SOURCE: dressbarn

March 29, 2012 12:15 ET

Dresses for Spring Offer Shoppers an Array of Styles, Colors, Patterns and Fabrics

dressbarn Advises Women to Focus on Their Body Type to Find a Flattering Fashion Fit

SUFFERN, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 29, 2012) - A recent shopping-outlook survey by PriceGrabber found 50% of Americans will spend more on clothes this year than they did last year. And, as warmer weather sets in, women shift their fashion shopping focus from slacks and sweaters to easy, breezy spring dresses. So, it's no surprise that store racks are bursting with dresses in an array of fabrics, colors and styles. The options can be overwhelming, but the fashion experts at dressbarn offer reassurance to women who are tempted to retreat to the shape-camouflaging winter styles in their closets in despair: With some simple tips, they say, it's possible to find a great spring dress style to flatter any body type.

"The spring season sets the stage for brighter colors, lighter fabrics and breezy styles," said Keith Fulsher, EVP and chief merchandising officer at dressbarn. "If you take the time to understand your body type before you go shopping, you can focus on the styles, colors and patterns that will highlight your best features and play down your less-than-favorite body parts."

The style experts at dressbarn identify four common body types, and the fashion choices that flatter each shape.

1. Pear-Shaped (bottom half of your body is larger than your upper half):

  • Look for clothes with a classic cut, fitted on top and flared below. Avoid styles that are fitted on the lower half, and select styles that are knee-length.
  • Patterns are great, but select them carefully. It's the space between the pattern that can make a dress look unflattering, so pick prints with overlapping designs
  • Accessorize with statement necklaces or embellished necklines to draw attention upward, away from the hips.

2. Long and Lean

  • Go bold -- a slimmer figure can handle bright colors.
  • Create curves by choosing a dress with plenty of detail like pockets, embellishment, belted waist patterns, etc.
  • Remember that a thin frame can handle textured fabrics well.

3. Petite

  • Look for styles that are figure-fitting, but not skintight, and select above-the-knee hems and higher-cut waists work to elongate your overall frame.
  • Indulge your wild side. A petite frame can handle elaborate prints.
  • Limit embellishments like pockets, ruffles or bows. Too many will read 'little girl-ish.' Instead, don long jewelry such as chain necklaces to help create the illusion of length.

4. Plus Size

  • Choose color block patterns to draw attention up toward your face and neckline; opt for darker colors at the bottom and lighter colors up top.
  • Opt for light weight fabrics -- bulky fabrics will add unwanted bulge.
  • Structured or belted dresses help create curves and accentuate body shape, while highlighting your waist creates balance, whether you choose a sundress or a shirtwaist.

"dressbarn has fashions for every occasion and every body, from petites to plus sizes and every size in between," said Fulsher. "The right dress not only fits the season and the event, but fits your body and your personal style, too. Our experienced staff will help you find the clothes you'll love to wear -- and that's a feeling that will put a little 'spring' in anyone's step."

For more information on dressbarn, please visit

The following images are available for this release:

Image 1: Tribal print - Great for Pear-Shaped Body Type

Image 2: Brights - Ideal for Long and Lean Body Type

Image 3: Geometric stripes - Striking on Petite Body Type

Image 4: Color blocking - Perfect for Plus Size Body Type

About dressbarn
, a subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), is a leading national women's specialty apparel retailer offering quality casual, career and special occasion fashions. dressbarn stores carry styles in sizes 4 to 24, as well as shoes and accessories. Today, dressbarn operates over 830 stores in 48 states. For store information and to shop online, visit

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