Festive frocks for all figures

Published: Sunday 14th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Alongside the gifts for your nearest and dearest, top of your shopping list right now should be a killer dress to see you through the seasonal soirees that are no doubt crowding your December diary.

But how do you choose from the avalanche of eveningwear that has just landed in stores?

If you really want to make an impact, you’d do best to consider your size and shape before you reach for the shop rails.

The wrap dress

Best for: Those with a larger bust

Why? Because a wrap or V-neck dress separates and showcases your best assets beautifully.

Darker colours are more slimming, so if you want to go for a festive hue, make it burgundy rather than holly red, and be careful with all-over sequins or frills which can add bulk.

Wear it with: A supportive plunge bra. If you’ve never been properly measured, what are you waiting for? While you’re shopping for your dress, head to the nearest lingerie department and do so immediately. It will change your life.

Two to try:

velvet embellished velour wrap dress, £49.

Jenny Packham designer dark red sequin embellished maxi dress, currently reduced to £157.50 from £225 at .

The illusion dress

Best for: Curvy figures

Why? Because of carefully placed panels or embellishment giving the impression of a narrower silhouette. Just make sure the fabric is dense enough to skim over any bumpy bits, and steer clear of ruffles or sparkle on areas you don’t want to draw attention to.

Wear it with: Super-supportive underpinnings and spanx. Go for big court shoes, which are proportionally better than dainty chains and skinny-strapped heels.

Two to try:

Neutral lace leaf panel dress, currently reduced to £40 from £70 at .

drop-a-dress-size white dress, £89, available in store.

The Bardot dress

Best for: Boyish figures

Why? Because you’re lucky enough to be able to wear a strapless bra – or even go braless – without feeling dangerously unsupported in the chest region, so this sexy off-the-shoulder style fits like a glove.

Your Bardot should hit just below the shoulder, and if it has an empire line or high waist, even better.

Wear it with: A moulded cup or push-up strapless bra to add curves.

Two to try:

lace hem sequin Bardot dress, £250, online exclusive

Fever fish Bardot off shoulder dress, currently reduced to £24 from £30 at

The prom dress

Best for: Pear shapes

Why? Because you want to draw attention to your top half and skim over your bottom. A traditional 50s prom style will do just that. The skirt shouldn’t be too big, so no tulle, and dark colours on the bottom are preferable. Also, look for eye-catching embellishment on the top half.

Wear it with: a blingy necklace to draw the eye upwards.

Two to try:

lovedrobe skater dress, £49.

little mistress blue embellished dress, £60.

The dip hem dress

Best for: Tall girls

Why? So you can show off your enviable pins without feeling exposed at the back. Plus, it’s more dressy than a straight-up cocktail frock. A dip hem gives you the best of both worlds.

Still worried? Try a dress with contrasting colours on the top and bottom halves, so that it breaks up the long silhouette.

Wear it with: a skinny belt, or a bold necklace.

Two to try:

Lipsy embellished dip hem dress, £55 at .

Strapless knot front high low hem dress, reduced to £22 from £46 at .

Copyright Press Association 2014

Published: Sunday 14th December 2014 by The News Editor

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