Sheath dresses and empire gowns are both fabulous choices for your formal event, but one may grandly outweigh the other when it comes to picking a specific gown for your shape and taste. Based on the way the dresses are cut and the way they fit, your body type can play a huge part in making the best selection.
Silhouette. Sheath dresses share the same silhouette as your figure, thanks to the form-fitting design of the dress. Empire dresses fit tighter at the shoulders and bodice then flare out with abandon directly below the bust line.
Materials. Because the sheath is such a body-hugging style, you’ll often find them in clingy materials. Velvet, crepe, linen and even jersey knit are all options. Empire dresses can be topped off with a body-hugging material, but the skirt portion of the dress requires tulle, pleated satin or another fabric that swings and flows.
Body type. The sheath hugs your frame, leaving little to the imagination. This means your body type better be up to the scrutiny. Empire gowns give you loads of breathing room, literally, by starting the flared skirt so high. This means they can easily hide heavier bottoms and not-so-svelte middles.
The She Knows website notes the sheath is best suited for statures that are either very tall or very petite. It can also work for anyone with an hourglass figure. Figures with short waists, pear shapes or voluptuous curves may do better in empire gowns.
Both the sheath and empire cut can turn heads in an instant, but you want to make sure you’re turning them for the right reasons with a gown that compliments your body shape.