It's my graduation later this month and I don't know what to wear. I know it should be formal, but that's about it. I went looking at dresses, but didn't find anything I liked. I'm size 14 and an awkward shape – pear, I think – so I struggle with dresses. Any tips? Marie (33), Galway
Pear-shaped figures tend to have a more petite upper body with narrow shoulders and a small bust coupled with a shapely waist with fuller hips and thighs. The most flattering styles tend to be dresses that play up your slender waist and decolletage while minimising the hip and thigh area.
The 'Annie' dress, with Aztec-sequin bodice and purple skirt, at Monsoon is a clever shape (1 €155). The detailed bodice draws attention to your slim upper frame while the skirt skims elegantly over the areas you are more conscious of.
Wear it with New Look's white courts (2 €24.99) and M&S's chic Panama clip coat from the Autograph collection (3 €109).
By choosing dresses that gently taper at the waist and flare over the hips and thighs, such as the green-and-white stripe prom dress (4 €124, House of Fraser), you'll balance out your proportions.
Another style worth considering is the classic wrap. Regardless of your shape, this feminine style is a must-have for any busy woman. The full-sleeve wrap dress from the Myleene Klass collection at Littlewoods Ireland (5 €62) works particularly well on fuller figures as it draws attention to the slimmest part of your body.