Friday 7 December 2012

Dresses for Every Shape

Who doesn't love dressing up? Okay rhetorical question, I understand not every lady is like me, and gets much too excited at the task of dressing up. Especially if you have troubles finding the silhouette to best flatter and fit. Luckily, there are a few "basic" silhouettes that are quite universally flattering, which I will show you today. First, let me define some of them for you:

A-Line: Having a tighter top, and flared bottom. Literally makes an "A" . Suitable for almost every shape

Sheath/Shift: A straight cut dress that doesn't hug the body or cinch in at the waist.

Empire Waist: One of the most common used silhouettes in fashion, why? Because it is fabulous. So flattering, and so diverse. The waistline falls far above a woman's natural waist, usually just under or a few inches below the bust, and the bottom is generally flowy and not fitted. This shapes works very well with Apple figured girls, as it hits where your waist naturally occurs.

Wrap: A great, versatile piece of clothing to have in your wardrobe. It is a v-neck dress designed with a slim-fitting top and a looser skirt, often with extra material across the bust and stomach, giving it the "wrap" look. This silhouette is universally slimming, as is creates an illusion of a more nipped in waist.

a. Shift: Best shapes for this silhouette: Straight and Apple figures. To create the illusion of a more cinched in waist with this style, just add a belt!

b. Wrap: best for hourglasses and full busted ladies. The wrap enhances your natural waist, while showing off your curves without showing too much. To ensure the most comfort, look for wrap styles with adjustable waists for the best fit.

c. A-line. Best for straight, hourglass, pear, full busted. The a-line is quite a multi-tasker, for straighter girls, the cinched in waist creates the illusion of more curves, but for the girls with more natural curve to go around, it helps to hide the fullness of hips.

d. One Shoulder. Best for straight shapes, as the added drama ensures a more dramatic silhouette.

e. Strapless: Quite flattering for all, but best for Pear shapes, as the open neckline enhances your upper body, and draws the eyes up.

Now, for some of my personal "do's & don'ts" when it comes to the dress, and dressing up in general.


  • Wear something that is comfortable, that you can dance in, and allows you to eat in. Stretch is always your friend. Always.

  • Wear a color that is flattering to your skin tone. Warmer skin tones look best in "warm" shades, think reds, oranges, deep burgundies or purples, greens and jewel tones  Neutral skin tones, well, you can pull it all off. Cooler skin tones look best in pinks, purples, and blues.

  • The sit test, and the "raise the roof" test. This summer, I found the most amazing shift dress, ever. But as soon as I put my hands over my head, it raised right up to my belly button. Needless to say, it didn't come home with me. Dependent on the event you're going to, make sure that the dress you pick enables movement, and does not require you to stand the entire evening for risk of showing off too much when you sit.

  • Above all else, wear something that makes you feel like a princess/starlet/beautiful. 


  • Wear a dress that is too short. If you put your hands down at your sides, and your dress falls well above where your fingers fall, it is too short. Try to bend over. If you are unable to do so without showing your underthings, it is tooo short. If you are unsure on whether or not it is a dress, or fancy shirt, it is TOO short. Sometimes opaque tights can blend the lines of just right/too short, but in the hotter months when you do not have that luxury, don't risk it.

  • This is not the time to pull out your best glamour goddess of jewellery impression. Yes, it might be a fancier occasion than your day-to-day wear, so by all means wear the glitzier items in your repertoire, but the rule of 3 still applies.

  • If you are wanting to create the illusion of a long, lean Gisele body, don't wear items that will hinder that. Ankle straps (my arch nemesis, thank you cankles), will cut your leg off at the ankles, so if your hemline is a bit longer, it will create the illusion of stumpier legs. Also, if you decide to wear a dress that has a dramatic neckline/embellishment, wearing your hair down will distract from it, and add too much in a way you don't want.

  • Visible bra straps. DON'T. The only person that can - barely - pull that off is Carrie Bradshaw, and she is fictional.

And to end it off, my most favorite quote on this subject, summing it up perfectly :  "A dress should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to prove you're a lady." - Edith Head





  1. Hi! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to me. Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!