Rebecca, 32, is originally from Australia and has been in the UAE for eight months, working as an English teacher. She lives in Dubai Marina with her husband and son, Oscar, who is three.
The pear shape
Pear-shaped women like Rebecca tend to be slim up top but larger on the bottom half, with hips and thighs usually the largest parts. Rebecca loves to wear floral prints and vintage styles, but sometimes struggles to find dress shapes that fit her perfectly.
Dress, Dh479, Miss Selfridge, Necklace, Dh129, River Island
Wearing a fit-and-flare shaped dress accentuates Rebecca’s tiny waist and hides her problem areas under the full skirt. Adding a statement necklace to any dress will draw attention to her upper body, which is key for pear-shaped women.
“I love the colours and shape of this dress. It fits really well and I don’t feel self-conscious at all.” - Rebecca
Dress, Dh1,500, Coast, Heels, Dh240, Aldo
This dress is super- flattering on Rebecca’s pear-shaped figure. The light material means it doesn’t cling to any body part, and the low-cut neckline will draw attention to her upper body rather than her hips. The waterfall cut of the dress also lengthens her legs.
“I would definitely wear this dress to a summer wedding. I love the print and the light material is great for the hotter months.” - Rebecca
Not so great Pear-shaped women should avoid anything that is tight and fitted around the bottom half of their body. Pieces that have a lighter panel on the bottom won’t work either, nor will shapeless dresses – these will hide their lovely curves.
Josephine, 38, is an interior decorator and blogger from Sweden. She has been in the UAE for six years and lives in The Springs with her husband and son, Oliver, who is three.
The athletic shape
Josephine has an athletic body shape, meaning she doesn’t have many curves. She loves to wear boho prints and oversized pieces that aren’t too tight to her body.
Dress, Dh219, New Look, Heels, Dh340, Aldo
The striped print and cut of this dress create curves on Josephine’s body. The small waist and full skirt give the illusion of bigger hips, giving a feminine silhouette. The cut of the neckline also creates the impression of a larger bust.
“I would never wear something this girly usually but I love how it looks!” - Josephine
Dress with belt, Dh610, Oasis
The pleats on this floral dress create the illusion of curves, while the cut of the neckline and top is very flattering and shows off Josephine’s toned arms. The addition of a belt makes her waist look tiny. Wear this with high heels to lengthen your legs and vamp up the ladylike midi length.
“This dress is so girly but I love it! Normally I wouldn’t wear anything this fitted but it’s made me realise that I need to stay away from oversized pieces.” - Josephine
Not so great While this dress doesn’t look bad, an ill-fitting dress will drown the athletic body shape – this one is too structured and has too much material on the upper half for Josephine. The key is to create curves rather than hide what you have. So anything loose or with too much material is going to be unflattering.
Rebekah, 22, is a British-born editorial coordinator for InsideOut and has been in the UAE for six months. She lives in Jebel Ali with her parents and sister.
The hourglass shape
Rebekah has an hourglass body shape, but she tends to hide her gorgeous figure with baggy jumpers, harem pants and kimonos. She also avoids bright colours.
Dress, Dh650, Vince Camuto; Heels, Dh125, New Look
While Rebekah usually disguises her figure, this dress does the opposite, flattering her tiny waist and womanly curves. If you have an hourglass figure it’s important to accentuate what you have, rather than hide it.
“This dress was a nice surprise. Considering the style I thought it would highlight all my flaws, but actually it was really comfortable to wear and was certainly more flattering than I expected.” - Rebekah
Dress, Dh900, Coast
While this dress didn’t work with the athletic body shape, on the hourglass figure it looks stunning. The stripes make Rebekah’s waist look even smaller, while the flared skirt and cap sleeves pull all the attention towards the smallest part of her body.
“I liked the drama of this dress, it felt a little 1950s with the shape of the skirt – it was fun to succumb to something so girly.” - Rebekah
Not so great Any dress that is straight up and down will hide an hourglass figure. Shift or oversized dresses are a definite no-no as well as halterneck dresses, which will draw too much attention to the bust area.