An Empire waist is a dress or top with a raised waistline that comes far above your natural waistline to just under your bust.
This silhouette goes back to Greco-Roman times when women wore tunics with high belts under their busts. The Empire Waist is a favorite of women over 40 because it was good at hiding middle-age spread. An empire waist draws the eye “up, up, and away” from your tummy while the skirt gently flows down over your problem area.
A bonus… this style also makes you look taller. How? Your legs look longer and leaner because your waist is made to look higher. And it’s so feminine too. Could it get any better?
Here are a few tips for how to wear an Empire waist.
1. Wear an Empire Waist Tunic with Leggings
Many women who don’t think they can wear leggings or tights just haven’t discovered the empire waist top. This style is the perfect complement. It’s loose and flowy, so it works well with the skinny proportions down below, and it is long enough to cover your behind, which is key to wearing leggings with style.
2. Get the Right Neckline
V or scoop necklines are most flattering since an Empire style draws the eye upward. Also, showing some decolletage is attractive. It lengthens the neck, and seeing some skin is youthful.
Often you’ll find an empire waist top or dress with a very deep V- neckline. In this case, it’s fine to wear a camisole underneath your dress, so you don’t see cleavage. This is often the case with wrap dresses that belt high under the bust.
3. Play with Accessories
You can wear a short or longer necklace with an empire waist top or dress. Dangly earrings also suit this style nicely.
4. Throw on a Cardigan
Short, cropped cardigans look cute with an empire waist top or dress.
So, if you are looking for clothing to hide your jelly belly, and you don’t feel like sucking it all in with shapewear, then the Empire waist style is good to try.
Three things to keep in mind, so you don’t look pregnant.
- Choose an empire waist dress that gently flows straight down from under your bust. A-line works well.
- Avoid waistbands with lots of folds, gathering. These add bulk where you don’t want it.
- If your tummy is very high and round like a ball and sticks out further than your bust, an empire won’t be flattering. This style looks best on gals with some middle-age spread or proportions with a bit of a jelly belly.
Have you worn an Empire waist style? Send me a photo, and I’ll post it!