Wednesday, February 4, 2015

How to Pick a Very Flattering Dress

How to Pick a Very Flattering Dress

Recently, I stopped by Dress Barn and was reminded of how good some of their dresses are. I went there for the first time last summer in the Outer Banks, and I got one of my favorite Calvin Klein dresses. 

This weekend, I was struck by how well Dress Barn does something: they know how to pick a flattering dress. However, there are plenty of unflattering dresses there, too, which got me thinking: do you know how to pick a dress that will look amazing on your figure?

Let's take a look at some of my favorites, which tend to show up at Dress Barn in a great range of sizes, including petites and curve sizes. 

Notice anything? See how they've all got some ruching, some extra fabric gathered over to one side?

That's what I like for you. That's what I like for most women because it calls some attention away from our very practical warm egg-incubator, softer middle parts and draws the eye to the rest of our bodies. What if you tried on every dress with ruching that you saw in a store and picked one to wear?

Now here's another flattering style dress. It's a bit hard to see on this first maxi style because of the pattern, but can you pick it out?

The black, white, and yellow shows it off more easily: a high waist. A waist of a dress should hit you up by the bottom of your ribs, at your true waist. A great dress will hit you there, showing off the natural curve of a woman's body and floating down from there.

Why not scope out just the dresses with a high, defined waist and try those on in your size and the size above and below yours, just to be sure that it fits you correctly?

And last, what about this dress? At first glance, it doesn't do either of the things I've suggested here: it has neither a defined waist nor ruching. Hmm...

However! I include it here because one of the stripes across the dress does hit at the natural waist, and I think the stripes in the fabric could be flattering enough to act as ruching. But, a shift dress can be tricky on the lower belly. I'd need to try this one on myself, but don't ignore something that doesn't exactly fit in with what you're looking for. Plus, the blue was very pretty in person, and lace is still in style for spring. And, it's lace! It's going to be in style for a long time to come. 

As always, if you have any favorite stores you'd like me to window shop for you, keep those emails coming! 


  1. I have the second one shown here (the polka dot one) and you are right- very flattering fit! It was my first time to shop at a Dress Barn in over 20 years and I was pleasantly surprised. Prices are great (the exact dress I bought was at Macy's for twice the price) and a huge selection. Still loving your fashion advice! Thank you!

  2. I haven't shopped Dress Barn in awhile. They do have a huge selection! I really need to go through my closet (again). Thanks for the tips! They really help.