Ball Gown–This style is closely fitted across the bust and waist with a full skirt gathered at the waist. For the average to slim figure, this is an attractive style and has a youthful appearance. This style is not flattering to women with large midriffs and hips.
Empire Style - This style evening dresses are characterized by a high waist and a full length skirt. This placement is appropriate for those who wish to achieve a slimmer and taller appearance. The style is often most flattering to those who carry a bit of excess weight around their middles or who as shorter and more pear shaped in body structure though taller and slimmer women and those with flatter stomachs also appreciate the style of empire dresses.
A-Line–As the name implies, the skirt on this style is slightly fitted at the hip and gently tapers out. The top is usually fitted. Women with large hips will find this style more slimming in appearance.
Mermaid–A sheath dress that flares out below the knee is known as a Mermaid style. The flared section can be made into a train at the back of the gown. Because the eye is drawn to the bottom of the dress, this style is suitable for de-emphasizing a top heavy figure.