I just bought and returned a maxi dress. And felt good about that decision after reading this:
Loved the article. Hilarious!
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:
- I have a proportionally large chest and a gut that cannot be ignored.
- I have “sausage” arms.
- I nip in a bit at the waist.
- 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:
- 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.
- To counteract all that material on the bottom, maxi dresses are often sleeveless, thus exposing those problematic arms.
- Maxi dresses are usually empire, nipping in right under the chest, thus further highlighting it. Not every dress can be saved by a belt.
- 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.
- I need to be mindful of neckline (not too high, not to low – baby bear porridge-neckline).
- Personal preference: sleeves. Sleeves! Ideally elbow-ish length or longer.
- Dresses that nip in at my natural waistline.
- 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.