As Chinese New Year is coming this Friday (1/31), I'm showing you the most figure-flattering Mandarin dress I've ever seen. It's also the number-one most flattering dress in my wardrobe.
Below are two more photos of me in this amazing dress, serving as MC for the annual tea party of the American Tea Culture Association, a nonprofit organization promoting Chinese tea culture in America.
If you've been following my blog, you must agree that I look slimmer but more bosomy in this dress than in anything else ever presented in the fashion blog. You may think the black color of the dress renders it slimming, but what makes it curve-accentuating at the same time?
Well, it's the excellent cut of the dress that should take most credit. Look at how wide the bust area of the dress is! For a sleeveless dress to flatter the torso, there must be a little extra fabric in the underarm areas to cover the armpits and expand the bust, making the waist look smaller by contrast.
Speaking of the cut, this dress comes with a circle skirt, which is currently on trend but rarely seen in a Mandarin dress, also known as qipao or cheongsam. Most Mandarin dresses have a column or mermaid silhouette. Those traditional Mandarin silhouettes work best for a long waist with apparent inward curves, like this Chinese model's.
However, in case you have a short waist like mine, your waistline will look straight in a column or mermaid dress.
See, my waistline looks straight in the mermaid dress shown above. I used to call it my favorite Mandarin dress for the gorgeous embroidered peony flowers on it, but now it has become number two. My new number one favorite is of course my most flattering dress, which happens to also come with beautiful embroidery.
The coral and candy pink embroidered butterflies make the black dress look cheerful enough for Chinese New Year, and you should be able to get the reasonably priced dress in time for a Chinese New Year's celebration in early February by ordering it this week (the last week of January), because it will be delivered overnight for NO shipping fee. You just need to wait a few days for custom tailoring.
The embroidered dress will look even more festive if you add on a red belt as I do, but it can still flatter your figure without a belt, as shown in the photo below on the left, which is from the web page where you can order the dress: http://www.elegente.com/embroidered-butterfly-silk-skirt-style-qipao-dress-black.html
This is the first time I've ever placed a photo of myself next to a model's image. You can see how much confidence this dress gives me! The model is definitely skinnier than I am, but I look just as good, all thanks to the flattering dress (I don't look like this in other dresses). By the way, my Mandarin collar may not look as apparent as hers because I'm wearing a black velvet choker inside to keep my neck warm.
See, you really don't need a model's figure to pull off this dress. Just get it and you'll look more like a model than ever in it!
My husband said to me, "You look almost like a Barbie in this dress!" I think the keyword here is "almost" because Barbie's proportions are too unrealistic. However, this dress does make me look comparable to the Forever Marilyn statue I saw in Palm Springs last holiday season (see www.crystaltai.com/node/61 for my post about the experience).
While my 26" waist is two inches larger than Marilyn's, my 36" bust and hip measurements are exactly the same as hers. Even though I'm actually NOT as much of an hourglass as she was, this dress from Elegente.com exaggerates my curves to the point that's Marilyn-like.
Speaking of the hourglass shape (bust measurement = hip measurement), it may sound enviable, but in fact it's a problem when it comes to dress shopping, because the busts of ready-made dresses are generally around two inches smaller than their hip measurements. For a ready-made dress to fit me, I usually need to have either its bust let out or its bottom taken in.
If ready-made dresses also don't match your body measurements, no matter where the trouble is, I recommend you visit www.elegente.com , where you can get dresses custom-made for NO extra charge. Seriously, their custom tailoring is free, and you've seen what a wonderful tailoring job they've done on my dress!
This is such a modernized Mandarin dress that it can definitely work for more occasions than Chinese New Year. You can wear it to any semi-formal party, especially where there is a dance floor --- the twirl-able circle skirt of the dress is perfect for dancing. If you are planning to dance the upcoming Valentine's night away, this will absolutely be the ideal dress to impress your Valentine.
Have you noticed that Valentine's Day will be a Friday this year? Since it's going to be a work day, I'll talk about how to incorporate this dress and another Valentine-appropriate frock into daytime ensembles in my next post so you can simply take a layer of clothing off and be ready for your dinner date WITHOUT going through the trouble of changing. See you next week!
About the Blog
Flatter Your Figure is a weekly blog on www.crystaltai.com about how to make the latest fashion work for real women of different body types. It presents a new post every Wednesday or Thursday.