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A Brief History of The Bodycon Dress
The bodycon dress, short for "body conscious", is a fitted dress that has been around for decades. Though women both on and off screen have worn beautiful fitted dresses of varying styles for years, the term "bodycon" was born in the 1980's, when designers like Azzedine Alaia began designing dresses that tightly hugged the body.
This style of dress, above all, was made to emphasize the hourglass curves of the female form. The bandage dress, also bodycon, with its folds and subtle hortizontal lines, became popular during the 90's and early 2000's, thanks to designer Herve Leger. Though the general design of the bodycon dress has been updated, (thankfully!), it still delivers on its promise to hug our figures. When fitted and styled tastefully, it can make for a traffic-stopping outfit!
One certainly can’t write about bodycon dresses without mentioning the great Marilyn Monroe, however. You could argue that her career and movie-star status would have been less impactful had she not worn those curve-hugging dresses that incited temptation and envy among audiences across the globe. Just take a look at this stunner below!
These days, bodycon dresses are seen on beautiful film and tv stars like Sofia Vergara, Eva Longoria, Victoria Beckham and a slew of reality tv stars and supermodels. Below are some of our favorite tips for looking and feeling great in the bodycon dress you may already own, or plan to purchase in the future! The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn't feel intimidated by this style of dress. With the right size, undergarments and accessories, this dress is capable of looking gorgeous on any figure. What's even better is that the bodycon dress you bought for the Summer can easily transition into Fall and Winter with simple layering - now that's a good fashion investment!
A Few Tips on How To Style Your Bodycon Dress:
- Choose your undergarments wisely! Some bodycon dresses, particularly when bought during the colder seasons, will be made of thicker fabrics that do a better job of holding you in. If the dress is made of thinner fabric or you need a little extra help, try wearing your dress over an undergarment specifically made to smooth out bumps, such as Spanx, which carries an extensive line of undergarments. This will hold you in and smooth out any lumps you don’t want showing through! You’ll probably feel more confident in your dress with just a little help!
- Go easy on the jewelry. A bodycon dress is a statement piece that doesn’t need to be accompanied by loud accessories. Depending on the cut of the neckline, you can opt for a delicate necklace or earrings, or a cocktail ring and bangles. Give the dress the opportunity to stand on its own and you won't be sorry.
- Try layering your dress! Bodycon dresses look amazing when layered with a solid duster coat or a feminine sweater. If the dress is a solid color, try adding some flair by styling it with an open knit cardigan or denim jacket. If you’re wearing your dress during the colder months, try pairing it with a scarf, tights and high-heeled boots. The great thing about layering your bodycon dress during Fall and Winter is that you’ll look weather appropriate but still look like a knockout! That’s a win-win!
- Wear bodycon to the office. Yes, you can wear a bodycon dress to work! Just as with a pencil skirt, a bodycon dress can make you look polished and professional as long as you style it appropriately. Make sure your dress is not low cut, loud or too short. Pair it with a structuredblazer or cape and pumps and you’re ready to go!
- Think you can’t wear a dress during Winter? Wrong! Try a turtleneck bodycon dress with long sleeves. You’ll be giving your jeans and leggings a break! Plus, you’ll look sophisticated and subtly sexy, too. Style it with tights and high heel boots for a feminine Winter outfit. Are you pregnant? If you want to show off your baby bump, slip on some bodycon. Nothing looks prettier than a fitted dress that proudly hugs that bump!
Above all, our favorite thing about styling this type of dress is that it looks incredible with statement heels and low or knee-high boots, which makes it perfect for Fall and Winter outfits!
A Love Affair With Maxi Dresses
Few things in our closet bring up more pleasant thoughts of Summer nights than a maxi dress. What's not to love about this long, whimsical piece of clothing? It’s comfortable, easy to style and comes in so many shades and patterns. Better yet– maxi dresses are affordable AND look great in the Fall, too!!
Celebrities can't seem to get enough of maxi dresses, either. They're often photographed in them as they run their errands around town or traveling around the globe. In fact, everyone you know has probably had their own love affair with the maxi dress at one point or another: busy moms love them too because they’re easy to throw on and need minimal accessories! Plus, maxi dresses have been a Summer staple for decades and they're unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.
Depending on how you accessorize your maxi dress, you can end up with a casual-chic outfit that looks effortless yet still put-together. And lets be honest, it’s not always easy to accomplish this when it's piercing hot outside. It's on these days that you need your outfit to be as fuss-free as possible.
Though Summer certainly sees its share of fashionable moments, its not exactly the street-style fashion show that say Fall and Winter is. During the cooler months, women have the luxury of layering and wearing endless accessories and embellishments. However, no one, unless assured of 24-hour air conditioning, truly wishes to put an inordinate amount of time into the details of a Summer outfit. It’s known as the season for easy, effortless styling and bright, fun colors and patterns. Admit it, sometimes it's even too hot to throw on your favorite bangles! Fear not. We’ve got some styling inspiration for you that’ll have you wishing you had more maxi dresses in your closet.
We couldn't publish this post without mentioning our celebrity inspiration, and that's none other than the queen of California style herself, Jessica Alba. Clearly a fan of the maxi dress, Jessica uses them on casual days, as well as public social events. We love it!
She’s been photographed over the years in maxis while out with her husband and children, on her way to the grocery store, and even at formal Hollywood events! She styles her maxi with fedoras, long necklaces, strappy sandals and even leather vests and jackets.She also doesn't shy away from wearing a maxi to formal events. We'll probably be looking to her for maxi dress inspo for years to come!
A Few Tips On How To Style Your Maxi Dress:
- Maxi dresses can be dressed up or down. If you’re looking to wear a maxi to a more formal event, your best bet is to look for one made of polyester. Jersey knits made of cotton are better for casual looks when you're looking to stay cool.
- Just as with any other outfit, shoes can make or break your maxi ensemble. Decide what look you're going for and pick the appropriate shoe. If you want your dress to look sexy and polished, opt for wedges, a block heel or high-heel strappy sandals. If your going for a beachy, relaxed look, try flat sandals or a crisp white sneaker.
- If you're pregnant, you've found your best friend in the maxi dress! You'll look beautiful AND most importantly, feel comfortable! Print matters. Is your dress a solid color or does it have a funky pattern? The busier the print, the simpler you shoes and accessories should be. Otherwise, you’ll look like a walking train wreck. Try a gold-tone necklace, for instance.
- Experiment with bold colors. Summer is the time for strong, statement colors such as hot pink, orange, turquoise and yellow; have fun with it!
- Will you be indoors under direct sunlight? If so, you might boil if your dress is made of materials such as polyester or chiffon, especially if it has long sleeves. This materials aren't very breathable and are better suited for indoor occasions or for shorts sprints in the heat. If you’re wearing your maxi in the evening, bring a cardigan or wrap with you; it can elevate your outfit and keep you warm, too.
- Maxi dresses can be worn year-round! Buy one that has long sleeves or just throw on a jacket and scarf during the cooler months. It’s a great transitional piece and you should definitely wear them come Fall!