Let’s Hear it For Dresses!

Advice on Dresses from yourIndianapolis Wardrobe Stylist

Hello Indianapolis Fashionistas!

This blog is one of my wardrobe staples, especially in the warmer months. I love, love a dress–all kinds, actually. I like casual dresses–denim, knit, cotton, voile, eyelet–the list goes on. I even love the Bohemian dresses that you can really wear year-round. I love to wear the Boho dresses with neutral booties, or open-toe sandals.

With dresses, fit is key, and I am forever visiting my neighborhood tailor who makes dress that fit me so-so, look spectacular. To me, kit is so important–equally important to whether the color is a good one for you. The right length, the right waist, a flattering sleeve (or no sleeve), shape, etc.

Believe it or not, one of the most flattering sleeve for all women is not the long sleeve–which is impossible to find anyway–it’s the cap sleeve. I love a cap sleeve, especially for bigger on the bottom shapes, since you need to establish a little broader shoulder. The cap sleeve accomplishes this in a subtle, feminine way.

Necklines are important, too, and it’s not too hard to figure out your “unicorn” neckline. I have discovered it over the years, and it’s definitely a high jewel neck or a V-neck. The best neck for me is a scoop neck because it adds some width to my chest area.

If you are an athletic figure with wide shoulders or a bigger in the middle figure with an undefined waist, you should try a modified swing dress, a scoop neck or a deep V-neck dress. A straight shirtwaist dress is also a winner for you.

Straight, no curves and very thin figures should find a very fitted (possibly knit) dress that hugs their shape since their issue is finding a dress they can truly fill out.

Hour glass can wear practically any shape dress, but it has to be fitted and not reveal too much, especially in the chest area. Any dress that highlights the waist will be a winner for you.

Don’t be afraid to wear a print, since believe it or not, prints are very slimming since they don’t focus on any one part of the dress.

Wrap dresses are a great shape for nearly all shapes. It you lack a waist, try an empire waist wrap dress. (After all, there’s a reason Diane Furstenberg made the wrap dress an international phenomena. They flatter nearly all women!)

Maxi dresses continue to be on point this season, and are continuing the flowy, floral, sheer fabric Bohemian trend. I love them. I also like the more simple patterns, too, especially in a knit skirt and a cold-shoulder blouse I can throw a denim jacket on with.

When you pick shoes for your dress, the temptation is always to pick the latest trends — lace-up shoes, Block Heel Slides, tall wedge metallic sandals. Don’t forget the traditional patient leather stiletto–it’s still very beautiful. Also, don’t feel as though you always have to “match” shoes. They just have to “go” with your outfit.

Photos: Red lace dress, Stylewe.com; floral midi dress, H&M; white dress, Banana Republic; and yellow dress, Anthropology.

Keep it sassy, Indy!

Beth Divine, Indianapolis Wardrobe Stylist