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Understanding Empire Dresses

By Michelle Ecker on April 25, 2016

The New York Institute of Art and Design offers online image consultant training and because we do, we like to provide free tips for image consultants. Enjoy!

Understanding Empire Dresses

If you’re ever styling a client with a pear-shaped body, consider trying out an empire silhouette.

This line refers to a cut of dress (or top) that cinches together at the slimmer part of the chest just below the bust (right where the lower band of a bra would rest), giving the wearer a more high waisted appearance.

First made fashionable in France by Napoleon’s first Empress Josephine de Beauharnais, this flattering style soon became influential throughout Europe in the early 18th century. Today, the look is especially popular amongst those hoping to diminish the appearance of a heavier stomach, or those hoping to emphasize the bust. It is also known to flatter more petite clients, as the heightening of the waist effectively lengthens the look of the body overall, making the wearer’s legs look especially long.

Want to learn more? The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online personal style course that can teach you how to become a personal stylist. Request your free course catalog today!