Bodycon is one of those trends many women think we have to give up once we enter midlife. But unlike fad diets, all-nighters and basing our actions on other people’s opinions, wearing bodycon is 100% appropriate as we age. Many of us prioritize fitness in our 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. Got it? Go ’head and flaunt it.
Bodycon (as in body-conscious) refers to form-fitting dresses and silhouettes made in stretchy fabrics that hug your body and accentuate your curves. Bandage dresses — one of the most recognizable takes on bodycon — were trendy in the ’90s and early 2000s. And now, thanks to celebrities like Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Megan Thee Stallion, the look has made a comeback, with modern iterations featuring cutouts, asymmetric necklines and other of-the-moment details.
Wearing a hip-hugging, attention-getting style can be daunting, but surprisingly, bodycon can give you a sculpted, snatched look. And most importantly, it can work on every shape and size. Follow these tips to get bodycon right.
Focus on the fit
Bodycon styles hug your body and show off your curves, so wearing a well-fitting silhouette is a must. If the garment is loose or hovers over your body in some areas, you’ll end up with a baggy, ill-fitting look. But an overly tight fit isn’t flattering either. Think of wearing bodycon the same way you think of wearing swimwear. You want it to sculpt your body and accentuate your shape without squeezing you too much. When shopping for bodycon, try on a couple of sizes to see what looks best on you. Depending on the fabric and the brand, this could mean going a size up or down.
Bodycon (as in body-conscious) refers to form-fitting dresses and silhouettes made in stretchy fabrics that hug your body and accentuate your curves. Bandage dresses — one of the most recognizable takes on bodycon — were trendy in the ’90s and early 2000s. And now, thanks to celebrities like Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Megan Thee Stallion, the look has made a comeback.
Choose heavier fabrics
You’ll find bodycon dresses in various fabrics and textures, ranging from lightweight jersey to thick bandage-like ribbed fabric. For the most flattering fit, go for heavier and thicker materials with a high content of Lycra® or spandex. Dresses and styles made in these sturdier fabrics will provide more structure and support and will hold you in. They’re also more likely to last longer and hold their stretch after multiple wears and washes.
Choose color strategically
Bodycon draws attention to your shape, so color plays a big role. Lighter and brighter colors will highlight your features even more. On the other hand, darker colors are more slimming and minimize your body. So, depending on your body shape and what you want to highlight, choose your color wisely.
A black bodycon dress or one in darker colors can work for all body types and sizes. However, other colors work too. For example, if you have a pear-shaped silhouette, a color-blocked style that is lighter on the top can give you a more balanced look. If you have a straight or athletic build, wearing a bodycon dress with darker inserts or panels at the side can give the illusion of a cinched waist. Generally, avoid colors and prints that draw attention to any areas you prefer not to highlight, and stick to colors that will flatter your shape.
Choose the right undergarments
What you wear underneath bodycon matters. Not only will your undergarments affect the fit of your dress, but they will also affect your comfort and confidence level. And let’s face it, both need to be high when wearing an attention-getting look like bodycon. Consider wearing shapewear to give you a smooth and streamlined layer under your bodycon. However, other options — like seamless underwear and bras — can work, depending on your preferences and body shape. Needless to say, whatever undergarments you choose, make sure they are well-fitting.
Highlight your favorite feature
Keep your bodycon look classy by choosing which features to highlight. Love your toned arms, bust and slender neckline? Go for a sleeveless or off-the-shoulder bodycon style, but choose a mid- or long length so that the eye focuses on your top half. Have legs that rival the late, great Tina? By all means, show them off with a shorter or midlength cut. However, choose a modest neckline and a sleeved style so your legs get the attention. If you want to highlight your waist, add a chic belt to accentuate it.
In a nutshell, avoid highlighting features on your top and bottom at the same time. A plunging neckline with a short hemline may be too much in a bodycon style.
Finish your look well
Your lovely curves will be the focal point of your total look, so everything else you wear should complement your outfit, not compete with it. Go for shoes that will elongate your body, such as pumps, kitten heels or other heeled styles. Generally, flats can make your body look squat when wearing bodycon; however, pointy-toe and platform styles can work.
If you’re layering your bodycon outfit, you can play with the length and vibe of your layering pieces. For example, a cropped motorcycle jacket brings edge and accentuates your waist even more, while a long kimono or duster can bring a soft contrast to a sexy short bodycon dress. Also, keep things simple, both in color and style. Wearing over-the-top shoes and accessories will take the attention off your beautiful curves.