Finding a dress that’s flattering for your figure isn’t always easy: if you like the design, the style may not sit right, or the shape may not work with your body type. Celebrities (usually) seem to get it right, largely thanks to their stylists, who know exactly the sort of clothes their clients should wear to make them look – sometimes literally – like a million dollars.
Kate Winslet recently pulled off an amazing hourglass figure at the Venice Film Festival with a white Stella McCartney dress that featured ingenious black side panels, creating a remarkable optical illusion that gave the impression of a perfect curvy hourglass silhouette.
Speaking recently to the Daily Mail, visual psychophysics lecturer Peter Thompson from the University of York explained: “The dark panels at the sides mean that if you’re standing against a dark or busy background, the main contour of the body appears to be somewhere that it’s actually not.”
Celebrity stylist Angie Smith gives a slightly more fashion-conscious perspective: “In the past, women have used accessories to create the illusion of an hourglass figure, using belts to define the waistline, and shoulder pads to balance proportions. But now the “illusion” dress does away with all that – the whole point is that you have a single piece that does all the work for you.”
But for those of us who aren’t quite wealthy enough to have a personal stylist – let alone a Stella McCartney dress – Angie, whose clients include Dannii Minogue and Kelly Brook, was happy to offer advice to anyone wanting to pull off their very own optical illusion: “Keep your figure looking streamlined by doing away with ankle straps, belts, chokers and dark nail varnish… you don’t want to distract the eye away from the dress.”
If you’re looking for fab dresses that will flatter your proportions, take a look at the range of Vila clothes available at Very. With everything from drapey tunic dresses to classic A-line styles, there’s a whole host of figure-boosting dresses available from Vila.