Welcome to part one of the LWD 101 series – how to choose your LWD (little white dress) with body shape in mind. There are four basic body types that we will discuss – ruler, hourglass, curvy, and athletic. Keep in mind these tips are general – each body is very special. A good practice is to ask yourself, “Does this do anything for my body, or is it just on my body? Does it show off my assets?”
Click here to read ‘LWD 101 – PART TWO: How to Create Versatility to One Dress’ and find out 15 different ways to style your dress!
So what is the LWD? When you think of wardrobe classics, almost every woman knows about the little black dress. It’s basically a simple, go-to, timeless dress that can be worn to almost any more formal event. You can think of it as the mechanical pencil of school supplies. What most people don’t know is that the LBD is actually not an only child, she is the older sister to the LWD – little white dress. The LWD, is a little more versatile than the LBD because white comes off as a more casual color, but also a little trickier to style – kind of like the fountain pen of school supplies.
Ruler Body Type Tip #1: Use Cut-Outs as an Illusion Your body type allows you show a little more skin than others to create an illusion of curves. In the first dress, it comes in at a angle, almost as if it was pointed toward the smallest part. As for the second dress, the back scoops low to the place where the smallest part of your body is and then flares out dramatically.
Ruler Body Type Tip #2: Mimic Your Natural Shape with a Shift/Sheath Your body shape pulls off the sheath and shift like no other can. For others it takes away from their highlights, whereas for you it mimics your natural silhouette. The trick to not letting your body look like it’s drowning in a sheath or shift, is to make sure you are choosing the right size and length. As for length, a few inches above the knee gives your body the right proportion, as well as allows showing a hint of sexiness.
Hourglass Shape Tip #1: Wear Slightly Plunged Necklines Both of these dresses feature a neckline that plunges slightly. While this shows a peek of the ‘girls’ (Com’on! They look awesome…), it also elongates your upper half. This will help maintain the balance of your silhouette. Women with hourglass shapes tend to look better with this type of neckline rather than a high neckline.
Hourglass Shape Tip #2: Experiment with Lace Your body fills out every dress perfectly which is why lace is a great option for you. Lace can easily look very demure and super grandma on many women. On you however, it reads as classy and sexy combined together. Aren’t you lucky?
Curvy Silhouette Tip #1: Do Wear Fit n’ Flare While these dresses look very similar, they actually have slight differences which both make the ideal for your body type. And no, it’s not just the sleeve length! The most obvious similarity is that the dress comes in at your smallest part and flares out just above the knee. This allows your curves to be front and center while giving you a soft feminine look.
For the first dress, if you click on the link to the website and look closely you’ll see there is a middle panel. In this case, the panel is textured. Other dresses instead feature a colored panel, which would work just the same. This panel gives the illusion of a false silhouette, one that is much smaller. Why would that celebrate your curves? It sounds like you just want me to look skinny…? Actually, because the illusion is obviously fake, it in turn gives even more dimension to your curves. It’s weird, but trust me and try this one out.
As for the second dress, if you look at the arm holes you will see structure. Like I said before, structure is your friend. Structure makes it so the garment isn’t just hanging off your curves, instead it’s sculpting them and supporting them.
Left: Missguided Queenie Long Sleeve Zip Waist Shift Dress, $44.00 & Right: Missguided Crepe Sleeveless Blazer Dress, $70.00
Curvy Silhouette Tip #2: Try a Modern Wrap Dress Many dress guides will tell you that the wrap dress is the ultimate silhouette for curvy bodies. This information is completely true. While the wrap dress is a super classic piece that every woman should own, many women complain that it’s not modern enough. Ok, I understand. Fair enough. So I chose two examples of how to get the best of a wrap dress but also stay trendy.
The reason the wrap dress works so well on your body type is that is draws a line across the body adding (you guessed it) structure – but also shape. The first dress has a focal point in the smallest part of your body as well as a ‘wrap’ style near the legs, which gives shape and sexiness. The second dress would look best on someone who has a heavier top half. Like I said for the hourglass shape, a v-neckline will help you not only show off your amazing ‘girls’ but the main purpose is to elongate the area to create balance.
Athletic Build Tip #1: Be Aware of Your Straps So we talked about this body type having broad shoulders (and fantastic arms I might add) as the main feature, so it’s very important to choose the right straps for your dress. The straps you want to avoid is the cap sleeve that just barely goes over your shoulder. This type of sleeve tends to make you look like the Hulk bustin’ outta his clothes because it cuts the arm in the widest spot. If you want to rock a sleeve, make sure it’s a full sleeve that hits down about three inches over the top of your bicep – or longer.
Halter style straps are very flattering for an athletic build, because it highlights your amazing shoulders, arms, and back. If you got it, flunt it!
Athletic Build Tip #2: Try a Girly Silhouette like a Peplum A great trend for athletic builds is the peplum. If you take a good look at the peplum it looks like a triangle shape with the point at the waist and the athletic build is a triangle shape but just inverted. See where I’m going with this? Put the two triangles together and you’ve got yourself an hourglass shape which is a super feminine shape. BAM! No more of those ‘masculine’ thoughts about your body. Other trends you can incorporate to emphasize your feminie charms are ruffles, eyelet, lace, etc.
All images belong to their respective companies. Front image via www.rachmartino.com. Top image via www.chasinglaines.com.