Bodycon Dress vs. Bandage Dress | The Kewl Blog

Bodycon Dress vs. Bandage Dress: What is the real difference?

Posted on May 18 2016

bodycon v bandage dress

We stumble upon gossip columns that claim Kim Kardashian looked absolutely stunning in her bandage dress. We skim articles that express appreciation for how Taylor Swift rocked a sassy bodycon style. But identifying just what the difference is between a bandage dress and a bodycon dress is not easy.

Both dress styles show off curves and the feminine profile featuring sexy hips, enticing booty, and an alluring bustline. If you do not know the difference between a standard bodycon dress and a bandage dress, it is easy to get fooled by the latest news blurbs.

The Internet helps you to understand the differences between these two styles but the information is often limited and vague. You are sure to find various lookbooks and fashion blog posts that claim to show off great bandage dresses, but what they are actually displaying are simply quality bodycon dresses.

So what exactly is a bandage dress, and how does it differ from the regular bodycon dresses that are up for sale? The clue lies in recognizing the fabric and fit of the dress. Here at The Kewl Shop, we absolutely live and die by bandage dresses.

Bandage dresses are every woman’s best friend because they shape, smooth, and support the natural lines and profile of a woman. As the self proclaimed authority of bandage dresses for real women here’s a quick guide to help you recognize a bandage dress and how to find one that works for your body. 

what is a bodycon dress infographic

What is a bandage dress?

Knowing the definition of an article of clothing is the first step to recognizing it and investing your money in the right thing. An authentic bandage dress is made of composite heavy bandage fabric. The material is designed to support your curves and control bulges. A quality bandage dress should tuck you in and double as shapewear.

Bandage dresses are tight, sturdy, and strong. They are designed to fit like a glove or second skin and hug your curves to smooth and shapely perfection. They offer the iconic bodycon silhouette but are very different from standard bodycon dresses—which brings us to the question...

what is a bodycon dress

What is a bodycon dress?

A bodycon dress is a very close fitting garment that is generally not figure hugging - just fitted. Instead of hugging your curves like a glove, a bodycon dress is designed to simply trace your silhouette. Think of a well tailored suit or sexy tailored jeans.

Bodycon dresses provide no support at all and are usually worn in warmer weather because of the more relaxed fit and lighter fabrics. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and truth be told, bodycon dresses are unfortunately quite unforgiving to many of us. These dresses are not options if you are self conscious about your body because they are designed to trace every part of your body.

If you have jiggles, bulges, or other worrisome areas a bodycon dress is not going to do your body justice and will likely fail to meet your style expectations. Bodycon dresses do not have fabric strength and rarely double as shapewear.    

this is a bodycon dress

Fit and Fabric

Bodycon Dress Fabric

A well-made bodycon dress boasts a slim fit cut that is designed to fit close to your body. However, even the best bodycon dresses have a little give and tend to have visible slack in certain areas. This slacking in fit is particularly visible when you are walking or standing, and is largely due to the blend of the fabric in the dress, as well as its weight.

Depending on the quality of bodycon dress you have purchased, the fabric blend that it is made of could vary greatly. Quality bodycon dresses are generally made of a polyester blend with a little bit of spandex thrown in for comfort. 

Bandage Dress Fabric

When it comes to a bandage dress, slacking is not something you have to worry about. Celebrities all over the globe swear by quality bandage dresses because these beauties are designed to sculpt your curves to perfection. As long as you are not wearing a bandage dress that is a couple of sizes too big for you, you are unlikely to see any slack at all in the dress - which shapes and protects your feminine profile.

Bandage dress fabric is a super stretchy material that resists snagging and tears. It is also soft to the touch and breathable so that you are able to wear it for extended periods of time. In general good quality bandage dresses are made of a blend of rayon, spandex, and nylon.

Bandage dresses serve a very specific purpose - to smooth you out, suck you in, and define your bust and booty.


what is a bodycon dress v bandage dress

You are likely to find cheap quality bandage dresses that are made of polyester blends. These bandage dresses do not fit you like second skin and do not support your body. Polyester is a soft and pliable fabric so it is not strong enough to support and shape your body. Superior quality bandage dresses, on the other hand, are made of a blend of at least 90 percent rayon, and 10 percent of nylon and spandex.

Rayon and nylon offers silk-like qualities as well as a trademark luster that lends its shine to the bandage dress. If you have a look at any of the bandage dresses worn by your favorite celebrities, one of the things that grabs your attention is the highly desirable shine that the colors seems to emit. This luster and soft sheen comes from the use of rayon and nylon. It is needless to say that a cheap quality bandage dress does not offer the same sheen but in fact has flat and listless color.

Rayon is also used because of its exceptional durability and strength and spandex is chosen because of its flexibility, stretch, and figure-hugging basics. This mix results in a blended fabric that is high quality, durable, strong, and sexy. Not only can you be sure that a quality bandage dress with smooth, shape, and define your curves but it is also sure to stand the test of time.

Who wears bandage dresses?

Red carpet stalwarts wear bandage dresses because they are classy and great tools to shape hips and thigh areas while highlighting cleavage with sexy necklines. A high quality, high end designer bandage dress is likely to cost you up to $1000. Each dress in our store is inspired by designer dresses but made for with real women in mind.  Our dresses feature the same quality of designer dresses without the price tag. We’ve asked bloggers from around the world to give our bandage dresses a try via Style Reviews. In each review each woman styles one of our dresses in her own unique way.

Check out real women in our bandage dresses here.

We love bandage dresses because you do not need a model figure to pull them off. In fact, quality bandage dresses are designed for women of all shapes, sizes, and age groups. By clinging tightly to your body, these dresses automatically help improve your posture, shape your feminine profile, and give you confidence in your curves.  

We've compiled a complete list of celebrity inspired style insights on how to wear a bandage dress here

How much does a bandage dress stretch?

Quality bandage dresses have impressive thickness and stretch ability. In general, a superior quality bandage dress is designed and constructed to offer three to four inches of stretch all over your body. As compared to the bust area, the hip area offers more a stretch. This is why it is recommended that you buy a bandage dress that fits your bust as your hips will have ample room to stretch out the fabric.

Another aspect that you should consider before buying a bandage dress is how thick the dress is. In general, a superior quality bandage dress actually weighs 50 percent more than cheaper quality dresses. If the dress you choose is not thick enough, chances are that it may look thin and almost transparent under bright lights or specifically in areas where the dress is excessively stretched upon wearing. So it follows that a thicker and heavier bandage dress that features rayon as the primary fabric offers a better fit and improved material integrity.

What are the different types of bandage dresses?

Depending on the weave applied to the dress, there are a few different types of bandage dresses to choose from. You have probably wondered about the bandage dresses worn by most celebrities that boast a metallic sheen and fit them like second skin. Known as foil weave bandage dresses, these dresses resemble metallic foil in their shine, and are created by a special procedure that adds some more weight and the unique shiny texture to the dress. Foil weave dresses tend to be heavier and more durable as compared to other varieties of bandage dresses. Keep in mind that these dresses may not stretch as much as regular bandage dresses, so you should adjust your size accordingly.

bandage dress

If the pattern is embedded into the weave itself, instead of just being printed on the fabric, you have a jacquard bandage dress at hand. These types of bandage dresses take much longer to create on the loom owing to the intricate weave patterns that require both time and expertise. Understandably, jacquard weave dresses are generally a little more expensive as compared to other varieties of bandage dresses.

Quality bandage dresses are made in every color under the sun, in ombre gradients, with jacquard or foil weave, in high or low necklines, etc. This means that you are likely to find the bandage dress of your dreams with just a little bit of searching. Start here. Now that you know the difference between an authentic bandage dress and bodycon dresses, you are sure to shop with savvy purpose.

Example of a Foil Weave Bandage Dress

The metal sheen is clearly visible in this dress and is created through a special foiling process that adds more weight and shine to the dress.  

silver foil weave bandage dress

Example of a Jacquard Bandage Dress

In these dresses the pattern is embedded in the weave of the dress, not printed on the top. Weave patterns can be intricate and it can take some time to weave the material properly on a loom. 

jacquard bandage dress

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