Saturday 24 March 2018

Stylemma: How do I find a dress to fit my pear-shaped body?

Loose dresses like this D&G jumper dress can be cinched in with a belt to give shape.
Loose dresses like this D&G jumper dress can be cinched in with a belt to give shape.

Angela Scanlon

I’m bigger on the bottom than I am on top and dresses are a nightmare to find, especially anything fitted. I’m not really a fan of smock type dresses as I think they make me look bigger. Is there any solution to this other than wearing more a-line and loose fitting dresses?

There’s always a solution! Firstly it’s not a bad complaint! As the Oscars prove women are becoming more comfortable with their curves and wearing clothes that show off rather than hide a womanly figure. You may have been directed toward smock dresses in the past but they probably made you look bigger than you are. If you’re opting for anything loose, cinch in your waist with a belt (skinny this season) to show off your best asset.

Don’t be afraid of going for fitted styles - something that hugs your curves is much more flattering and sexy than some of the floaty styles around. Try shirt dresses - Karen Millen, M&S and lots more have great military styles that are fitted around the hips and belted.

Jersey is also your friend! Because jersey tends to hug the hips, you have a bit more flexibility so can go a little more fitted around the hips, just layer on top to fill you out. Draping is also a huge trend this season and perfect to balance you out on top. Add chunky jewellery to take the eye line up and draw attention to your slimmer upper half.

Alterations are a saviour for anyone with an unbalanced shape and in fairness there are not that many people who are a 'perfect 10' so make friends with your tailor. Petite people get their jackets and trousers altered all the time so don’t write off a beautiful dress tweaked slightly. Go up a size to make it fit around the hips and have the tailor nip the top so that it’s a perfect fit. It shouldn’t be more than €20 so it’s worth it if you fall in love with a dress.

While separates may feel like an old fashioned/boring option there are some amazing pieces available this season that offer a fantastic alternative to dresses. Celine inspired A-line skirts in Zara are the perfect minimalist pieces - team with a vest top or tee for summer style at it’s best.

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