Every woman’s wardrobe needs a classic little black dress. It can be dressy, casual, business-like, or dinner-ready simply by changing the accessories. A simple, sleeveless black dress is the perfect next piece to add to the classic wardrobe. It can be worn as is, with the cardigan from the twinset or the tweed blazer, netting three very different looks that can go from day to night without missing a beat.
The first thing that must be determined before buying any dress is your body shape, then you will know what style of dress works best for you.
1. If there is little difference between your bust measurement and your hip measurement and your waist is undefined, you have a straight body shape and your best choices are A-lines, empire waists, and shifts.
2. If you are fuller through the hips and the rear and smaller on top, you have a pear shape and should look for A-line and empire-waisted dresses.
3 Hourglass shapes have a full bust, defined waist, and full hips and look best wearing sheaths and wraps.
4. If your narrowest point is above your natural waist at the ribs, you have an apple shape and should wear dresses with empire waists and shifts.
5. If your bust measurement is bigger than your hip measurement, your shape is called a full bust shape. A-lines, halters and wraps are your best choices.
Once you determine the style of dress, check the:
- Seams — make sure they are evenly stitched, no broken stitches, and have relatively tight stitching. Remember that the higher the stitches per inch, the better the quality. Seams should be either serged or double stitched to make them stronger.
- Lining — a lined dress is usually of better quality than one that is not. The lining helps the dress to easily slip on. Also, check for interfacing around sleeve holes, necklines, buttons and zipper areas. The facing adds durability in high-use areas.
- Fabric — natural is better than synthetic and, unfortunately, getting harder and harder to find. Natural fabrics such as wool, cotton, silk, and linen are superior to nylon, acetate, and polyester. Garments constructed from natural fabrics will last longer than garments that are not.
(other posts in the series “Building A Classic Wardrobe One Piece at a Time — The White Button Down Shirt, The Dress Slacks, A Cashmere Twinset, The Black Skirt, The Black Tweed Blazer, The Nude Pump, and The Nude Purse)