Alongside the Redressing Style Icons and my A-Z of fetching frocks and gorgeous gowns, I'd also like to introduce a weekly blog segment showcasing some of my favourite pieces in the Redressing collections. The idea here is for you to see the type of dresses I sell and to discover what shapes they suit, what purposes they are fit for and what to accessorize them with. Sound good?
Everyday Glam collection- the belted shirt dress.
Shirt dresses are amazing! Generally speaking, they do exactly what is says on the tin- they have buttons all the way down and a collar; sometimes long sleeves, sometimes short and they often come with a coordinating or matching fabric belt.
This belted shirt dress is a perfect example of the versatility of this type of dress. Just about any figure is flattered in a shirt dress; it's all about the buttons!
I'm going to write these posts based on 4 main figures or body types, all of which you will be familiar with I'm sure.
1) Hourglass- think Marilyn Monroe. Typically your bust measurement and your hip measurement are pretty much the same with a very narrow waistline in between! (Technically, your bust and hips should be at least 6" greater than your waist to qualify for hourglass status but you get the idea.) Hourglass figures are culturally and historically deemed the 'perfect' figure but it's debatable....
2) Pear Shaped or hip heavy. Think Jennifer Lopez. Traditionally pear shaped ladies have wider hips and bottom than both waist and bust measurements.
3) Apple shaped. Generally thin legged but minimal waistline and larger busted representing a more rounded torso. Think Drew Barrymore.
4) Boy shape or straight up and down, not much distinction between hips, waist or bust. Straight up and down ladies can often be tall and flatter chested with narrow hips. Think Cameron Diaz.
All of these shapes are gorgeous and the trick to successful styling is recognising which one is most like your shape and dressing that shape well!
So, back to the belted shirt dress- this one is black and white, helpful as these are neutral colours yet the pattern creates a useful disguise to the shape underneath. Hourglass figures would look their best with the belt tightened to show off their waistline and a few buttons undone at the top if they are especially big busted. The pattern of this dress smooths out any lumps or bumps you may feel you have beautifully.
Equally for pear shapes, because this dress has cap sleeves there is something at shoulder width to balance the eye on those hips. Try wearing this with buttons open at the neckline and the hemline to balance your shape. You could add a cropped cardigan with slight shoulder padding if you still feel you need balancing!
Apples can wear this dress with the belt pulled loosely and tied at the back so the dress provides a leaner silhouette. Buttons may need to be opened if there's bust to accommodate but it's optional! Leaving the bottom buttons fastened may help give the dress a longer as opposed to wider structure.
Boy shapes can wear this dress pretty much any of the other ways mentioned. Opening some bottom buttons will help avoid the dress falling into a rectangle around your frame and tying the belt to the side may look good too. If you are smaller up top, wearing a dress like this with a 3/4 sleeve T underneath provides some balance.
Just a few little hints and tips to wearing a belted shirt dress, no matter what your shape! Remember, you are gorgeous!