Bandage Dresses: The Most Flattering And Forgiving Dresses Of All Time

Last updated on : February 09 2020

black bandage dress

Bandage dresses represent one of the cornerstones of every classy woman's wardrobe and are perhaps the most flattering dresses of all time.

With that in mind, take a look at the bandage dress overview we've prepared below. From their history, to how to make the most out of your dresses. 

Bandage Dresses and Bodycon

While everything we write about in this article pertains to bandage dresses, most of it can be applied to bodycon dresses as well. After all, we're talking about similar types of dresses, so the wearing techniques and styling remain much the same.

And both of these dress types are genuinely indispensable assets in every wardrobe and remain as hot as they've ever been.

Regardless of whether you want these for a night out or just for a shopping run with your girls, perhaps for a stylish first date - bandage and bodycon dresses prove to be the perfect universal solution to fit the needs of any fashionista.


First of all, let's take a quick look at the history of the bandage dress. The dress appeared in the world of fashion sometime in the 1990s, after it was introduced to women around the globe by Herve Leger - a now well-respected designer.

However, that's not the first appearance of this type of dress. Its actual origin goes back to the mid-eighties; when Azzedine Alaia, another women's fashion designer, created a collection of dresses that were tightly form-fitting. They highlighted every single inch of a woman's profile and were pretty much the first bandage dresses.

These days, plenty of legends in the celebrity world frequently wear these dress types, from Tina Turner and Madonna to Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift.

Advantages of Bandage Dresses

One of the biggest boons of wearing a bandage dress is that it allows you to look stylish and sexy without having a flawless and perfect figure.

You can pull one off regardless of your age or body profile; they mold one's curves in a similar way to shapewear, providing a smoothing wherever it's required.

If you're wearing a bandage dress that's been well-constructed, it will smooth you out while simultaneously pulling you in - letting you be comfortable even when wearing it all day. You will find the bandage dress emphasizes the best parts of your silhouette, giving you flattering and seamless curves.

Bodycon dresses are similar in this regard, though they trace your shape more than cling to it. But, they're still almost as famous in terms of fabrics and styles.

How To Style A Bandage Dress

If you're the proud owner of one of these stunning dresses, and you're someone who enjoys wearing them, that's excellent, and means you've got a good taste in fashion.

However, just as with any other favorite style, you need to make sure you always have a fresh look at the occasions you wear them so that they don't appear monotonous.

Changing Your Look With Shoes

A bandage dress represents the ultimate level of body confidence, but if you want to pull one off always, you will need the necessary footwear. And we're talking about shoes that complement the dress, either by color or form.

Complementary shoes are usually stilettos or heels, although it doesn't always have to be the case.

If you wear a pair of nude or black pumps, matching your heels with your dress won't be an issue. However, if you want your wardrobe to be a bit more noticeable on you, there's always the choice of wearing shoes that contrast in color.

For instance, you can wear vibrant heels with sparkles with your black dress; or give it some pop with a whimsical blue or a bold red.

But as we've mentioned, don't think that other shoe styles and patterns aren't acceptable too. If you manage to find the dress with the right color to be paired with some animal print heels or a floral design, you'll be the star of the evening. 

On the chance that you're more in tune with something that's more relaxing, there are always flats or kitten heels. But in that case, the color and pattern of your shoes become more critical, as it will be the only thing that ties in with your dress. 

Finding the best shoes for your dress is not difficult; a short look at your closet should be more than enough to find the right footwear. And if you have a pair of heels that tend not to match with everything else in your closet - chances are these are perfect for this dress type.

Provide Texture With Layers

If you want to make your dressing style a bit more classy and wear a bandage dress, you can pair it with an oversized blazer, shrug, vest, or a big coat.

Choose the one you find the most useful, but also complementary. Believe us, adding these items to your styling will provide some texture to your dress, as well as an additional layer of polish.

And that's just as true for casual events as well. Try putting on a denim jacket over your dress if you want to achieve an edgy, yet relaxed appeal.

On the other hand, formal occasions will demand something like a fitted blazer, especially if we're talking about office attire. And if your bandage dress has a solid color, it wouldn't be wrong to wear a patterned cardigan over it or even something like a trench coat.

In regards to outerwear, there's no shortage of options. However, keep in mind that outerwear is also supposed to add some finesse and style to your bandage dress.

If you are considering something like a bomber jacket or a puffy coat, think again; these hide your figure and your clothing, negating the very purpose of this kind of dress.

Belting Up

If you decide on a dress with a solid color, you will look classy and attractive. However, depending on your accessories, you may also risk seeming too monotonous.

That's where a good belt comes in to save the day. Adding one will provide you with a variety of benefits; it will show off a slim waistline while hiding any extra pounds around your tummy, especially if you're preparing to do some calorie counting. Plus, it gives off a sense of curves even with a completely straight waist.

With that in mind, we advise pairing your bandage dress with a full or narrow belt, depending on how you want to accentuate your waistline. While a couple of edgy ideas are welcome, also take care not to overdo it with this particular accessory. Still, you can try a black dress with an animal print belt and see how you like it, or a solid-colored belt coupled with a printed bandage dress.

Here, the belt's width matters, and it depends on the entire look that you've set out to accomplish. For example, if you have a shorter torso or a straighter waist, you may want to have a look at some skinny belts. On the other hand, if you're going to hide any bulges or bumps around your waist, a more significant full belt will quickly achieve that.

Choose Bling With Caution

If you want to style your dress with absolute perfection, you'll also need a couple of jewelry pieces as a statement.

For those who are unsure of their jewelry choices, pick the silver you'll wear in accordance to your dress' neckline; that's always a proper rule of thumb.

In other words, a dress with a deep neckline will go well with a noticeable pendant and a long necklace. On the other hand, a strapless dress that shows off your back and shoulders means you'd better put on glossy earings rather than a chain.

As you might have already figured out, elegant and understated jewelry is better for formal events and work occasions, and flashy and chunky pieces will give you a more relaxed and casual look. So, if you need to style your bandage dress for different situations further, adequate silver is the best way to go about doing that.

You can always explore a wide variety in jewelry pieces; sometimes, a bracelet cuff and a matching necklace will do the trick, and at other specific events, you may even want to go bare. But apart from different hairstyles, this is the best way to breathe some fresh air into a bandage dress you've already worn.

Clutches and Bags

As you might've figured out by now, bandage dresses go very well with the right accessories, especially if they're of a solid color, and you need to give them some texture.

The same is true when it comes to bags and clutches as well. Having the proper bag will dress you down or up, depending on the effect you want to achieve.

Remember - your handbag's size should always remain inversely proportional to the level of formality you want your look to have. So, a clutch purse is suitable for an official party in the evening, with nothing but absolute essentials like your phone, foundation, and lipstick.

On the other hand, an informal or a daytime event requires a trendy bag, one that will perfectly complement the aesthetic of the venue, your mood, and the dress itself.

But regardless of the occasion, if you want your dress to represent the focus of your ensemble, carrying a tiny clutch is still your safest bet.

Hair Styles

Lastly, but not least, having a different hairstyle will change how your dress looks without burdening you with the additional costs of buying more accessories.

Just make sure you do something different than your usual hairstyle. For example, if you often pull your hair up, considering wearing it down or doing some relaxed ponytails.

If you alter your usual hairstyle, you'll significantly change how your dress both feels and looks. Give yourself some time to play around with a couple of ideas before settling for the best look. 

And be sure that the neckline of your dress isn't in conflict with your hairstyle of choice.

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