Addressing the Dress

Flowing Fashion Tips


The off-the-shoulder dress. It’s the “it” dress of the season, and it’s the perfect silhouette for warm weather when baring your shoulders — a little or a lot. This dress gives you a great alternative to the traditional sundress. In all its variations—from cold shoulders to single shoulders, from adjustable elastic necklines to peekaboo cutaways, this dress is one of the most versatile choices you can add to your wardrobe right now. Go ahead, put your hair up, add some dangling earrings and par-tay!

The soft shirtdress. This classic dress has long been a great option to wear to work, and is a flattering shape for most women with its defining waist. However, the structured shirtdress is softening up in linen and cotton. It’s an easy way to look polished and pulled together without too much frill and fuss. The sleeveless versions are a summer staple. Dress them up for work with a lightweight jacket and heels, or dress them down for the weekend with flats or flip-flops.

The lace dress. Once relegated to the Mother of the Bride rack, lace is delivering a touch of modern glamour day and night. From lace illusion overlays to lace dripping from hemlines, in sophisticated colors from pale pastels to bold brights. If you’re looking for a special cocktail dress, check out a chic lace sheath dress with a halter neckline.

The body-con dress. Hugged your curves lately? If you’ve got them, flaunt them with body conscious dresses like shifts and wraps in sensuous fabrics that softly skim over your figure. Skip the sequins and go for an updated floral print that takes you away to the tropics. Disguise lumps and bumps with an all-over print (oh yeah, and Spanx helps, too). Team with strappy sandals if you want a little more drama.

The slip dress. If you’re looking for something to wear to your favorite music festival this summer, then the slip dress may be the perfect pick. Yes, the newest ones have that slinky lingerie feel to them, but you can easily give them a bohemian vibe by adding a jean jacket, ankle boots and lots of chunky jewelry.

The fit and flare dress. A classic silhouette, this dress with the nipped-in waist and A-line skirt is one of the most universally flattering shapes there is. If you are looking for a dress that’s simple, yet elegant, this is the dress for you. Choose one in the season’s hottest dress color and think pink.

The trapeze dress. This little flyaway number will take you back to the ‘60s when the leggy model Twiggy twirled away for the cameras. This year the tunic-style trapeze dress is flirtier than ever in soft chiffons, complete with bell sleeves. Put on your white boots and dance the night away.

The little black dress. The LBD is still alive and well and showing up in any or all of the above trends. You can never go wrong with this one. A black jersey maxi halter dress might be just the thing for that after-hours pool party. Now you could live in that one.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

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