The Best Dresses For An Oval Shaped Body

When you have an oval shaped body, your waist is about the same size as your bust and hips. Your belly may come out farther than your bust. Your arms and legs are comparatively slender. You’ve probably heard your body type described as apple shaped. But at AbbeyPost, we’ve noticed that apples come in a lot of different shapes, making this a confusing metaphor. Are we Granny Smith Apples? Red Delicious Apples? It’s a mystery for the ages. Here, we’re ovals.

If you have an oval shaped body, you may have narrow, sloping shoulders. You definitely carry your weight in your midsection.

Oval Shaped Body

Still not sure if your body is oval shaped? Check out our handy video with tips and tricks to help you figure it out!


What’s The Goal?

You want to avoid clothes that are too tight across your midsection. Stylist Kendra Porter says to, “avoid belts which can create focus on this area.” Cynthia Schames, Abbey Post’s founder says that ovals should also avoid seams at the waistline. Seams and belts break up the line created by your curves. We usually only think of our side-to-side curves, but a belly makes a curve too.

You certainly don’t want to wear anything oversized in an attempt to cover up your tummy. The goal is to create balance. Work with your curves instead of hiding them.

Another goal is to draw people’s eyes up towards your face. You’re not trying to distract anyone from your stomach as much as you’re reminding them that, “Hey Buddy, my eyes are up here.”


A-line Dresses

Cynthia Schames thinks that, “Oval shapes look great in simple A-line dresses like the Regina or Veronika.” For ovals, stylist Erika Chloe likes looser-fitting dresses that are, “fitted in the shoulder and get looser as they get longer.” That includes a-lines.


The AbbeyPost Veronika A-line Fit & Flare dress, $155 Plus Size Custom Made to Measure

The AbbeyPost Veronika A-line Fit & Flare dress, $155.

In addition to Regina and Veronika, AbbeyPost has several other unbelted a-line dresses that are perfectly suited to an oval shaped body. Check out Emily, Julia, and Michelle. And since they’re made to your measurements, you can be sure that they actually will fit your middle without being too big for the rest of your body.

Empire-Waisted Dresses

The Curvy CEO says that “empire waists look great [on ovals] if you have a large bosom (or fake it with the right undergarments).” Cynthia Schames agrees that empire-waisted dresses like Cassandra flatter an oval shaped body by skimming over the larger sections and drawing attention up top.

The AbbeyPost Cassandra Empire Waist dress, $185.

The AbbeyPost Cassandra Empire Waist dress, $185


Don’t be afraid to show some skin. Kendra Porter says that, “Wearing an open or decorative neckline will draw the eye up and away from your midsection.” Scoop necks, v-necks and square necklines all do the trick.

Erika Chloe says, “Embellishments at the neckline are something oval women should look for to draw attention to the face.”

The AbbeyPost Cynthia Dress features a draped neckline and slightly above-knee hem.  Plus Sizes.

The AbbeyPost Cynthia Dress features a draped neckline and slightly above-knee hem.

Hem Length

Cynthia Schames says, “show off those great legs with shorter skirt lengths!” Erika Chloe says that your dresses should, “come to about 2 1/2 inches above the thin indentation in the middle of your knees.” Though if you’ve got the legs for it, why not go shorter away from the office?

AbbeyPost Julia Fit & Flare Dress, $145

AbbeyPost Julia Fit & Flare Dress, $145

And since most oval shapes have slender arms too, feel free to go sleeveless in warm weather.

Add a Jacket

Jackets are super flattering on a woman with an oval shaped body because of our round shoulders. Erika Chloe explains that, “A fitted jacket gives you some shape in the shoulders so you don’t look round up and down in the torso.”

She suggests a cropped jacket that stops above the belly button, or a blazer that goes down to your hips. A short jacket (or a longer one with waist shaping) can give you the look of a waistline.

A cropped jean jacket adds sass to the AbbeyPost Audrey dress.

A cropped jean jacket adds sass to the AbbeyPost Audrey dress.


Kendra Porter says that, “once you find your ideal dress, pair it with an open jacket or cardigan that falls below the widest part of your midsection for a complete look.”

A longer cardigan helps accentuate the best features of an oval shape.

A longer cardigan helps accentuate the best features of an oval shape.

Options – You’ve Got Them

Oval shaped women often have trouble finding clothes that fit them properly. When you go with the right silhouettes for your body shape, it becomes easier to find dresses that look awesome on you. And fit.

Yes, it can be disappointing to reject a lot of dresses based on their shape – but it’s more disappointing to have to reject them after trying them on. And remember – if a certain style of dress doesn’t suit your oval shaped body, it’s the dress’ fault, not yours.

  • Leah Robin
    April 9, 2014

    Thank you for this. Having this body type can be a challenge!

    • Caitlin
      April 9, 2014

      Hi Leah,

      You’re so welcome! Thanks for checking out our blog!

      Take care,

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