Throwing on a dress on a warm summer’s day is such an easy outfit choice. Whether it’s for a smart occasion, a work day or a lovely day off, having a small collection of dresses that make you feel good is a very satisfying goal to achieve.
Many women give up on dresses too soon. They believe their bodies don’t look right in dresses or they just can’t seem to find anything that doesn’t feel frumpy. In this blog, I’m sharing a variety of dresses for you to think about, because sometimes you just need to see all the-non-obvious options before you see the light for the trees and the dress for your body!
1. dresses for largeR chestS
Often it’s a large bosom that feels like the barrier to looking and feeling good in a dress. The most important thing to remember here is to choose an open neckline. This will give the illusion of a smaller bust because it breaks up the area between your neck and lower bust as well as minimising the width of your chest. Depending on your shape below your bust, you may suit a style that cinches in at empire line or at your waist. It may be that you are better in one that hangs quite straight. I find that if a woman has a thicker waist and feels self-conscious of that area, anything that cinches in, in an attempt to ‘create a waist’ can actually do the opposite and give that ‘sack-of-spuds’ look. See below for some good alternative options.
I love the daisy print on this Whistles dress. Wear the neckline undone and add a pair of chunky sandals. This shape is a good one to detract attention from your midsection.
Fairlie Curved is a brand I’ve recently discovered. Everything on the site is for women with large chests so each piece is designed to fit and flatter in the right way. This bold print dress is fun and funky and will fit in all the right places! No gaping buttons here. The belt will show off your waist if that feels good to you. If not, just remove it.
2. Great travel dresses
I’ve been really drawn towards this crinkle fabric this summer. I’ve seen it in Cos and M&S (see examples below) – and, I’ve treated myself to a fab co-ord set in this same fabric from Mango. If texture floats your boat too – check out these fabulous, no-iron styles. They’ll roll up into virtually nothing to pop in your suitcase or hand luggage without a crease in sight. I’d add a long line necklace or chandelier earrings and block heeled sandals for evening, or flat sandals and a sunhat for daytime. These two dresses are the opposite of pretty, flouncy dresses and have a relaxed feel with a bit of edge.
3. Dresses for pear shaped women
The issue for anyone who identifies with having a pear shaped figure is the size difference between your top and bottom half.
You want something more fitted on top with a looser skirt. Have a look at these options.
The fitted bodice in this beauty works well for a smaller top half with the puff sleeves balancing out your hips to create a super flattering silhouette. The skirt is slightly flared which skims over your hips and balances out the shoulders.
Many pear shaped women feel flat chested. The shirred fabric across the bust of this Whistles sundress is a great option if you have a small bust and don’t like wearing a bra. The stretch in the fabric gives shape and gently holds you in.
4. Dresses for petites (or short women!)
Whether you are a slim petite or a curvy one who sees themselves as ‘short’ rather than ‘petite’, there are many brands offering great options these days.
Although this Boden jersey dress comes in two fabulous prints, I’ve chosen to show you the black because it’s more likely something you’ll be drawn to if you don’t feel like a dress-person. This is a good example of a blank-canvas dress. That is, one that can be dressed up or down and worn in different ways to create different looks.
Lighten this up with metallic sandals and bracelets, white, rattan or even a pop of bright colour.
Ok, so this next one isn’t a dress (and this blog isn’t about jumpsuits…) BUT I had to show you this quirky number. Again, this is the kind of print you might be drawn to if you find dresses difficult. As I said, sometimes the reason you might find dresses difficult might not be to do with your shape, but your style. The vast majority of summer dresses are what I would call the ‘girly’ style and if you don’t suit florals, frills and lace, you’ll always feel frumpy in these kind of styles. A jumpsuit can have a sleeker feel to it and this print is just fabulous.
5. Dresses for tall ladies
A pop of pink in a bold style! This beauty is made from recycled linen so you’d have to be ok with creasing but it looks like a great option for a straighter figure type with no waist detail and the drama being provided by the puff sleeve and bright colour. If pink isn’t your thing, it also comes in black and white. Mini is the trendy length for this season, so if you enjoy showing off your pins, this one could be for you.
This next option looks like a good smart work-wear option for our taller ladies. The Shirt Company have some gorgeous, simple and elegant styles, so do check out their website for more options. They don’t specialise in tall ranges but this model is 5ft 9 to give you an idea.
6. Plus Size dresses
I absolutely love a loose shirt dress myself and this shape and silhouette (without the belt) can feel great for plus sized women. Cos tend to cut everything loose for the statement that brings so many of their pieces are good options for curvy women who don’t want to cinch in the waist to create shape. Always undo a few buttons at the neck and have fun with accessories and fab footwear. I usually advise sizing down at least one dress size in Cos – they are very generous. I’ve chosen the image without the belt but click through to see how it looks belted.
And finally back to the blank-canvas dress idea, this one looks comfortable, simple and easy to style up in many different ways. If sleeveless doesn’t feel comfortable for you, add a denim or jersey jacket, a patterned kimono or an open shirt. The column of black is slimming and lengthening whether on it’s own or with something over. Use bold accessories, perhaps metallic or coloured, flat funky sandals, your favourite shades and a big bag.
So there you are, my round up of dresses for non-dress women. Leave me a comment and let me know which you are going to try!