Fab 5: Fit & Flare – and How to Wear Them
The fit-and-flare silhouette – fitted through the bodice and flaring out at the waistline – is one of the most universally flattering dress shapes, enhancing the figures of women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The flouncy skirt creates the illusion of a teeny-tiny waistline and legs for days. It’s been a classic since the fifties, and the craze shows no signs of stopping. Every season a new crop pops up on the runways, in every fabrication you can possibly imagine. Always perfectly feminine, F & F’s work for every occasion and the five we’re showcasing here will prove. Dress ‘em up, dress ‘em down, dress ‘em all around town. Without further ado, here are our fab five fit-and-flare dresses and some quick tips on how to style them for sartorial success:
A sexy wear (almost) everywhere dress with a beaded peek-a-boo bodice and gauzy, twirl-ready skirt. The deep V open back design is an excellent opportunity to show off those Pilates-defined shoulder blades.
The Layers: Toughen up the look with a heavy leather jacket. An eighties-style cut that is just a touch oversized gives will give it a borrowed-from-the-boys vibe that contrasts cooly with the girly-girl style of this dress.
The Hair: An effortlessly chic fishtail braid that is pretty without being perfect will play into the girl-meets-boy thing the leather jacket started.
The Makeup: Liquid eyeliner and a hot pink lip will punch up the color factor
The Shoes: Slip on a pair of black velvet ankle boots. The luxe feel of velvet dresses up the casual silhouette and adds on-trend texture.
The Accessories: Say yes to statement jewels! Multi-color stone studs and matching bangles will keep things fun and flirty.
This classic silhouette is a wardrobe workhorse. Homecoming? Check. Date night? Check. Sunday brunch? Check. We’re still searching for a place or situation where this vintage-inspired style would be out of place.
The Layers: Go on a sartorial style journey by sticking with the vintage them. A cropped sequined cashmere cardi makes a very pretty topper with plenty of party-ready sparkle. If the weather’s cool, add in a pair of sheer black tights with one of those sexy retro knitted seams running down the back.
The Hair: A Rosie the Riveter style knotted scarf and sweet ponytail brings a youthful feel to the look.
The Makeup: Perfectly sculpted eyebrows set up the look and bright red lips knock it down. Add in rosy cheeks, winged cat-eye liner, and voluminous lashes, and your visage is a vision.
The Shoes: Channel Rockabilly babes via T-strap pumps with a chunky heel and a round toe. Patent leather is a definite plus.
The Accessories: Go straight for grandma’s jewelry box. We’re thinking double-strand pearls of coordinating necklace and earring sets. Pastel-hued stones make a particularly sweet addition.
If this beautiful baby blue cocktail dress isn’t a cause célèbre, we don’t know what is. Allover sequin embellishment will add much-appreciated glimmer to every event on your social calendar.
The Layers: A crisp white blazer will bring grown-up appeal to the girlish silhouette. Bonus points if it features color-coordinated embroidery details.
The Hair: The bigger the better. Don’t be afraid to get a little heavy-handed with your hairspray. A touch of teasing at the crown is also encouraged.
The Makeup: Work a fresh face with a deep berry lip for an unexpected pop of color. Sweep the cheeks with just a dash of bronzer for a natural looking sheen.
The Shoes: Heighten the look. We see a high stacked heel, slim ankle strap, open toe, and definitely a platform.
The Accessories: Understated jewelry lends minimalist appeal. A few keywords to keep in mind are delicate, silver, and sparkly.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but this fit-and-flare dress has the monopoly on cocktail party cute. Pink, white, and red roses fall beautifully across the print, giving it a cheery garden party aesthetic.
The Layers: Take advantage of the strapless design by shrugging on a shawl. A sheer black floral lace iteration with a fringed edge would add festive flair. It also allows you to let one shoulder dip out from underneath on occasion which is très romantique!
The Hair: Make a braided headband of your own hair for a dreamy look. You can even slip some flowers in, if you’re so inclined.
The Makeup: Skip the foundation and reach for a tinted moisturizer instead for a barely there feel. Sweep bronzer across your forehead, nose, and cheeks for a sunny glow. Finish with gold shadow and a glossy lip.
The Shoes: Ground the look with a classic round-toed patent pump. Match the color to your shawl for a coordinated aesthetic.
The Accessories: Minimal, shiny, and gold is a charming way to go. A beaded clutch adds a nice touch of texture.
What, this old thing? There’s no denying this coquettish number is a stunner with its ornately embellished bodice and layers upon layers of tulle. The charismatic design will make you shine with confidence.
The Layers: A cropped tuxedo style jacket with shiny lapels is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
The Hair: Use a wand to create long loose curls with plenty of movement, echoing the swish and swoosh of the tulle skirt.
The Makeup: Just enhance what genetics already blessed you with. A natural pink lip, smokey eye, and a strong brow are all you need for a strong face.
The Shoes: Surprise shoe-gazers by pairing the femme dress with a mannish loafer. Choose one in high-octane silver if you want to up the ante.
The Accessories: Mix your metals, doubling up on stacks of gold and silver bangles. While you’re at it, mix and match stud earrings – this look is all about the playful elements.