Identifying your body type
Apple: The opposite of an hourglass where your waist is wider than your shoulders and hips.
Pear: Similar to a triangle, pear body types have fuller and wider hips and butt which contrast against less broad shoulders.
Inverted triangle: People with this body type have wider shoulders that taper to narrower hips and waist.
Rectangle: Rectangular body types have similar widths from shoulders to waist and there’re no defined curves and waistline.
Hourglass: You have a curvy body with a fuller bust, hip and thighs while your waist has a smaller circumference. You have the “ideal” body shape that suits most, if not all, dress types.
What is it: An A-line dress is fitted at your natural waist and then flares out.
Who is it best for: A-line dresses are great for all body types. For apple, rectangle and inverted triangle body types, the cinch helps fake a waistline, while the flare further de-emphasises the bottom-heavy look of a pear shape to help create the hourglass illusion.
1. Dress, $3,780, from Akris at NET-A-PORTER
This prim and proper emerald-hued number will ensure you look sharp, elegant and professional at work. Finish the power dressing look with gold bangles and nude pumps.
2. Dress, $29.90, from Mango
Celebrate the yearlong summer weather in Singapore with this retro floral number. To modernise the look, try adding a chunky statement belt to cinch the waist further and slip into your black pumps.
3. Dress, $621, from Preen at NET-A-PORTER
This off-shoulder piece is great for an inverted triangle body type as it distorts the shoulder line and makes it look less broad. Plus, the asymmetric quality at the hem acts like a dress slit and lengthens your gams. Match with your favourite stilettos to accentuate your legs.
What is it: A form-fitting, body-hugging dress that emphasises the curvatures of the body.
Who is it best for: Hourglass body types, obviously. The hourglass type is considered the most feminine body shape (much like how oval face shapes are seen to be the prettiest) and a bodycon fit will help accentuate your sexy figure.
1. Dress, $2,483, from Herve Leger at NET-A-PORTER
The added fringe elements to Hervé Léger’s signature bandage dress help add stature and height. Pops of colour would work great against the deep blue colour — we suggest yellow PVC pumps and a gold clutch to round up the look.
2. Dress, $19.90, from Bershka
Show off your wild side with this leopard-printed Bershka bodycon dress that will accentuate all the right curves. Show your man you mean business and finish with a bold red lip and black stilettos.
3. Dress, $24.95, from H&M
Made with comfortable stretch jersey, this red, black and white dress not only flatters the curves but also promises to remain comfortable. Channel Wimbledon realness with your favourite pair of white court sneakers.
What is it: Panels of fabric are added to give extra volume and texture to the dress. One good example would be ruffle dresses.
Who is it best for: This depends on where the layers are located on the dress. Ruffles along the shoulder and bust are great for pear and apple shapes to draw the eyes away from the hips and waist, while ruffles located at the waist and below are geared towards inverted triangles. Rectangle body types can wear both to help fake an hourglass silhouette.
1. Dress, $69.90, from Zara
The placement of the ruffles around the waist of this zappy, electric blue piece from Zara makes it suitable for pear-shaped body types who might be conscious of their waistline. Finish with bold statement earrings and gold heels for a fun, playful look.
2. Dress, $35.90, from Mango
Not only is this Mango layer dress in a slimming shade of black, the shift dress silhouette and the diagonal layers help break up the form of the waist. Perfect for those who are conscious of their waistline, you can make this LBD more interesting by wearing it with a wide belt.
3. Dress, from $1,060, from Simone Rocha at NET-A-PORTER
Simone Rocha is an Irish designer known for her modern, feminine take on fashion, and you can clearly see that in this piece. The diagonal and asymmetrical ruffles break the lines of perspective, adding a touch of evocativeness and uniqueness to this simple cream tulle dress. Wear this with a rattan bag and nude flats for an easy, relaxed weekend.
What is it: The mermaid dress takes the form of a bodycon dress and then flares out from the legs down, much like the fin portion of a mermaid’s tail.
Who is it best for: Because the main form of the mermaid style is a bodycon, it will be best suited for the hourglass type. Rectangle body types may like this style to help them look taller as it elongates the torso.
1. Dress, $44.90, from Zalora
This feminine blush pink piece from Zalora comes with a belt that cinches your waist to create (or accentuate) an hourglass physique. Keep with the flirty, whimsical theme by wearing with nude heels.
2. Dress, $28.99, from Shopsfashion at Zalora
Unlike most mermaid dresses, this Shopsfashion navy blue number comes in a sheath dress silhouette that makes it flattering for most body types. Bonus: The long stripes add height too. We recommend pairing it with sneakers for that sporty casual yet chic combination.
3. Dress, $700, from Michael Kors
We love the flattering shade of blue that this Michael Kors dress comes in. Show it off by matching it with a statement necklace and a pair of white pumps. Note: Those with an inverted triangle body type or who are conscious of their shoulders should stay away from this sleeveless creation though, or pair it with the matching jacket to channel First Lady vibes.
What is it: The wrap dress can be identified through three elements: V-neckline, an A-line shape and most importantly, a band to tie around the waist.
Who is it best for: Everyone actually. The front closure of the dress helps to cinch the waist and create that pinched-in hourglass shape. You can opt for a deeper neckline to further juxtapose against the A-line for a more curvaceous look, especially if you have a boxy or inverted triangle body shape.
1. Dress, $820, from Diane von Furstenberg
We can’t discuss wrap dresses without talking about Diane von Furstenberg, a Belgian designer who is widely regarded as the creator of this flattering design. Made with lightweight silk-crepe, this floral number is great for Singapore’s summery weather. Match with your favourite pair of woven wedges and get ready to lounge by the pool with mimosas in hand.
2. Dress, $49.90, from Zara
The deeper V-neckline afforded by this two-toned colour block number from Zara accentuates the cleavage, while the deeper colours will prevent you from look too raunchy for work. Match with a pair of brown leather boots.
3. Dress, $89.90, from Topshop
This striped number is a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe, as it offers you plenty of ways to wear it. We love how the long vertical stripes and its knee length cut help to elongate the stature and make you look taller. Complement the warm red tones with dainty gold jewellery and white sneakers to channel the inner French girl within you.
What is it: Much like a rectangle body type, the shift dress falls straight from the shoulders without any curvatures around the waist and hip area.
Who is it best for: Rectangle body types would be most comfortable in this style because the straight cut lines of the shift dress is reflective of the body shape. In addition, people who are conscious of their waist and hips (apple and pear) might appreciate this form as it can help make them look less prominent and curvy.
1. Dress, $2,090, from The Row at NET-A-PORTER
Founded by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, The Row is known for its minimalist boho vibes and this dress is nothing less. Strappy leather sandals and a fringed crossbody will help you complete the eclectic Americana look.
2. Dress, $39.90, from Pull & Bear
Checkered prints are a no-brainer and a perennial favourite — they allow you to add prints and colours without looking too much. Pair this Pull & Bear number with black boots, leather jacket and accessories for a rocker, edgy vibe.
3. Dress, $29.90, from Mango
Perfect for weekend brunch or a poolside chill with a sun hat, the tones of this mango-coloured piece will complement people with warmer skin tones and match well with gold-hued accessories. The side slits are a nice touch.