Prom: How To Dress For Your Body Type

Not many women find the perfect dress in the first shop she walks into, and it’s no different when you choose your prom dress. Perhaps the most important issue is to pick a dress that is flattering for your body shape. So …

Start your search early

It could take a while to find your perfect prom dress, so start your search well in advance of the prom date. This is especially wise if you intend to order a dress online, as it will give you time to find a replacement if the dress arrives late, doesn’t turn up, or you don’t like it.

Finding a prom dress for your budget

There are prom dresses for every budget. Consider hiring a dress if you want a designer number, or buying from a resale shop. Charity shops can be a great source of amazing, unique gowns; get it tailored to fit, and you’ll still spend less than on a new dress. Don’t just look at dresses labelled as prom dresses; an evening gown or vintage dress could be amazing. Browse Ebay or resale sites, but beware of cheap dresses; they’ll probably look nothing like the picture, be made of cheap fabric, and be a sad disappointment.

Pick a dress to suit your shape

Just about every woman on the planet has fallen in love with a dress that just doesn’t work with her body type, and it takes a while to figure out what works. The sad fact is that, however gorgeous a dress is, if it doesn’t flatter your shape it just isn’t going to work. Here’s how to choose the right gown for your body type:


Petite girls have to be particularly careful in their choice of prom dress. What will look great on a taller girl, may swamp a shorter one. Instead, create the illusion of height with an asymmetric hem, or wear a shorter gown. If you fall in love with a full-length dress, you could get away with wearing it if you pick higher heels; but make sure you can walk in them, and the hem of the dress doesn’t get caught on them!


Tall girls will look ace in a dress with a bold print, and your long legs mean that you can also wear dresses with a slit. Do be careful that it’s not too high though! And just because you’re tall doesn’t mean that you should avoid wearing heels. Own that height!


Apple figures carry their weight around the middle, so a full skirt will help balance their proportions. Their best feature is often their legs, meaning a shorter dress will be super flattering.


Athletic frames need the illusion of shape, so go for an empire line (a high waistline under the bust). You can also use a belt to create definition, or add eye-catching accessories to create a focal point.


Pear shapes have larger hips and a smaller torso, so to balance out your proportions you need to emphasise your upper half. An off-the-shoulder gown would look fabulous, or a bodice with plenty of detail.


Lucky you! You have that fab figure that was so sought-after in the Fifties, so take your inspiration from the stars of that era. Think Grace Kelly, or Marilyn Monroe, with their nipped-in waists and full skirts.


A wedge shape is the reverse of a pear and has broad shoulders with slim hips. So like the pear, you need to balance your proportions. Choose a dress with a fitted top and full skirt.

The perfect prom dress for you is out there! Work with your body, not against it, and you’ll find the dress that makes you look and feel like a queen.