Clothing Masterclass: Curves-tastic Style – Dressing an oval body shape

Written by Wendy Mak

A little while ago, a reader on this blog asked if I could post some tips on how to dress someone with a real tummy. This is commonly known as an oval body shape, where most of the weight is carried through the mid-section (waist and tummy area).

In this post we’re going to look at dresses for an oval body shape.

The first rule is around the silhouette (shape) of the dress. Look for a mostly straight silhouette NOT an A-line (most straight cut dresses will always curve out gently at the bottom or in the hip area – this is necessary to accommodate a woman’s curves but don’t get confused and think it’s a true A-line because it’s not).

The most common error made is choosing an A-line style with loads of fabric or gathers, and thinking it will help camouflage the tummy. In fact the mass of fabric will just add extra bulk across the whole body. (Revisit my post on A-line skirts to help you understand why some A-lines can be unflattering)

Next, look for a structured (thick) fabric (like a good cotton blend). Anything too thin (like a thin jersey) will just cling to every lump and bump. Your worse nightmare. Worse than the one you dreamt where we lived in a world without Clooney, Gosling and Tim Tams.

A soft fabric can work, as long as there is enough of it to drape over curves and ideally with an additional layer like the image below on the right.

13 02 14 Oval bodyshape dresses 2 decjuba

Dresses from Decjuba


Don’t be afraid to use patterns. Patterns can be your friend when chosen correctly. Stay away from any patterns that run horizontally because they will actually draw attention to the very area you wish to minimise. Look for slimming vertical patterns or blended patterns which trick the eye into thinking all lumps and bumps are just part of the pattern.

13 02 14 Oval bodyshape dresses DecjubaDresses from Decjuba


And finally – when choosing accessories like necklaces and scarves, or even additional layers like jackets, always always keep them long and lean. Choose a longer necklace to sit near the bust line, and not a choker style. Pop your scarf on around your neck and keep it long and open, don’t loop it around your neck. Look for jackets and cardigans that aren’t too bulky, worn open with a nice long line / lapel. This will all help to elongate the silhouette and create a lean look.

Start the conversation and let me know what you think of this post by commenting below.

Happy Styling! xx

This post by Wendy Mak



By | 2017-09-05T07:55:50+10:00 February 15th, 2013|Fabulous Fashion, How to fashion|6 Comments


  1. Kim February 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Love the post Wendy – I think I now need to visit Decjuba!

    • admin February 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Kim, yes Decjuba is worth a visit – they have a good online store too if you can’t get in! They always have some good basics and lots of dresses. ~ Wendy

  2. Cindy February 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Thanks! I have a post baby belly. This is helpful!

    • admin February 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Glad to hear it helped Cindy! ~ Wendy

  3. Vesna February 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Wendy, I absolutely love your blog articles. They are sweet & short! I adore the pictures you use and the comments you write on them. Very practical. I’m sure there are a lot of women now enjoying your blogs as much as I do and also “learning heaps”. Thanks

    • admin February 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      Thank you Vesna for the lovely comments – I’m really so glad to hear someone is reading and finding it useful. Stay tuned for the next posts and thanks for taking the time to comment xx ~Wendy

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