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December brings lots of holiday parties, where many women play it safe in their little black dresses. Why not stand out in a different color and an equally or more slimming style?

Navy blue is a great alternative to black because: 1) it's almost as dark as black; 2) sparkles on it will make it look like a starry sky, reminiscent of "silent night, holy night," perfect for the holiday season.

My little blue dress is waist-trimming thanks to not only its dark color but also its boning. If you don't like boning, you can choose a dress coming with a substantial belt like the one in the ad below to cinch your waist and accentuate your curves.

While the word "curvy" is often used as an euphemism for "overweight," its original meaning applies when it comes to selecting the silhouette. Here I call myself curvy despite being size 4. No matter what size you are, if you wear C-cup or D-cup bras and/or your hip measurement exceeds 10 inches larger than your waist, you must pick a waist-accentuating style, or you would look bigger than you are. Believe me, when I wore straight-cut tops, those who took a guess at my size all said 6 (which might have even meant "8" because people tend to be polite)! By contrast, whenever I wear something really waist-cinching, everyone asks me if I've lost weight.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a boyish shape, regardless of your size, you will look gracefully skinny in a soft, fluid dress like the one in the ad below.

If you like this dress but have a curvy shape, you can use a silver wide belt to cinch its waist, and that will work very well because the roomy dress above and below the belt will make the belted waist look smaller by contrast.

Besides navy blue, another slimming color is a dark red like burgundy, cherry, or wine. It looks as festive as bright red but less eye-catching, therefore more suitable for introverted ladies.

The dress shown above has a trendy and hip-skimming tulip skirt. Its long sleeves will keep your arms warm. For those concerned about their thick or flabby arms, this is especially a great choice. Here's the link to its web page:

If you have toned arms but a little armpit fat (which even appears on skinny women), the brocade dress shown below will work perfectly for you. The elegant fur trims around its armholes completely cover the armpits. In addition, the scoop-shaped fur trim around the collar bone area adds volume on top, which will make you bustier, and your bottom will look slimmer by contrast.

This glamorous fur-trimmed dress is available at:

Since you can get dresses custom-made through for NO tailoring fee, if you think the fur around the neck may feel too hot in a heated room, I'm sure you can ask them to make the dress without it (though I personally prefer the collar with the fur because I almost never sweat and tend to dress as warm as possible). They give you the option of sending them a note along with your order.

By the way, you may be aware that winter white is hot this season. If you are interested in the trend but concerned about the expanding visual effect of white, consider the white dress in the ad below, which comes with a black thick belt to minimize your waist.














MM dress in checkered pattern

$108 USD













The A-line skirt of the dress will skim your hips, even though it's white, because white clothing only enlarges you when it clings to your body. That means the only body part this dress will augment is your chest.

While the fit-and-flare white dress presented above is universally flattering (those concerned about their thick or flabby arms can simply add on a bolero), the gold-trimmed winter white dress in the ad below works best for curvy women. Again, "curvy" here is not an euphemism for "overweight" but means "with apparent curves."














Kim Kardashian Embellished Jersey White Dress H100W

$169 USD












See, the model in the photos is Kim Kardashian. A dress looking fabulous on her of course will flatter all other proportionally wide-hipped women! The curved-in gold trims along the torso accentuate the waist, and that's exactly what women with proportionally wide hips need, but the dramatic effect it's supposed to achieve wouldn't really come out on a narrow-hipped woman. 

For boy-shaped women, another winter white and gold dress would work better. No wonder a super skinny model got selected to do its ad.














Gold Sequins Twofer

$135 USD













Although the micro miniskirt covered with 3D gold sparkles in the photo above is in a hip-friendly A line, it's too short for women with full hips. A round rear end would push it up to be even shorter in the back, leading to a wardrobe malfunction. That's why I wouldn't wear it no matter how much I like it, but it would look absolutely hot on a flat behind, which would look a little fuller with the 3D gold sparkles.

However, what needs to be considered about this micro mini dress is more than the body type --- it would look too young for a boy-shaped but mature-faced woman. In that case, the knee-length sheath in the ad below would be more age-appropriate.













Style: 119 Joni Dress

$474 USD












This long-sleeve sheath looks sophisticated but NOT matronly. It's therefore an ideal dress for middle-aged women, and it can flatter different body types. Nicole Kidman and Oprah Winfrey would both look great in it, but Oprah should add on a black wide belt to cinch the waist.

If money is no object, the colorblock dress shown below is super figure-flattering. Look at how the black trims the sides of the torso, the silvery gray amplifies the bust, and the abstract floral tulip skirt narrows the hips. For those with concerns about their thick upper arms, the puffy short sleeves will make the arms underneath look thinner by contrast. This will definitely be a worthy purchase as long as you can afford it.  














$1165 USD











Here I'm only talking about cocktail dresses you can wear to a semi-formal dinner party held at a hotel or a fancy restaurant. What if your company decides to just have a simple lunch at a casual restaurant or a buffet in the office? And what should you wear for a friend's house party? I'll provide figure-flattering options for those less dressy types of holiday parties in my next post. See you next week!

 About the Blog

Flatter Your Figure is a weekly blog on about how to make the latest fashion work for real women of different body types. It presents a new post every Wednesday or Thursday.