The Kate Middleton newsletter was very popular. Not only do people love Kate, but they love all the dresses! I got lots of feedback from people who would love to wear as many dresses as she does or really, just want to find the right one. This newsletter will help you do that.
Define a Waist
This Eliza J faux jersey wrap dress is a great example of a defined waist. Even if you don't naturally have a defined waist, this tie and shape (meaning that it gently flares out), will help create a waist for you. This is so much better than the dress at the right, which is cute, but does nothing for this model's body. It just hangs and it's shapeless. It looks like a sack.
Here's another dress that also defines a waist, but not because it's two different colors, but because the fabric is pulled in and tailored at the waist. This dress would be great for someone who has a little bit of a tummy because the extra fabric/draping will give a bit more. It won't cling to the body. This grey sheath dress on the right also defines a waist (literally with the belt, but it does go in on its own), but this would not work for someone with a tummy as it would pull too much across the stomach.
The idea is to always look for a dress that defines a waist and as you've seen, that can be in many different ways. Here are two more examples.
One dress has a belt in a different color and the other one has contrasting piping to accentuate the tailoring. Once you've defined a waist, then decide if you need it to be fitted, flare out, have sleeves, v-neck, square neck, a print, a bright color, cotton, jersey and so on.
The neckline of a dress is also important because it frames the face. A v-neck is the most flattering because it elongates the neck, making you look taller. It also helps to "break up" broad shoulders and a large bust (apple body type). I like it because it gives you the perfect opportunity to accessorize with a fabulous necklace or great earrings.
This doesn't mean that you should never buy a dress with a higher or closed neckline, it's just that v-neck is the most flattering. A sweetheart neckline is very feminine and, therefore, great for rectangles. Boatneck can be hard to wear, but looks great on pear body types because it helps balance out their hips.
I also wanted to point out other necklines like an asymmetrical one. This Komarov jersey sheath dress is ruched at the waist and has a small cascading ruffle from there, down the side of the dress. It also comes in petite and two other colors, coral and teal. I'm pointing this out because this is still an open neckline so it's very flattering, yet different. I have a basic black dress with a different neckline that always garners lots of compliments - it's still put together and professional, but not exactly what you would expect! It still opens up the neck and looks great on its own or with a jacket. It gets you noticed, but in a good way and makes you memorable in the sea of black and grey suits in the business world!
We've talked about a waist and the top half of a dress, so now it's time to talk about the bottom half. If you're very hippy, then you might not want something that's very fitted. Instead, look for something that flares out and gently floats away from the body. If you want to accentuate your curves or don't have many curves to begin with, then perhaps you want a fitted silhouette for the bottom half.
Here are three blue dresses that all have a different bottom. The dress on the left is fitted and highlights the bottom half, showing off or giving curves to a straight up and down body type (rectangle). The dress on the right does not have a fitted silhouette on the bottom and is similar to what Kate Middleton wears. This shape gently flares out, which would conceal hips and thighs and also moves with the body. The last dress has the fullest bottom half. Notice that the more the dress flares out, the smaller the waist looks, but ultimately, you have to choose the shape that is the most flattering, comfortable and what feels like you.
Most of my dresses are very fitted, which works for my body type (hourglass) and, no surprise, my personality. I'm a little bit more reserved and am someone who's very organized so flirty and flowy dresses are not really my style. I like things with a bit more structure. Even if I needed a style that flared out, I would opt for something with a gentle A-line instead of a very full or super poofy silhouette.
First you have to pick a dress based on your body type, then it has to suit your sense of style. If you opt for something really poufy, but poufy doesn't look good on you, it will look bad. It doesn't matter how much you love it or feel that it reflects you. If you can't do poofy, then you opt to bring in a very feminine touch elsewhere in the dress - with the color, accessories, other embellishments on the dress and so on. Remember, color, embellishments and accessories are great, but nothing trumps fit. You have to get the shape and fit down first.
Lastly, I think it's important to point out prints and embellishments. Prints are very flattering as they can keep the eye moving and are a nice change from solids. I adore this Donna Morgan dress because it's light-weight, has a v-neck, ties at the waist and has pockets! This would be great for a work event, baby shower, graduation - you name it! And, notice how the pattern keeps you from focusing on one specific area? The shape is also great because of the open neckline, the defined waist and it's not too clingy - so flattering for so many women. While this dress has a consistent pattern, it's important to talk about dresses that vary in design.
Here's another patterned dress, but this one has a very distinct band at the bottom. This would be a great dress for someone who has broad shoulders and/or a large bust because this band would draw the eye downward and away from the top half of the body. It would help balance out broad shoulders.
This Tahari dress does the opposite as the dark bottom deemphasizes the bottom half, but draws the eye upward to the print and open neckline. Remember, clothes are an illusion and it's all about knowing what they do and how that flatters you.
I know there are a lot of options out there, but that means that the perfect dress is waiting for you! Be sure to define a waist, look for a neckline that you like and know what you want the bottom half to do. If you have questions or are overwhelmed, then contact me! This is what I do and I'm happy to help. Happy shopping and have fun!
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