Shape Report: Oval Styles

Gwynnie Bee Shape Reports series, showcasing women of all shapes & body types: sizes 10-32

Shape Report: Oval Styles

With the launch of our Shape Report for Ovals, we thought it’d be great to hear from someone with an oval shape who has tried lots of Gwynnie Bee items. Enter Emily Sandford of Authentically Emmie, who has been a Gwynnie Bee member for over a year and has tried lots of pieces. She shares some of her favorite styles from our Oval Styles Collection and styling tips for those with oval-shaped figures.

I used to think that I had an hourglass figure, because that seems like what everyone wants to believe they are, right? Really though, I’ve got an oval shape (also known as apple): my mid-section is full without a lot of waist definition, and my bust, waist and hips are close in measurements to each other. There are lots of styles that look great on ovals, and ways to “cheat” visually to create a narrower waist.

  • I’m a huge fan of wrap dresses because they close under the bust – the narrowest part of my midsection.
  • Anything with a defined waist that is slightly higher than the natural waistline is great, as are v-necks.
  • I avoid items that are too high on the neck, or that are too billowy without waist definition.
  • Belts are awesome for ovals, as it creates shape where there might not be any.
  • I’m also a fan of the cropped jacket or cardigan as it ends at a narrower part of your body than a jacket that ends at the hips.

And for reference, I’m 5’10 and a size 24/26.

NY Collection Printed Maxi Dress, sizes 1X-3X: “I worried about this dress because of the horizontal stripes, but didn’t hesitate in trying it since it’s so easy to return to Gwynnie Bee if it didn’t work. It’s one of my favorite GB pieces (loved so much I actually purchased it.) The faux wrap top coupled with the waistband under the bust creates a flattering shape. I layered it with a denim jacket, although I’ve worn it sleeveless as well. It never fails to get compliments.”

Karen Kane Extended Back Tank Dress, sizes 0X-3X: “This tank dress is so comfortable and flattering for an oval. It looks like a solid all-over print, but there is actually seaming under the bust that helps draw the shape in at the waist. I like short dresses as us ovals typically have great legs! The extended back, slightly hi-low hem adds visual interest. I paired here with the Karen Kane Shirred Sleeve Drape Jacket in Raspberry, which is also a great piece for ovals because it’s a cropped length which draws more attention to the upper part of the body instead of hitting on our wider hips.”

Kiyonna Desert Rain Maxi, sizes 0-4: “Kiyonna as a whole does wonderful items for oval shapes because of their classic wrap silhouettes. This maxi dress has a lovely neckline and under the bust, a visual detail that brings your eye to the narrowest part of your torso. I wasn’t a huge fan of the little bit of pleating on skirt, but at least it started lower down and not under the bust – that would have given it a more maternity effect.”

INC Houndstooth Faux Wrap Dress, sizes L-3X: “This is another one of my favorite pieces from Gwynnie Bee because it’s the perfect wrap silhouette. It’s a true wrap, meaning you adjust and tie the dress closed versus a faux wrap that is sewed down. This helps with adjustability as far as tightness in the waist and coverage of the bust. The tie waist is really flattering, and it’s a great knee-length dress.”

NY Collection Floral Print Maxi Dress, sizes L-3X: “This dress was a little tight on me as the bottom is more of a column fit than A-line, but the visual elements work well for an oval. The v-neck top combined with the black-banded high waist create a flattering look. I also liked that the pattern was more concentrated at the top of this dress and the solid portion fell on my stomach, which I’m most self conscious about.”

Thanks so much Emily for sharing your first-hand experience with these items! We’d love to hear from some of our other members. Check out our Oval Styles Collection and let us know what are your favorite items for an oval shape?

  • Comments ( 5 )

  • Judi

    Thanks for this. Gorgeous choices. I am always shy about the real long dresses but I am a couple inches shorter than you! Think I might try the houndstooth one.

  • Charlotte

    I guess I’m an Oval too and also 24/26, so I really enjoy this post! I’m pretty evenly proportioned without a clearly defined waist. I have a big belly and big boobs but I carry a lot of weight in my upper arms and thighs, and I have more back fat than most girls my size. My butt and hips are average compared to other girls my size. I’m definitely not an apple or pear, and not quite an hourglass. I’ve heard my shape described as a figure 8.

    I agree with pretty much everything you recommend here, except that some of these pieces would be too long for me…. I am 5’4 with short stumpy legs. I look great in short dresses and knee length, but maxi dresses are always too long for me. Wrap dresses are the most flattering thing in the world on me (and I think they are good for a variety of body types). Anything V neck with elbow length sleeve or 3/4 sleeve looks great on me. That houndstooth dress is exactly the classic kind of thing that I know always looks good on me, and the print makes it fun and trendy… excellent choice, I definitely need that dress! Any dress with an empire waist or the type of waist shown on the blue floral maxi dress (that defined high waist banded just under the bust) looks great on me (unless it’s too tight/clingy over the belly, as you noted). Short cropped jackets/sweaters/shrugs over dresses look great on me. It’s much harder for me to find pants that fit me well, so I wear dresses most of the time.

    Wearing belts with dresses is really something I should try… I never do but I bet they would look good on my shape! I also have recently started to enjoy leggings, and I have been wanting to try tunic and belt over leggings.

  • Charlotte

    Oh and one last thing… I like how you styled the first dress with the denim jacket and that big turquoise bag! I wear denim jackets over dresses too. Since I wear dresses often as everyday wear, sometimes I want to dress them down and make them look more casual. A well fitting denim jacket is a great way to do that. Also shoes can make a dress look much more casual… sometimes I wear flip flops with dresses in the summer.

  • Crystal

    We have the same shape, however I’m only 5’4, so that makes it hard for me to dress myself. I love long dresses because my knees knock, but you have given me some great ideas! Thank you!

  • Gwynnie

    Stay tuned to our latest oval sizes on Pinterest.

    Find What Fits: Oval Styles