David Meister holiday party gown

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Crystal Renn, plus-size model

"I'm very proud of my hourglass figure now," says Renn, 23, author of the eating disorder memoir Hungry. In this gown, no curve goes unnoticed. The black lace over a blush slip is sophisticated but sexy; the skirt's mermaid flare plays to Renn's love of dramatic shapes.

If you're curvy...
  • Show off your shoulders. They're pretty no matter what size you are.
  • Lengthen the lower body. This flared hem offsets the hips (they'd look wider if the skirt tapered all the way down).
  • Look for structure. Don't let your small waist get lost in something loose or boxy.
  • Create a diversion. A strapless or one-shoulder style draws the gaze upward—a smart tactic if you carry most of your weight on the bottom.

More: The best (affordable) brands for larger sizes