Fashion Dresses

"How to Buy & Wear Womens Dresses"


Stylish red fashion dress
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Don't you love how fashion dresses can make you feel and look extra pretty? I certainly do, and compared to most women who go crazy with tops I tend to splurge extra on dresses!


Want to look for the latest dress styles and shop instead?

Shortcut banner to dress shopping




On this page you'll find shopping advice on how to choose the best dress styles for your personal style along with tips & tricks on getting the most for your buck!

Get tips on:
Let's check them out:

What Fashion Dresses to Invest In?

Despite being an image consultant, I'm weak for dresses and I tend to glitch out of my sensible mind and buy one or two too many. However most of the time I make sure that the style is versatile to wear with the rest of my wardrobe and to be styled for the next season.

Like in these examples:

One print dress, 4 outfits from spring to winter


Despite the tribal/bohemian look of the dress, the black and white print makes it super flexible!

So if you want to get the most out of what your dresses, it's necessary to select the styles that suit your personal style and are easy to mix & match. Not only will you save time & money, but it'll prevent you from experiencing the classic I-don't-have-anything-to-wear-closet-syndrom!

Let me give you some tips on how to build a workable wardrobe with womens dresses that you really want and love to wear:

How to Build a Solid Closet with Dresses

The strategic way to building a closet full of dresses that you're going to wear, is to first secure simple, timeless styles in neutrals (eg. Black, dark navy blue, etc.) and that cover your major daily activities, needs and occasions.

What's so great about them is their versatility which can easily be accessorized into multiple outfits, and their neutral hue makes it sooo much easier in creating various looks.

Some classic dress styles can even be worn from day to night, going from casual to dressy outfit - and are (if accessorized and put together right) appropriate for most occasions.

Here are the dresses you should get first before any other trendy styles:

Essential dresses
  • 2-3x of casual, basic dresses that work as canvases for your accessories and for layering purposes. Atleast one long sleeved and one sleeveless
  • The Little Black Dress - it's simple, sexy and super-customizable
  • 1x casual everyday dress for each Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter - eg. White sun dress and a sweater knit dress
  • 1x pretty dress for looking extra feminine and appropriate for dressier occasions
  • 1x foxy party dress that highlights your best features and that boosts your self-confidence
  • 1x cocktail dress for semi-formal occasions
  • 1x formal evening gown for formal occasions where the dress code is strict

This is of course only a minimum! If you love dresses and they're a part of your signature style, grow your collection with various styles and colors that reflect your personal taste.

Buy your favorite fashion dresses in all of your best neutrals

If you love a dress and feel it's very you, then buy several of the same style in various colors!

Show off your personal style with various wrap dress styles and colors


Or if you've secured the little black dress, include it in dark navy blue, dark olive green, dark brown, white, beige, etc. And then work with various colors, styles and details.


Back to Top

Best Womens Dresses for Your Body Shape

Horizontal Body Shape

Hourglass
Your focus is to show off your well-defined waist.

Your best dresses:
    Best womens dresses for Hourglass body shape
    Courtesy of eBay
  • Nipped at the waist
  • Belted
  • Wrap style - it creates a smooth silhouette on your hourglass body
  • Low'ish necklines to bring attention to your waist
  • Dresses with bust enhancing necklines such as scoop, sweetheart and bustier

A good bra helps boost your proportional silhouette!

Learn more on how to dress your Hourglass body shape




Pear
Your goal is to draw the eye away from your wide hips by adding interest and curves on top.

Your best dresses feature:
    Best womens dresses for Pear body shape
    Courtesy of Dorothy Perkins
  • Wide or rounded necklines (eg. Boatneck, scoop neck, etc.)
  • Color block - light or bright on top, dark colored bottom
  • Shoulder, chest, neckline and sleeve details
  • Bust-enhancing necklines (sweetheart and bustier) to really lift up your chest and add volume
  • Hemlines that flare outwards

A great supportive bra can really boost your upper body and make your wide hips less prominent.

Learn how to dress your Pear body shape




Inverted Triangle
Look for fashion dresses that soften your wide shoulders and draw less attention to them.

Your best dresses have:
    Best womens dresses for Inverted Triangle body shape
    Courtesy of Dorothy Perkins
  • Soft and drapey fabric. Thick and rigid fabric only add bulk
  • Soft sleeves - so avoid straight lines, they only widen your shoulder-line
  • Wide straps
  • Minimal or no interest (eg. China collar versus regular collar)
  • A flare cut from the waist and down – they visually create hips

Learn more on how to dress your Inverted Triangle body shape




Apple
Your goal is to slim down your mid-section and draw the eye upwards.

Your best dress styles have:
    Best womens dresses for Apple body shape
    Courtesy of Coggles
  • Empire waist that help skim over your midsection
  • Low'ish necklines that slim your upper body and draw the eye up and down
  • Shoulder, neckline and sleeve details
  • Structured shoulders to keep the eye on your upper body
  • A hemline that flares outwards

A good support bra also helps in keeping your girls high and lifted, showing more of your torso and making your apple tummy look longer and slimmer in a dress.

Learn more on how to dress your Apple body shape




Rectangle
Your focus is to break up your silhouette to create curves from waist up and waist down.

Your best dresses feature:
    Best womens dresses for Rectangle body shape
    Courtesy of H&M
  • Flare from hip and down
  • Prints, textures and details from the bust and up. Just add a black belt to trim your waist
  • A light colored dress worn with a waist belt
  • Nipped and belted waist

And of course, a good bra that lifts up and boosts the volume around your chest!

Learn more on how to dress your Rectangle body shape


Back to Top

Classic "Problem Areas"

Muffin Top

Your goal is to look for dress styles that conceal your midsection and fabrics that don't cling to your muffin top - which helps skim past this area.

So look for:

  • Fit & flares
  • Empire waist
  • Trapeze cut
  • Front and side ruching
  • Print with a dark color base

You can also conceal your muffin top with:
    Best womens dresses and styling tricks to conceal muffin top
    Courtesy of Net-a-Porter, TopShop
  • A structured cardigan, jacket or coat layered over whatever dress you would like to wear. This helps draw attention away from your midsection
  • Body shapers - such as shapewear camisole
  • Structured cardigans (incl. jackets and coats) that can be layered over your tops. Draws attention away from midriff
  • Woven fabric - compared to clingy jerseys, they skim the contour of your love handles
  • Tops with interest around necklines and shoulder area draw attention away from your midriff


Full Bust

If you're well-endowed, then focus on making your full bust less obvious by:
  • Revealing more skin around the chest
  • Scale your jewelry to the size of your bust
  • Keeping the details on top simple

So look for fashion dresses with:
    Best womens dresses and styling tricks to complement a full bust
    Courtesy of Dorothy Perkins
  • Low necklines that stop at the top of your cleavage. V-neck is ideal as the vertical shape draw the eye up and down
  • Fitted and come in at your waist (eg. Wrap and nipped dresses)
  • Sleeves that end above or below your mid-bust point
  • Shoulder details because they add height and draw attention away from your bust
  • Wide collars. They draw the eye outwards and away from your chest
  • Knit fabric: they "give in" and make the fit of the dress look perfect on you


Small Bust

If you're a B cup or smaller, your goal is to visually enhance your bust by:
  • Adding volume at the bodice
  • Trim your waist as it makes your bust bigger

So scout for dress styles that feature:
    Best womens dresses and styling tricks to complement a small bust
    Courtesy of Dorothy Perkins
  • Gathering, pleats, knots, twists and/or ruching at the bodice
  • Bust-enhancing neckline such as sweetheart and bustier
  • Draping at the neckline
  • A trim waist (eg. Nipped, wrap)
  • Neckline details such as ruffles and lace. Just make sure the ruffles aren't too big or fluffy as this will defeat the whole point and make your chest look smaller

And a good push-up bra will help boost your girls!


Flabby Arms

If your arms look big and make your shoulder line look wide, focus on concealing them by:
  • Avoiding sleeveless and capsleeve dresses
  • Details and colors that camouflage the arms

It's mostly about selecting the right sleeve cut.

So be on the look out for dresses with:
    Best womens dresses and styling tricks to conceal flabby arms
    Courtesy of Dorothy Perkins
  • Sleeves that skim past the biggest part of your arms. Sleeves that end at the thickest part make them look bigger and only draw attention to them
  • Three-quarter sleeves because they make your arms look longer and leaner
  • Sleeves that flare outwards (eg. Bell sleeve)
  • Dark colors such as black and navy blue around the sleeve area
  • Drapey fabric, because rigid fabrics add bulk
  • Slightly loose sleeves. They make your arms look smaller in comparison to tight and snug sleeves which make the flab bulge out.
  • Detailed shoulders add balance to your flabby arms. Eg. Slightly padded, embellishment that draw the eye away from your arms

That also include dolman and kimono sleeves! Black lace dresses also help with slimming down your arms.



Back to Top


Time to Shop for the Latest Womens Dresses

Now that you've gone through my fashion tips and shopping advice on fashion dresses, it's time to shop!

Shortcut banner to dress shopping





More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish
Also check out the Style Makeover Shop!


Back to Top


Related Content:

How to Buy and Wear Dress Shirts How to look chic in a dress shirt How to Buy and Wear Fashion tops How to Buy and Wear Fashion Skirts
How to select the best skirt styles for your personal style and body figure How to select the best jewelry styles for your personal style Guide to Womens Jeans How to Buy and Wear Fashion Belts



Go Back to Shopping & Style Guide to Womens Dresses

Leave How to Buy & Wear Fashion Dresses and Return to Homepage







Sale and Free Shipping

25% Off Body Shaping Dresses

Holiday 2011 125x125

Stylish Plus Size Dresses

macys.com


More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

| Return to top | Contact Me | | About Me | What's New? | Fashion Blog | Privacy Policy | Affiliate Disclosure | Link to Us | FAQ | Ask the Expert |

Copyscape banner

Copyright 2008-2013 The Chic Fashionista