Addressing the Dress
By: Sharon Mosley
Don’t say no to adding a dress to your shopping list this spring. It’s an easy solution for what to wear — anywhere. The one-piece dress is a no-brainer for work or play, and it’s a great travel companion. From floaty and flirty pastels to bold and graphic modern prints, the dress is a personality piece sure to please even the most discriminating fashionista!
Choose from these key dresses for success shapes this spring and summer:
—The A-line dress — The sheath dress has been “the” last word in dress fashion for the past few years. After all, it’s been a classic for decades — most recently reintroduced to a new generation of style-savvy women a la First Lady Michelle Obama.
But the newest classic has more fit and flare. The focus is on the waist — whether it’s belted or banded. And unless you’re a Kim Kardashian (who is expecting), you should go for a “figure-skimming” not “figure-hugging” dress style. Look for pleated accordion-style dresses for more dresses that don’t cling, but swing.
—The Printed dress —Another one of the season’s favorites — The patterned prints are exploding. But don’t expect to see any shrinking violets here — the dresses that you’ll want to wear this year make a bold statement. Think large colorblocks, washed watercolors, oversized stripes, tropical flowers, harlequin checks. The bigger the better. A word of caution — to keep prints from becoming overwhelming, stick to dark background and one pattern per outfit.
—The Lace dress — In a season of special occasions — graduations, weddings, proms — the all-over lace dress may be the perfect way to break out of the winter doldrums. Lighten up with this feminine fabric interpreted in a myriad of ways — and colors. A white lace frock may say “bridal,” but in sugary candy-colored pastels, it’s a winner; in black, it’s a cocktail stunner.
—The Sheer Dress -Spring and summer is the perfect time to go sheer — no, not totally, of course, but designers take care of that, too, this season. By layering sheer fabrics on top of sheer or other opaque fabrics, the effect is romantic and provides endless options. These ethereal dresses are the perfect backdrop to lightweight cardigans and coats or jackets.
—The Ruffled Dress — One of the season’s trendiest details, the ruffle is showing up on sleeves, cuffs, necklines and waistlines. Flirty and flouncy, ruffles are a real way to fluff up your spring wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to get a little ruffled! In soft silks, chiffons and jersey knits, these ruffles are meant to rise to any occasion.
—Dresses that go to all lengths — Choices of hemlines abound this year with dresses from short to long and anywhere in-between. Choose a python mini for a night on the town or a long floral caftan for a poolside patio party. And the newest way to show off your legs in a dress? Cover them up! The midi-length is back. Your knees never had it so good!
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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