When you’re ready to make a dress purchase, you just get online and start scrolling through, and there are so many beautiful dresses, right? That’s what happened when a client and I were looking at all of the dresses on different websites and they are so beautiful and colorful! Lots of gorgeous patterns and, of course, the models make every dress look fantastic. And so then, we think like “okay, I guess I will look like that too in that dress!”. But not every dress is designed for your body shape.
These are just a few things, like general things, just to kinds of keep in mind as you’re scrolling because I have made these mistakes myself, and sometimes continue to make these mistakes myself. So, these are good reminders for me too because I’m definitely building up my dress wardrobe this season as well.
The first thing is the neckline.
So, the neckline is really important because obviously, it’s closest to your face, and the neckline is going to either highlight your shoulders or make them look droopy, or whatever it might be… Or you know, your bust is there too, so you want this part to look flattering. So choosing the right neckline is important!
And one of the things that I kind of pointed out immediately when we were browsing through the website is the underarm cut. Now, I wear this dress on purpose to show you that some of these cuts, which I really love this particular cut on me cause I feel like it makes my shoulders look wide, and if your shoulders look wide your waist looks smaller! And so I like this one a lot. But the only thing you have to watch out for is kind of how deep it goes. Sometimes it goes too deep and then you got this kind of flat…I don’t know what this part is called, but this kind of a little bit of meat or even muscle or fat, whatever!
Is like fat over these wings like one of my clients called it, they’re kind of showing. And so it’s important not to have anything too tight because, in fact, I wore a dress the other day on a video and I really loved the dress actually. It wasn’t until the video I was like “oh oh… this is what I say not to do!” Haha. But basically, it goes down lower, and sometimes if it’s a little bit too tight I just needed to haven loosened the back, and then the dress will still work.
Anyway, look out for that cut here. And there are cuts that go deeper underneath the armpit, and so it’s nice and clean and I will show you a few examples here how nicely this cut is right underneath the arm, so it’s not kind of showing.
But again, if you like this particular kind of shape of your tops, you have to really love the dress and be okay with this. Just be kind of conscientious of it.
Okay, the next thing you want to look out because these dresses look so cute online, but then you get them and you try them on and they make you feel like a balloon or something… So, are these kinds of tier… What are these called, like tier ruffles… See how this kind of goes in tiers and now I know these are kind of like stripes. But they have this, and this is like kind of the peasant look but then with these tiers. Watch out for those, even when they’re at the bottom because… I’m not a seamstress and I don’t design clothing anymore, so I don’t remember the exact terms… However, they do kind of create this little full balloon-like shape. I put on the stress and I was like “okay, I just gained 25 pounds!”. And so, you want to watch out for that.
Also, if you pick out you know kind of a budget dress which is very common… I get some budget dresses too for spring and summer, I have my nicer or finer dresses that I would wear to nice and elegant occasions or even for fall or when the weather cools down. But for summer, I do kind of go with like little cute budget dresses. And what you have to watch out for this kind of ruffle thing is that sometimes the seam is really sloppy.
So yeah, if you can avoid that it really just kind of poof out. I swear, go into your closet and if you have one of these you’ll know what I mean. Even skirts, watch out for this kind of tier ruffle thing, it is not your friend unless you’re super thin, super skinny and you actually want to add a little bit of volume which some of my clients do. But again, it’s not as flattering so avoid that!
The next thing in this is also in a sense obvious, but you really want to be conscientious of it that is not your body that’s wrong, it’s sometimes just the dress that’s wrong, it’s not made for you! All of us have different lengths of torsos. Some of us have shorter lengths, some of us have longer lengths. When designers are making dresses, they place the waistline at different points of the dress, right? Because they’re designing and thinking styles and different body types. Though, you have to watch out where the waist is going to hit you.
Now, sometimes it can hit you at the empire which is great for ladies that are a little bit bigger in the middle. However, and I know you’re probably thinking “yeah, but those dresses make me look pregnant”. So, what you want it’s that if it’s higher on the empire you kind of have this ruche in here and I’m going to give you an example of a dress that I found on Nordstrom that is super flattering and it brings you in at the waist, and then it has kind of this ruche in there. So, any kind of bumps and lumps underneath they’re hidden with this extra kind of fabric up in the front.
Basically, the tip is to watch out for where the waist hits you. You want it to hit you at the most flattering part of your waist. Again, if you don’t have a waist, opt for an empire waist, if you do have a waist for waistline at your natural waist. And if you feel like the pouch is showing a little bit like it sometimes happens with this dress, then you could use Spanx underneath, or also just get where hits up the smallest part of your waist, and then it has like this extra rouche, that is great.
Also, wrap-style dresses are wonderful because they kind of have that extra rouche right there and it disguises the tummy nicely.
Along the same lines, is you also want to choose the right length dress. So, when I was working with my client we were scrolling through all the images, we were thinking “okay, is that’s too short, is that too long?” Maxis are beautiful and are fun for every single one.
You can be petite, you can be tall, and you’ll look great. However, the midi skirts or even mini skirts you want to hit you at the smallest part of your leg. So, for a midi skirt, you don’t want it to hit at the widest part of your cough, you want to go either above or below. And then with short skirts or short dresses, you want to make sure also it hits you kind of right below the widest part of your thigh or above it, probably not above it, but below and just so it kind of disguise everything nicely. And again, it highlights the smallest part of your leg. And yes, you do have a small part of your leg.
Again, we’re scrolling, scrolling, scrolling and there’re so many beautiful colors, so many beautiful patterns, we are like “wow, this is tempting, I’ll add a bunch of things in the cart!”. But before you go, look at the fabric! Because you want to do this zoom in closely to the fabric.
Sometimes the fabrics are just icky, you have nice polyester, you have a kind of cheaper polyester that will even scratch and almost feel like you have wrapped on your body when you’re outside because they just trap all the heat especially if it’s like super hot outside and it’s probably not the most breathable fabric. But again, there’re some nicer quality polyesters, just zoom in and you could probably tell if it’s a nicer fabric or is it not such a nice fabric.
However, what I would recommend is jersey which is great in summer dresses in fact. It just kind of like the slinky kind of fabric. And it’s just nice! It’s cool, this maxi dress is very long, so what I like to do is I like to belt it, and then kind of bellow it out.
If you’re petite and you like to wear maxi dresses or you feel like you have to hit on a maxi dress, stick a belt on it and it’ll do it for you because it kinds of brings up a couple of inches. So, jersey is great, cotton is wonderful, I’m super into linen… Probably if you’ve been following me here on Instagram you’ve probably heard me talk about linen because it is on-trend right now, so you can get it more easily, there’s a wrinkle-free kind of linen, but it just looks really good, it has this kind of earthy vibe that is very trendy right now. And for me, it really speaks to my style anyway, so I’d go with linen in the summer.
Now, one of the things that my client pointed out that she really likes to do is when she’s scrolling online she really likes to look at the plus-size models and how they look in a dress or a garment.
The only thing with that is that if you’ve been following me for a while, you know is not about your size, it’s all about your shape! So, if the model has your body shape, wonderful. But sometimes the plus-size models might have an hourglass shape or might have a rectangle body shape. So again, just know that just because she’s plus-size doesn’t mean that she’s your body shape. So just lookout for that.
Overall, I think a fit and flare dress is flattering for every body shape. However, I have more tips on how to dress for your body type or body shape down below. You can download the Body Shape Calculator and the Guide and figure out what is your body shape and what silhouettes look best on you.
And then when it comes to color, if you’re not wearing makeup and you put on a dress, does it brighten you up? If it does, then you know it’s the right color. If you’re wearing it and it kinds of dulls you, is not the right color. So you have every color of the rainbow to choose from during the summer and spring months and dresses so just have fun with it! Plus, they’re wonderful because they’re feminine, but also they’re comfy, they’re easy, it’s like a one-stop shop with dresses and you can just throw on a belt, earrings and you’re done.
So, I hope this video inspired you and I’d love to hear in the comments below if you have any questions on dresses. I think it’s wonderful, just go to either Amazon or Nordstrom, scroll around, look at all the beautiful necklines… I’d link a few dresses that I thought were really nice down below. I think that they’re very flattering for every body type and shape, you can try those out. But, yeah, have fun with style, my lady! And take advantage of some of those resources down below.
Thank you so much for watching and I hope to see you in the next Ada Style Minute!