How to Find the Perfect Dress

It’s the one dress you can count on to carry you through most occasions. One that can be dressed up, down and accessorized easily. Want one? Need one? As a Carmel Wardrobe Stylist, here are my top 9 qualities to look for:

  • Carmel Wardrobe Stylist advice on dressesSemi-fitted: a dress that shows some shape.
  • Clean lines: a dress with lines that flow freely over your body from neck to hemline uninterrupted by too many seams, ruching, draping etc.
  • Tailored: in order words a dress that has some fitting.  A semi-fitted style will deliver you a form flattering shape while being appropriate to most occasions and lifestyles.
  • Sleeveless: certainly not obligatory but a sleeveless or cap sleeve dress does allow for all types of scarves and sweaters to be added.
  • Minimal to Unembellished: the more details on the dress such as collar, pockets, ruffles etc the fewer options you will have to dress it up and down with accessories.
  • Solid Color (or close to it): as you’ll learn you can successfully accessorize a patterned dress but it take a little more strategy.  Solid coloured dresses allow you unlimited scope to play and experiment with accessories.
  • Medium Depth Color: a medium to medium-dark color will take you from day to night as well as being figure flattering.
  • A Print that Incorporates a Neutral Color: this allows the dress to easily be with layered with a jacket. Extra tip: A print background that is the same depth has your hair will harmonize beautifully with your coloring.
  • Classic Neckline: scoop, V and square necklines allow for many styles and lengths of necklaces. Unusual necklines and collars are more limiting.
  • Above Cleavage Neckline: an appropriate, take you anywhere, flattering depth.
  • Midi Length: just above the knee to mid calf like a medium color will be flattering and versatile.

Carmel Wardrobe Stylist advice on dresses

Accessory advice from your Carmel Wardrobe Stylist

Then add accessories to jazz up the dress. This is key; otherwise you will look plain.

Now accessories, that is a whole different blog, but I am going to hit the highlights. For jewelry there are a couple of things to think about. First, and foremost, your scale. That means your size and build. If you are a petite woman who is slim, jewelry needs to be small and delicate to not overwhelm you. If you are in the middle, somewhat average in size, you can wear bigger jewelry. The large, grand in size jewelry is for bigger gals, and they look marvelous in it! So consider this. These principles also apply to the size of your purse.

If you are a cool in your coloring; favor silver. If you are more warm gold and rose-gold will look great on you, you can also mix a little of the opposite metal into your look.

Keep shoes coordinated.  As a Carmel Wardrobe Stylist, I always cringe when I see someone wearing a heavy, suede shoe with a lighter color, flowing spring-summer dress. So lighten it up with the seasons. Also when it’s warmer, embrace sandals, sling backs and more airy shoes. Purses should be lighter, too, in the warmer months. I like to use fabric purses with color and prints and straw. With a basic dress I’ve described above, having fun with accessories is the icing on the cake.

For more advice on dresses, reach out to me for a consultation!

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC
Carmel Wardrobe Stylist