By: Clare Nisker
Pleats can be beautiful, chic and elegant.
We’ve seen style icons wear it incredible well over the last century creating shape and beautiful proportions. Having said that, it can also accentuate areas of the figure that many women want to minimize.
When a figure is straight or top heavy (broad shoulders or busty), pleats on the bottom can create proper proportions.
A bottom heavy figure, (carrying extra weight in the buttocks, hips or thighs) depending on where the pleats start can dramatically make a figure larger than it really is or when the pleats are located correctly, can give the proper proportions that take your eye away from the heavier-set areas and visually take inches off.
While I was driving the other day, I passed by a lady in a dress who was quite unproportionately bottom heavy. The pleats started at the same height as her protruding behind which not only brought more attention to that area, but made her look even larger than she was. The dress seemed too tight as well because the pleats were completely open making her behind look even larger. To make this dress choice even worse for her figure, the dress had a loud print on it which brought even more attention to her figure.
My advice for a bottom heavy figure: Look for a more structured dress. If you are more curvaceous, stick to more stream-lines silhouettes. Pleating is not for everyone. As for prints vs. solid fabrics; in general solid colors work better at stream-lining a curvaceous figure. Not always the case though, because there are some beautiful prints that can camouflage certain areas but generally, solid works best. If pleats is something you want to try and you are bottom heavy, the pleats have to start lower than your largest measurement to balance out your proportions.
Fabric also has a lot to do with the way pleating can lay on a figure. The stiffer the fabric (ex. Silk Wool) the better the pleats are going to keep their shape (and I’m talking about inverted pleats). Pleats made with lighter fabrics (ex. Chiffon) have less of a chance to stay down and will just bulk up a figure, whether it is on the waist, hips or thighs.
This gorgeous pleated dress by Christian Dior is ideal for a small bust and waist, if you have wider hips, it will be concealed by the proportions of the skirt. Pair Nude color shoes to elongate your legs even more!
Always remember the Golden Rule of dressing for your figure – Proportions.