The current dress mania is driven in part by the popularity of Mad Men. The secretaries, wives, and mistresses all wear dresses reminiscent the 60s and 70s which is exactly why many of the ones that look the most modern right now look familiar. We’ve either worn them before or remember our mothers in them.
Use volume and design details to call attention to what’s not there. Color, pleats, draping, tucks, and strategically placed gathering are design features that move the eye toward some body parts and magically conceal others. Soft fabrics such as chiffon and jersey create fluid forms that generally need extra volume. Fabrics like crepe, gabardine, and twill are more substantial. They can fit closer to the body and usually need a little more tailoring.
Call it Carnaby Street, Mod, or Mondrian: The visual created by the blocks of color has huge practical advantages in fashion. It’s slenderizing, especially when the design forces the eye to travel vertically. 1. Maggy London, $148. Nordstrom. 2.Calvin Klein $80, Macy’s. 3. Maggy London, $138, Nordstrom. 4. Knit Dress $70, Lane Bryant. 5. Rag & Bone Fulton Colorblock $325, Bergdorf Goodman. 6.Calvin Klein, Macy’s.
The difference between us and the ladies of the Mad Men era, is that we’ve made it from the typing pool to the corner office in style. 1. Keyhole Dress $128, Ann Taylor. 2. Cowl Neck Dress $149, Talbots. 3. Shirt-dress, Lane Bryant. 4. DVF $385, Bergdorf Goodman.
Draping is magical, if you’re curvey, a draped style creates the illusion of an hourglass figure. If you’re slender as a twig draping gives you curves. 1. Donna Morgan Faux Wrap $128, Nordstrom. 2. Suzi Chen Bluefly. 3. Lanvin Dress $3896, Barney’s. 4. Pleat Neck Dress $148, Nordstrom.
Red is showing up as the standout color for the season. In fact maybe red and animal prints are the new black! 1.Beaded Empire Waist $79, Macy’s. 2. Charter Club $60, Macy’s. 3. Wool Sheath $199, Talbots. 4. Animal Print $85. Ralph Lauren.
Pleated style with a little volume can soften and minimize curves (like 1, 3, or 4). If you’re slim, pick a style that’s closer to the body ( like 2 or 5). 1. Donna Morgan $138, Nordstrom. 2. Donna Ricco $138, Nordstrom. 3. Pleated Dress $189, Talbots. 4. Pleated Tie Dress $119, Jones NY 5. Maison Martin Margiela $1055. Neiman Marcus.