Hello and welcome to Dressed for My Day. As the seasons change I begin to look for old favorites in new shades and textures. And one of my favorite dress styles is the sheath dress. I’ve fallen in love with this silhouette because literally every woman can wear a sheath dress. Doubt it? Well maybe you just haven’t tried one on with the details that make this particular dress “friendly” to your body shape and proportions.
A sheath dress is form fitting for a streamlined silhouette hitting at or above the knee. But it’s not as form fitting as, say, body con styles. The dress shouldn’t squeeze you; it should skim your curves softly and gently. And a well styled sheath dress will include details that direct the eye, camouflage flaws and create a streamlined shape.
Really the sheath dress is a blank canvas with which you can create your most beautiful look. How? Choose the right neckline, the best sleeve options and the most flattering jewelry for your proportions and shape. Also, you can choose from solids or bold florals or even patterns such as stripes and plaids. You can choose from heavy, slenderizing fabrics, lace or ruched knits.
Here are a few tips for selecting and wearing the classic sheath dress so that it works for you:
- Wear appropriate shapewear underneath your dress to create smooth lines and to give you confidence. I usually wear something like these SPANX Higher Power Mid-Thigh Shaping Shorts.
- Select a dress with a faux wrap feature or ruching to create more definition if you naturally have a less defined waist.
- Stick with solids if you are trying to create a slimmer silhouette, and avoid horizontal lines.
- Or you can use carefully placed florals to draw attention to and add volume to a particular place like the bustline.
- Use an eye-catching statement necklace to draw the eye up to your face.
- Add a classic blazer and simple jewelry for work.
- Elongate your leg and your entire silhouette with a pointy toe nude pump.
- Carry a clutch or structured satchel handbag for the most classic look. Avoid slouchy handbags with this silhouette.
Here are some of the newest sheath dresses for fall in some of your favorite stores. I’ve grouped them by five different features, but you’ll find that some of the dresses do cross into two or more categories. But I think it helps to look at these categories and consider which features may work best for your body shape and proportions, your coloring and the purpose for which you’re buying the dress.
The Bell Sleeve Sheath Dress
There don’t seem to be as many bell sleeve sheath dresses in the listings as there once were. However, this ultra feminine silhouette is definitely still available and stylish. You’ll find “wear anywhere” solid options like the ones above as well as florals for church or weddings and plaids for work, as seen below.
The Faux Wrap or Ruched Sheath Dress
If you need a little help creating a more defined waist, this is the dress for you. And actually, these dresses look fabulous on most everyone because they accentuate the female shape. I found additional selections here and here.
The Sleeveless Sheath Dress
Yes, you can wear a sleeveless dress in the cooler months. Just add a shrug, wrap or blazer. Even a blue jean jacket can be appropriate depending on the dress and occasion. For instance, in the graphic below, the dress on the left would look trendy and chic with a blue jean jacket if you wanted to dress it down after work for a casual night out with the hubby.
If you notice, the news anchors on the morning shows and talk shows wear sleeveless sheath dresses almost year round. That’s because this dress has a way of making you look professional and confident.
The Knit Sheath for Work
Sheath dresses come in all sorts of fabric, but the perhaps the most comfortable are those made of polyester or knit blends. These dresses are versatile, but perfectly suited for a full day on the job.
The Lace Sheath Dress
Of course you can find formal sheath dresses that don’t include lace, but I think a lace sheath dress serves as a classic in your closet. You’ll be able to wear it season after season and still look timelessly elegant. It’s the perfect selection if you have numerous weddings to attend this fall and/or winter.
My dress is by Preston & York and I purchased it last December. I don’t see anything like it in the store listings right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes back around this winter. I’m wearing a 10, but I have about 2 inches of fabric cinched in the back with a clip. I’d definitely go with an 8 or even a 6 now.
This dress is really more wine or burgundy than it appears in these photos. And I was delighted when I found these Vionic suede pumps that matched perfectly. I love the dress with nude heels, too. But these Vionic pumps are by far the most comfortable heels I’ve ever put on my feet. I could wear them all day plus some!
Here you can see the difference nude heels make. They truly do elongate your legs. But I have pretty long legs to begin with, so occasionally I like to switch things up a little. Which do you prefer? Nude heels all the time or color occasionally?
I have another Preston & York lace sheath dress that I featured in this post. I actually bought it for an October wedding last year.
And here are some other lovely lace sheath dresses that are available currently.
Do you own a sheath dress or two? Is it a work horse or more for elegant affairs? I know as I ask these questions that some of you probably have classic, beautiful sheath dresses that you’ve worn for years now. That’s just the nature of these timeless dresses.
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Have a blessed and beautiful day!
Blessed for My Day
Today may you find freedom from whatever enslaves you. Jesus died to set us free from the bondage of sin and death. But so many of us continue to live confined by the chains of anxiety, addictions or harmful attitudes. When I begin to realize that I have once again allowed myself to be enslaved to something, I know where I can find the keys to open those chains and set me free: in God’s Word. The truth sets us free. But it isn’t in simply reading the truth that I am released from my bondage. I have to agree with God’s Word, insist on clinging to it when the lies begin to berate me again and use it as a weapon against the enemy of my soul. Today may you seek the truth about your anxiety, addiction or attitude. May it open your eyes, break your chains and fill you with the courage to stand up and walk out of that cell. Today may we be free indeed.
“and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” ~ John 8:32, 36