25 party dresses for 11 body shapes, sizes and stages

…and they’re ALL on sale

By Andrea Michelle

You see a dress that looks amazing on one of your Instagram friends, ask them where you got it from, and next thing you’re online on the hunt for it. But there’s a bitchy little voice in the back of your mind telling you it’d never look as good on you anyway because she’s taller, thinner and/or has better boobs than you.

This happened to me last night. My Insta friend with the great party dress was all of those things plus young and blonde. Yet as I was about to step away from The Iconic, I realised the pre-Christmas season has become some kind of crazily awesome sale time, and that her stunning party dress was now practically free.

Flicking around other online stores I noticed designer brands from Philip Lim and Zimmerman to cheap and cheerful randoms in the large online retailers and departments stores were bring offered at up to 50% off in the lead up to Christmas.

And in many instances they’ll add free delivery and refunds up to 30 days, so its practically risk-free (just be sure to check the fine-print, obviously)

So before you put down your mouse and step away from what could be The Most Perfect Dress You’ve Ever Owned*, I’m giving you permission to get all spanky on that bitchy inner voice and get shopping. Because I’ve got tips for what to look for in a dress whichever way, shape or form your wonderfully unique and gorgeous body is looking like right now, 25 party dresses that cover all bases, and they’re ALL on sale.


If you’re shaped like a guitar

Embrace your curves down below, and look for a dress that skims your bottom without clinging. Try a tea dress that’s fitted at the top to accentuate your dainty shoulders, with a full skirt that cinches in to show off your tiny waist.


If you’ve got a mummy tummy

Think vertical. A maxi dress that skims your shape, and with bright patterns that will draw eyes away from your tum. Team with a statement necklace or earrings to lead the eyes upward even more.

Need just a little more reassurance about the state of your tum? See what real mummy tummies look like, accompanied by awesome stories of tummy acceptance.


If you’ve been looking for your waist, but just can’t find it

Boyish figures can work the Gatsby-inspired drop-waisted trend like no-other. Who needs a defined waist when you’ve got some flapper action happening down below?! Team with low-cut dainty flat sandals for a pretty daytime look.


If you’ve got massive boobs

A simple v-shaped neckline will accentuate your glorious bosom without poking anyone’s eyes out. Look for dresses with thicker straps to cover your undergarments, and be sure to have these fitted professionally to maximise your assets.


If you’ve got teeny tiny boobs, and a rounded belly

Skip the bra, and try an elasticised strapless dress with an empire line in crisp cotton. It’ll draw attention to your décolletage, and away from your tum. Add layers of mid-length necklaces to bulk up the area in a stylish, personalised way. Tips on layering necklaces here.


If you’re pregnant

A dress that’s fitted on top, and flowing down below – like an empire-line – is especially flattering on pregnant figures. A maxi in a jersey fabric will skim your body in all the right places without looking like you’re wearing a tent.

For the top 10 pregnancy wardrobe essentials click here


If you’ve got great legs

Regardless of your age or body shape, if you’ve got great legs, make like Beyonce and flaunt them! A chic, crisp tunic-style dress will suit most figures. Choose one that falls an inch or so above the knee to maximise the flaunt.


If you’re all boobs and butt

Don’t shy away from being called curvy –  own it sister! A wrap dress is made just for you. Team with low kitten heels for a look that’d make Sophia Loren weep.


If you’re so tiny and compact people mistake you for your daughter

A maxi is likely to swamp you (unless you’ve got a few tricks like this up your sleeve) and a tea dress can make you look too young. Try short, fitted dresses that show off your petite frame, teamed with slip-on, low-cut sandshoes for a sporty, day-time look.  Alternatively, try sandals with a slight wedge for a bit of extra lift.


If you’re worried about your thighs

Look at yourself in the mirror wearing only your knickers and locate the thinnest part of your leg. For many women, it’s just above the knee. For others, it’s around the ankles. Aim for a hem that finishes at your slender-spot, avoiding hemlines that sit on the widest parts of your legs, and worry no more.


If you’re body just doesn’t feel recognisable to you anymore

If you’ve just had a baby or you’re newly pregnant, your body may look and feel foreign to you. It’s just a transition period, so treat it as you would a transitional man – don’t take it too seriously, and have fun with it! Swathe yourself in a maxi, pop on some sparkly sandals, and focus on your hair and makeup. Your regular body will return in time.


Let’s go shopping!


(Hover over pic for store and price)



As for the awesome party dress I spotted on my Insta friend? I ordered one in red (like she wore) and also in dark green, along with a few other dresses I found at 40% off that I know are more likely to suit my figure. So either way I’m pretty confident that I’ll end up with something that’ll work.

What’s been your favourite online bargain buy?

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* Purchases we didn’t make of things we loved at first sight often fall into a category like this – especially if it’s something you didn’t buy while overseas.