Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What a Waist!

The waistline of a dress is your key to solving fit issues.  Many different waistline styles can fit the same person, yet some are meant to stay away from.  Depending on your body type, where the waistline falls can help accentuate your bust, make your torso and legs seem longer, and hide your hips.  However, choosing the wrong cut can do the exact opposite.
Below are the five basic waistline cuts for garments, highlighting what each emphasizes and diminishes and how it will look on you when you wear it, as well as which decade the cut was most prominate in.

Natural Waistline
The waist is the skinniest part of a person's torso, falling just below the belly button between the ribcage and the hips.  If a dress is cut at the natural waistline, it falls right on this line for a person. 

This look is perfect for hourglass figures, as it provides a balance between the bust and the hips.  However, whose midsections are as wide or wider than the hips will want to stay away from this look, as it will just bring attention to the midsection's thickness.

Most popular:  1950s

Drop Waist

A drop waist features a waistline that falls at or below the hips, creating a lengthening effect for the torso.

Perfect for:  Slim, boxy women as it gives the impression of having an hourglass figure.

Stay away:  Long torsos will appear even longer.  Petite girls will look like they have even short legs.

Most popular:  1920s. Repeated in the 60s till today in fashion.

Empire Waist

A gathered waistline that sits just below the bust.  Gives a long, slender look due to the draping of the fabric caused by the gathering.

Perfect for:  Everyone.  Adds curves to smaller framed women.  Hides the hips and stomaches of heavy-set and pearshaped women.  Enhances the bust on all. 

Stay away:  Larger busted women, as it will draw even more attention to your chest.

Most popular:  Jane Eyre times.  And the 1970s.

Basque Waist

Generally starting around the natural waist, this waistline dips about 2-3 inches in the center to create a u-shape or v-shape (also called the v-shaped waist or the Antebellum waist).

Perfect for:  Those with notable curves.  Petite girls as it elongates the torso.

Stay away:  Boxy shaped figures (equal waist to hips) as it will make the wearer look even boxier.  Pear shapes as it will draw attention to the lower belly.

No Waist
A-line silhoutte dresses contain no waistline.  This cut creates a long, slimming look to the wearer as it does not cut the body at any certain point. 

Perfect for:  Boxy, hourglass, petite tall.

Stay away:  Pear shaped (large hips).

Most popular:  1960s.

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