Robin White has more additions to the list of figure features and how to choose party clothes that maximize or minimize each one:

LARGE WAIST:

  • The obvious first choice? An A-line dress that is fitted on top and flares slightly at the bottom; one color from top to bottom helps create a slim line.
  • Also try a bubble hem, a look that will draw attention away from the waist and bring the eye down.
  • Go for a so-called baby-doll dress, or a fashionable empire style that fit snugly under the bust, skims past the middle, and flares out at the hips, such as the flattering Lily  dress shown at the left.

BIG BUST:

  • While empire lines accentuate the bustline, halter tops are visually minimizing.
  • Straight necklines,whether strapless or bateau, flatter women with larger busts.
  • Avoid sleeves that end at the bustline; shorter or longer sleeves are better. The dress at the left also shows how longer sleeves can flatter a larger woman.
  • If you're big-busted and short-waisted, wear dresses with dropped waists.

THICK LEGS:

  • Avoid tea-length dresses, which can cut you visually at the wrong place.
  • Wear A-line dresses that stop at the knee; knee-length dresses are particularly good for women whose ankles are heavy--they make ankles look thinner.

Finally, the experts agree, count on a fabulous evening jacket to add a flattering finishing touch to any party ensemble. Women with large busts or large bottoms should avoid short cropped jackets, while those who are short need to be careful about too-long cover-ups that can seem overwhelming.

One of today's best choices, according to White: a tailored jacket with a slightly fitted waist. This style flatters both large and small women, she says.

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