Maxi Dresses

Emily,

I just bought and returned a maxi dress. And felt good about that decision after reading this:
http://jezebel.com/death-to-the-maxi-dress-a-manifesto-1702248877.

Dorigen


Dorigen,

Loved the article. Hilarious!

maxidress

Cute on Anthopologie model does not equal cute on Anthropologie patron

And I can relate. I was feeling good about my figure; that is, until I saw pictures of myself in a blue and white striped maxi (during our last CA visit). Totally unflattering; I looked like I was fartin’ around in a nightgown. That maxi dress was immediately donated (I don’t have a burning permit).

I then started researching my body shape – why do some dresses look good on me and others induce binge ice cream consumption? I had always figured I was either apple or hour-glass shaped, which is confusing because these two options really just cancel each other out. But here’s what I’m working with:

  1. I have a proportionally large chest and a gut that cannot be ignored.
  2. I have “sausage” arms.
  3. I nip in a bit at the waist.
  4. I also have narrow hips and broad shoulders.

Historically, I’ve been focusing on points 1 and 2, but according to this super simplified quiz, I should have been focusing on points 3 and 4. After answering just one quiz question, it is decided that I have an inverted triangle body shape, and that “gut” actually CAN be ignored (with clever outfitting). 

For me, Maxi dresses only play up the bad, and hide the good, point-for-point, as compared to my above listed characteristics:

  1. Maxi dresses hide the gut, I’ll give it that, but really highlight the chest, which I would rather diminish. Maxi dresses often have v-neck tops that require an extra layer of fabric in the form of a modesty tab or camisole; not cute.
  2. To counteract all that material on the bottom, maxi dresses are often sleeveless, thus exposing those problematic arms.
  3. Maxi dresses are usually empire, nipping in right under the chest, thus further highlighting it. Not every dress can be saved by a belt.
  4. Perhaps the sleeveless design is actually helping to narrow the wide shoulders (visually cutting them up), but this becomes a moot point in light of the nonsense going on in points 1-3.

With a decidedly inverted triangle body shape, I need structure.

  1. I need to be mindful of neckline (not too high, not to low – baby bear porridge-neckline).
  2. Personal preference: sleeves. Sleeves! Ideally elbow-ish length or longer.
  3. Dresses that nip in at my natural waistline.
  4. Dresses that flare out at the bottom (a-line or a fit-and-flare) to balance out the top.

These are the kinds of things I have been researching during my no-shopping-for-a-year cleanse; 259 days to go. In the interim, these are the summer dresses I will be thinking about.

Love you, 

Em

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