New Castle News

November 13, 2013

Sarah Stright-Hartley: Little black dress a big hit for the holidays

Sarah Stright-Hartley
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — With the holidays quickly approaching (seriously, how is it mid-November already??), one thing women start looking for is the perfect little black dress to wear to all of the gatherings.

I was recently asked where to find a great (inexpensive) black dress that isn't made for "junior-size" women. First let me just say that unless you ARE a junior, you shouldn't be shopping in the junior section. I can still wear junior sizes, but they're made for juniors for a reason — they're often much younger looking and they're designed to fit girls with different bodies than women.  

One easy way to know if you're in the junior section? Junior clothing is MOSTLY made with sizes in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) while women's clothing is MOSTLY made with sizes in even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8). There are some stores that don't follow this, but the majority of the time they do.  

As to WHERE to look? My number one favorite is ASOS. It has a TON of options in all different price points and sizes. And you can usually find some pretty unique pieces because it offers so many different labels. I also like Target, Gap, and Old Navy for inexpensive dresses. I know that a lot of women also have trouble finding a dress that flatters them in all the right places, and hides the things they don't want to be seen. So I wanted to give you a little help with that.

To the right, I've grabbed several different types of dresses to show you what style can help flatter and hide different parts.

1 — This style of dress can help you hide a tummy. Because of the high waist, it'll hit you at your narrowest part (your natural waist, if you bend to the side, where your side "creases", that is your natural waist), and flare out from there, thereby hiding your tummy. And because of the sweetheart neckline and spaghetti strap, it'll highlight your upper body.

2 — Similar to number one, this dress will highlight a narrow waist due to the belt placement and will hide a tummy. Also, the wider strap flatters arms and makes them more streamlined.

3 — This dress is made for those who want to show off their shape. The clingy fabric will show off all of your curves, specifically your waist and legs. But due to the long sleeves, it'll help to hide your arms if they are your least favorite feature.

4 — Because of the shape of the bottom of this dress, it'll draw attention to your legs and help to show them off. The detail all over the dress helps to distract from a tummy.

5 — The shape of this dress is great for those who like their arms and legs. However, the a-line shape helps to camouflage a tummy.

6 — If your shoulders are one of your favorite features, show them off in a one-shoulder dress. Another bonus to this dress? Showing off a collarbone, which men often find beautiful. Surprisingly, this dress would help to hide a tummy because of the ruching and draping at the middle.

7 — Because of the length, this is great for showing off legs! Worn with nude heels, your legs would look a mile long. But this dress is also great for hiding less than athletic arms, or a tummy.

8 — This dress might seem contradictory because I mention that it both flatters a waist, but hides a tummy. This has to do with the detail right at the waist. The shape of the dress comes in to show off a small waist (remember, we're talking NATURAL waist, not where your pants hit), but the draping at the waist hides a tummy.

I hope these examples will help you find your perfect little black dress. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at!