Empire Waist Gown

Named for Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine, the Empire Waist is eye-catching and a good choice for a variety of body types. The silhouette is defined by a gathered waist under the bust line which then falls into a slightly A-line, long and flowing shape. This style cuts horizontally across the body and creates a long, slender look.

It is extremely comfortable, flattering on tall and lean figures as well as pear or apple shaped body types that are looking to de-emphasize certain areas. It is a perfect style for an outdoor soiree or a warm weather wedding. The loose shape is usually constructed of lighter fabrics such as chiffon, silk, satin, and tulle, and is quite flexible - perfect for an evening of dancing. Embellished bust lines are a wonderful feature of some gowns. Lela Rose, Monique Lhuillier, and Vera Wang have lovely styles that feature this shape. For a black tie affair, crystals and heavy bead work or appliques on the skirt can make an impressive statement.  Most designs are loose fitting below the bust line, reminiscent of the flowing and draped gowns of the classical Greek and Roman goddesses. Obviously the style has passed the test of time. No worries that it will ever look dated.

Whether you are empress or goddess, the empire waist is worth a look……

Check out Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang or browse Lela Rose’s site.


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