Friday, August 18, 2017

Dressing the Petite Plus Sized Apple Shape #8...The Dress...


 
Here is the tale of the perfect dress for the Apple shape. If you have a figure like my gorgeous daughter, pictured here ready for her Senior Formal, this is not for you...lol! Isn't she fabulous?
 
It has been years since I wore a dress that was anything but what might be kindly called 'floaty'.
 
I actually prefer the lean look bestowed upon my small, curvy, squishy frame, that wearing slender pants and a shirt gives.
 
Thanks to my French Chic Academy course however, I am learning to reassess my obsession with pants, and re-evaluating my aversion to dresses and skirts. After all, those French ladies know how to rock a flirty skirt and heels!
 
I've been digesting information on how to use stripes and diagonals, to guide the eye away from your least favourite features, and towards those that make the most of your shape, much as an arrow would.
 
The dress in these photographs, purchased to wear to my daughters Senior Formal Parent Meet & Greet, is just about perfect for me, and will be for you too.
 
 Here is why:
 
1.  The black section in the centre, disguises a round tummy
 
2. The three quarter sleeves cover less-than-toned upper arms. I have a real 'thing' about my upper arms. Silliness really. I had a real 'thing' about my upper arms when they were stick thin too!
 
3. The stripes on the sleeve cuffs, attract the eye to slender wrists, and away from the aforementioned upper arms.
 
4. The asymmetrical neckline, draws attention to the face, hair, neck and chest, without being unnecessarily revealing.
 
 
5. The bands of thin black and white diagonal stripes, form a solid V shape or arrow, pointing first to the neckline, then to the waist, then away from the mid-section to the hemline, where another asymmetrical feature, takes the eye to the knees and ankles. Neckline-Waistline-Hemline is a great visual trick for we Apple shapes.
 
6. The paler coloured sections advance, drawing the eye, and the darker colour recedes, making the eye ignore those areas.
 
7. The point of the asymmetrical hemline is black underneath the diagonal band, so attracts the eye, and literally points to the feet to show off ankles and pretty shoes. I don't know about you, but I have another obsession....pretty shoes! So this is a great strategy for me!
 
8. This dress has no excess voluminous fabric, the usual trick for clothing manufactured for we more curvy types. More fabric, just makes us look more curvy. And not in a good way. That's a lesson that's taken me years to learn! This fabric is a thick stretch with a bit of substance, so that it skims the curves, making you look taller and leaner. It doesn't buckle or crinkle, or go out of shape when worn either.
 
9. The length of this dress is perfect for a Petite Apple Shape. The shorter part of the hemline is just on the knee, with the asymmetrical point, taking it to just below.
 
10. The addition of low cut silver pumps with a peeptoe, adds further length to the leg. The nude sandals shown in the top photograph achieve the same effect, but not quite as prettily. On the website from which I purchased the dress, it was styled with similar pumps (court shoes) but in black. I prefer the sleek look that metallic or nude shoes give to the foot. Either way, adding a 'low cut' shoe in a metallic or nude shade, gives the illusion of longer legs and height. If choosing a nude, tan or skin toned shoe, straps across the foot are okay. If choosing a colour, stick with a low cut pump so as not to cut your leg length off, making you look shorter.
 
 
11. A matching bag, means that accessories merge and compliment one another, rather than being an additional feature in themselves, allowing the dress to take centre stage. I chose both shoes and bag in a silver faux snakeskin.
 
 
12. The overall effect of this dress, with it's arrow type asymmetrical details, is to make the wearer look taller and more slender (at least till I stand next to my statuesque daughter!), and it achieves this goal admirably.

 
I bought my dress at Birdsnest here. Note that the model pictured, is certainly taller and more slender than I am by far, but I just knew, thanks to Marie-Anne Lecouer and her Academy, that this dress would work for me. These days I am far more adept, at unseeing the model, and looking more closely at the dress to make those decisions.
 
For my lucky U.S. friends, you could try Dia & Co who offer the most incredible styling service based upon your personal questionnaire. I cannot wait for them to start shipping to Australia!
 
My shoes were purchased at Styletread here.
 
My bag was a lucky find on eBay, with a co-operative local seller who speedily posted it in time for it's arrival for the event, but you can find a similar one here.  That one would not have arrived in time for me, but you might be looking further ahead than I was!
 
I have to say that this is not a style of dress I ever would have chosen left to my own devices. I would have gravitated towards the floaty look dished up to we Apple shaped folk since time immemorial. I would have shopped at the last minute, got frustrated and tearful, and ended up feeling that I had presented myself in a less than favourable light, through sheer lack of choices.
 
But given a bit of education thanks to the French Chic Academy, a bit more choice thanks to the world wide web, and the luxury of time on my side (except for the little clutch bag!), I was able to research an appropriate style for my shape, source it and get it posted, in plenty of time for my event.
 
What about you my fellow Petite Plus Apple friend. Would this dress work for you too?
 
....Mimi....
 
 

30 comments:

  1. Mimi, yes your daughter looked stunning, but you looked rather regal yourself.
    I am the opposite to you and much prefer to wear skirts and dresses(the floaty voluminous kind that made me cry when I saw a photo of myself). The dresses have been relegated to housework wear for the heat of summer. I absolutely love the asymmetrical lines of your dress. I found a pattern I used to make up a lot and it is similar to your dress. It is a skirt and shirt but this is more me anyway. Might have a go at making this up.
    I'm glad you ended up feeling so lovely, to match the way you looked.

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    1. Wow...regal...thanks Jane...lol! What a lovely compliment! Ah yes. Crying when one sees a photo of self, particularly when we think we looked nice that day prior to viewing the photograph...been there, done that! Less and less these days though, thank heavens. This really is a great dress, isn't it? I'd love to see your finished top and skirt. I reckon a long top with a similar pointed hemline, and a skirt under it, would give a great look too. You always look nice! Mimi xxx

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    1. Dear Bernideen, you are just plain lovely :) Mimi xxx

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  3. I like the look of that dress, Mimi. I don't have one dress in my wardrobe and prefer skirts instead if it is really hot. No way I would wear one in winter as my legs woukd get too cold :-) You and your daughter do look lovely though.

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    1. Chel, I've been a dress refuser for many years, but now I see it was just a matter of finding the right dresses. I love the ease of just putting a dress on, over fiddling with multiple pieces sometimes :) Mimi xxx

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  4. What a glamourpuss pair you are Mimi!! Your daughter looks gorgeous and clearly has inherited your sense of style. Your dress is lovely, I particularly love the hemline and suits you so well. You have inspired me over winter to pull myself together and try some different combinations of clothes. This makes a world of difference to how I feel. Thanks for sharing your evolving style and full length photos, which are so helpful in visualising your words. Love your blog, Lorraine 🌷🌷🌷

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    1. Lorraine, thankyou! We sure felt the Glamourpuss type that day! I would never have chosen this dress a year ago. It just goes to show that it's a matter of determining what will suit you, and how important it is to dress for your body shape. It's been a revelation for me! Mimi xxx

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  5. Your daughter inherited your beautiful smile! Both of you are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for all the tips on dressing petites. They've been so helpful! I recently attended a wedding in a floaty lacy number, thinking I looked much better than I did. Those photos afterward told the truth. (insert sad face) Thanks to you, I will be trying a new approach! (insert happy face) -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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    1. Thanks Marci, what a lovely thing to say! We petites are a difficult bunch to dress, but with thought and knowledge, it gets easier. I'm sorry to see the 'sad face' re your lacy floaty number. I've had a few of those 'sad faces' too. Keep at it! You'll get there. Love, Mimi xxx

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  6. Glamourous women. You both look stunning and so very Happy. Great post.

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  7. You look lovely and so does your daughter. I wish I was tall. I'm only 5ft. 1". Thanks for all the tips on dressing petites.

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    1. Thel, I am only 5'3"...there's so much you can do once you know the secrets! Mimi xxx

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  8. Absolutely beautiful! Both of you! I love your dress!

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    1. Thankyou Penpen. We felt beautiful too! Mimi xxx

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  9. Mimi, I would NEVER have looked at that dress online and thought, "Aha--here's the perfect dress for me!" But you did, and you were 100% correct--that dress flatters you beautifully. You look so chic and trim; every bit as lovely as your daughter!

    I really like what the Birdsnest catalog has to offer. I particularly like the "Style Me" option, which DID include your dress in the "round tummy" body shape categoary! I wonder if it's worth it to try international shipping...

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    1. Sue, it's the knowledge I've gained through the French Chic Academy that has made all the difference. I would never have looked twice at this dress last year. Now one look, and I just KNEW it was the right dress for me. Dressing well is about educating yourself, as much as being a good cook, or learning any other skill is. It's been a revelation for me! Mimi xxx

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  10. OMG, Mimi, you look stunning! Tres, tres chic and classy! Yes, your daughter is beautiful, but she gets it honestly!
    CO
    Rita

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    1. Thankyou Rita. It was a good day ;-) Mimi xxx

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  11. I love the style of that dress and the price!! You chose extremely well and looked fab.
    Janiebabe
    PS: I believe Kath calls the upper arms 'flipeters'..lol

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    1. It's a great dress Janiebabe. One I'll wear for years I think. Flipeters....lol! Mimi xxx

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  12. Mimi- you and DD look beautiful ! Love your dresses, shoes and accessories too. Love Maria xxx

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  13. I love the way the dress looks on you. Went to website and saw they'd styled with a black bag and shoes and realized that you have a dress that can be both dressy and a little less dressy simply with change of accessory. Good value!

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    1. Thankyou Terri. Yes I love the versatility of the dress too. A good buy at that price! Mimi xxx

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  14. You both look lovely. Your daughter is a stunning girl. Hope you enjoyed celebrating this milestone together. Lisa xo

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx