How to Choose the Right Dress Length for Your Body

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How to Choose the Right Dress Length for Your Body

With every new season that strides in, the world of fashion and haute couture brings into the public domain collection after collection of elegantly designed and well-tailored ready-to-wear clothes. Women have a practically limitless choice of dresses, skirts, gowns, minis, jackets, and more from which to build a wardrobe with pieces for all occasions and season. Choosing the types of clothes that are best suited for one's body is essential to being well-dressed, appearing fashionable, and feeling good. To make these choices, one must consider several aspects of one's personality, first among which is body type.

There are clothes available that are suited to every body type, and judiciously picking out the right ones results in a satisfying wardrobe made up of fashionable clothing that flatters and creates a feeling of self-confidence. This confidence, which stems from a woman's knowledge that she is attired in an outfit perfectly suited to her body and that she looks good wearing it, enables a woman to carry off any outfit. Here is a guide to choosing the suitable dress length for different body shapes and heights, and how the right choice affects the woman's looks. One can buy clothes at bricks and mortar stores or online at reputable sites such as eBay, which offers hundreds of thousands of beautifully tailored and patterned outfits available from sellers worldwide, making the shopping experience easy and fun.

Body Types

Though many women strive to attain an hourglass figure, not everyone has the genetic makeup or lifestyle for that "ideal" body shape. Therefore, making the most of what one is endowed with is the secret to appear well dressed. Regardless of body shape, every woman is capable of achieving a sleek, stylish, well-turned-out look. The right dress worn to the perfect length makes all the difference between fashionable and frumpy, sexy and sloppy. Women's body types can be broadly categorised based on her height and shape of her hips, waist, and upper body, and dressing in accordance with body shape will flatter the body.

Body Shape





Body Traits

Large upper body, broad shoulders, small hips, heavy in the midsection and rear

Small upper body, broad at the hips, well-defined waist

Balanced upper and lower body, narrow waist

Broad shoulders and heavy chest, smaller hips and waist

Best Feature

Arms and legs

Waist and upper body

Curves, balanced proportions

Lower body

What to Minimize

Abdomen, shoulders


Avoid appearing too sexy


The above are general categories and guidelines; a personalised study can be done by considering the various types of dress available and how each may be suitable for the various body types mentioned above and for bodies with slight variations within the stated categories.

Women's Dress Lengths

With a wide variety of dresses available for every body shape, women can and should wear dresses suited to the occasion. Properly chosen hem lengths send the right signals about a woman's personality and attitude just as much as do body language and eye contact. Hem lengths may be below the knee, at the knee, or way above knee.

Conservative Dress Lengths

Dresses in this category have hems at the shin, or tea length; at ankle length; or at floor length. Ideal for medium-height or tall women, these conservative dress lengths should be avoided by women who are short and stockily built. With regard to fit, the choice of a straight, slim fit is perfect for those women who have small derrieres and slender thighs and hourglass and wedge body shapes, whereas pear shaped women with wider hips and generous thighs and calves should opt for a flared skirts such as mermaid skirts and gypsy skirts.

Casual Dress Lengths

A hemline that stays at the base of the knee is the ideal dress length for women of any body type. Casual dress lengths could also have the hems within two inches above or below the knee. Fit-n-flare dresses, A-line skirts, panelled skirts, and pencil skirts with slits belong to this category. Most women carry off these outfits successfully at these hem lengths, irrespective of the body shape. Suitable footwear completes the picture.

Sporty Dress Lengths

Perky and pert, sporty dress lengths are ideal for women who have shapely legs and slender thighs. Micro minis, minis, and shorts are well suited to this body type, which allows the wearer to carry off the short skirt with confidence.

Flatter Your Body Type and Feel Good

Wearing dresses with hem lengths with which one is comfortable is the first step towards dressing well and feeling good about oneself. Whatever the body type, a woman who chooses her dresses to highlight her best body and facial features and combines it with the appropriate accessories is sure to attract positive attention and win compliments. The bottom line is to wear comfortable, well-fitting clothes and the feel-good factor kicks in. Feel good, look good!

Colours, Designs, and Fabrics Do Matter

Once a woman opts for the dress length best suited to her body shape, other factors come into play, such as colour, design, and texture of the fabric. Choosing colours that highlight the pattern of the dress and look good with the wearer's skin tone is important, while fabric choice also has an effect on the overall look. Well-endowed women, for example, appear slimmer if the fabric is light and flowy. Dresses with bold prints or patterns are best paired with a lower neckline and shorter sleeves, as too much design can be overwhelming. Soft fabrics can be combined with dressy hats, shoes, and jewellery, whereas dresses made from stiff fabrics should be accompanied by simple accessories.

Age and Size Matter Too

Whatever a woman's age, most women enjoy feeling well-dressed and stylish. However, dressing suitably for one's age means that styles meant for teenagers and young women are best left to women of those ages, with middle-aged and older women steering towards a dignified look and avoiding mini-length skirts altogether. Women who are built heavy should take care not to emphasise those body parts that are disproportionately large. Hem lengths at the shin contribute to a slimmer appearance in the larger woman. Petite women also do well to keep their body shape in mind in order to dress suitably, ensuring that the dress lengths do not overwhelm their short frames.

Planning Your Wardrobe

One's wardrobe is a reflection of one's personality and women should choose clothing that suits size and body type. The goal should be to have dresses of different hem lengths that are suitable for different seasons and occasions, such as daily wear, business engagements, informal parties, and other events. Formal wear should also make an appearance in the closet. With numerous dress silhouettes available, women have a choice of selecting the appropriate formal gown according to the body shape and height. A-line and ball gowns of variable hem lengths are suited to all body types, whereas empire, mermaid, and sheath dresses flatter the hourglass figure. Women built large can wear gowns with short sleeves, a wide neckline, a low waist, and other features that highlight the best looks of the wearer. Petite women, on the other hand, should look for a bodice that enhances the bust and an empire waist to give a curvaceous look. The colour, fabric texture, and embellishments on the dresses should be chosen according to the wearer's skin tone and the occasion.

How to Buy Dresses on eBay

Shopping online has its advantages in that buyers can scout around and select among hundreds of dresses in various categories from the comfort of their homes. Online buyers have the freedom to make several selections, reviewing them later and perhaps getting the opinion of family members. eBay offers a wide array of outfits, branded and otherwise, from sellers around the world. With detailed sizing charts provided, it should be easy to find the perfect dresses with the right length, in various colours and sizes. Measuring charts are provided by most sellers, and eBay encourages shoppers to consult with sellers with any questions to make doubly sure about getting the right fit.


The proper dress length highlights the best body features while minimising and distracting attention from the not-so-attractive ones, playing an important role in overall appearance and expressing personality, and a wardrobe should have a good number of dresses and skirts of variable hem lengths along with the ubiquitous jeans, capris, and leggings. Gowns and dresses are by nature feminine, and wearing a dress of the right style and ideal length to suit the body type is sure to make any woman feel beautiful. As fit is all-important in a dress, it is crucial that, while choosing dresses for the wardrobe, women consider their body shape and know their measurements in order to make the ideal choice. Adding the right accessories and light jewellery will impart style and chic, and footwear that is suitable for one's height, size, body shape, and individual style tops off the look. So go for those beautiful dresses, and pamper the woman in you.

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