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Prom Dresses and Body Types: Finding the Perfect Dress

Every woman wants to dress to look her best, but that's even more the case when it comes to formal occasions since everyone will notice what others are wearing. Add in the pressures of being a teenager, and shopping for prom dresses can become a worrisome struggle. The good news is that there are evening dresses designed for every body type and individual style. Follow these simple guidelines for finding formal dresses that will make you look and feel great.

Body Image and Loving Yourself

There's not a teenager around who isn't self-conscious about some aspect of her body. After all, we live in a culture that has an idealized standard of beauty that is simply unrealistic. The models in the fashion magazines and the celebrities we admire are the exception, rather than the rule. "Real" women don't look like models, and you shouldn't feel pressured to conform to a standard that is unattainable.

Before you start looking for prom dresses, look in the mirror and learn to love the image that looks back at you. Whether you're petite or tall, thin or plus size, understand that you deserve to have both your inner and outer beauty shine through on prom night. Decide which of your physical features you'd like to accentuate, and which you'd like to downplay.

Accentuating the Positive

If you're petite, for example, perhaps you'd like to dress so that your torso or your legs look longer. If that's the case, look at styles with clean lines and that don't have a lot of excess fabric. Short cocktail dresses might be a good choice, as they draw attention to your legs. An empire waist will lengthen your appearance, and a sizzling pair of stilettos will add height.

Plus-size girls can choose from among a wide range of styles. If you're pear shaped, you can show off your booty with a form-fitting dress, or opt for a flowing, vertically draped skirt with a fitted bodice to balance out your figure. If you're apple shaped, V-necklines are especially flattering. An empire waist will draw attention upward, though there's nothing wrong with flaunting your curves.

If you have an hourglass shape, virtually every dress will enhance your figure. Draw attention to your upper torso with a fitted bodice or corset, or go for sheer elegance with pageant dresses. Prints and complementary color combinations will also serve you well.

Girls who are especially slender can go one of two ways. First, you can try styles that incorporate a lot of fabric, and that feature gathering or shirring. Second, you can draw attention to or enhance your bustline with styles that are embellished or that use a contrasting color at the bust.

If you have a full bust, you can either enhance the feature with a strapless gown or look for prom dresses with straps that are widely spaced to downplay your bust. V-necklines will also add length and draw attention upward toward your face.

Whatever your body shape, you can find prom dresses that are flattering, elegant, and fun. Most of all, remember that beauty comes from self-confidence, a sense of style, and self-love.

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