yellows, and browns.

Keep in mind that you can’t go wrong with traditional colors like white, grey or navy blue as those seem to go well no matter your skin tone.

Decide on the Dress Style

Once you know the occasion, your body shape, and have a color preference in mind, it’s time to decide on the dress style. Below are some of the most popular dress styles that you can choose from.

Everyday dresses refer to a casual style that works well for days at the office but also for a more relaxing day on the beach.

The little black dress can be made to look casual or elegant, depending on the style and the accessories that go with it. It’s a universal clothing item that should be present in every woman’s closet. Choose a style depending on your body shape and rock your little black dress as often as you’d like.

Maxi dresses can be worn day or night and add a dash of elegance to your style. Whether you’re tall or short, you can pull off a maxi dress as long as you keep your body shape in mind.

If you’ve got the legs to flaunt, consider a mini dress. Pair it with heels to make your legs seem longer or wear it with flats if you’re on the taller side.

A shirt dress is a  mix of the long shirt that’s actually a dress, a shirt dress is a great choice for any woman that wants to downplay their bust area. Use it as is for a more casual look or add a belt to give a bit of an accent to your waistline.

Swing dresses are usually loose fitting and have wide skirts. They don’t have much shape and would look good on curvier women that want to hide less flattering areas of their body.

A-line dresses are shaped like the letter A, these dresses start small as the top and flare out at the bottom. They look good on bodies with lots of curves since they naturally accentuate the waist. They can also flatter a more masculine figure thanks to the added feminine curve below the waist.

Like the name suggests, wrap dresses wrap around your body and wind up being clipped or tied around the waist. They work well on women with curvy figures or large bust as they flatter your silhouette without hugging the rest of the body too much.

Sheath dresses fit snuggly around the body but still leave enough room around your waistline. They are great for women with shorter legs given they usually fall above the knee. If you’ve got a bit of tummy to hide, consider a sheath dress to draw the attention away from the waist.

Find Your Perfect Dress

When it comes to finding your perfect dress, remember to choose a dress that will flaunt your best qualities and help you hide the less flattering parts. Keep your preferred color and style in mind as well as learn to recognize your body shape so that you can find an appropriate dress style.

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