• Raised waist
  • Double breasted
  • Wrap
  • Sundress
  • Waisted
  • Shirtmaker
  • Blouson
  • Baby doll
  • Waisted shift
  • Tent / trapeze
  • Pinafore
  • Low waist
  • Dropped waist
  • Shift / chemise
  • Princessline
  • Sheath
  • Princess sheath
  • Empireline
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A dress with a bodice seam above the natural waistline.
The dress may be straight or A-line - see your basic skirt shape and skirt style recommendations to be sure.
When not overly fitted through the mid torso it is a good style for hiding the early stages of pregnancy or midriff rolls.

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Personal Overview

Styles for Ellen

The shape of a dress as well as it's internal design features can dramatically alter the wearers apparent shape, height and weight. There are 5 basic dress shapes: Straight, Shaped, Inverted Triangle, Hourglass and 'A' Line. As a basic rule, women who are curvy look best and are most comfortable in dresses with shape. How much shape depends on their weight and personality. Women with straight, athletic bodies can wear straight dress shapes as well as those that are subtly shaped.

You can use dresses to great advantage as they will almost always make you appear taller and thinner. Look for non-fussy styles that have vertical design lines and patterns, neck or shoulder interest and in fabrics that are medium in weight, or lined, or drape without clinging. Correct choice in lingerie will also improve your figure.


General Overview


Only a century ago women wore dresses everyday wearing pants was unthinkable. War time necessities, advances in feminine opportunities and the advent of a more active and casual lifestyle have made dresses less desirable and practical than pants and skirts. However, the dress represents the epitome of womanhood.

When it comes to fun or romance nothing beats a dress. Take your time and choose your dresses carefully. If a dress does not make you look and feel wonderful, pass it by until you find the one that does. When looking for that special dress, think of proportion, colour, surface, length and beautiful fabrics.

The best dresses for business have a top half that resembles a shirt or jacket e.g., shirtmaker, coat dress and have sleeves that cover the upper arm. Alternatively you can add a jacket.

Correct fit and ease is essential for looking and feeling your best. Straight dresses should always be worn with enough ease so that you can to sit and bend comfortably. If too tight, they will split as the seams and display every bump and bulge. As one-piece garments, dresses are often not as easy to fit as separates. If you find that you are having to constantly comprise with the fit and style of dresses in ready-to-wear, choose garments that are a larger and have the dress altered to fit. Wrap, Princess line and Coat dresses are by far the most flattering and easy to fit of all the dress styles. Alternatively look for a matching skirt and top to create the look of a dress. A two-piece combination is especially flattering if you have a tummy as the top piece when worn out will cover any tummy bulge.

Be aware that different labels and designers design for different body shapes. The only way to find the designers and labels that will suit you is to try on as many as you can. Alternatively you could search for a great dressmaker.

All the styles recommended for you in this portfolio will suit you, however, perfect fit is a crucial element in their success. A good style in a poor fit will never be flattering.

Apart from the ‘little black dress', most dresses will be most complimentary to you when they are in your best non-neutral colours. Neutral-coloured garments always need the addition of colour or accessories to bring them, and you to life.

The best dresses for business have a top half that resembles a shirt or jacket e.g., shirtmaker, coat dress and have sleeves that cover the upper arm as a minimum. Alternatively you add a jacket.