Best Prom Dress For Your Body Type

Published on: Saturday, February 20, 2021 21:30

For the next 6-8 weeks your social life is about to revolve around one activity: prom and find the perfect prom dress for your body shape! Whether you love it or loathe it, every girl needs a great dress to mark the occasion. Preparing for the big night can involve as little or as much effort as you choose.

At minimum, you’ll want to make sure you find the perfect prom dress you feel wildly confident in. When shopping for ‘the one,’ use this body type guide to help show off only your best features.


When you have narrow hips and a larger bust, it can obscure your waist a bit. That’s why top-heavy gals look so great in fuller skirts that balance your frame. The more you can shift the focus up toward face, the more hourglass you’ll appear. When dress shopping, look for prom gowns with high necklines and A-line skirts that can help add dimension around the hips.

What to avoid: super short dresses and strapless gowns that can amplify your bust.


The inverse of the above is a pear shaped frame. Your hips tend to be the main feature, protruding out more than your waist and bust. You can equalize your look by accentuating your bust and shoulders. Search for crystal necklines or illusion dresses that are great for drawing attention upward.

What to avoid: ball gown skirts that can make your bottom half appear wider.


Strapless, empire waist and solid colors are the order of the day when you’re apple figured. To disguise an undefined midsection, find a prom dress with an empire waist or patterned top half. Fuller skirts and A-line silhouettes will help de-emphasize your middle. Don’t be afraid to show off your stems either!

What to avoid: anything belted or too fitted. They’ll bring the eye directly to the area you’re trying to camouflage.


Options are plentiful when finding the perfect plus-sized prom dress. The trick is to pick which feature you want to highlight. Flowing gowns are universally flattering, while cap sleeves do a great job of making the arms appear more slender. Don’t avoid shorter dresses either, especially if you love your legs! Show off your bold confidence any way you can.

What to avoid: dresses that lack fit. Too much fabric will end up looking bulky and unflattering.


Babes with slender, boy-ish figures have two options: embrace their willowy frame or create their own curves. If you’re thin throughout, you can use a fitted dress to show off your natural shape. Another option is to hunt for prom dresses with a cinch waist or color blocking. You can also add dimension with a one shoulder neckline or high slit.

What to avoid: anything shiny or shimmery that will emphasize your bones and limbs.


If you clock in at 5’3” or under, you’re considered petite. The goal then is to elongate your silhouette as much as possible. Short dresses that show a lot of leg are great ways to support a smaller frame. Asymmetry in the hemline can also give the illusion of height. You can further trick the eyes a bit with a vertical prints or pleats.   

What to avoid: ball gowns and full-length prom dresses, which can swallow you up.


This frame has few limitations, as a number of cuts work great with your natural curves. Some basic guidelines are to choose something fitted at the top and through the waist. You can really showcase your shape with a mermaid cut gown.

What to avoid: pass on empire dresses that can hide your natural curves. 

Find Your Dress with Expert Help!

Not sure where to start when it comes to finding the perfect Prom dress for your body type and body shape? Check out these great tips and tricks for searching the top dress styles from fashion and style experts and remember, Terry Costa is always here to help!

Phyllis Brasch Librach, Designer - Who says curvy girls can’t rock a 2-piece Prom dress? We’re obsessed - again - over cropped tops paired with matching skirts for Prom 2018. And who doesn't love wearing the cropped top now and then later with summer skirts, shorts or capris?!? Give strapless gowns some serious competition for Prom 2018. Opt for a design with an illusion mesh neckline that climbs high. Or make a dramatic entrance in a chic choke collar gown.

Tara Langdale - Do you!!! There are no rules when it comes to prom so have fun with it! Rock a giant princess gown with high top sneakers, go for a glittery short frock and strappy dancing shoes. It’s a giant party so dress for it!

Kerri Quigley - Senior prom is a one-time thing, so choose a dress that makes a wow statement! Take comfort and your own style into consideration and then amp it up a notch for an unforgettable evening.
Maria Julia - If you're looking to WOW during your prom night, your best bet is to go for something "extra", so to speak. After all, prom is one of the rare occasions when it's okay to wear dresses entirely covered in crystals, sequins or slinky satin. Some of the most amazing dresses this season feature dresses that have an open back, a side detail or a waterfall tail that flaunts your curves.
Ellen Flowers - Choose a dress for YOUR body type, rather than following the trends. The number one was to look like a knockout on prom is to pick a dress that highlights your best assets. Also, be sure to pick a dress that allows you to move and have fun on the dance floor.
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