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What dress suit for which body type

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Look your best by choosing a dress suit that fits your body type

Look your best by choosing a dress suit that fits your body type

Comfort, fit, style, and versatility are the elements that make up a great women?s suit. Gone are the days of basic, utilitarian, one-style-fits-all suits.

Shops and online retailers, many that specialize specifically in women’s dress suits, are now offering a variety of colors and styles to complement every body shape. To build your own stylish wardrobe, you first need to determine your body type, then select the suit cut that flatters you the most.


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This body type is identified by a full bust, defined waist and full hips ? everything is in proportion to each other. Dress to highlight your curves, not hide them. 

Style tips: Fitted waists enhance your curves. Look for dress suits with belted jackets or ones that are nipped in at the waist. Straighter cut skirts, such as a pencil skirt, accentuate curvy hips while smoothing out thighs. Ideal necklines include a V cut, sweetheart and curve. 


This shape identifies women that have a slimmer lower body and tend to carry any excess weight around their top and middle. Show off those great shoulders and legs while minimizing your midsection.


Style tips: Look for suits that are more fitted through the shoulders and bust while flowing over your midsection. Empire cuts flatter the shoulders and bust line while minimizing the waist. If you?ve got the killer legs that often go with this body type, you can also wear shorter (think knee length) skirts to show those legs off. Shift dresses that lie just far enough away from the body also conceal any areas you don?t want people focusing on. Try to stay away from anything that adds bulk to your midsection.


If the widest part of your body is around your hips, then the pear best describes your shape. Accentuate your top half and elongate your lower half to balance your look.
Style tips: Think fit and flare here. Suit jackets should be structured and direct attention to the upper half of your body. Play up your shoulders and arms with a sleeveless or cap sleeve dress. Prints, especially on the top, can be your best friend. A-line skirts flatter the smallest part of your waist while flaring out over hips and thighs. Use an eye-catching brooch to draw attention where you want it. Leave off anything that draws the eyes to your hip and thigh area, such as decorated pockets, lower belts or dropped waists.


Less definition between bust, waist and hips is a straight or ruler body shape. This classic look is played up on runways around the world.

Style tips: Ruffles, pleats and other details on the top half of a dress suit or jacket make your bust look larger and create definition between the top and bottom half of your body. Form fitting skirts will emphasize the curves you have and shorter skirts highlight slim legs. Details like intricate seam work, ruching or stripes to make your waist look smaller than your bust or hips. Leave bulky, heavy fabrics to other body styles and stick to fabrics that are soft and create the illusion of roundness.

In a Yale School of Management study, people who dressed for success performed their tasks better than those who dressed either casually or carelessly. Being well dressed and appropriate for the occasion boosts your confidence and the morale of those around you. Without a doubt, getting dressed and putting your best, most stylish foot forward is easier when you know what dress suit is best for you. 

Perhaps noted designer, Hubert de Givenchy, put it best when he said, ?The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.?


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