Dresses

How to Look Chic in a Little Black Dress

The little black dress is a girl’s best friend! It’s loyal and true and comes to the rescue when you’re struggling to know what to wear. Always appropriate, this classic wardrobe staple never goes out of style and always makes you look fabulous.

Deborah Boland LBDIf you don’t own a Little Black dress or you don’t feel like a million bucks in the one you have, then it’s time to go shopping. Here’s everything you need to know about how to look chic in a little Black Dress.

1. Choose the Right Little Black Dress for Your Body Type

Little Black Dress

If you have to try on 25 little black dresses until you find the perfect one, it definitely worth it. With so many styles, you are sure to find one to flatter your unique body shape. Women with hourglass shapes need to make sure their dress is fitted through the waist, or you are going to look heavy. A shift dress that shows off your curves is ideal. Ruching will help hide a tummy pooch.

Pear shapes look good in fit and flare styles that nip in at the waist but allow lots of room through the hips and thighs. Dresses with lots of neckline and shoulder detail such as flutter sleeves or an off the shoulder neckline will widen your top half, balance it with your bottom half, and also help draw the eye upward and away from your heavier bottom.

Rectangles shapes can create a waist where there is none by looking for belting a relaxed dress or wear a dress with volume at the hips to create curves- a peplum dress, for example. Colum dresses can also work because they flatter their athletic shape.

Inverted triangles with large shoulders and a little bottom can go with full-on wide skirt to balance off their top half. Strapless and Halter styles are also very flattering for women with broad shoulders.

Apple shapes can try an empire waist, or if your tummy is quite large, try a ittle black shift or sheath dress with a long flowy chiffon overlay.

Any type of warp style dress is universally flattering and helps create that classic, feminine hourglass shape.

2.  Make Sure Your Little Black Dress has a Sexy Detail

 

Little-Black-Dress-Sheer-SLeeve-Velvet-Dress-

 

The beauty of the ‘Little Black Dress’ lies in its simplicity, so make sure the one you choose has clean lines, not a lot of fussiness and frou-frou. However, do be sure that your little black dress has a touch of sexiness, like a slit up the side, a deep V neck or back, a lacy hemline, or some sheer fabric across the bust or arms. Just one sexy detail keeps your classy, not trashy.

Things like pretty buttons, a sash or cuffs, in velvet, silk,  tulle, and other sumptuous fabrics will create a very rich look too.

Continue reading “How to Look Chic in a Little Black Dress”

Wedding

Is It O.K. To Wear a Lace Wedding Guest Dress (and Not Offend the Bride)

Wedding etiquette dictates that it is not polite to wear white to a wedding because you never want to divert attention from the bride. But what about wearing lace?  Most brides have at least some lace on their dress, if not a lot.  Can you wear a lace wedding guest dress and not look like you are trying to steal the bride’s spotlight.

Wedding Guest Dress - lace wedding guest dresses
Lace Wedding Guest Dresses

The answer is yes!  It’s perfectly fine, and quite a popular thing, to wear a lace dress to a wedding if you follow these guidelines:

 

shop the look

1.  Wear Colored Lace

A white or ivory lace dress is a definite no-no, and cream lace is very iffy depending on whether the bride is wearing cream. The best lace dresses to wear to a wedding are those in a distinctly non-bridal color.

In the fall, go for something like this beautiful plum lace dress with the charming halter neckline. The color is deep, rich, and romantic, and cannot be confused with a wedding dress. I’ve paired it with black accessories for a beautiful fall look.

In the spring and summer look for lace wedding guest dresses in pink, yellow, soft blue, mint green or taupe. Continue reading “Is It O.K. To Wear a Lace Wedding Guest Dress (and Not Offend the Bride)”

Dresses

Darling in Dresses – 40+ Bloggers

Put a sweet summer sundress on a charming 40+ fashionista, and you get flirty feminine magic! Check out these popular Instagrammers, who look darling in their dresses.

 Pretty off the shoulder print
Pretty off the shoulder print

@debbyfashionomics

Debby from Dallas dresses a blue streak in this pretty off-the-shoulder print frock with a happy summer feel.

Off the shoulder peasant dress in poppy red
Off the shoulder peasant dress in poppy red

@mary_murnane

Mary looks as sweet as a southern belle in this romantic, off-the-shoulder peasant dress in poppy red.

Cute cardigan

@fashionandcookies

A cute cardigan gives a retro vibe to this ladylike fit and flare dress that looks super pretty on Italian blogger Vale. To see more of Vale’s favorite looks,  check out my interview with this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.

Ballet pink dress
Ballet pink dress

@helengreenwell

Pretty pleats on this sweet, ballet pink dress give it an airy, feminine flow. Don’t miss Helen’s other fabulous looks in this Styleblazer interview.

fashion over 40

@catoinamsterdam

Carin is an Instagrammer who’s famous for putting the fun back into fashion over 40, and her favorite way to do that is with a playful dress.

Summer maxi dress
Summer maxi dress

@curlybyrdie

Fabulous After 40  Styleblazer Mary shows off this darling maxi dress that’s a great way to look sizzling this summer.

Eyelet sundress
Eyelet sundress

@shesheshow

Feeling mellow in yellow… meet Sheree, from Houston, who looks adorable in this eyelet sundress with a bamboo bag. Learn more about Sheree’s dressing style in this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer feature.

Cotton sundress
Cotton sundress

@thelushlist

Alicia from Texas looks summer sweet in this relaxed cotton sundress with a big, beautiful bow!

Girly gingham sundress
Girly gingham sundress

@mystyleartery

A girly gingham sundress in sky blue looks light and breezy on Kelley, who appears thrilled it’s summer!

Print dress with sexy, blue suede lace-up sandals
Print dress with sexy, blue suede lace-up sandals

@theeageofgrace

Eugenia, a 60-something blogger and Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer, puts an edgy touch on this modern fit-and-flare print dress with sexy, blue suede lace-up sandals.

Tropical print maxi
Tropical print maxi

@southernblondechic

Barbi looks cute as a button in this tropical print maxi with the fun straw hat. Can you believe Barbi is flirting with 50?

Pinstripe shirtdress
Pinstripe shirtdress

@ladycarisma

Andrea from Slovakia looks graceful and stylish in this pinstripe shirtdress with the sweet city girl vibe.

I’m always on the lookout for Stylish women to feature. Be sure to add the #fabulousafter40 HASHTAG to your Instagram posts so I can find you easily!

Dresses

3 Feminine Dresses That Bring Out Your Sweet Side

There’s no better way to flaunt your femininity than in a pretty dress.  If you have a party, date, or special occasion coming up, then take a look at these darling dresses that make you feel soft and sweet.

anniversary-pink-dress

 

The Grown-up version of Pretty in Pink

If you want to convey an open heart, pink is the color to do it. Women who wear pink send the message that they are approachable and capable of loving others. This makes it the perfect color to show off your soft side and look alluring at any age. The nice thing about this dress is that although it is pink, it’s not sappy sweet. It’s fairly conservative with modern details, and the pink color gives it a beautiful twist. Continue reading “3 Feminine Dresses That Bring Out Your Sweet Side”

Body-Type

Chafing Stopping You From Wearing Dresses? Here’s Help

Dear Deborah,

I’d like to wear a sundress this summer, but I find I get so sweaty that my legs rub together and it is very uncomfortable. Is there any way to fix this problem? Thanks, Jean

Hi Jean,

Dresses are a great summer option if you don’t want to wear shorts or Capris, but with the warm weather many gals suffer from chaffing. There are a couple of things you can do about this.

bike shortsSHAPEWEAR

I highly recommend that you try some shapewear under your dress. The little “bike short” style is perfect to go under any sundress and will totally eliminate the chafing problem.

Be sure to buy the thigh slimmers that have a flat band around the leg so they don’t roll up, and that are long enough for comfort (probably right above the knee).  Not only will they stop your thighs from rubbing together, they will smooth out your legs and midsection too!
Continue reading “Chafing Stopping You From Wearing Dresses? Here’s Help”

SPECIAL OCCASION

What To Wear When You are an Over 40 Bride and the Wedding is Causal ?

Hi Deborah,

I’ve got dressing my age (52) down.  I’m a pretty good dresser, not frumpy, thanks to my teenage daughter.  And, no, I don’t dress like I’m 16! My problem is that I am getting married this summer in a 10 acre backyard in a rural setting in Texas.  

Most guests will be wearing blue jeans.  It’s going to be simple and fun.  What do I wear?  I don’t want to look like Ellie Mae Clampett wearing a dress made by Cousin Pearl, nor do I want to look like the girls from Hootersville.

I am 5’10”, wear between a 6 and an 8, small chested, Norwegian heritage, pale skin and blonde and silvery hair.  It’s not bleached! What can I wear just to look memorably pretty? Thanks Lin

casual wedding dress
This V neck and empire waist is very flattering.

Hi, Lin,

You are tall and slim too, lucky you! You can probably pull off a sleeveless style, which is perfect for an outdoor wedding during a hot Texan summer! Shopping for styles might be difficult, since you’ll see a lot of fussy, frilly junior dresses out there with big bows and high hems!

Stick to simple lines, lighter, flowy fabrics (nothing too heavy or satin-y), and V-necks to bring the attention up to your face.   Also stay away from anything too heavily beaded or embellished, or anything too short!  To the knee should be the highest your skirt should go.
Continue reading “What To Wear When You are an Over 40 Bride and the Wedding is Causal ?”

Age-Appropriate

Tiered Dresses For Women Over 40

Hi Deborah,

Are dresses with tiered skirts appropriate for women over 40, or is this more of a younger look? I’m thinking of buying one for a special party I’ve been invited to.  Janelle

Tiered Dresses

Hi Janelle,

Tiered dresses are lots of fun, and they can look great on a mature woman, but there are a few things you may want to consider before you run out and buy one.

  • Be forewarned that a dress with lots of layers or ruffles like this is going to visually add weight, so if you are pear-shaped  (heavy hips with a small top half)  don’t waste your time on this look – you’ll only look bulky.
  • Also, if you are petite, a dress like this can overwhelm you with too much fabric.
  • If your figure is pretty balanced, even if you are curvy a tiered dress can work for you, but even then I’d suggest a more streamlined version where the layers lie flatter. You’ll look sleeker and more elegant.
  • Rounded pleats are softer looking that pleats that go straight across the body and can be very complementary to curvy bodies.
  • Avoid mini, thigh-high tiered dresses which look babydoll & little girlish. Opt this classier version on the right below.

strapless-coctail-tiered
Too young

tiered-silk-chiffon-sheath
Attractive neckline for 40+
  • Wide straps will look better than tiny spaghetti straps on a mature woman.
  • Tiers that start below the bust are more elegant and slimming too.

kay-unger-tiered-silk-chiffong-gown

  • Bright colors abound, but a black or a dark color like midnight blue will tone down this look and make it more wearable.
  • If you are over 40, a tiered dress is best as an evening look. It is a popular style for a mother of the bride or groom dress too.

tiered-and-beaded-silk-dress1
Too bright, strapless, fluffy and short!

cheta-b-shutter-cocktail-dress1
Subtle tiers are better.
  • If you choose a tiered style skirt, make sure your top is fitted.
  • If you’re going to try this look, make sure to pair your dress or skirt with dainty heels and nothing too clunky as this is a feminine look.
  • If it looks like something your teenager daughter would wear, don’t dare even think about it!

Bring on the tiers and look glam!