Best Model Poses for Dresses

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Getting Good Posture

Nicole Richie’s great posture makes her 5’1” frame look much taller in photos. Getty Images

Taking gorgeous photos is half the fun of going to any formal event. Learning favorite poses of celebs and models on the red carpet) will help take your photos from so-so to ultra-glam.

Models are known for being super tall and skinny, but you don’t have to be either of those to look like one in your pictures. Here’s a secret- you can look tall, even if you’re not! The secret is good posture, straightening your spine and keeping your shoulders back and down.

Nicole Richie’s posture makes her look much taller than her petite frame actually is.

Straighten your back and don’t slouch. Be as tall as you can be. Make your spine as straight as possible and avoid curves- you don’t want to have a hunchback.

Put your shoulders back. Roll your shoulders back slightly, and tilt your shoulder blades slightly toward each other. This will give you an air of confidence.

Elongate your neck. Make your neck as long as it can be by pressing your shoulders down.

Own what you’ve got. Every girl is beautiful, no matter how tall she is. Whether you’re five feet tall or five-foot ten, you can look confident and model-esque by having good posture.

Also, check out: Look Thinner in Photos

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Avoiding Bad Posture

Kristen Stewart is 5’6’’, but even her extra height can’t save this photo from her bad posture. Getty Images

You'll notice that models never slouch for their photos. Not only will slouching hide your gorgeous dress, neck and shoulders, it will make you look like you didn’t even want to go to the dance in the first place.

Slouching makes you appear insecure. Body language says a lot!Even if you don’t like having your picture taken, fake it

Rounded, slouched shoulders look awkward in photos. Kristen looks disinterested and like she doesn’t care that she’s being photographed.

Don’t cross your arms in front of you. It closes you off and hides your dress.

Now that you’ve got the secrets to good posture down, let’s look at those poses!

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The Knee Bend

Actress and model Stacey Kiebler strikes a perfect pose with a bent knee. Getty Images

A hand on the hip and a slight knee bend is one of the most popular red carpet poses. It’s flattering to your entire body, shows off the dress, and is easy to pop into if a friend or your mom suddenly pops in front of you with a camera.

Actress and model Stacey Kiebler strikes a perfect pose with a bent knee.

Raise one knee slightly up and bend it in toward your other knee. Make sure the ball of your foot is on the ground while your heel is up.

Make sure your bent knee isn’t too far away from the rest of your body. Angle your knee in toward your other leg, but not so far in that they’re touching.

Point the toes of your opposite foot away from your knee. The foot that you’re standing on should be pointed straight out or angled slightly away. Stacey’s is straight out and it looks fabulous.

Pop out your opposite hip slightly to give your body a curve. The keyword is slightly- you don’t want the two sides of your body to look totally uneven.

Put one hand on your hip and keep the other close to your side. Angle your elbow slightly back to slightly pop out your shoulder. Remember to keep your shoulders down and back, and to show off your neck.

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The Knee Bend Disaster

Actress Alexandra D’Addario missed the mark with this knee bend. Getty Images

The knee bend is one of the easiest poses to pull off, but be sure to practice it in the mirror before you head out to your big event.

Actress Alexandra D’Addario’s knee bend needs a little bit of work. She also forgot to have good posture.

Her bent knee is too far away from her opposite leg. There is an awkward space between her two knees.

Her opposite foot is turned in too much. It creates a pigeon-toed look and doesn’t make her pose streamlined.

Her elbow is back, but her shoulders aren’t down. Pushing her shoulders down would have given her pose much more strength.

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Over-the-Shoulder Pose

Actress and model Gabrielle Union looks carefree while showing off her backside. Getty Images

When a model poses with her head tossed over her shoulder, it usually means she wants to show off her curves. This can work for all body types, whether you’re ultra-curvy like Kim Kardashian or more lean like Ashlee Simpson.

Know where the camera is. The camera lens should dictate exactly where you angle your body. Look head-on into the camera, then pivot so your butt is facing the camera as well. One side of your cheek should be pointing toward the lens.

Arch your lower back. By putting a slight arch in your back, you will create an attractive hourglass shape that translates really well on camera. This will also help show off your curves.

Put your hand on your hip. Put the hand closest to the camera on your hip, and angle your elbow out to the side. Keep your other arm at your side.

Keep your shoulders down. Elongate your neck and show off your shoulders. Your shoulder shouldn’t be touching your chin.

Position your feet. You can keep both feet flat on the ground, or slightly kick up the foot furthest from the camera.

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A Bad Over-the-Shoulder Pose

Actress Vanessa Hudgens creates an awkward line with her chin and shoulder touching. Getty Images

Vanessa Hudgens forgot a key part of the over-the-shoulder pose: to keep her shoulders down and back.

Your shoulder and chin should not be touching. If they are, it will make you look like you have no neck.

Keep your shoulders back. Otherwise it creates a rounded look that is not flattering.

Vanessa did get the bottom half of this model pose right, though. Her butt is angled toward the camera and her raised foot is a great way to show off her heels.

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The Diagonal Line Pose

Victoria Beckham creates a dramatic diagonal line with her body to show off her dress. Getty Images

Victoria Beckham is a pro at model poses, striking them all over the world at fashion events, royal weddings and during Spice Girls concerts. Her signature move? Creating a dramatic diagonal line. This one will take some practice in the mirror to get absolutely perfect.

Place your right foot out in front of your left. Your feet should be a comfortable distance apart so you don’t to lose your balance. Think shoulder-width.

Place both hands on your hips. Angle your elbows slightly back, but not all the way.

Angle your shoulders. Your shoulders shouldn’t be square. Instead, twist your shoulders slightly toward the camera.

Lean back with your shoulders. This will create the dramatic diagonal line. Practice it in the mirror a few times and memorize the feeling of how far you should lean.

Tuck in your stomach. To create a straight line with your body, there should be no arch in your back. Tighten your abs and tuck in your butt by moving it toward your spine.

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The Diagonal Pose Gone Wrong

Eva Longoria's diagonal line abruptly ends at her hips. Getty Imges

To pull off the diagonal line pose, you have to be daring. You can’t be afraid to lean back. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking a bit crooked.

Eva Longoria didn’t lean back far enough and forgot to twist her shoulders. So, her diagonal line pose ended up looking a little bit off.

Don’t forget that the line should go all the way from the tip of your toe to your shoulder. If you don’t lean back with your shoulders, your line won’t be complete.

Make sure to twist your shoulders. This will complete the line and you won’t end up looking square.

Remember, this is one of the most difficult model poses to pull off. Practice it in the mirror before you debut it in front of the camera.

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Show a Little Leg

Lea Michele shows off her leg and her dress in this simple but effective pose. Getty Images

The best model poses show off your best side and the design of your dress, like Lea Michele is doing here. If you want to show off your legs, if you’re rockin’ a high-low hem or have a slit to show off, kick up your leg and subtly lay your hands on your thighs.

Bend your knee in. Move your foot out just a tad and bend your knee in so it’s crossing over your other leg.

Place your hands on your thighs. Rest them gently and be sure you’re not too stiff. Also be sure they’re framing your legs, not  (yikes!) your crotch.

Angle your torso slightly to the side. This will give your body a shape. You don’t want to stand straight up and down and face the camera.

Keep your shoulders down and back. As with every pose, good posture is key.

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Don't Stand Straight and Stiff

Miranda Cosgrove looks stiff and boring on the orange carpet. Getty Images

You want to keep your model poses simple, but not so simple that they’re boring. Standing completely straight with no bend to your body will make you appear stiff, and it’s pretty boring.

Miranda Cosgrove has good posture in this photo, but standing completely straight doesn’t do anything for her outfit or her cute figure.

Make sure there’s some shape to your body. Kick up a knee, pop out a hip or put an arch in your back. Creating curves will make you and your dress look even more stunning.

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How to Sit in Your Dress

Keep your knees together to avoid an embarrassing photo disaster. Getty Images

There are a few different ways to sit demurely in a dress. Actress Dakota Fanning and model Karlie Kloss are demonstrating two ways above. To avoid an embarrassing flashing incident, make sure your knees are always together.

Cross your legs. Keep your knees pointed toward the camera to avoid exposing too much thigh.

Keep your knees together and angle them away from the camera. By turning your knees to the side, you’ll prevent the camera from seeing up your dress (the horror!)

Do not sit with your legs open! This is cardinal rule number one of posing for any photo while you're sitting. Keep your knees together at all costs!