Shopping for evening wear can be incredibly frustrating and there was a point I didn’t own a single dress that was flattering. A friend of mine then “educated” me about the different cuts and how to choose the right cut for me. Now, I don’t fear the prospect of shopping for an evening dress as much as I used to!
When you’re buying a formal dress, you need to look for a style that’s going to perfectly flatter your figure. So let’s start by figuring out our body shapes. Once you’re done, you can start to choose the right cut for you dress.
The Ball Gown - photo by Sacheverelle
- The A Line
If you need to emphasise your waist, an A Line gown is your best bet. While the gown is fitted around the waist, it flares out waist downwards. This concentrates the attention on your waist, creating the illusion of your waist
- The Princess Cut
The Princess cut dress is a dramatized version of the A-line. The dress is created using vertical panels that run from the neckline down to the waist or sometimes the hem line. These panels work well by elongating your silhouette and ultimately slimming it because the focus is shifted to the lines created by the seams.
- The Ball Gown Cut
The Ball Gown is made up of a fitted bodice and a flowing skirt. These can be separates or one piece. This cut especially suits pear-shaped bodies as it accentuates the upper torso and does a good job of hiding the lower body. It also looks good with almost any neckline so take your pick!
- The Empire Cut
The Empire Cut dress has a high waistline that sits just below the bust. Funnily enough this is great for ladies with both big and small busts. For a smaller bust, it attracts attention to the neckline and if you add further embellishments like beadwork or full sleeves, it will work wonders. For a larger bust, it helps to conceal and the square neckline will work perfectly.
- The Mermaid Cut
The Mermaid Cut dress is very well fitted from the chest to the knee and then flares out, sort of like a mermaid’s tail. This is the perfect cut for you if you love to show off your curves. Carry off the mermaid cut with a confident posture and you’re all set.
- The Sheath or the Column Cut
This silhouette pretty much flows from the neckline to the hemline in a straight column, hence the name. However, this doesn’t mean its shapeless because the column is usually narrow and clings to your curves. This is perfect for you if you’re shorter as the silhouette has an elongating effect.
Other Tips to Consider:
- If you don’t want to show your arms, use a wrap or a bolero jacket that goes with your dress.
- Try it on and see how it looks on you. Don’t just buy something because it looks good on the rack.
- Learn about fabrics because each fabric can create a different look and can also end up making a dress fit you differently.
- If you don’t like what’s on the racks, hire a seamstress and get a dress tailored to perfection.
So there you go, hopefully these tips will make it easier for you to choose formal evening wear that’s right for you.