Friday, January 10, 2014

Fashion 101 : Dresses

Confused by different terms that people use when they talk about dresses? Here's a breakdown on what some of those terms mean so that you can be in the know! 
Also, find out what cuts and styles can best complement your body type!

An empire waist dress is distinguished by a raised waistline. It usually sits below the bust and then the rest of the dress flows out from it.  This cut accentuates the body by pulling attention upwards and allowing a looser fit around the natural waistline.

  • Works well for women with a "rectangle" or "apple" body type.

Wrap dresses do what the name suggests- wrap around your body. These dresses accentuate the waist and draw attention upwards. They help create an hourglass figure by lifting and separating the bust.

  • Works great for women with "pear" or "rectangle" body types.

The sweetheart neckline is distinguished by two curves over the bust come down and meet in the center, creating what looks like the top of heart.

  • A sweetheart neckline works nicely with every body type, but may be more difficult for women with fuller busts to wear.

A shift dress is a usually short dress that lacks definitive shaping. A shift is often sleeveless and may have darts, though, typically, does not feature any other detail.

  • This style works well for women who have an "hourglass" or "rectangle" body type.

A cap sleeve is a short-sleeve that covers the shoulder. It does not extend down or under the arm. It usually has a tighter fit at the top of the garment. 

  • A cap sleeve works well if you have a "pear" or "rectangle body type, or if your waist is wider than your hips and bust.


A babydoll dress has a high waistline which allows the bottom of the dress to flow away from the body. It sometimes features lace or ruffles because of their youthful nature. 

  • This style looks especially great if you have an "apple," "hourglass," "rectangle," or "inverted triangle" body type.

A shirt dress borrows from the style of a men’s shirt. They often have a collar or buttons down the front to mimic that style. They are usually cut without a seam at the waist and rely on the use of a belt to define the waist because of their loose fit.
  • A shirt dress complements women with a "rectangle, "inverted triangle," "apple," or "hourglass" body type best.

What looks good on me?
Each woman has a unique body that will be outfitted with thousands of pieces of clothing throughout her lifetime. Sometimes, you wear something just because you want to (why not!), but, sometimes, you want to find something that will flatter the figure you have. Here are some tips on what styles will flatter your shape if you are looking to do just that!
  • If your hips are wider than your bust, try wearing halter or wrap dresses which will accentuate your waist to balance the two out.
  • If your bust is wider than your hips, you can try to avoid focusing attention on your upper body by passing on dresses with high necklines and thin straps.
  • If your bust and waist are the same width and your waist is not as defined, empire waist and wrap dresses may give the appearance of curves. 
  • If you have a defined waist and your hips and bust are “balanced,” then try shift dresses or bodycon dresses that will emphasize your curves.
  • If you have a full midsection that is wider than your hips and bust, try an empire waist or babydoll dress to emphasize your top section and create a waistline or a knee-length dress that will highlight your legs.
  • If you have a large bust, narrow hips, and a full midsection, try wearing v-neck dresses that create a longer torso. You can also try babydoll dresses, empire waists, or belting the smallest part of your waist to create a waistline.
Remember, these are all just suggestions! Play with different styles and looks to see what you think you look best in!

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