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Beauty & Fashion

Fashion: The Best Summer Dresses for YOUR Body Type

A big part of shopping is not only looking for a good deal and something you like, but also finding what looks good on you. We’ve all suffered the fate of finding something that looks perfect on the hanger, trying it on and not being impressed with the final result. That’s because even if something looks awesome on the rack, it doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily love it on you.

With shopping experience, we start to learn what looks good on our varying body types; that usually goes on to inform what we shop for and purchase. But no matter how difficult you think you are to shop for, there are great options for YOU and your body type out there!

This week, we’re rounding up some of our favorite summer dresses, broken down by body type. While there are always exceptions and you should wear something you love, we think these are some great starting points!

If you’re curvy…

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Curvy, hourglass or pear shaped ladies often make the mistake of throwing on shapeless dresses thinking they’re masking “problem areas.” In reality, it’s always best to work with what you have instead of trying to work against it. Cinching is one of the best tools for this, whether you simply belt (at your true waist) a loose dress or choose something that has a tie, like the adorable Forever 21 ($33) dress pictured here. This button front dress is also perfect if you have a larger chest.

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Don’t get us wrong, curvy girls can (and should!) sport fitted dresses if they feel comfortable in them. But when scouting out our favorite looks, we had to include this awesome tie-waist dress from the Gap ($35). It’s modest, it’s classic and we bet its totally comfortable. Also available in navy blue and royal blue. Let us count the ways we love it:

  • Cap sleeves with banded cuffs
  • Wide round neckline
  • On-seam side pockets
  • Self-tie belt at waist


If you’re tall…

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One of the best fashion benefits of being tall is the ability to easily pull off maxi dresses. This is a huge plus, especially since maxi dresses have been in major style for a few seasons now. You’ve got tons and tons of options to choose from, but we particularly love this animal print rayon dress from Forever 21 ($23).



Another great option for tall gals is drop waist dresses. We really love this pick from the Gap ($35), which features a sweet butterfly print, ruffled skirt and (our favorite) pockets! It also comes in a polka dot print, if butterflies on a pink background is just a wee bit girly for your taste. It should also be noted that the Gap offers an entire section of “tall” options for dresses, jeans, etc., both online and in-store. Score!

If you’re petite…

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Tall gals often have trouble shopping for short dresses, since everything becomes instantly shorter the moment they put it on. This is one of the major advantages to being petite–a shorter hemline will often fall longer on you. If you’re shorter and also have a smaller chest, you’ll have even more options to choose from, like this colorful chiffon dress from Forever 21 ($23).

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If you’re short but still curvy or working with a larger chest, you might want to consider something other than a spaghetti strap or super fitted top. This chevron dress from Forever 21 ($17) will give your top half room to breathe while still cinching a bit in your true waist. You might have heard the old tale that anyone who isn’t tiny shouldn’t wear stripes, but we’re not buying it–especially when it comes to adorable (and popular) chevron! Like the concept but want a more open neck or something other than chevron? We’re also digging this cotton striped look, also from Forever 21.

Which of these dresses is your favorite? Is there another body type that we should be covering? What are your style tips for specific body types? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Image: Thinkstock.com


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  1. emily.kate

    Posted by emily.kate on July 20, 2013 at 12:53

    I love these dresses! I’m petite (only just 5 foot!) So any kind of shopping is difficult. I’m in love with my vintage 1950’s tea dress! It’s blue, with white spots and a pattern of apples and pears. I know this sounds weird, but I love it! It’s modest because it has a square neckline (which is very flattering on girls with smaller chests), a self tie waist so it can be easily adjusted and the length is perfect! On me, it sits just above my knee, so some taller girls might find it too short. Wooow I love my dress!

  2. Ashli Payj

    Posted by Ashli Payj on June 21, 2013 at 19:29

    I love these dresses! I would totally wear all of them!

  3. hannah1997

    Posted by hannah1997 on June 21, 2013 at 07:45

    i really liked the 2nd dress! XD I’m curvy (or so I’ve been told) so maybe I’ll try looking for that style today at the mall 😀

  4. Dee

    Posted by Dee on June 20, 2013 at 10:32

    I loved the first dress! 😀 That’s something I’d totally wear.

  5. techmonkey27

    Posted by techmonkey27 on June 14, 2013 at 18:55

    I loooooove the colorful one from Forever 21!

  6. vbforeva@gmail.com

    Posted by vbforeva@gmail.com on June 12, 2013 at 17:36

    If only my body wasn’t both curvy and petite… Shopping would be so much more easy!

  7. cheyartgirl16

    Posted by cheyartgirl16 on June 9, 2013 at 12:50

    All of these dresses are perfectly lovely! And I really like this post, by the way. I feel that all too often the media puts out the sort of clothing that looks good on one specific body type – skinny – and that is JUST NOT REALISTIC! Dress for your beautiful selves, ladies, and forget about expectations.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by RuthOneSixteen on June 28, 2013 at 14:45

      Skinnyis unrealistic? well that’s pretty rude AND hurtful. if I said something similar about overweight people I’d get attacked.

      BTW, the media hates skinny people. Look at how they bash ANYONE who is small, unless she’s got a big chest! They love fat women or skinny women with big breasts or butts.

  8. MeishaH

    Posted by MeishaH on June 7, 2013 at 22:38

    I’m only about 4’11” and a lot of dresses I try on that are supposed to be short are sometimes too long on me. It irritates me if the hemline goes below my knee, so most of my dresses I have to hem, even if it’s just a couple inches.

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by Cyndi on June 7, 2013 at 18:56

    What about teeny, tiny people with huge bums!!!! we have to be careful what we put on or everyone will be seeing up our skirts no matter how “modest” it might be on someone else!

  10. sisterwhocares

    Posted by sisterwhocares on June 7, 2013 at 16:26

    I really like the last dress. I am very, very small, skinny, and a bit curvy, and I like dresses that are fitted, but comfortable. I especially like the cinch at the waist. My favorite part is the way the top part is designed with the sleeves. The nice thing about being short is that most of the dresses on here, while immodest for the average 5’10” girl, are knee length for a 4’10” girl. Yes, I am actually that short!

  11. allydotk

    Posted by allydotk on June 7, 2013 at 12:14

    I’m curvy and tall. Would it be wise for me to wear a short dress? and if so how short?

  12. Lovely Mistakes

    Posted by Lovely Mistakes on June 7, 2013 at 11:52

    I really like the dress that would fit my body type its adorable!

  13. LoVeYoUrSeLf98

    Posted by LoVeYoUrSeLf98 on June 7, 2013 at 11:36

    All of these girls are so tiny..I am not, or will ever be that small (not that there’s anything wrong with any size.) Could you post some dresses for larger girls? I’m not plus size but I am definitely not those sizes. Thanks 🙂

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by PinkPrincess on June 7, 2013 at 11:23

    I love those dresses! and they aren’t that short! the models modeling them are 5’11” and above so they look shorter on them but my mom, who is 5’2″ wears dresses like this and they hit her right at the kneecaps. (:

  15. misstake

    Posted by misstake on June 7, 2013 at 08:48

    Cute, but a lot of these arent even modest. :/ They are either too short or too low. Modesty aside, I like the last one best.

  16. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on June 7, 2013 at 00:18

    I love all these dresses, especially the one with bright colors!!! Thanks for making this post!

  17. pipo_star

    Posted by pipo_star on June 6, 2013 at 21:53

    I have a big booty, i kinda dont like showing my waist too much because makes too intensified >_< the only tip i could give if other girls have the same is prints. Prints, decoration, can be a illusion. Even stripes going down helps too… so i try to find something that will help.

  18. democratic

    Posted by democratic on June 6, 2013 at 19:08

    lol wow i can’t believe that this is talking about dresses for different body shapes yet the models wearing the dresses are basically all the same size.

  19. violinlover

    Posted by violinlover on June 6, 2013 at 17:25

    I have a dress like the red one, except from old navy. And, it was quite a bit less money. It’s really cute 🙂

  20. AllisonGrace

    Posted by AllisonGrace on June 6, 2013 at 17:13

    I think the length of all of them is perfect 🙂 I’m petite and somewhat curvy, and it’s good to accentuate, not flaunt! Cute choices, I would just jazz them up a bit!

  21. bluedog14

    Posted by bluedog14 on June 6, 2013 at 16:20

    Yeah, love the prints, but wow, these are all super short…. I tend to like what’s posted, but this stuff isn’t modest..

    • hockeychick20

      Posted by hockeychick20 on June 8, 2013 at 18:17

      It depends how tall you are. I’m only 5′ 1″ and some dresses that are short on my friends (who are mostly at least 3 inches taller than me) are just fine on me.

    • Posted by Nicole on June 8, 2013 at 00:16

      I’m going to do an article soon about my favorite summer dresses that are modest, so stay tuned for that! 🙂

    • onethingremains

      Posted by onethingremains on June 7, 2013 at 00:00

      That’s why she was saying for petite girls.

  22. Aria23146

    Posted by Aria23146 on June 6, 2013 at 15:44

    The dresses are all really pretty, but I think the hemlines on all of the shorter dresses are way too short! In my opinion the shortest a modest dress should be is just above the knee caps

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by musicislife on July 1, 2013 at 12:26

      I agree, Aria23146

    • Blythe

      Posted by Blythe on June 14, 2013 at 09:04

      I completely agree!! I have you checked out downeastbasics.com? They have a million really cute and modest clothes!

    • misstake

      Posted by misstake on June 7, 2013 at 08:50

      I agree with you.

    • Marcy

      Posted by Marcy on June 6, 2013 at 16:09

      Yeah, I like the tall dress, but I’d be afraid with any of the others, with a skirt that short, it would just be an accident waiting to happen.

      • hockeychick20

        Posted by hockeychick20 on June 8, 2013 at 18:14

        It depends how tall you are. I’m only 5′ 1″ and some dresses that are short on my friends (who are mostly at least 3 inches taller than me) are just fine on me.

  23. Rachelove

    Posted by Rachelove on June 6, 2013 at 15:32

    Im disappointed normally I like the clothes project inspired posts but no this time

    • onethingremains

      Posted by onethingremains on June 11, 2013 at 06:51

      And she meant the style of dress. Not how they fit on the models

    • Posted by Nicole on June 8, 2013 at 00:16

      I’m going to do an article soon about my favorite summer dresses that are modest, so stay tuned for that! 🙂