Both vintage inspired styles are great fun and both cater for differing body shapes and differing retro looks.
Let's start with fitted (think Marilyn, Joan Holloway and Rita Hayworth.) Hugging the bottom and ending just below the knee, the fitted dress creates that much coveted hourglass shape. Designed to flatter all your curves the fitted dress or pencil skirt is definitely a vintage classic. Literally called 'wiggle' because the measurement at the hem is less than the measurement at the waist causing you legs to be closer together creating a 'wiggle' when you walk!
Here are a few starlets of yesteryear epitomising the wiggle dress in all its glory!
|Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway|
The only problem with the fitted dress is that it can be rather too fitted! Correct underwear is a MUST when wearing this vintage look. Big knickers are most definitely required to avoid any unsightly VPL and a good support for the bust too or you can end up losing the waist area you want to be defining. An underskirt or slip is also a good investment if you choose this style; often fabrics designed to stretch and cling to your curves will also cling to your tights so make sure you avoid the static.
Perhaps more often associated with the late 1940s and early 1950s this style is a classic and will particularly suit you if you already own an hourglass-ish shape or are smaller on the hips than you are on top. If you are more of a pear shape (larger on the hips than the bust), then fear not, help is at hand!
The second classic vintage look is perfect for pears and anyone else who loves a dress you can actually dance in! -The Flare or Circle dress (think Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly or Judy Garland).
The flare dress is often more associated with the 1950s when fabric rationing had eased, it evokes a more feminine edge which wasn't seen quite so often during the era of austere wartime suits and house dresses. Perfect for accentuating the waist, the variety of necklines available on a dress like this means you can easily find one to accentuate your bust too, no matter how large or small. Try a square or high round neck dress if you have a smaller bust, or a V neck or wrap top if your bust is larger.
The hips are hidden beautifully behind the circle shape and all flared dresses benefit from a real layered petticoat to puff them out even further. Good waist defining shape wear and the right sized bra for your bust will also create the perfect vintage look in a flared dress. See what I mean?
(Out of interest.... fitted or flared? Which do you prefer?!)