How to Style Your Bandage Dress | The Kewl Blog

How to Style Your Bandage Dress

Last updated on : June 07 2017

how to style bandage dress

The advice in this article applies equally to bodycon and bandage dresses. Both are similar in form and so styling, and wearing techniques are very similar. 

Over the years bandage dresses have become an indispensable part of every woman’s wardrobe. Whether you want to wear one for a night out on the town, during a shopping spree with friends, or on a hot first date; a bandage dress is the one-size-fits-all solution for your fashionista needs.


The bandage dress is a gift to the fashion world from the 1990s when designer Herve Leger introduced them to fashionistas everywhere. However, their true origin dates back to 1986 when well-known designer Azzedine Alaia (also known as the “King of Cling”) released a collection of form fitting dresses that showed off every inch of the feminine profile.

Today, these dresses are worn by the who’s who in the entertainment industry including legends Madonna and Tina Turner, alongside present-day icons like Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian.

faux leather bandage dress

A Fit like Shape Wear

Bandage dresses are closet staples for many of us because you do not need to have a perfect figure to pull them off. No matter your body profile or age these dresses are capable of moulding your curves a little like shape wear, hiding blemishes and smoothing where required.

A properly constructed bandage dress pulls you in and smooths you out while also being comfortable and easy to wear for long periods of time. They are uniquely designed to emphasize your silhouette, providing curves that are seamless and flattering. 

How To Style A Bandage (or Bodycon) Dress

how to style a bodycon dress

Chances are you own one of these stunning dresses and you love wearing it, but also need to give it a fresh look for different occasions. Solutions are in this article! As the leading provider of designer inspired bandage dresses we're here to ensure you have plenty of ways to style one without breaking the bank.

Use Shoes to Change Your Look

A bandage dress is the ultimate totem of complete body confidence but does require footwear that compliments either in form or color. Usually these will be heels or full blown stilettos but don't have to be! 

what shoes to wear with a bodycon dress

Matching the color of your dress with your heels or opting for a closet staple pair of black or nude pumps is an obvious choice. However try giving your dress a different look by adding contrasting shoes for effect. For example, pair your black bandage dress with a pair of vibrant heels that sparkle and glitter or with a bold red or whimsical blue for pop.

Patterns and different shoe styles are also acceptable. A pair of floral or animal print heels with the right color dress can make an unforgettable ensemble. For shorter bandage dresses try heeled booties or ankle boots, and in colder weather full length boots.

If you prefer to wear something more relaxed and casual, make sure that the color of your flats or kitten heels compliment your dress color and other accessories. 

From stilettos to flats to heeled booties, wearing various styled shoes with your dress is simple and easily achieved with a quick survey of your closet. Chances are the heels that don’t match a thing in your closet are the perfect heels for your dress!

Add Texture to Your Dress with Layers

One of the easiest ways to up-style your dress is to pair it with a coat (see below), oversized vest, shrug, or blazer. Choose one that is both complementary and utilitarian. Adding these items will give your dress texture and a polished look.

how to wear a bodycon dress

For casual events, try a denim jacket or shrug for a relaxed, edgy appeal. For more formal events or in the office a fitted blazer is a reliable option. If your dress is a solid color, pair it with an oversized patterned cardigan or trench coat.

When it comes to outerwear, there is no limit to your options. However remember that the outerwear you choose must add style and finesse to your dress. Puffy coats or bomber jackets may not be the best idea because they hide your dress and figure - which defeats the purpose of a bandage dress.

Belt Up for Gracious Style  

Solid colored dresses run the risk of looking monotonous. If it is too warm to wear layers or to carry a shawl, adding a belt is a great way to break the monotony. Adding a belt serves a variety of purposes – it helps you flaunt a slim waistline, hide those extra pounds in the tummy area, and creates the illusion of curves on a straight waist.

wear a belt with a bodycon dress

Pair your dress with a narrow or wide belt that cuts your dress in half and accentuates your waist. Make sure that you do not overdo this styling accessory but do entertain a few edgy style ideas. For example, try a wide leopard print belt with a black dress or a solid colored belt with a printed or jacquard bandage dress.

The width of the belt matters and is easily varied depending on the overall look you want to achieve. Choose a skinny belt if you are a woman with a straight waist or shorter torso. Go for a wider belt if you have a longer torsos or bumps and bulges you with to hide.   

Choose Your Bling Wisely

All you need are a few statement pieces of jewelry to style your dress to perfection. A good rule of thumb is to choose your jewelry based on the neckline of your dress. Dresses with a plunging neckline are best worn with long necklaces and noticeable pendants. If you intend to wear a scoop necked or strapless dress that shows off your bare shoulders forgo the necklace and splurge on long chandelier earrings instead.

jewlery and bandage dresses

Understated and elegant jewelry works best for work events and formal occasions while chunky and flashy jewelry screams casual and relaxed. Alternating your jewelry is one of the more simple approaches to styling your bandage dress.

Explore a variety of jewelry. At times you may wear a necklace and matching bracelet cuff while other times you may simply opt to go bare. A variation in your jewelry is the most affordable way to restyle your dress regularly (aside from hairstyles of course).

Bags and Clutches are Friends

Knowing how much or how little to accessorize your dress is half the battle won. When it comes to bodycon and bandage dresses, less is always more. Carrying the right bag serves to dress up or dress down your outfit with ease and little effort. 

One rule of thumb to remember is that the size of your handbag should be inversely proportional to how formal the event is. A formal evening party requires a clutch purse that is just enough to carry your bare essentials (lipstick, foundation, cellphone, etc.). For a daytime or relaxed event, opt for a trendy bag that complements your dress and mood. However, whatever the occasion, if your dress is to be the focal point of your ensemble, a small clutch is your fail-safe option.

Hair Styles Impact Overall Looks

Varying your hairstyle is one of the most affordable and simple ways to change the look of your dress. If you often wear your hair down consider pulling it up. Or try half-up, half-down styles or relaxed ponytails instead. If you find that you often wear your hair up consider letting your hair flow freely and adding voluminous curls to the ends. 

Altering your hair allows you to change the feel and style of your dress easily. Play around with a few of your favorites to pull more looks out of your dress. However always ensure that the hairstyle you choose in the end will properly match your dress, in particular it's neckline.   

Can you Wear a Bandage Dress During the Day

can you wear a bandage dress during the day

Can you wear a bandage dress more casually during the day? Of course you can! Here are some great ideas how to do just this. 


Dress your favorite bandage dress down by adding layers. Whether you pull a cropped tank over your dress, or sling on a blazer or denim jacket, layering will make it feel more day time. Wearing your dress over a pair of tights is a great option. Try a combination of tights and jacket for an edgy but relaxed day time look. 


The shoes you wear can make or break your day time look. If you have a shorter skirt, go for flatter shoes. Think ballet pumps or flat heeled knee length boots. If you have a longer length dress, wear a fun, flirty daytime wedge for a more vintage or rockabilly look.


Accessories are important when creating a day time look. Scarves or wraps are fantastic to break necklines and cover up curves for a modest day time look. Chunky jewelry and earrings are great for creating a playful or funky feel. Don't forget about the oversized, slouchy day time hand bag, shoulder bag or tote! These are super casual and relaxed, allowing you to rock your style without looking like you are trying too hard.

Try out these fantastic ideas and start wearing your bandage dresses during the day. You'll have a whole new expanse to your day time wardrobe simply by following these tips.

How to Match your Bandage Dress with a Coat

Pairing dress and coat

Your coat needs to enhance, and not hide your dress or add unnecessary pounds to your silhouette. The trick is to choose a coat that boasts a flattering cut and draws attention to the curves you are trying to show off in your dress. 

Types of Jackets and Coats

Cropped Jackets. Wearing a short shrug coat or cropped jacket over a bandage dress is a relatively foolproof way to pair it with a coat. A cropped jacket is one that ends at or above your natural waistline. By keeping the jacket unbuttoned or unzipped, you create a flattering vertical line that runs down the front of your body.

For informal events or when you are in an adventurous mood, opt for cropped leather jackets, boleros, denim jackets or similar. For more formal events try a cropped, fitted blazer. Ensure that these choices fit you like a glove, especially at the shoulders and sleeves to get the maximum impact. 

Denim Coats and Jackets. Denim may not be right for formal dances and events but works perfectly for casual parties and dances. Perfect for nights out in Vegas or with your crew at the local. Try a denim coat, bright accessories and heels in a matching color for a well put-together look.

Faux Fur Coats and Vests. If the temperature is dipping, a faux fur coat will give you much needed warmth. Alternatively opt for a well-fitted coat with faux fur cuffs and collar to keep warm while still ensuring your silhouette stays streamlined and elegant.

Luxe Cardigans. Cardigans look great when paired with bandage dresses but think brushed cotton, luxurious cashmere, and fine wool. Synthetic fabrics may give your dress a cheap and unkept look that is best avoided. 

Long, Fitted Blazers. A preferred outerwear option for celebrities is a long fitted blazer. When paired with dresses of shorter hemlines, a long fitted blazer is a great style alternative. During fall and winter seasons, opt for fitted blazers in dark shades of navy, black, or charcoal grey.

Knee-length Coats. Knee-length trench coats or wool coats as long as or a little longer than the dress you are wearing are a fashion no-brainer. Belted, fit-and-flare coats work well too. A coat that extends to just a little below the thickest part of your thighs is the perfect length for women of all body shapes. Any longer than this and your coat is likely to make you look shorter and wider, especially if you are petite. However in all instances ensure that this type of coat is not shorter than the dress itself.

Inspiration from Fashion Bloggers

As you look for a coat or consider other options already in your closet remember that putting on the entire ensemble before making a decision is key. Try on your bandage dress and your coat to see if the look is polished, doesn't add weight, and gives you confidence. Here are some inspirational looks from our fashion bloggers

Marta from Martha's Fashion Diary...

Marta is based in Bulgaria. She's a leading fashion blogger known for her style and ability to pull together looks that are versatile and complete. Marta is wearing our two piece bandage dress with a crisp white blazer and flesh toned heels. The look holds many elements that are easily carried into other styles, such as swapping out the bandage skirt for a form fitting jeans. Adding a blazer to your bandage dress is fresh, sexy, and chic. 

bandage dress with coat

Katie from Katie Loves....

Katie wore our strapless beige bandage dress and paired it with an oversized white vest. To polish the look she carried a silver clutch and chose two toned heels for added texture. This look is feminine and stylish, and flattering to many body types. Wear it to weddings, receptions, bridal parties, or summer and spring dates. Anywhere that a fresh and clean style is appreciated. 

bandage dress with coat

Clare from Clarabella... 

Clare is a one of a kind fashion blogger and in this outfit was pregnant with her new daughter to be. Here she is wearing our black off the shoulder long sleeve bandage dress with sexy black heels that wrap around her ankles. She added a denim coat and leopard clutch to complete the look. It is a casual yet fierce look that works well for nights out in Vegas, dinner dates, and even cocktails with your coworkers. 

bandage dress and denim jacket

Heidi from Wishes & Reality...

Heidi is wearing our black cap sleeve bandage dress with an oversized sweater blazer. The combination is a cozy and warm look that is perfect for holiday parties by a fire and nights out with your love. Heidi finished the look off with grasshopper sunglasses and light gold jewelry. 

bandage dress and cardigan

Rach from RD's Obsessions...

Rach chose our geometric print bandage dress and added a taupe and navy trench coat, and gray pumps to complete the look. Pairing a casual coat with patterns gives your dress a boost while allowing you to be comfortable without giving up your diva style and sex appeal.

bandage dress and overcoat

Sydney from Sydney's Fashion Diary...

Sydney has been blogging since 2010. She loves two things: fashion and deals. When we asked her to try one of our bandage dresses she opted for a patterned black and white dress. She paired the dress with a well fitting red trench coat. Adding a splash of color gives you sophisticated texture and polish that is difficult to convey with more neutral style approaches. 

bandage dress and red coat


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About the Author

Sasithon Bella is the kewl in The Kewl Shop. Co-founder, chief buyer, bandage dress guru and a lot more. If you like what you see at The Kewl Shop it is because of Sasithon Bella. You might know her better as Sasi.



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