What Is a Drop Waist Dress?

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Woman in a field wearing a drop waist dress.
Woman in a field wearing a drop waist dress. (Image: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever wanted to channel your inner Daisy Buchanan without donning fringe and feathers, slide into a drop-waist dress. Characterized by a skirt that begins near the hip instead of at the waist and usually cut loosely in the torso, a drop-waist dress will evoke 1920s Gatsby-era charm and flatter a variety of body types.

Figure Flattery

Apple-shaped bodies, with thinner limbs and a thicker middle, can camouflage a tummy while showing off their best features in a drop-waist dress. Slender or boyish figures can also rock this style well -- just be sure the skirt isn’t too voluminous or it may swallow up a smaller frame. A pear or hourglass figure should steer clear of this style, as it does nothing to highlight your defined waist. If you’re petite, the longer torso could cause your gams to look shorter; ensure that the hemline is a few inches above the knee to preserve some leg length.

Style Savvy

Style a drop-waist dress traditionally with flapper-inspired kitten heels, a long pearl or tassel necklace and a small clutch with a long strap. Or instead, take a less predictable approach by pairing your dress with unexpected pieces. Choose a blazer and pumps for work, a denim jacket and T-strap sandals for casual shopping, or leather booties and a moto-style jacket for a tough-meets-girly look.

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