If You’re Straight-Lined

Look for: A dress that will create curves where you don’t have them. Try a sheath dress in a wispy charmeuse that’s cut on the bias; the curving side seam will give you a va-va-va-voom silhouette. Or look for a ball gown that cinches in at your natural waist and descends into a full, flowing floor-length skirt: It will capitalize on your slenderness and camouflage a lack of hips.

Keep in mind: If you have a small bust, look for a bodice with some ruching to create volume.

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If You’re Petite

Look for: Trumpet, sheath, and modified A-line gowns. Find a style with a waistline above your natural waist, to make the lower half of the dress (and therefore you) appear longer. The fabric is up to you―you can pull off a high sheen. But the detailing should be small (no huge bows) and limited to the bodice, to draw the eye upward.

Keep in mind: Be wary of dresses with a dropped waist, which will make your legs seem nonexistent, and ball gowns―it’s easy to get lost in that voluminous skirt. Also, avoid anything calf-length, which will make your legs look short.

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