Dress for Cocktail Party Success

Dress for Cocktail Party Success

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Choosing the wrong dress can make an expensive purchase look cheap or send the wrong message before you speak. However, the right choice of clothing for the right body type transcends confidence and inner beauty. That's what it's all about.

Don't blame it on mom and dad or the pizza the night before. Your body type is a combination of many variables. Everyone has a body type. There are four different body types: round, hour glass, pear, and straight or "boyish."

Round or Apple Shape
This body type is usually round with a generous bustline, wider rib cage, fuller back, narrow hips and slender legs.

Your best dress: Show off those legs! Most women strive for legs like yours. Opt for one that skims the knee and flatters your shapeliness. The neckline should be v-neck, but not too plunging. An empire waistline softens the lines of the body while deflecting the eye upwards and away from the face. A printed wrap or elegantly draped silhoutte are good choices too.

What to avoid? Avoid tops that are too fitted. If you are wearing a jacket, make sure the lapels are narrow. Asymmetrical hemlines, skirts that hit the calf or clingy fabrics all take way from your best assets.

Patterns or colors: Opt for smaller prints and vertical lines. Don't feel like you have to wear black all the time. There are so many options including adding color in your accessories and shoes.

Pear Shaped
Feminine is the name of the game. This body type has a slender neck, narrow shoulders, small bust but is generous in the hip and thigh area. Go for balance by choosing a dress with a flattering fitted top with more volume on the bottom. Some call this "fit and flare."

Your best choice: Necklines should draw attention to the face and shoulders. Bodices with embellishments or detailing can do the trick too. This can be seen in empire, wrap or halters with a flowing bottom line enhance your best features.

Avoid: Tight clothing or cinching the waist. It will draw the eye to the midline and puts more focus on the hip area. Steer clear of sheath dresses or bias cuts that cling in the wrong places.

Patterns and Prints: Avoid bold prints and patterns. Go for fabrics with soft textures and interesting small prints or florals.

Hour Glass
Lucky you! Beyonce is the Queen of the Hour Glass in the style magazines. She isn't afraid of showing off those curves, so neither should you. If you have a bustline, defined waist, curved hips, shapley legs and sometimes a protruding bottom this is your category.

Your best dress: Define your positives. Choose a dress with waist definition whether it's a contoured waist, belted, corseted or wrapped.

Avoid: Anything too clingy or baggy.

Patterns: Choose interesting fabrics and textures like metallics or go for jewel tones in emerald or deep purple.

"Boyish" or Straight
The straight body has an upper and lower torso that are equal in width, an average bustline, large ribcage, undefined waist, flat bottom and slender legs.

Your best choice: Choose a dress that draws more attention to your bustline, like a plunging neckline with ruffles. Or, go for a keyhole, assemtrical or halter neckline. The 60's sheath looks fabulous on your figure, too!

Avoid: Anything too tight. You want to soften your lines and create curves.

Patterns: Go for it. You can play with color and patterns. It's up to you.

Most of all, embrace who you are and what's right for you. Above all, have fun with your clothes and make a night out on the town even more special when you feel comfortable and confident.