As a personal stylist I have seen all the body types nature has to offer. One being the narrow hipped. You can have narrow hips as a size 10 or a size 0, it is all in relation to the rest of ones body. Often referred to as the upside down triangle, you can identify this body by looking at the shoulders. Are they wider than the hips? If so, some guidelines are needed when purchasing clothing, especially a party dress.
Right now I have a couple clients with this body type and all of them are in need of a party dress for one reason or another. For every other body type (save one afflicted with major cankles), a short dress is a most flattering choice, but a dress is the toughest item on the upside down triangle body type because dresses will show the lack of balance of the hips immediately.
Let's start with what to avoid. Shift and structured dresses will mock your lack of hips. When you put on your size it will fit your shoulders, chest and stomach properly, but then stand inches away from your hips and create a airy tent like ambience where the manufacture wanted some full hips to give the dress shape. If you also have really thin legs, it will make them look like sticks poking out. Boo.
Another type of dress to avoid is the ones with a thin elastic built into the dress to create a waist and then flow over onto the hips. This is supposed to indent on your proper waist and emphasize how thin you are there. Great for a woman with full hips who wants to show off that thin waist. The upside down triangle body has a waist that does not vary much from the rest of the torso so by attempting to put an indent there and then flowy over the rest of the body will make you look wide because it is basically emphasizing the widest part.
An alternative to the thin elastic indent, is a thick built in belt or belt like swatch of fabric over the waist. When the indent is made a few inches wider it elongates that wider part and starts the flow lower and less wide on the hips creating a more realistic look for this body type. Though the best dress for the narrow hipped is made from stretchy material that hugs the body and has ruching, pleats an/or decor through out the hip and stomach area. Excellent options are pictured below.
All dresses are available on Bloomingdales.com.