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Ajit Berg, Fashion columnist, Published February 07 2013

Fashion in Focus: Find your perfect Valentine's dress (with video)

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to invest in a fabulous dress for a romantic night out.

The first step in finding the right dress is knowing your body shape. Then you can focus on buying a dress that will accentuate what you like most about your body and hide what you don’t like.

No matter your body shape, embrace what you have and love yourself this Valentine’s Day with the perfect sexy look.

Pear shape

If you have a pear shape, with a smaller bust and shoulder but larger hips, choose a dress with an A-line bottom for the skirt and a more open neckline on top.

A V-neck or scoop neck dress with an A-line, flowy bottom would be a great style for you if you have this body type. Keep in mind that spaghetti straps will look out of proportion with wider hips, so steer clear and find a wider strap or sleeve.

Pear-shaped ladies should avoid putting a belt at the waist with a dress, as this will only accentuate your hips.

If you have wide hips but great legs, try an a-line short mini. Also, for a bigger bottom but tiny waist, go for a full ’50s-style skirt with a high waist.

Celebrity pear style role models: Beyonce, Michelle Obama and Shakira

Rectangular shape

On a straight figure, a high neckline looks great with a slim-fitting skirt. Go for an Audrey Hepburn style chic, simple shift.

If you have a smaller bust but want to show more skin at the neck try a jeweled neckline that hits just below your collar bone for a flattering look.

Adding a belt to the waist will give the illusion of hips and a more hourglass figure. A dress with a peplum skirt will also add instant curves to your hips.

Celebrity style role models: Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman

Hourglass shape

For an hourglass or curvy figure, a higher neckline can make you look too busty, so stick to a V-neck, scoop, square or sweetheart neckline to enhance your décolletage.

Cap sleeves or wider straps are the most flattering and balance out your proportions.

On the bottom, go for an A-line or slim-fitting skirt and keep it shorter in length or above the knee. A sexy fitted V-neck dress with a slim, short bottom would be perfect for you if you have this body type.

If you are petite avoid dresses that are too long as they will shorten your leg. Also remember adding a nude pump to any dress elongates your legs. Rouching is good on all curvy body types and hides any tummy issues.

Celebrity hourglass style role models: Halle Barry, Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson

Apple shape

For an apple-shaped figure – those women with larger busts, thicker waists but smaller lower halves – should choose a dress with an open neckline and go for either a straight or A-line skirt for the bottom.

A wrap dress or slinky spaghetti-strap dress would be ideal for this body shape. If you’re looking for more support in the bust, a thicker strap or cap sleeve also works. If you own the right bra, strapless, halter and one-shoulder style dresses also look great on someone more voluptuous on top.

Celebrity apple style role models: Angelina Jolie, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jessica Simpson