Which Spring Dress Shape Is Right for You?

Okay, so depending what part of the world you’re in, spring either feels like a next-door neighbor or a very, very distant relation. Regardless of whether the weather is on the sunny side, our new arrivals certainly are.

Let’s take a look at the five dress shapes that are popping off as we speak, and figure out which one is right for you.

Speaking of popping off, our first specimen is known as the popover dress, and the tomato-red example above illustrates the way this silhouette lends the illusion of layering to the quick-and-easy simplicity of a one-piece look.

Consider this shape if you love the idea of nuanced separates, but don’t always feel confident pulling it off. The quasi two-piece makes your look that much more pulled together.

See also: Small of chest? The blouse-like bodice has you covered.

Next up, the shift dress. One size might not fit all, but one shape does, and it’s this one. Vaguely retro (Hello, Jackie O!) and so timeless as to be eternally modern, this waistless style is about as easy as easy gets.

Consider this shape when you’re not feeling especially good about your mid-section. Look for shifts in non-clingy fabrications, and put the loose shape to work.

Good form: Think of the shift dress as an outline for your bod; go for one that’s neither too baggy nor too fitted.

 Shop: Shift dresses

Love a peplum top? Drop-waist dress styles will probably appeal to you too. There’s just something about that extra little kick…

Consider this shape if you’re looking to elongate your torso—but keep in mind that long-body tricks might appear to shorten your legs. It’s all about balance! And keep in mind: in general, drop-waist styles do tend to emphasis the hips.

If your style icons are of the fringed flapper type, this is your dress.

Style it with: a slightly longer-length cardigan


The name pretty much says it all: Fit and flare dresses are nipped at the waist with all kinds of feminine appeal. There’s a certain party vibe at play here, but modern styling cues mean you tie on some sneakers and rock the girly tomboy thing.

Consider this shape if you’re down to hug the curves. Got an hourglass? Use it.

 Shop: Fit and Flare dresses

Hm, maybe we should of slid this shape between the shift and the fit and flare dresses—for all intents and purposes, the A-line dress is the mid-point between the two.

Consider this shape when your look—or your bod—is better off with a quieter approach where structure is concerned. Or, if you’re looking to emphasize your waist but you’re just not quite there yet, let this be the way you wade in.

 Shop: A- line dresses

See the Nordstrom Dress Spotlight for more

Shop: All dresses