Flattering Dresses for Athletic Body Types: Our 21 Picks

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Editor’s note: Article updated on January 2, 2024. 

Shopping — it’s one of our favorite activities, but sometimes, it’s actually difficult to find items worthy of your hard-earned funds. If you have an athletic (or rectangle) body type, you might struggle shopping for flattering clothing — especially online. Most fashion models do not have a very athletic build, so it can be hard to tell what a piece might look like on you versus on them. But don’t stress — there are of course plenty of dresses out there you’ll feel fabulous while wearing!

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An athletic shape has shoulders and hips at about the same width and weight pretty evenly distributed throughout the body. This means you may want something that emphasizes either the top or the lower half of your body, not both. Fit-and-flare dresses can help balance broader shoulders, or you could accentuate them with an accent-sleeve top and more fitted skirt. Halter and racerback styles are also amazing for showing off toned arms. Strapless works too! You could also go for something with a plunging V or scoop neckline to flatter your bust.

Want to see some examples we love? We’ve picked out 21 dresses for you, so let’s get to them!

21 Extremely Flattering Dresses for Athletic Body Types

Fit-and-Flare Dresses

1. Our Absolute Favorite: This vintage tea-style Grace Karin dress is basically famous on Amazon and is a fit-and-flare style through and through!

2. We Also Love: This solid Verdusa dress is a better pick for more casual occasions where you still want to look ultra-chic!

3. We Can’t Forget: How about this beautiful MakeMeChic dress? The patterned skirt adds extra visual definition to the bottom!

Accent-Sleeve Dresses

4. Our Absolute Favorite: With voluminous, fluttery short sleeves and a fitted silhouette, this Zshujun dress is a dream for athletic builds!

5. We Also Love: How cute is this gingham puff-sleeve dress from Anthropologie? A perfect summer find!

6. We Can’t Forget: This floral Zaful puff-sleeve dress is another great pick, featuring multiple tie details for adorable accents!

Halter Dresses

7. Our Absolute Favorite: We just found your next fancy party frock, and it takes the form of this bestselling Prettygarden halter dress!

8. We Also Love: This Lulus mini dress is flowy and fancy without being too fancy. Shoppers say it’s comfortable too!

9. We Can’t Forget: This fitted Floerns dress and its tropical print are simply made for your next vacation!

Racerback Dresses

10. Our Absolute Favorite: If you’re looking for a grab-and-go type of dress for any and every day, grab this LuckyMore dress (with pockets)!

11. We Also Love: This sweet and sporty Eleven by Venus Williams dress from Revolve is an amazing athleisure pick!

12. We Can’t Forget The tie detail at the waist of this BTFBM dress is going to have you feeling like a million — no, a billion bucks!

Strapless Dresses

13. Our Absolute Favorite: This beachy, boho CHICGAL dress will be a pattern lover’s best friend. It has a whole bunch of them!

14. We Also Love: Okay, our jaws dropped a little when we saw the unique tie-dye design on this Riviera Sun dress!

15. We Can’t Forget: You’re probably not going to want to take off this THANTH maxi dress once you try it on!

V-Neck Dresses

16. Our Absolute Favorite: This plunging Floerns mini dress has a dainty print and flowy, flattering details everyone will adore!

17. We Also Love: Wrap dresses flatter every body type, so you know you especially can’t go wrong with this popular ZESICA piece!

18. We Can’t Forget: Need something for a formal occasion? You won’t want to miss this Dress the Population gown!

Scoop-Neck Dresses

19. Our Absolute Favorite: Everlane’s Ribbed Scoop-Neck Dress is going to stun every time. Fab for winter!

20. We Also Love: We would wear this Daily Ritual henley dress all year long. So many ways to style it!

21. We Can’t Forget: In love with plissé? This Lulus mini dress will be your new go-to — you’ll wear it all the time!

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Content created in collaboration with QVC. The first official day of winter has come and gone, so it’s time to stock up on all our cold-weather essentials. Since we’re living in layers all season long, the best way to show off our style is with outerwear and accessories. Bring on the shoes, scarves and sweaters! […]

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