February 13, 2016

When it comes to figuring out what to wear, slipping on a dress might just be the easiest fashion solution out there. What's trickier, though, is knowing which dress is the most flattering for your body. We compiled a cheat sheet that will not only point you in the direction of which styles will showcase your shape best, but will also cut your try-on time in half. That's not to say that you can't experiment with other dress styles—you can!—but consider this as our helpful shopping guide for anytime you're at a loss.

If You're an Hourglass

 Courtesy; Time Inc. Digital Studios

The goal: To accentuate your waist.

What you should look for: Semi-fitted styles that softly follow your curves and show off your waistline, including wraps, fit-and-flared numbers, sheaths, belted shirtdresses, and full dresses. Choose medium-weight knits and soft fabrics that drape well. Opt for a more open neckline for a slimming effect.

Shop the dresses: Lauren Ralph Lauren (for a similar style), $135; ralphlauren.com. Diane von Furstenberg, $598; dvf.com. Topshop, $75; topshop.com.

If You're a Rectangle

 Courtesy; Time Inc. Digital Studios

The goal: To encourage curves.

What you should look for: High necklines to boost your bust, and midriff-defining details (like belts, draping, and ruching) and body-skimming bias cuts to create curves. Not concerned with curves? A-lines and shifts are equally chic options.

Shop the dresses: L.K. Bennett (for a different color), $395; saksfifthavenue.com. Olivia Von Halle, $420; net-a-porter.com. White House Black Market (for a similar style), $160; whbm.com.

RELATED: How to Dress to Look Taller, According to Celebrity Stylist Erin Walsh

If You're a Triangle

 Courtesy; Time Inc. Digital Studios

The goal: To balance proportions.

What you should look for: Offset a heavier bottom with strapless or cut-out styles that broaden your shoulders. Wraps glide over full hips nicely too.

Shop the dresses: Ann Taylor, $149; anntaylor.com. Halston Heritage, $436; amazon.com. Tibi, $395; tibi.com.

If You're an Inverted Triangle

 Courtesy; Time Inc. Digital Studios

The goal: To pull focus away from your midsection.

What you should look for: Dresses that do not accent the waistline, like shifts and subtle A-lines. Basically, boxy, generous shapes are your best bet. Do hike up the hemlines to show off your legs.

Shop the dresses: Kate Spade New York (for a similar style), $368; katespade.com. Trademark, $240 (originally $598); trade-mark.com. J. Crew Collection, $550; jcrew.com.

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