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SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE
We love long dresses, but even with towering heels like Olivia Munn’s, they can overwhelm a petite figure. For similar impact without the drowning-in-fabric look, try a flowy midi (hers is Raquel Allegra) – and add a few inches to your height with similarly killer shoes.
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There’s a reason this silhouette, with its fitted bodice and voluminous skirt, is perennially popular: It flatters all figures and disguises problems of the thigh and butt variety. Asos number has a classic pattern that looks great with a contrasting belt, and allows her to show off her unbelievable arms while skimming her waist and hips.
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ROCK THE RUFFLE
If you’ve got a slender shape like Camilla Belle, you can fake Marilyn-esque curves courtesy of a wide belt and a flowy ruffle at the neckline, which creates the illusion of a bigger bust. Plus, the print of her Yoana Baraschi dress only further plays up the feminine vibe she’s going for.
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FAKE FIT ARMS
We’re suckers for a dress that makes you look totally professional to bosses and utterly dateable to guys, like Kate Beckinsale’s Preen mini. The key is the demure neckline, sleeves that cover up the entire upper arm (great for those of us who didn’t do as many push-ups as we should have this summer) and the sexy, body-con fit.
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SHOW YOUR DARK SIDE
If you’ve mastered colorblocking, get ready to graduate to the next level: contrasting shades with mixed prints like rocks. As with solid hues, wear the darker shade on the bottom to draw the eye up and balance out a pear-shaped body.
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WRAP IT UP
Just when we thought wrap dresses (you know, those magical creations that make everyone look instantly thinner and taller) couldn’t get any better, maxi wraps hit stores! Miranda Kerr wears a silky one that highlights her killer décolletage, but we recommend using fashion tape or throwing on a tank underneath to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.
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GIVE YOURSELF AN A
An A-line cut, that is. Slender, boyish figures like benefit from curve-enhancing silhouettes, like this Shoshanna dress in a classic shape favored by the singer.
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FLATTER WITH SUMMER FABRICS
Light-as-air chiffon is not only super-feminine, but it’s also super-forgiving, allowing you to cinch in a petite middle and drape over any problem areas. A pretty pastel print like Amber Riley’s keeps the eye moving and complements most skin tones. (It also helps that the dress fits her perfectly, so find yourself a good tailor!)
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BELT IT OUT
While shirtdresses are a warm-weather staple, the straight up-and-down shape can make anyone with a fuller bust or hips appear boxy and those with boyish shapes appear, well, shapeless. Adding an eye-catching waist-cincher to a printed button-down, like Amy Smart does, creates curves and looks polished.
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WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BACK TO BLACK
No need to relegate your LBDs to the back of your closet just because the sun is out. As long as the cut is casual and the fabric is appropriately lightweight (think: America Ferrera’s T-shirt dress), this universally flattering favorite is a no-brainer to take you from work to an al fresco happy hour.
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GO SMALL OR GO HOME
While big prints can look over-the-top on petite figures, small-scale patterns, such as the one Ali Fedotowsky wears, are perfect for that body type. Avoid looking too little-girl by opting for an asymmetrical hemline and grown-up accessories.