I love a dress. Particularly one that you can be dressed up and down for many occasions and never get bored with. They’re an outfit all in one; no need to worry about what bottoms or tops you’re featuring it with and can feel lusciously feminine while you flutter. But better still, if you can find a two piece that looks like a dress, you’re on to an even bigger winner! Sadly when I used to manage a clothes shop (for most of my adult life), the two-piece was often overlooked as they’re usually too busy off the peg sat snuggled next to each other.
And now the weather is glorious (and I hope it still is while you’re reading it), I thought I’d put together a few little tips to help you choose a dress that’s not just a one time only thing. For this post, JD Williams got in touch and offered me a dress a dress of my choice to feature and although I could have picked a really posh frock, I went for something that suited my current smart casual lifestyle. I must admit, I’ve been dying to slip in a little fashion here and there because I’ve been rather sick of showing off wearing my paint-stained clothes in behind the scenes vlogs while we renovate our first home. So finally I can share a post that reflects a little bit more about me; (I hope most of you don’t mind it!)
- Mixing & Matching.
If you eyeing up a dress for a special occasion but want to get more wear from it in the long run, then try to think back to what complimentary pieces you may have in your wardrobe to create different looks (or buy them). Can you dress it down with some leggings and flats for a day look? Can a staple casual linen dress be smartly dressed up with matching beads, heels and a shrug?
- A Block of Colour Vs Patterned & The Rule of Three
Depending on what colour scheme you want to pick, both styles have their uses and as long as you stick to the rule of three complimentary colours and no more, you’ll be on the right track. Obviously there’s exceptions to the rule, but if you stick to it, there’s less chance of going wrong. If you pick a block of colour like I did for my denim shirt dress, I can control what two colours I want to introduce and hopefully never get bored. When I opt for a patterned dress and it can be the perfect statement and all I need to add are the accessories to accentuate the best colours to suit my tone.
- Choosing the Right Fabric is Important
Each fabric wears differently and looks differently in the light. I picked a Lyocell dress because I’m more a smart casual person and it mimics a thin denim that travels well. It’s as fluid as a linen dress but creases less and still breathable in warmer weather. Because I prefer to be in the kitchen than dining out, I generally favour washable textured weaves or matt finishes to mix and match than a dressy dry clean only satin that stands out in the sun. So try and mentally put that dress in the many occasions you go to.
- Don’t Hide Your Waist
If you pick a shorter sleeved dress or match up with a fitted short sleeved shrug or jacket, you won’t hide your waistline. Luckily the dress I picked up be worn a four ways: sleeves down with a belt, sleeves up with no belt or the other ways around. I’ve always found when dressing others up that loose fit styles can be difficult to pull off if you’re blessed with a larger bust, hiding a narrower middle. The wrong style or cut isn’t going to give you the justice you deserve and who wants to look bigger than they actually are? This also leads me on to number 5…
- Choose the Right Hem Length
Try to avoid a dress length where the hem finishes on the widest part of your legs. If you have bigger upper legs, have the hem finish just below where they start to taper in. If you’re calves are bigger than the rest of your legs, try to have the hem finish on your slimmer bits above. If you are considering shortening a dress, then it needs mentioning that you could change the style of the dress for the worse, particularly if it has a frilly gored hem.
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