The seven broad categories in evening dresses are halter neck, ball gown, Basque waist, A-line, Cheongsam, empire and hankie hem.
Halter neck dresses are tied around the neck and you have to wear a strapless bra with it. They can look extremely fashionable and can be worn to almost all occasions. Avoid these fashion clothing if heavy upper arms or shoulder bags as these dresses accentuate the shoulders and arms.
Ball gowns are the most formal of the lot and can be worn to weddings, proms and formal balls. These dresses have a fitted bodice and flared full skirt. This is a good tummy fat concealer and will make your waist look slimmer than it is. Avoid this dress if you are short and stocky as it works best on average heighted women.
Hankie hem dresses are styled similar to an oversized scarf and the hem can fall either to your knees or mid calf. This is the most versatile option and you are sure to find one to suit your body type.
The A line dress is again a good option for all body types as it is fitted at the top and flares out at the bottom thus camouflaging extra tires and body fat. However, if you are skinny the A line (if not fitted properly) may appear blowsy and not work for you.
Only athletic and toned women should go for the Cheongsam dress as it is fitted tightly and will not work for curvy body types.
For larger frames opt for designer plus size clothing. Finally, if you are short on height ask for the Basque waist; it will make you look leaner and taller.