How to find the perfect dress

Every special occasion is an opportunity for you to shine! Notice how it's you who should shine, and not the dress? The perfect dress shows off your best assets, adds to your personality, and makes you the star of the show. Here's how to find that perfect dress for prom, homecoming, quinceañera, or your wedding!

01/

Know your body shape

Every woman is different, but our bodies tend to fall into a few general body shapes. It is useful to figure out what shape you are, because certain dress styles and cuts complement certain shapes. These shapes are also used by dress manufacturers when creating their products, so knowing your shape means knowing which dresses will look most tailor-made on your body – even though they are off-the-rack! 

These are the general body shapes: 

  • Hourglass – wider in the shoulders and hips, narrow midsection

  • Triangle / Pear – hips wider than shoulders 

  • Inverted Triangle – wider shoulders, narrower from waist down

  • Round – narrower in the shoulders and hips, wider midsection

  • Rectangle – uniform proportions with smaller waist

02/

Be realistic about the dress styles you can wear

We all wish we could look fabulous in a mermaid gown or a sheath dress, but the truth is most of us would not! Remember that the dress should accentuate your assets. You wear the dress, not the other way around! Here are some general dress cuts that manufacturers use, what their features are, and which body types they best complement.

  • A-Line – provides definition; good for most body shapes

  • Mermaid – hugging; good for hourglass & triangle / pear shapes

  • Empire – cinched high on the waist; good for most body shapes

  • Ball Gown – classic Disney-style; round shapes should avoid

  • Sheath – very little structure; good for hourglass & rectangle shapes

03/

Set a budget, but keep your mind open

Just as we must be realistic with the dress styles we can pull off, setting a budget keeps us grounded about the brands we can afford. In fact, knowing your spending limit can simplify your search by eliminating categories of dresses that you can't afford anyway.

All that being said, keep your mind – and eyes! – open to options slightly above your budget. Perhaps spending 10% more will get you a dress that you love thoroughly! Don't simply settle for something unless you are 100% comfortable. Putting on a dress should feel powerful and satisfying. If you see a cheaper dress with flaws that irritate you, forget it! Those flaws will nag at you on your special occasion and ruin the mood before you even step out of your room. If paying upfront is difficult, look for layaway plans that allow installment payments while reserving the dress you want. 

04/

Get a second opinion and always try it on first

Who likes to shop alone anyway? It's never easy deciding what looks good on your own body – but we always have an opinion about someone else! So, bring someone with you to a store where you can actually put on the dresses you like. They could be your mother, your sister, a good friend, or a store expert with experience. More importantly, you need someone who can be honest with you!


At COCO Collection, we've sold over 5,000 dresses – each one was tried on first, and absolutely loved before it was bought. Going online for a dress to save money can be rewarding, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare of returns, delays, and hassles. When investing in a dress, don't spend until you've tried it on and loved it. 

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