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Friday Fashion: Maximize your dress with mini accessories this spring

Courtesy of MCT

For most fashionistas, the first 75-degree days of spring mean it’s time to break out the dresses. This season is no exception. From floor-length maxi dresses to thigh-grazing mini dresses, anything goes for these next few months. Women owe a lot to dressmakers who make these key wardrobe pieces to fit every shape and size.

Maxi dresses will work for many heights, assuming you’re not afraid of the tailor. Judge these flowing frocks from the hip up. Hems can always be raised to meet your needs, but fit is something that’s a bit harder to change. To avoid looking like you bought your dress from the maternity section, look for styles that accentuate your waistline.

These will draw the eye inward giving you the ideal hourglass shape, while trapeze-style dresses, in which the seams are cut straight so the dress is narrow under the arm and wider at the hem, will make you look boxy or, in some cases, larger than you actually are. A good rule of thumb: If you can’t tell where your bust line ends and your waistline begins, others can’t either.

Midi dresses are a style borrowed from the 1950s (think Mrs. Draper from “Mad Men”). These styles are flattering on almost all body types because they accentuate the natural curves of the female form. With this style, it is about the height of the hemline, but it’s more about how you choose to accessorize your dress.

The hemline should end just below your knee and expose the length of your lower leg. To keep from looking like a housewife, opt for statement jewelry such as a bib necklace or hoop earrings. You can also think about wearing a cocktail ring. Wedges or pumps will elongate your leg, which is very important with this style since not much of your leg is exposed.

Which brings us to the ultra exposing mini dress. Many people have a love-hate relationship with these dresses and, I admit, I am one of them. This style goes from classy to trashy with one bad accessory or hemline choice.

First things first: Sit down in the dress. Can you feel the dressing room bench on your derrière? If so, the dress is too short. Next, decide what part of your body it is that you want to accentuate (hips, neck, waist, etc.). Whichever part you choose to focus on, make your accessories meet your needs.

For example, if you’re interested in drawing attention to your neckline, wear a statement necklace or chandelier earrings. If your dress is already working your body’s natural curves, however, skip the bold accessories and let the dress speak for itself.

We all know dress shopping can be the ultimate nightmare, but if you go in with an open mind and know that things aren’t always how they appear, you might be pleasantly surprised. Just because a dress looks sulky on the hanger doesn’t mean it won’t look sexy on your body.

Another thing to remember about wearing a dress is it will usually play up your femininity, most likely for the better. Women’s bodies were made for the dress, and since spring has sprung, you can take a giant leap into the dress-up box.

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