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How To Wear A Bodycon Or Bandage Dress

Last updated on : February 26 2019

Model wearing strappy bandage dress in stylish location

Bodycon And Bandage Dresses

The advice in this article applies equally to bodycon and bandage dresses. They are similar dress types, and so styling, and wearing techniques are the same.

Over the years bandage and bodycon dresses have become an indispensable part of every woman’s wardrobe, and are as hot as ever.

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; these dresses are a one-size-fits-all solution for your fashionista needs.

History

The bandage dress was a gift to the fashion world from the 1990s when designer Herve Leger introduced them to fashionistas everywhere. However, their real 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, the who’s who in the entertainment industry wears these dresses, including legends Madonna and Tina Turner, alongside present-day icons like Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian.

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 molding your curves a little like shapewear, hiding blemishes and smoothing where required.

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

Bodycon dresses trace rather than cling to your shape; they are equally famous and come in a range of styles and fabrics. This article explains the difference between bodycon and bandage dresses.

How To Style A Bandage Or 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.

Try these solutions to create new ways to wear your dress.

Use Shoes to Change Your Look

A fitted bandage or bodycon 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.

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 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 impressive ensemble. For shorter dresses try heeled booties or ankle boots, and in colder weather full-length boots.

If you prefer to wear something more relaxed like kitten heels or flats, then make sure their color compliments your dress 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 wardrobe are the perfect heels for your dress.

Model in heels and bandage 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 useful. Adding these items will give your dress texture and a polished look.

For casual events, try a denim jacket or shrug for a relaxed, edgy appeal. For more formal occasions 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.

different layering techniques on models in bodycon dresses

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.

Pair your dress with a narrow or wide belt that 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 full 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 full belt if you have an extended body or bumps and bulges you wish to hide.

models wearing belts in a bandage and bodycon dress

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 silver based on the neckline of your dress.

Wear dresses with plunging necklines 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 chain and splurge on long chandelier earrings instead.

Understated and elegant jewelry works best for work events and formal occasions while chunky and flashy jewelry screams casual and relaxed. Alternating your silver is one of the more straightforward 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 want to go bare. A variation in your silver is the most affordable way to restyle your dress regularly (aside from hairstyles of course).

models showing off different earrings in bandage and bodycon dresses

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. An official evening party requires a clutch purse that is just enough to carry your bare essentials (lipstick, foundation, cellphone, etc.).

For daytime or informal 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 usually wear your hair up, consider letting it 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 it. However always ensure that the hairstyle you choose in the end will match your dress, in particular, it's neckline.

Daytime Wear

model on beach wearing a bandage bodycon dress during the daytime

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

Layers

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

Shoes

The shoes you wear can make or break your daytime 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

Accessories are essential when creating a daytime look. Scarves or wraps are fantastic to break necklines and cover up curves for a modest daytime look. Chunky jewelry and earrings are great for creating a playful or funky feel.

Don't forget about the oversized, slouchy daytime handbag, 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 daytime wardrobe by following these tips.

Matching Your Dress With A Coat

model wearing gold bandage bodycon dress with a coat

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

Types of Jackets and Coats

Cropped Jackets. Wearing a short shrug coat or cropped jacket over a bandage dress is a relatively foolproof solution. A cropped jacket is one that ends at or above your natural waistline. By keeping the coat 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 fresh 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 faux fur with 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. Avoid synthetic fabrics that give your dress a cheap and unkempt look.

Long, Fitted Blazers. A preferred outerwear option for celebrities is a long fitted blazer. When paired with dresses of shorter hemlines, a longer fitted-blazer is an excellent 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 or fit-and-flare coats work well too. One that extends a bit 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 more full, especially if you are petite. However, in all instances ensure that it is not shorter than the dress itself.

When you look for a coat or consider other options in your closet, put on the entire ensemble before making a decision. Try on your dress with it to see if the look is polished, doesn't add weight, and gives you confidence.

pregnant model wearing black bandage dress with a denim jacket

What Color Dress Should I Wear

Click on the article titles to learn more about dress colors and how they might suit you. 

Choose A Color That Fits Your Complexion

Model in red bodycon dress

Before you hit the mall or pull up your latest online store, stop to make sure you're buying dresses in your color - not your favorite color, even though that can be one of your deciding factors, but a color that complements the tones already in your skin.

You want to find a color that makes you look great. And finding dresses in your tone will make you the center of attention when you walk into any room.

Understand What The Colors You Wear Are Saying

model wearing colorful bodycon dress

We all have a favorite color that we love to wear. But did you know that the color of your dress says a lot about your personality, mood, and emotions?

You may not be entirely aware of the symbolic meanings associated with different colors; however, according to experts, at the subconscious level, there is a reason why particular colors draw you.

How To Wear Beige & Nude Dresses

collage of beige dresses on model

Beige and nude dresses are fresh, feminine, and effortlessly versatile. We choose these dresses when we need a complete style in a pinch but desire a very polished and sophisticated appearance.

How To Wear A Sexy Red Dress

collage of models in red dresses

Passion, sex, love, and obsession - these are feelings we trigger putting on this bold and fearless color. Red refuses to blend in. It can be challenging to pull off, but it is lovely.

How To Style Floral Dresses

beautiful model in floral dress surrounded by flowers

Dresses that feature flowers and floral patterns are often our spring and summer staples. Should you opt for a flattering A-line dress, a skin-tight bandage dress, or slip into a sexy bodycon dress? Are you going to pull off solids and stripes for chic and sophisticated flare or pick floral patterns to bring out your confident femininity?

Everything About Little Black Dresses

model in black bodycon dress near green leaves

It's Saturday night, it's time to party, and you realize you have no clothes to wear.

You have two hundred ladies' dresses in your wardrobe, but none of them work. Instead of getting into a panic, turn to the solution for all occasions - the little black dress.

What Style Dress Should I Wear

Click on the article titles to learn more about dress styles and how they might suit you. 

The Best Rompers And Dresses For My Body Type

drawing of women with different body shapes

Understanding your body type is essential to ensure that you use fashion like it is intended to be used – as a tool to create a look for yourself that you love. Knowing your body type helps you develop a sense of balance through the clothes that you wear, the makeup you apply, and hairstyles you create.

Choosing A Cocktail Dress For My Body Type

model wearing sexy two piece cocktail dress on sofa

The goal is to select a dress that highlights your best features and balances your body’s proportions. It is to create a look of perfect symmetry between your bust, waistline, hips, and booty. And to draw attention away from the problem areas you want to hide.

Sounds like a lot of work? In reality, it isn’t. Choosing the right cocktail bandage or bodycon dress requires a bit of focus, and knowing how to dress your body type.

How To Wear A Strapless Dress

model wearing white strapless dress in stylish location

There is no secret that women come in all shapes and sizes, and that the best way to bring out your curves is to dress according to your body type.

In this article, we highlight how to choose the best bare-shoulder and strapless styles for your body type and other need to know facts about these dresses.

Sexy Long Dresses And How To Wear Them

model wearing long red dress lying by blue pool

The longer the dress, the more elegance it carries. When you think of long dresses, you are likely thinking about formal affairs with men in tuxedos and women pretty like roses. But in a sexy long dress, you find the very opposite.

How To Wear A Halter Dress

collage of model wearing black halter dress

Which dress works for all body types and satisfyingly presents your curves? Our vote goes to the halter bandage dress.

In this post, we cover what these dress styles are, how to wear one. And what they have in common with sex, for fun of course.

How To Style Work Dresses

close up of woman in professional work dress

We wear different looks for different occasions and places. We avoid wearing white to weddings unless we are the bride. When hosting a party, we outshine our guests instead of blending in with them. The goal is to fit in with the purpose of the event. And ensure you stand out to look your best.

This approach might feel challenging when dressing for work. However, creating a professional work wardrobe is within your reach.s

Style Tips For Holiday Parties

girls in bodycon dresses celebrating at a party

The perfect look entails picking the right kind of holiday dress, the right colors. And an outfit that makes you look sexy without being unsuitable for the occasion.

Reasons To Wear Short Dresses - And How To Pull It Off

model lying on sofa in a short bandage dress

Wearing sexy short dresses is not for the faint-hearted. You need confidence in your legs, your complexion, and to know your style. It's about being flirty, simple, and to the point.

With all that said, this article covers a few solid reasons to wear this continually trending style. Plus some other pointers to help you pull off this look.

The Best Dresses For Fashion Over 50

happy middle aged woman

Nearing your 50s, or there already? These are the best times of your life, and an exciting one from a fashion perspective too.

We insist that you throw out any rules that say you need to dress a certain way as you age, or to stick with individual designers. Instead, be sensible and have fun with the fashion options out there.

What Your Dress Choice Says About Your Sex Life

Young couple smiling at each other on bed

Your sense of style and the type of clothing you wear is a reflection of who you are, your personality, lifestyle preferences, and confidence.

Not only does your dress style reveal how you interact with colleagues, strangers, and family but it also sheds light on what goes down between the sheets.

In this article, we take a lighthearted look at what different dress styles say about you.

Sexy Collarbones And How To Dress Them

woman showing off collarbones in dress

The collarbone or clavicle is the longest horizontal bone in your body. You have two - one on the left and one on the right connecting your shoulder blade and your breastbone.

If you are trying to look your best by displaying these sexy attributes we have a few style tips on how to do so with charm, poise, and class.

A Guide To Wearing Toe Rings

Toe rings on a models toes

Toe rings are a fun and straightforward way to add a bit of effortless femininity and girly touches to any outfit, including your bandage or a bodycon dress. This little accessory may be small, but it gives you a sexy style that is big, glamorous, and unique.

Guide To Layering Clothes

model in bodycon dress in jacket and layered clothes

Layering should not add bulk or weight to your look. If you are worried about adding clothes weight or being uncomfortable this guide is just for you and addresses your concerns while still inspiring your trendy fall style.

Summary

A flattering bandage or bodycon dress is comfortable to wear or style. However, knowing the ins and outs can make or break your look.

Follow the simple advice in this comprehensive guide to make the perfect choices for you.

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The Kewl Shop

The Kewl Shop is a specialist retailer of bandage and bodycon dresses and an active Fashion, Lifestyle and Beauty publisher on The Kewl Blog.

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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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