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Flatter Your Figure --- Perky with Peony

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Floral dresses are forever. Like real flowers, they bloom every spring. Although floral patterns may vary slightly from year to year, a lovely floral dress will NEVER go out of fashion. That makes it worthwhile to invest in a fetching and figure flattering floral dress, like the one shown above.

The big blooms printed on the green dress are peony flowers, which symbolize wealth and status in Chinese culture. If you are not Chinese, the auspicious symbol may bring you luck, too. Besides, practically speaking, this Mandarin dress (also known as cheongsam or qipao) will flatter your figure no matter what race you are.

Look closely at how the peony flowers are positioned diagonally from one another on the dress. This arrangement renders the visual effect of an S shape to create a waistline I don't really have --- my short waist unfortunately doesn't have enough length to show inward curves no matter how many sit-ups I do. If your waist is not so short (you may be shorter than me but have a longer waist than mine because of proportions), it will definitely work even better for you!

Another figure flattering factor of the dress is the size of its peony flowers. As explained last week in the first part of my 2014 May flower series (, when it comes to floral patterns, the bigger the flowers are, the skinnier you look. This spring's floral trend happens to feature large blossoms, so the huge peony flowers are right on trend.


Even if next spring's floral trend turns to small florets, the peony flowers can stay around because they seem watercolor painted, without strong contours to assert their size. This subtle floral pattern is classic. It doesn't matter where the current fashion trends are going. It's a dress you can definitely wear now and every spring from now on!

Please note that the dress (available at looks almost like a mini on me only because I chose to have it in above-the-knee length and then my relatively long legs make it near mid-thigh.

The original dress is supposed to be knee length or below-the-knee length as shown on the model at the seller's website.


At, you can get this dress custom made in your preferred length by specifying it and providing your height. Just remember to tell them if your height is not evenly proportioned. That was what I forgot to do (my fault!). I should've told them to consider me two inches taller than my height for my proportionally long legs. Fortunately, the shorter than expected dress looks even cuter than expected! I just need to put a jacket over my lap to prevent wardrobe malfunction if I wear it to sit through any type of performance or ceremony.

Speaking of ceremonies, this dress can easily be put to use in the upcoming graduation season, especially if you are going to a kindergarten or elementary school graduation for your child, nephew or niece. In this case, you must appear mature enough to be a mom or aunt, but at the same you don't want to look older. Then this dress is an ideal combination of sophistication and youthfulness.

If the graduation ceremony you are attending takes place outdoors, you may need sun protection from a hat. Then it's advisable to match the dress with a simple black or beige hat so it won't compete with the peony flowers. We should let the pretty peony flowers be the focus of attention.

Meanwhile, the peony will mesh very well with the campus flowers and greenery in the background. For the same reason, this dress will also look fabulous on a garden wedding guest. Seriously consider it if you plan to attend a garden wedding in the near future.

Given all the universally applicable merits depicted above, no wonder some Caucasian ladies put photos of the traditional-Chinese-style dress on their Pinterest boards, though one of them mistook the peony for lotus flowers.

All those photos feature the same model who appears on Look at how the dress accentuates her waistline!

I don't have such an enviable waistline, but my short waist looks fine in the flattering dress, too. That means you can go for it whether you have a willowy waistline like the model's or a short torso like mine.

While getting the dress custom made, you can ask the seller to slightly alter its style to satisfy your preferences. For instance, I got the collar made higher than the original to optically lengthen my short torso. If you want to lower or eliminate the Mandarin collar for the warm weather, you can request that, too. I bet your wish will be their command!

All of the above is the second part of my 2014 May flower series. In the third part of the series, I will discuss tropical flowers on vacation outfits for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. See you next week! In the meantime, enjoy the beauty of the peony!

About the Blog

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














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