Saturday, July 12, 2008


Photo: Ron Greystar/All Rights Reserved
Think of your waistline as an intersection where bodice and skirt join to make your gown whole and complete. A waist is either defined by a horizontal seam or—in the case of a princess design—vertical seams running up the front. Waistline is a vital element; it brings balance to your silhouette and with careful utilization to this area, you can cover flaws or highlight your best features. You can drop, point, slant, blouse or curve, your waist to create the exact symmetry you want.

ejones photography/All Rights Reserved
Yoke-Believe it or not your waist in this case is higher than your bust. A yoke is a bib-like piece that is joined to either a bodice panel or gathering stitches. Check out any tent dress or princess style originating form a yoke. Both were popular circa 1960s.
Empire-Pictured above, it ends just below the bust line. Skirt can be straight or full. Chic now are princess or bias cut.
Raised-Recent trend popularized by Esprit.

Natural Waistline-Pictured above. Trendy once more, it seems like decades since we’ve seen so much of the natural waist. It is however one of fashion’s best-kept secrets. While not for everyone, it works for most body types and creates a great symmetry and overall picture of you.

Dropped-Pictured opposite, a dropped waist falls about 2-4 inches below the waist. Particularly flattering to most figure types because it elongates the torso
Asymmetrical-Falls at a diagonal. It can be either a fitted or relaxed bodice.
Basque-Falls into a point about 4-5 inches below the waist. Particularly flattering to full-figured and pear-shapes when it sits atop a full gathered skirt.
U-Most flattering U-shapes are over bodices that fall over an A-line skirt.
Princess Seams-No horizontal waist seam here. The vertical seams originate from armhole or shoulder and run the length of the dress.

Draped-Pictured at right, gathers or draping take the place of darts. Can take the shape of being loose or fitted.

Seamless-Pictured below, bias cut evening gowns and slip dresses have no seams defining waist. Usually snug fitting. As I’ve said before: you must be in top physical form to wear this waistline.

Photo: Ron Greystar/All Rights Reserved
Gowns: Amy-Jo Tatum Bridal Couture

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