Your closet doesn't have to be a place where you feel bad about your body — or your wardrobe. Surround yourself with clothes that work for your body type, and getting dressed will make you smile.

Feminine dresses are a closet must-have

Standing in front of your closet and pondering what to wear shouldn't make your day feel stressful. Having a few go-to pieces front and center will be a relief on days when you want to feel confident in what you're wearing without putting too much thought into your clothes. Dresses are the perfect choice for days when you feel like you don't have anything to wear. You don't need to worry about coordinating tops and bottoms — maybe your skinny jeans are clean but your favorite tunic is in the laundry — and they look like you put more thought into your outfit than you actually did! Feminine dresses run the gamut from evening to casual dresses, and there's something out there for every body type.

Flatter your straight figure

Whether you want to call it boyish or straight, choosing dresses with visual interest can create a few curves. A major bonus to shopping for a straighter figure is certain shapes, like the sheath dress, fit well right off the rack. If you choose the right dresses, women with straight figures won't have to worry about too many visits to the seamstress for tailoring.

Feminine dress picks- straight figures

  • The Naughty or Nice Dress uses colorblocking to break up the straight lines of the dress (Shabby Apple, $78). The pink and navy is a pretty color combination as the calendar inches closer to spring, and the ponte fabric means the dress will be comfortable for all-day wear.
  • The tiered skirt on the Tiered Dress in Blurred Floral is another choice that would work beautifully on a straight body type (J. Crew, $158). The movement of the skirt adds a bit of shape, and the pattern is aesthetically pleasing without being overwhelming. J Crew offers many of their dresses in regular, petite and tall sizes to help you find the perfect fit.

Highlight your hourglass figure

An hourglass figure balances curves on the top with curves on the bottom. The lovely, oft-celebrated, feminine shape can be difficult to fit at times, because dresses that fit on the top may be too large in the waist. Look for dresses that nip in at the waist, even if you have to have a bit of tailoring done to make it fit the way that makes you most comfortable.

Feminine dress picks- hourglass figures

  • The v-neck and defined waist make the Piped Tweed Fit and Flare a flattering choice (Banana Republic, $140). The pink tweed is lovely, and the piped trim gives the dress a little bit of an edgy flair.
  • The pattern on the Sun Will Rise Embroidered Dress works like a vertical stripe to lengthen your body (Ruche, $43). The v-neck flatters, but it's not so low that you'll worry about coverage during the day.

Pretty dresses for pear shapes

Pear or triangle shapes tend to have narrow shoulders that taper out to curvier hips. Flattering dresses for pear shapes tend to add details to the top of the dress to balance out the slightly wider bottom half of the body. Look for skirts that flow from the waist but don't have pleats — those add volume.

Feminine dress picks- pear figures

  • The spearmint shade of the Coach Tour Dress will flatter many skin tones (ModCloth, $48). With large buttons and a detailed top, the eye is drawn upward, and the skirt skims the hips as it moves away from the waist line.
  • Pear shapes can easily wear a high neck like a boatneck or even a turtleneck, because higher necklines add width to narrow shoulders. The Arripidae Dress in soft chiffon will fit like a dream — and the raspberry shade is a beautiful pop of color (Shabby Apple, $92).

Perfect choices for plus sizes

Dressing for your plus-size body doesn't need to make you feel like you're trying to hide your shape. Wearing oversized clothes might make you feel like you're disguising the size on your tag, but that technique can actually backfire. Finding clothes that fit and flatter, while staying on trend, will make you feel beautiful. ModCloth is a great resource for plus-size clothing that aims to flatter — not hide — your body.

Feminine dress picks- plus size figures

  • The Pretty on the Park Bench Dress shows that patterns don't have to add visual weight (ModCloth, $90). The close-to-monochromatic pattern doesn't look busy, while the wide waistband accentuates the waist. The v-neck and cap sleeves balance the A-line skirt, creating an all-around winner of a dress!
  • Try a wrap dress in a comfortable fabric for a look that can be dressed up or down easily, depending on the accessories and shoes you select. The NY Collection Faux Wrap Dress has 3/4-length sleeves and a whimsical buckle detail at the waist (Macy's, $38).

More about dressing for confidence

Find the perfect jeans
10 Bright and bold dresses
Why you need a peplum top

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