What I look for in a dress

If you follow this space you’ll know I love a good dress. I own plenty of them and wear them all the time. It’s hard to believe then for some people that there was a time where I wouldn’t even consider wearing a dress. I’ve realized that the reason why I never wore dresses was that I didn’t really know how to wear them. But mostly because I didn’t know what dresses to buy. After trying many different dresses I have found my mojo for dress buying. I hope that my tips for dress shopping can help you finding your perfect dress.

1.) Comfort

Let’s start with the most important aspect of any article of clothing you’ll buy: it has to be comfortable. This means that when I buy a dress I make sure to check the materials it is made of. 100% cotton may seem like a good idea, but I find the fabric high maintenance and that it can be uncomfortable when wearing it as a dress. The thicker the cotton, the stiffer the dress. I look for dresses with a little bit of stretch that are made of a breathable material that doesn’t crease too easily.

2.) Sizing

When you’re a curvy girl, a dress might suit your body type better than a jeans and t-shirt combo. I find that goes for me anyway. But buying the right dress isn’t a matter of dressing for your body type, but also for your size. Dresses are easy to size up or down in without altering the look and feel of the overall outfit too much. So I buy a 10 or a 12 if the material is stretchy or if the dress shape allows it. I size up to a 14 or larger if need be. For me that usually depends on how the bodice of the dress is made as I have a larger bust and thus sometimes need to size up simply to be able to close the zipper in the back.

3.) Colors & prints

I don’t like solid color dresses. I prefer prints as a dress makes an outfit on its own. When I wear a solid color dress, I made sure it has an interesting detail or texture to it. So a plain black dress I only like if it has a cut out, a lace trim or if it is made of velvet. I tend to wear different prints and colors during different seasons. I have a palm tree print dress for summer, but I wear tapestry print dresses during fall and winter.

4.) Style & fit

Dresses come in different styles and fits. I find that skater dresses fit me best: they singe you in at the waist but flare out at the bottom. It’s great to accentuate your feminine features while still hiding any unwanted bumps and lumps you may have. Most of the dresses I own are skater dresses, but I do not shy away from bodycon (for which I usually size down), tulip, trumpet, a-line and shift dresses. Find the dress for your body type and you can build an entire wardrobe around it.

5.) Easy to combine

Since dresses are an outfit in itself you don’t have to worry much about what else you put with it. They are the ultimate lazy-I-don’t-know-what-to-wear outfit for me. I own plenty of blazers and cardigans as well as shoes in neutral colors that go with anything. That way you can mix and match, and dress up or dress down any dress you own.  In other words, dresses are a quick and easy way of putting together an outfit that takes no time at all, but still you look like you’ve made an effort.

6.) Price tag

The best part of buying dresses must be their price tag. You can find plenty of great dresses (and thus a complete outfit) for under 30 euros. Places such as H&M, ZARA, New Look and other high street stores usually stock exactly what’s in season but at a reasonable price. I can shell out up to 50 euros for a dress if it has a unique style and makes me fall in love. My more occasional dresses can go up a bit more, but I do not think I own a dress that cost me more than 60 euros. My favorite place for dress shopping? Asos, hands down.

I hope these 6 tips help you to explore the wonderful world of dresses. You can find them at a great price, they are easy and comfy to wear and make a complete outfit in one go. Once you figure out what dress type suits you best, all you have to do is figure out whether you want to size up, down or wear your true size and you can find any dress for any occasion.

What are your tips for buying dresses?

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