How to Dress More Modest for Your Body Type

Woman wearing modest jumpsuit and sitting near pink wall

Dressing for your body type in an elegant and modest way is all about learning your own body type and becoming accustomed to your shape.

A-lines work perfectly on apple, pear, and triangle-shaped body types, modestly flattering the figure.

Hourglass body types should opt for wrap dresses and straight shapes are best to choose classically tapered dresses with the help of a little-added

detail, such as ruffles.

Layer with the perfect duster coat or blazer to achieve a covered up and stylish look for any event, day to night.

When it comes to dressing modestly, there is a misconception that your clothes and dresses should be overtly loose-fitting and often, simply baggy.

Opting for fitted clothing, without being too tight is actually a much more elegant way to dress your shape.

Ensuring you are as covered up as you deem appropriate, these tips will allow you to conceal curves where you wish whilst remaining feminine and stylish at all times.

Here, we look at the five central body types and how to dress modestly depending on our own shape.

What Type of Modest Dress Is Best for Each Body Type

Woman wearing a modest long dress suited for her body shape and standing near a wall

With anyone looking to dress modestly or not, knowing your body type is often the most important part of choosing the right dress style.

Certain body types better suit different shapes and styles and some can flatter less, so narrowing down your shape will help you to start your search for a modest, stylish dress.

Let’s take a look at the five central body types that most ladies can fit into.

Read through their descriptions and try to decide which sounds most like the shape of your figure.

From there, discover the best types of modest dress for your body type, which will flatter your shape, accentuate your features but in a modest, covered up way.

Apple Shape

If you’re an apple body shape, you’ll be heavier at the upper part of your body, with slim legs and narrow hips.

This body type will usually have a large bust and a rounder stomach.

With many apple-shaped ladies, the tendency is to overdress with swathes of fabric in an attempt to conceal curves.

However, doing this can often make you look much bigger than you are, which is not the goal when dressing modestly.

To direct attention away from your bigger areas, keep details on the dress towards the lower half, which will instantly flatter your shape.

The best shape to opt for on an apple body type is a stylish A-line dress, particularly when the A-line shape starts at an empire line, just beneath the bust.

This will flatter the figure, yet keep your shape modestly covered up, showing just a hint of your waistline.

Pear Shape

Almost the opposite of the apple is the pear body type.

If this is you, you’ll have a heavier bottom half, with rounded hips, derriere, and thighs but with a smaller waist, bust and narrow shoulders.

If you’re looking to modestly accentuate features but conceal curves, you will be best to focus any detail on the dress towards the top half.

This will help to flatter and balance your shape a little more.

For a pear shape, high-waisted details look great.

So, opt for dresses that have some structure at the waist and either an A-line skirt or a floaty fabric for the most modest look possible.

Triangle Shape

Like the apple, the triangle body type, also known as the inverted triangle, is wider up top, often with fairly broad shoulders and narrow hips and legs.

Unlike the apple, triangles will usually also have a small bust and stomach, which means most of the focus, when trying to flatter this figure, is balancing the shoulders.

An A-line dress helps to do this and remains eternally modest.

Choosing a detailed A-line dress or even a pleated skirt for more volume is a perfect choice.

A wrap dress with relatively loose, draping fabric can also help to modestly conceal curves in a feminine and stylish way.

Straight Shape

Straight body types, also known as rectangles, have a close balance in width from shoulder to hip but often struggle to create a waistline for a curvy shape.

To modestly add curves to this body type, you can select dresses with added details like ruffles, which help to create shape whilst remaining covered up.

Tapered shift dresses will create the illusion of curves in a very understated way and for a bolder look.

So, opt for ruffles and frills to add detail at the shoulder and hipline for more shape.

Hourglass Shape

If you think you are an hourglass shape, you’ll have similar width shoulders and hips with a noticeable curve at the waist.

Even if you want to conceal curves, you still want to modestly flatter your shape so avoid overly loose-fit dresses, which add bulk.

Therefore, opt for dresses that elegantly highlight your waistline.

Wrap dresses are an ideal style for an hourglass shape, as well as dresses with both a pencil skirt and an A-line shape.

How to Hide or Conceal Curves

woman wearing modest, curve flattering clothes

It’s not necessary to completely hide or conceal every curve to look stylish and modest.

However, there are certain fashion tricks you can use if you choose to make your outfits that touch more modest.

Invest in A Collection of Camisoles

Sounds simple, but a camisole can change the way you select certain dresses for your modest style.

The perfect modest, A-line dress might be too low-cut for your taste.

But, if you layer a simple, chic silk camisole beneath, it enables you to cover your bust a little more, without discarding the dress completely.


Layering is a technique used by many modest fashionistas.

If your favorite dress is a touch too slim-fitting for your modest tastes, layer with a cardigan or longline blazer or jacket, worn open.

This way, you can instantly hide a little more of your curves without completely covering your entire shape.

What Parts of the Body Should You Highlight and Conceal to Be More Modest

Woman wearing red dress with belt to accentuate her body shape and standing by a lake

Modest dressing is not all about concealing every part of your body but choosing which aspects of your shape you’d like to keep covered.

So you need to find dresses that still flatter your figure and leave you feeling confident and stylish.

There are certain parts of a woman’s figure that could be seen to be more modest when covered, and some which, when highlighted, always ensure a feminine overall look.

The Waistline

It is not immodest to show off your waistline.

In fact, keeping covered at the bust and lower half and accentuating your waist, can be an elegant balance of the two ideas.

Dresses with high necklines and midi length, A-line skirts sit tightly at the waist, helping to form an hourglass shape in an overtly modest way.

The Bust and Derriere

These are often parts of the body best concealed with a dress style for a modest look.

The bust can be covered in a fitted, high-neck dress without loose-fit, over-baring layers of fabric and the derriere can easily be concealed with an A-line or shift-style dress shape.

The perfect jacket can also help to conceal a larger derriere and creates a stylish ensemble when paired with a chic, feminine dress.

The Leg

A super-mini skirt is often not the most modest of choices when it comes to dresses.

Concealing this area of your body instantly forms a more elegant look and you can choose either a midi or maxi-length dress to do so.

When selecting a midi-length dress, you are able to then opt for a more fitted, pencil or a fit and flare style dress.

This flatters your figure but because of the length, remains fashionably modest.

What Should You Layer with Each Dress to Make It More Flattering and Stylish

Woman wearing a modest jacket and standing near a pink wall

Every dress can be layered to add an extra touch of glamour to a modest look and the perfect choice can even flatter your shape more when teamed with the right dress.

Longline Duster Jackets

Often a forgotten fashion secret, a longline duster jacket should be a staple in every modest woman’s wardrobe.

Crafted in either a thick chiffon or silk satin, this style falls to the floor and is often a blazer-style collar, which you can add to any fitted or shift dress.

These flattering styles add extra coverage for a dress, as well as a stylish touch to ensure your outfit stands out.

Banish the Statement Necklace

When it comes to layering with jewelry, a statement necklace can often be selected as the key feature of the look.

However, this style draws attention to the bust and although fashionable, might be less than the modest look you’re aiming for.

Banish the necklace and instead opt for a bold, statement earring.

This draws the attention upwards, away from the bust, and keeps your look on-trend and ultra-contemporary.

When you’re learning to dress modestly for your own body type, it helps to become familiar with your own shape.

You need to think about the parts of your body you’d like to highlight and how best to conceal curves if that’s your goal.

Narrowing down your specific body type and shape will make shopping much easier and allow you to move effortlessly when selecting an appropriate modest dress for your wardrobe.