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7 Slimming Dress Styles You Need to Know

Slimming belted dress

It’s not always easy to dress a curvy body. Wearing a dress can be particularly challenging since so many dress styles seem to be designed to fit only on stick figures. If you’ve got a generous chest and maybe a little junk in the you-know-where, finding a dress that shows off your curves without making you look disproportioned is never easy. Slimming dress styles have a way of highlighting your assets while still emphasizing your waist and the slammer areas of your body. With the right dress, you can show those stick figures how sexy being curvy really is.

Best Slimming Dress Styles

Being curvy is something to celebrate, yet modern fashion design seems almost like it’s trying to make curvy women feel frumpy. It’s not about squeezing into the right shapewear or going on the right crash diet two weeks before a big event. It’s just about finding those dress styles that are slimming and flattering on curvier shapes. When you know how to identify the right dress styles for your shape, you can enjoy the slimming effect of having something that actually suits your figure.

1. A line

GRACE KARIN 3/4 Sleeve Formal Wedding Swing Dress A-line Size L Black CL832-1

The A line dress style has a triangular shape that is narrow at the top, fitted to the body. From here, it widens out from the waistline all the way to the hem. It truly resembles the letter A.

Because of this widening skirt design, A line skirt styles are very flattering on all body types. The skirt is loose around the hips and backside to deemphasize these areas, yet still shows definition around the waist. The close-fitting bodice emphasizes the bust line.

A-line looks are credited with being invented by Christian Dior in the 1950s.

2. Baby doll

KIRUNDO 2021 Summer Women’s Mini Dress Short Sleeves Sexy V Neck Flowy Dress Swiss Dot Faux Short Loose Fit Pregnant Dress (Medium, Blue)

The now-classic baby doll dress was first created in 1942 as a nightgown. The shortened dress style was much-needed at the time, as WWII was causing fabric shortages. The classic babydoll silhouette is somewhat loose-fitting all over, with a little high waist definition under the bustline. The short, flaring shirt gives the baby doll dress a fun look that is still seen in high fashion all the time. The loose fit hides a multitude of sins while the short length draws the eye downward to the legs.

3. Belted

Slimming belted dress

Any loose-fitting dress can become instantly more flattering on your body with a belt. Place the belt around the smallest part of your waist to emphasize your curves above and below and highlight this thin part of your body. This will automatically give you a more flattering shape. So if you’ve got a problem dress, add a belt and you’ll see an instant change.

4. Empire

Meenew Women Sexy Plunge Neck Long Slit Dress Empire Waist Floor Length Dress M Army Green

Empire waist dresses emphasize the narrowest part of the body, which makes this design highly flattering dresses on curvy bodies. Empire waistlines are high, just under the bustline, and flare out from here. This dress helps showcase the bustline while making the waist look smaller and hiding the hips and backside. This creates a slimming silhouette and it’s a very comfortable type of dress. Because the empire waist is so form-flattering and comfortable and also hides a little belly bulge, it’s a popular choice for pregnant women.

5. Maxi

Kormei Women Long Sleeve V Neck Floral High Low Flowy Party Long Maxi Dress L D10-Blue

The maxi dress style is flattering for all body types. Whether you’re petite or voluptuous, this dress is a great way to show off curves and hide potential problem areas. Maxi dresses are also highly versatile looks that can be casual, semi-formal, formal, professional or anything else you need them to be.

Maxi dress styles can be short sleeve or long sleeve and come in a big range of different styles. They all fit somewhat loosely around the body and have a cinched waist and a full skirt that is around ankle-length. This dress style creates definition at the waist to break up curvy areas of the body, which helps to enhance these areas. But since the fit is loose and airy rather than tight, it’s easy to hide those parts of the body that you don’t want to show off so much. In other words, it creates a soft, feminine silhouette that shows off curves without showing off the stuff you’d rather hide.

6. Sheath

Vfshow Womens Elegant Navy Blue and White Striped Cocktail Party Slim Zipper up Work Business Office Sheath Dress 2619 BLU L

Women with curves tend to shy away from form-fitted dress and body-hugging dress styles, out of fear that wearing such styles will make them look heavier instead of slimmer. Actually, a dress that fits your body is exactly how you achieve a slimming effect. Baggy clothes are going to make you look heavier. Don’t be afraid of skinny jeans, form fitting clothing and looking good. If you’re shy about your tummy area, a little shapewear can help a lot.

Sheath dresses are made to be form-fitting. They have a straight design with a defined waistline. The sheath dress typically extends to the knee. Don’t cover up your curves. Embrace them, show them off. What’s the point of wearing a dress if you aren’t going to fill the thing out, right?

7. Wrap

VamJump Women's V Neck Long Sleeve Sweater Wrap Front Tie Waist Knitted Bodycon Dress,Khaki,S

The wrap style is particularly flattering on curvy women, as it enhances the bustline and showcases the waist. This style helps women truly make the most of their curves. Wrap styles are especially good options for women with an hourglass figure and the style can help give anyone a more hourglass shape.


There are lots and lots of different types of dresses out there. They have different lengths, different necklines, different features, different fabrics. It’s easy to get confused. But you can take a lot of the guesswork out of finding the perfect dress by getting the answers to all the most commonly asked questions about different types of slimming dresses.

What is the most slimming dress style?

Since people come in all different shapes, there is no one perfect style of dress for every body out there. However, for women who have curvier bodies, midi-length dresses have a naturally slimming effect. The length helps to elongate the torso. Dress styles that emphasize the waist, rather than hide it, are typically more flattering on every shape.

V-neck styles are good on women with curves to spare, but anything really low-cut that shows a lot of skin may make you look a bit top-heavy. A wrap dress that fits well and hides cleavage can be far sexier than a low-cut neckline that plunges.

What is the right dress style for your body shape?

The human body is a true marvel. Though everyone pretty much has the same stuff in their bodies and all the same functions, bodies can have several different shapes. That’s why knowing this type of dress will best suit your particular shape will always help you find the right clothes to wear.

If you do not have a large bust but you do have wider hips and a generous backside, you are a pear shaped body. A-line dresses have a slimming effect on this body type. Maxi dresses also help you make the most out of your pear shape.

Are you curvy up top and at the bottom? Have you got all the humps and the bumps? When you have an hourglass shape, you know it. You also know how difficult it can be to dress this shape. However, this is a great body type for wearing a dress. A wrap dress will showcase all those curves and make the most out of your waist. The fit and flare style puts the focus on your waist and doesn’t do your bustline any hrm, either. Look for something more fitted rather than flowy. Hourglass shapes are meant to be emphasized.

Maybe you’re an apple. If your body is pretty evenly weighted throughout and you have a thicker waistline, you’re an apple body shape. This can make finding the right dress silhouettes challenging, as so many styles are geared toward the waist. If you have a larger waist, this can get frustrating when everything you try on seems to fit weird or look wrong.

Reach for a maxi dress. The flowing lines have a great slimming effect that makes your waist look smaller than it is. Wrap dresses also have a way of slimming the waist. A sheath dress that doesn’t have a ton of definition will suit your particular shape extremely well. To make a classic sheath dress look even more slimming, try them on in dark colors and in diagonal or vertical stripes. Always avoid horizontal stripes. Colorblocking designs can also have a great slimming, elongating effect.

What looks work on a curvy body?

Pair an A-line mini dress or babydoll dress with ballet flats in a nude shade. This will elongate your legs and make them look slimmer, while still showcasing your curves in a flattering way. This look is perfect for a day out running errands, hanging with friends or on a date. The illusion of slim legs will make you look slimmer all over.

Pair a midi length or maxi length dress with high-heeled boots and make sure both are in a solid, matching color. Dressing in all one color has a great slimming effect and also creates a lengthening effect to make you look taller.

Wear belted blazer over a dress to create a super stylish professional look that’s also slimming and yet curve-enhancing. Wear dark colors to be office-ready. If you want to change up the look to go out after work, switch out the dark belt for one in bright, vibrant color. Not only will add a pop to the look, but it will also draw the eye right to your belted waist and make those curves pop, too. The long sleeves on blazers can cover your arms as well.

Play around with different dress styles. outfits and different shoe and accessory combinations. Sometimes, the right jacket or shoes will make an outfit much more flattering and slimming on the body. Look for ruching and dresses that camouflage your tummy.

How do you dress conservatively with an hourglass figure?

Simply having a curvy hourglass shape can draw the wrong kind of attention. Lots of clothing items you put on end up becoming unintentionally sexy on your hourglass shape when other women can wear the exact same thing and look downright wholesome. A V-neck top, spaghetti straps, even just something that hugs the hips, can end up putting more of you on display than you want. So how can you dress an hourglass figure to actually look conservative?

Fabric matters. Some fabrics are a little more clingy than others, which can have an unintentional sex appeal. Look for fabrics that are flowy and soft. Knit blends and silk tend to fit in a flowy, lightweight way.

Add a layer. If you think you might be looking a little too provocative, put on a button-up cardigan or a blazer. Adding an extra layer is a great way to get a more conservative look ad it makes it easy to convert the look later when you may be ready to let it hang out a bit more.

Don’t avoid lower necklines. You may think that the higher the neckline, the better. However, high necklines can make the bustline look even bigger and they have a way of drawing the eye right here. Lower necklines have a way of elongating the neck which invites the eye upward, toward your face. Scoop necks, V-necks and open shirt collars actually de-emphasize the bust far more than a high neckline. If you want to avoid cleavage, you can always put a camisole on underneath and still get the neck-lengthening effect.

Wear longer hemlines. Stick to dresses that end at the knee or below to create a more conservative look. Dressing conservatively can still be very sensual and sexy, but it adds much more mystery to that sex appeal.


  • Encyclopedia – A-Line Dresses
  • Glamour – What actually is a babydoll dress?
  • Oprah – The Best Slimming Dresses for Every Body Type
  • StitchFix – The Guide: Dressing For Your Body Shape
  • The Trend Spotter – 40 Types of Dresses for Every Women Should Know
  • Top.Trends.Guide – 40 Different Types of Dresses For Women
  • Who What Wear – 10 Trusty Outfits That Will Make You Feel Great About Your Curves
  • YouLookFab – How to Dress the Hourglass Body Type