Once the temperatures start to soar, summer dresses are ideal. They’re cooler than pants and they’re easy to wear since there’s no need to wonder if your top matches your bottoms.

What isn’t so easy, however, is finding a dress that complements your particular frame. But that doesn’t mean that you need to restrict how you dress by body type. There’s at least one perfect style of dress for everyone, and, when you get the formula right, you can look taller and slimmer in seconds!

Check out this summer dresses guide to find your perfect fit.

Short and Swinging

swing dress. summer dresses

Great for: Pear shapes with slim upper bodies and wider hips.

Short and swingy A-line styles are very flattering summer dresses for pear-shaped figures.

A strappy top section helps to show off a slim upper body and toned arms. And the fuller skirt will glide over your hips to create a feminine shape that’s sexy without being clingy or obvious. The result is a carefree and breezy look that helps to highlight your best assets.

Also, pops of color or an embroidered patch here and there can help to draw your eyes away from the hips and onto the legs and shoulders.

Perfect Patterns

Prefect pattern

Great for: All body types.

From graphic prints to florals, there are so many choices when it comes to patterned summer dresses for every body type. And, while the fit of the dress will determine whether it’s flattering on your body type, patterns can help to hide and highlight certain features.

For plus sizes, prints with a black background are super slimming. And smaller repeat patterns like polka dots and ditsy florals can add instant inches if you’re on the petite side.

Taller girls can embrace bold patterns, while patterned dresses with a banded hem help to balance your height.

Flowing Midi

flowing midi

Great for: Taller women (and petite ones too!).

Taller girls have the inches to pull off longer dresses, but full-on maxis can swamp even the most Amazonian of women. Instead, go for a midi dress, which is cut to around mid-calf. This will help to highlight slim ankles and show off your height without overdoing it.

That said, Instagram influencer Monikh Dale is a big fan of midi dresses despite being only five foot one. She does admit that she has to have long dresses tailored to fit her small frame. But it’s clear that she’s found a fashion formula worth considering for all you petite girls out there.

Time for Tea

Great for: Most body types.

A tea dress is one of the best summer dresses for most body shapes as they tend to skim the hips and flatter a slim upper body. Plus, they often come in all kinds of beautiful prints and patterns.

If you have a boyish or pear-shaped figure, opt for a tea dress with ruffles at the neckline to create the impression of a fuller bust. If you’re top-heavy, ruffles on the wrap hem will help to balance you out. And, a heart-shaped neckline helps to cover and highlight your assets.

If you’re tall or have a boyish figure, a banded waist section can help to give you more definition. And if you’re petite, opt for tea dresses with smaller prints to create the illusion of height.

Mini Shift

mini shift summer dresses

Great for: Petites.

Although petite women can embrace long dresses too, shorter styles help to create the illusion of longer legs even if the dress features a bold print. But, since you’re going short, avoid anything too tight or fitted.

Instead, keep things understated by making it a ’60s-style shift dress. Unlike fitted dresses, because a structured shift dress drops down from the bust, it helps to elongate your body too. And, if you have a more boyish figure, the A-line fit and short length will ensure that all eyes will be on your legs.

Fit and Flare

fit & flare

Great for: Pear shapes and hourglass figures.

Skater-style dresses which flare out from the waist down to just above the knees are perfect if you have an hourglass or pear shape.

The full skirt helps to minimize your wider hips while the fitted top half emphasizes your assets. Although, don’t go too tight or low-cut on top if you’re particularly busty as it might be too much.

If you’re more of a pear shape, look for a skater dress with details like frills or a pattern around the neckline to help balance out your smaller upper body.

Belted Up

belted dress summer dresses

Great for: All body types.

Belted dresses help to define a fuller figure so they’re great for plus size women. They’re also ideal if you have more of an apple shape as they pull in your waist to create curves in all the right places. And, it goes without saying that belted dresses help to further define your waist if you have an hourglass figure.

In terms of length, opt for dresses that end just above the knee, and don’t be afraid to embrace bold patterns for summer. And if you have larger breasts, make sure you choose something fitted but not too clingy.

For tall girls with boyish figures, a belted shirt dress is perfect for adding the illusion of curves while showing off your toned legs. Shirt dresses can also work for petite women too. But make sure that the hem ends before your knees or this style will swamp you.

Your Guide to the Best Summer Dresses

As this summer dresses guide shows, there are plenty of options when it comes to finding styles that emphasize your figure in all the right ways.

And, by understanding how belts, patterns, and ruffles can help to balance out and highlight certain areas, you’ll soon get to know what details to look for and what to avoid.

Now you know the most flattering summer dresses for your body type, all you need is the right shoes and you’re good to go. For some serious footwear inspiration, check out this guide to finding the perfect sandals.