Whether you’re making an effort to get a little fitter and slimmer, or whether you just want to change up your silhouette on certain days, a cleverly-designed dress can hold the answer. In this article you’ll find the most flattering dresses that are slimming, no matter whether you have a special occasion to attend or you simply want to feel confident every day.
Do you need to look slimmer to look good?
Before we dive into this article on flattering dresses that are slimming, I want to emphasize that this is not a requirement for style. You don’t have to be slim to look stylish. You don’t have to dress in a flattering way. You can show off your body any way you like.
So why do this article then you may wander? It’s my experience that many women prefer to look slimmer when they dress. Unless I consciously choose to wear an edgy, voluminous dress, I usually prefer something that highlights my best assets. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with choosing clothes that are flattering on you and show you off in your best light.
What dresses are slimming?
There’s no ‘one’ answer to this one. But you’ll find lots of ideas below. You’re looking for dresses that elongate through clever draping or patterns, color blocking, sleek styles, v-necks, and darker colors.
Do long dresses make you look thinner?
They definitely can do, because they create a ‘column’ effect. But, there are dresses of all lengths that are flattering. We take a look below at dresses of all lengths.
What style of gown is slimming?
If it’s a gown that you’re looking for – a dress that you are more likely to wear to a special occasion – then make sure you invest in quality fabrics and a style that you will be happy to ‘wear’ on photos for many years to come. Choose a fabric that doesn’t cling (silk is always a good option) and easily flows around your body.
Don’t try to ‘hide’ your figure to look slimmer
Don’t go big and billowy because you want to ‘hide’ your figure. You’ll simply add unwanted bulk. Instead, choose your dress to skim over any ‘imperfections’ and highlight the slimmest parts of your body.
Alison @wardrobe_oxygen above (read her style interview here) chooses a dress that is slimming and flattering. A v-neck tends to be slimming, and note how her dress highlights her slim waist. Because the arm length ends at the bust, the attention is drawn there before the dress nips in, helping to create an hourglass silhouette.
Dresses that are slimming
Let’s look at some slimming dresses we’ve spotted in stores now, and why they could work for you.
Darker colors tend to be slimming. Black is classic, although it can also drain some skin tones. You can also look for other dark shades like navy, gray or burgundy. The shirtdress (below) works well as it has a v-neck, as well as a slit at the front. Plus the belt will help to emphasize or create a waist.
Dresses with vertical lines are a good choice to create a slimming effect. Avoid horizontal lines. But, you don’t necessarily have to opt for straight up-and-down vertical lines. We love the diagonal stripes on the knit maxi dress (below).
The blazer dress (below) hugs the figure in the right places, creating subtle sex appeal. Add pumps and a clutch for dinner.
We also love the diagonal stripes on the maxi shirt dress below. The stripes and the color-blocking effect help to create a long-column effect. You can unbutton the top of the shirt collar to create a v-neck, and the slits at the legs also help to create flattering vertical lines.
Barb @barb_styling above shows how a striped shirtdress can be a super flattering choice. Create a v-neckline by opening the buttons at the top.
Don’t choose baggy dresses to hide your figure. You shouldn’t be afraid to wear figure-hugging dresses, as these can create a slimming column down your body. Just be sure to choose quality fabrics that keep everything tucked in as you want it.
The GRACE KARIN dress (below) is well-reviewed by women who say it is lined and the material is thick, helping to camouflage areas that you aren’t so keen on while showing off curves in a classy way.
If you’re looking for a gown for a formal occasion, the clever paneling in the beaded maxi dress (below) creates long columns that slim the body.
A long column of color
Creating a long-column effect by opting for a dress in a shade that contrasts with your skin tone is a great slimming technique. You could easily dress the blue shift dress (below) up or down. A halterneck style works particularly well for inverted triangle body shapes.
Tanasha @letsrecreatethelook above opts for an olive maxi dress and adds a pop of color with her accessories.
Choose a dress that emphasizes your slimmest point
While there are some universal guidelines about what dresses will look most slimming, what is slimming for one woman isn’t necessarily slimming for you. Choose dresses that are fitted at your slimmest point. We love the stripes and asymmetrical styling of the shirtdress (below).
The print shirtdress (below) will also work well if you want to show off (or create) a waist. Unbutton some of the top buttons to create a slimming v-neck.
Try clever color blocking
Color blocking is another clever technique to create a slimming effect. Choose dresses that ‘break’ up your figure, creating slimming lines and columns.
The Desigual dress (below) breaks up the figure because of the graphic print, drawing attention to the top of your figure and away from the tummy (if that’s an area you aren’t so keen on).
The cream and black panels on the BOSS dress (below) create long, slimming panels. Wear with other neutrals, or add a pop of color with red shoes and accessories.
Robbie @robbiesue1970 above opts for a pink and red cardigan dress.
Avoid lots of volume
Choose a slimming neckline
Generally, a v-neck is the best neckline to choose to create a slimming effect. That’s because the v-neck draws the eye inwards and down rather than across the body.
Another strategy to think about when looking for slimming dresses is to carefully consider the silhouette of your dress. For instance, the shirtdress (below) draws attention to the bust and hips, nipping in at the waist to make your waistline look slimmer and give an hourglass effect.
If in doubt, choose a wrap dress
If you aren’t sure what will look slimming on you, then a wrap dress with a v-neck tends to be universally flattering for all figures. The v-neck points the eye up and down, while the wrap style drapes and slims.
We’re sure that’s given you lots of inspiration when looking for dresses that are slimming to help you feel at your most confident.
Do you have a favorite among the dresses below. What is your favorite slimming dress? Let us know in the comments below.
shop flattering dresses that are slimming below:
- The Best Dresses To Hide Your Tummy
- How To Look Taller And Slimmer
- The Best Dress Styles For Your Body Shape
Like this article on dresses that are slimming? Share it on Pinterest!
Feature image by Tanasha @letsrecreatethelook
Want to get more articles from 40+style in your inbox, subscribe here.
Support 40+style by using the links in our articles to shop. As an associate for Amazon and many other brands, we receive a small commission (at no cost to you) on qualifying purchases which enables us to keep creating amazing free content for you. Thanks!