How Colorblock Dresses Slim & Shape Your Body

Colorblock dresses are a bold and fun way to express your style and can be super slimming too. Strategically placed blocks of color whittle your waist, shave inches off your thighs and create optical illusions that make you look slim and trim.  How does it work?

Color blocking

Dark Colors Recede

Black absorbs light, so if you wear black or a dark color on a certain area of your body, it will make that area appear smaller. This is why so many women love wearing black pants and skirts. Dark colors, like black, camouflage and visually shrink a heavy belly, thick hips, and thighs.

Light Colors Pop

The opposite is true about light and bright colors. Light/Bright Colors reflect light.  Wherever you place a light or bright color on your body, that area will be highlighted. You’ll draw attention to it,  and it will appear larger.  This is why so many bottom-heavy women don’t feel comfortable wearing white pants or skirts or brightly colored red jeans.

colorblock dresses

What Does Combing Light and Dark Colors Do?

When you combine chunks of dark  + light/bright in a stand-alone dress, you get some interesting special effects. Our eyes naturally want to follow lines, and we’re attracted to blocks of color. Colorblock dresses can trick the eye and help whittle your waist, trim wide hips, lengthen your legs, make you look taller, and shrink or enlarge your bust.  Here are some of the latest colorblock dresses and what they can do for you.


colorblock maxi dress

1. Elongate Your Body with a Colorblock Dress

Vertical lines naturally elongate the body, making you look taller and slimmer. Colorblocked vertical lines can intensify that lengthening effect depending on the arrangement of dark and light/bright colors. The less contrast between color blocks the more elongating the look.


colorblock lower

2.  Minimize Your Botton Half with a Colorblock Dress

When you look at something, your eye automatically goes to the lighter area, which is the white bodice of this dress. Black on the bottom minimizes this area. This elegant dress would be great for someone who wants to make their bust look larger and/or their bottom half appear smaller.


colorblock dress waist

3. Define Your Waist with a Colorblock Dress

This dress is blue on blue, but the darker blue color blocks at the waist create curves and the illusion of a smaller, more shapely waist. If you have a rectangular-shaped body with a thick middle, this dress will work wonders to give you a more hourglass shape.


colorblock dress wide shoulders

4. Broaden Your Shoulders with a Colorblock Dress

A bright block of color across the top of this dress highlights and widens your shoulders making your hips look smaller.  Colorblocked chevron stripes that angle in an optically narrow body. If you are a pear shape with wide hips and narrow shoulders, this dress will broaden your upper half and downplay your bottom half, making you look more balanced.


colorblock dress hip slimming

5. Shave Inches off Your Hips with a Colorblock Dress

Dark side panels recede into the background and almost disappear while brighter colors pop out and to the front. The result? Dark side panels will shave a couple of inches off your body and make your hips look slimmer.


colorblock dress curve creating

6. Create Curves with a Colorblock Dress

A color block dress doesn’t have to be high-contrast colors to shape and slim. Even this low contrast version in red on red with its soft rounded lines can help give your body some beautiful curves.


colorblock dress look lean

7.  Look Lean in a Colorblock Dress

Diagonal lines on a color block dress create a slimming effect. The more vertical the diagonal line, the taller and leaner you will look.


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4 thoughts on “How Colorblock Dresses Slim & Shape Your Body

  1. I am wearing a navy sleeveless dress with white dots about the size of a quarter with a goldish outline. It has a thin white belt with a gold buckle. What color shoes would be most appropriate? I am 5’4″ and pretty fair.

    1. Hi Rhonda,
      You are not that tall, so if you want to elongate your legs try a nude or very soft gold metallic heeled sandal or pump. By nude, I mean a shoe that matches the color of your skin. This will make your legs look longer, make you taller, and put all eyes on the dress. If more height is not your primary goal, a navy shoe will look lovely, or a white shoe is also classic. You could use fuchsia or red shoe to add contrast for a fun, perky look. The nice thing with navy is that it is neutral and works with lots of colors. Enjoy! Deborah

  2. I have a very rectangular body shape. My bust is relatively tiny, and my ribs poke below my figure. I am only 5’2″, so I look relatively short because of the rectangle. How do I look good in that body? My best feature is my legs. I work out daily, so they look lovely.

    Thanks for your advice.

    1. Hi Amy, The key to dressing is to play up what you have and instantly minimize the parts you are not as happy with. So play up those legs. Show them off in shorter skirts just above the knee, and wear cute shoes to draw attention to your legs. The rectangular challenge types have they don’t have curves. You can create curves by wearing A-line skirts and tops with some softness like a ruffle. Wear belts to create a waist. Don’t wear anything boxy or loose-fitting and shapeless, as that will only emphasize your rectangular shape. I hope that helps. For more dressing tips for the rectangular shape, you can check out my blog post:
      Cheers! Deborah

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