Perfect LBDs for Athletic Builds

The stylistas of SHAPE magazine show five sporty women how to find the right little black dress for their body
Natasha Harradine
Natasha Harradine
Line Marie LeFevre
Line Marie LeFevre
Annah Poorna Jacob
Annah Poorna Jacob
Lucy Melton
Lucy Melton
Sonia Pitman
Sonia Pitman

Natasha Harradine
24
Triathlete and rugby player for the Dubai Hurricanes

‘‘I was afraid I’d look butch in anything one-shouldered, but I feel so glamorous!”

How To Hide It
Though the instinct is to keep broad shoulders under wraps, a one-shouldered dress draws the eye line down, away from the problem area. The same applies to the long necklace - anything with vertical lines will take the attention down, rather than out – while the subtle printed detail softens the look.

Line Marie LeFevre
36
Yoga instructor at Zen Yoga

‘‘My body is so strong, I didn’t think I could look soft, fl oaty and feminine.”

How To Hide It
This nipped in empire line skims over the hips and thighs, while the draped central panel focuses attention away from the lower area. The strapless shape lends elegance to a toned décolletage, while the lace and the pop of purple add femininity.

Annah Poorna Jacob
28
Gym bunny and Dubai One TV presenter

‘‘I love my calves, but hate my biceps, so this sexy, long-sleeved LBD is a dream"

How To Hide It
The long sleeves and high neck remove attention from the top half, as there is no skin showing. The black on black sequins don’t draw too much attention to one particular of the body – instead, it’s the curve-skimming silhouette that’s the showstopper here.

Lucy Melton
24
Personal trainer and dance instructor at Core Studio

‘‘I’ve always hated my boyish frame, but this dress gives me curves in all the right places’’

How To Hide It
Strapless styles give the illusion of a larger chest, while the nipped in waist line also accentuates the bust. And the clever folds of extra fabric at the top of this dress add bulk, drawing attention to the breast area, as does the necklace.

Sonia Pitman
43
Runner and finance manager

‘‘Running only tones my big calves, this LBD actually makes them look smaller – I love it!”

How To Hide It
Anything with elaborate shoulder detail – sequins, pads or ruching – balances out larger legs, giving a more even silhouette. The deep v-neck also flatters, as it is draws a line up and out, while the wrap dress style accentuates a small waist, giving a more hourglass shape.