What would fit me and what will look good on me, are good questions when you are dress-shopping. You properly know your size and measurements when it comes to regular clothing, but for a dress there are a few different game rules. But don’t worry. I asked these questions to dress-construction expert, Nina Buch Rasmussen.
Nina is a trained tailor and have worked as a Pattern Constructor for many fashion companies in Denmark, and as a Technical Manager in Asia. She now works as a Textile Design Engineer, but soon you will be able to order a beautiful tailormade dress form her, in her own business. Nina is passionate about making the dress fit, and so here are her 10 best advice to help you choose the right dress:
1. Take an honest look in the mirror
Now, be honest: what have you got? You should not criticize or celebrate anything, but try to analyze your body without feelings or interpretations. What do you see in the mirror? Start from the top down: big hair, small shoulders, a little extra on the belly, round hips, long legs, pale skin…
2. Seek harmony and balance
Maybe you want eye catching features in your look, but harmony and balance is a good place to start out. You want to find a dress that visually gives your shoulders and hips the same width. If you have a slim body and lack shape, you might want to create balance by highlighting your waistline. If you are short, you don’t want too many sections to divide your look, you want to create a visual flow through the silhouette.
3. Be true to your personality
If you have a very colorful personality don’t hide away in a all black or gray dress. If you are very sudle as a person find the power in details, good craftsmanship and textures.
4. Don’t hide away – but don’t flash either!
Again, it is all about balance. A true lady does not spend the entire evening keeping her breast from falling out, or let her panties show underneath the fabric. Be appropriate. You can still be sexy!
5. Highlight the best
Use colors, prints, embroidery, trim and other details to highlight your favorite bodyparts. E.g. if you have long beautiful legs, a long dress with a long slit will really accentuate your length. If you choose a dress with no slit you will still look tall, but your pretty legs are not showing.
Maybe you want to highlight your waistline. A good way to do that is with a belt, a waistband or a corsage. Notice how effectual little details can be.
6. Tone down the worst
Drapes is your best friend when it comes to the belly. If you have a little extra you want to hide away, go for a dress that drapes across your stomach. Large flat and straightened areas of fabric usually highligts, but when you ad embroideries, drapes, different types of trim or details in the fabric the focus changes. Also, a dress with just the right pattern design can emphasize your best and hide your worst. E.g. a floral print can give focus to your smaller chest and an all-over color skirt can even out your larger hips.
7. Pay attention to the fabric
If you want to feel comfortable and not squeezed, tugged and pinched you have to notice what fabric the dress is made of. Chiffon can give you a light and airy sensation, and any fabric mixed with elastane makes it flexible and stretchy.
8. Experiment with different styles
The more you experiment the more experience you will gain. Have fun with it! You can make good fun by trying out your friends dresses – maybe she have different styles, shapes or looks. If you choose to shop online you have the benefit of returning the one of the two dresses your ordered, and keep the best fit. In that way you can try out different styles.
9. Consider your accessories
If you have big hips you would enlarge them visually by carrying a fur in your hand, a huge clutch, huge bracelets that will hang on the side of your body. Some women choose their dress from a favorite accessories: stilettos, a jacket or a clutch. Regardless, just keep the overall look in mind.
10. Your gut-feeling
If you have any additional advice you want to share, we would love for you to share it with a comment below.