How to Wear Long Dresses

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A fashion staple of almost every woman's wardrobe is their collection of long dresses. They're fantastically versatile and can be appropriate for the office, at formal events or as casual wear. A well-fitted long dress can make you feel effortlessly feminine and give your confidence a real boost. But the sheer amount of long dresses on the market, combined with the occasional limitations of the high street, can make finding the right long dress for you a quite intimidating experience. By following a few simple do's and don'ts, you can be sure of finding the perfect fit for any occasion.

The first thing to take into consideration is your body shape. If you're a pear shape then darker colours can be a good way to slim your lower half. Blacks and deep blues and reds are ideal. Go for a lower neck-line that you can accessorise with some jewellery, which draws the eye upwards. If you're more of an apple shape then look out for long dresses that fit at the bust but float at the waist to balance out your appearance.
Next consideration is the occasion. If you're looking for a stylish party dress then consider a maxi dress or an evening dress. Again, low necklines and short sleeves or halter-necks give you plenty of opportunity for accessorising. If it's a fun event like a birthday then you can usually get away with brighter colours and patterns, while for more formal celebrations such as a wedding you might want to stick to more understated designs. If you're not confident baring your arms and shoulders, a shawl or a light jacket can be a good addition to your outfit that allows you to look really feminine without feeling self-conscious.

Try to be aware of how certain colours will work with your skin tone. Very bright colours can leave you looking quite washed out if you have pale skin, while if you have darker or olive skin the same can happen if you wear very light colours. There are no hard and fast rules though; sometimes dressing against type can really work. Just be aware of it, and make sure there's a good contrast between your outfit and your skin.

Make sure you match your footwear to your outfit too. Elegant long dresses at formal events should be complemented with high heeled shoes for a really glamorous look. If you're wearing a more casual, 'hippy-chic' piece such as a floaty summer dress, sandals are probably going to look better, and be more comfortable at the beach or on the school run!

The best thing about long dresses is that they're a truly evergreen fashion piece. A perfect summer dress can be easily made suitable for autumn/winter with the addition of a warm ladies jacket or some boots. Adding a few long dresses to your wardrobe should mean you're well prepared to look and feel your best on any occasion.

16 Sep, 2011

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