How to Choose the Right Shift Dress for Your Body Shape

A woman cannot live without a shift dress, therefore choosing the right one for your body shape is crucial and could become a life-saver in many different occasions!

The shift dress is probably the most common and the classic staple item of officewear. It is that one item that I would be really surprised if any woman does not have at least one in her wardrobe and if she hasn’t been wearing it over and over again each morning for years.

It is definitely the go-to dressed when it comes to deciding what to wear at the office so now the issue is that we got so used to seeing it around that we sometimes tend to underestimate its actual stylishness, glam power and also extreme versatily.

In the last few years, the designers have shown us so many new styles, cuts and ways to wear it that we have shifted a bit our conception of it and started to see it as a dress that could be perfect for many other occasions, not only for work.

We are now more spoilt for choice than ever when it comes to shift dresses, so what better moment to start thinking of it as our new dress for the evenings or for running our errands in the city?

The right shift dress could become your life-saver for all those times that you are panicking about what to wear to an event and therefore it is super important to learn how to choose the right one for your shape and that will enhance your best assets in a great way.

So, continue reading to learn how to choose your next best shift dress that will stay with you for years and years to come and that you will be able to use for a range of different occasions.

#1: Pear shape

The pear-shaped woman is characterized by a wider lower body (that is wider hips and bigger thighs) and a smaller upper body, with narrow shoulders and small breasts. From this short description you can already see how we could go and “correct” this disproportion by trying to emphasize the smaller part and hide the bigger one.

You can do this very easily with the help of a shift dress, which has to have an a-line cut, an empire waist or a flared skirt that will skim over your hips and upper legs and not pull on your weaker area. The length always has to be on or just above your knees, starting from the point where your legs start becoming thinner.

A good idea is also to look for a shift dress with padded or structured shoulders and lots of detailing on the top, such as ruffles or anything else that adds bulk and that will help to make the figure look more proportioned.

#2: Apple shape


The “problem” area of the apple body shape is the area of the tummy which is the biggest part of the body in this shape. Therefore, you will want to look for a shift dress that will skim over your midriff and enhance your best assets, that are your gorgeous cleavage and thin legs.

Try to go for a shift dress that is neither boxy nor tight, but that has a bold neckline and a short hemline and that will bring the attention away from your mid section. Prefer also dark colors that are notoriously very good for slimming down your figure.

#3: Hourglass shape

A shift dress could become the best friend of the hourglass-shaped woman if chosen in the right way. The absolute main priority is to choose a dress that will underline your small waist and enhance your sensual shape in a non-vulgar way.

So stay far away from straight cuts but go instead for imperial waists and use a lot of waist belts. A low neckline will also be great for slimming down your figure and show off your great cleavage and an a-line skirt will be perfect for skimming over your hips and thighs without making them look bigger.

The length, like for the pear shape, has to be on or just above the knees.

#4: Inverted triangle shape


The inverted triangle shape is the exact opposite of the pear shape, with broad shoulders and narrow hips, therefore the process will also be exactly the opposite. Your main goal is to try to make your hips look as wide as your shoulders, therefore achieving a great proportioned figure.

For this reason, go for a-line and flared skirts (especially if they are in a stiff material) and avoid at all costs chest pockets, ruffles or anything that adds more bulk on top. Show off those legs too by choosing short hemlines!

#5: Column shape

The column body shape is very different from all the other shapes that we have seen because there are no real parts of the body or proportions to “correct”.

It is the body shape of the models so basically any dress will look super good on it. The only thing you should consider when choosing your shift dress is to try to add more curves to the figure to make it look more feminine and sensual.

You can do this by choosing a dress which has a lot of details such as pleats, ruffles and really bold and colorful patterns. More structured dresses will also give the illusion of curves, but avoid going for stiff materials that will have the opposite effect and just enhance your lack of curves.

About the author

Stephanie Reed

Stephanie has written for many online and printed magazines and she is now working as the editor of So Vain, which she founded, but also as a fashion consultant and stylist.

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