Looking for a dress can be a complicated enough matter. When a woman must factor in searching for a look that compliments her legs, a dress search can become confounding. There are so many options on the market when it comes to choosing dresses. Which ones work to flatter a woman’s legs and make them look long, gamine, and elegant?
Fortunately, there are several choice that can give almost any woman the longer and leaner leg silhouette she wants. All of these dress suggestions can be found to a limited degree via local retailers, but by and large are found to a more extensive degree via online auction sites such as eBay. This buying guide looks at each option, in turn, elucidating the ways in which each type of dress flatters the leg line. The guide also offers suggestions as to how to accessorize a dress look to further underscore the look of the legs.
1. Fitted Dresses with Pencil Skirts
While many women are intimidated by the narrow silhouettes of these form-fitting skirtlines, the shapes they create are by and large flattering to most women, regardless of size. With the added support of a shapewear garment, any woman can feel confident wearing a pencil skirt. A fitted dress with a pencil skirt works to lengthen the upper leg by creating a seamless silhouette from the waist through the hips and past the knees.
It is, in fact, the way in which most pencil skirts end below the knee that creates the true benefit to a woman’s legs. This cutoff point makes the calves look fuller and shapelier and highlights them as the perfect accent at the end of the elongated thigh line the skirt has created.
Accessorising the Pencil Dress to Flatter the Legs
A fitted dress with a pencil-style skirt should be accessorised with very measured and controlled pieces of jewelry. The jewelry should act as an accent and not distract the eye from the overall silhouette that should appear controlled, formal, and above all, attenuated.
The shoe choice with these dresses should also be controlled, but not too delicate or feminine. A mary jane pump can work well or a traditional pump with a high heel. Depending on a woman’s height, she can also consider a boot. Ankle boots can create a nice accent at the end of the leg line. Calf boots should not overwhelm the look and should be as fitted as the dress line itself, so as to underscore the length of the leg.
2. Maxi Dresses
How can the long and seemingly shapeless skirt section of a maxi dress that covers the legs be flattering to the legs? This is achieved by intimating their shape and silhouette. Many boho skirts and maxi dresses are made from light materials that have been cut to flow with a woman’s movements. This sheer and subtle movement over a woman’s legs can actually accentuate their shape and length, hinting at their appeal in an enticing way.
Petite women should approach maxi dresses with caution and make sure that the dress is proportional to a smaller build. An oversized and bulky maxi on a small woman can actually make her look shorter in the leg, but a maxi dress that is not too wide or overwhelming can provide the effect she is looking for in the leg.
Accessorising the Maxi Dress to Flatter the Legs
As the emphasis with the maxi dress is on a flowing look, a counterintuitive choice like a particularly chunky bracelet or necklace can work. These types of accessories can act as a contrast to the shimmery aesthetic of the dress itself and underscore its flow and movement. For especially delicate materials, a more delicate bracelet or necklace can be a good choice, creating an overall look of grace that accents the movement of the material around the leg line.
3. Dresses with an A-Line
A-Line dresses flatter any set of legs. They can make thinner legs look shapelier and streamline more zaftig legs. The flare and flow of an A-line creates a feminine line that is flattering.
When wearing an A-line dress, a woman should make sure to select a length that is ideal for her shape. If a woman is concerned that her legs are thicker, she should avoid having a dress end at mid thigh or mid calf. The dress should always end at the narrowest part of the leg, usually the knee. On a woman who may be concerned that her legs are too thin or lack shape, a dress that ends just above or just below the knee would be appropriate.
Accessorising the A-Line Dress to Flatter the Legs
Given the bold geometry of many A-line dresses, a more assertive shoe look such as a platform or large heel can be a good choice. A heel or platform can also work to further lengthen the leg line. Oversized jewelry accessories should be avoided around the neck and on the ears, as the eye should be focused on the length of the leg line and not distracted upwards. A chunky bracelet, however, can work, since it pulls the eye toward the waist and leg area.
4. Empire Waist Dresses
Empire waisted dresses do double duty for women, delivering both a flattering leg line and providing a way to hide a problem tummy area. These dresses feature a fitted seam just below the bust line, from where the dress then extends down towards the leg in a straight silhouette.
As with the A-line dress, the essential element is finding an empire waist dress that ends at the ideal point on a woman’s leg. These dresses can come in any length and a woman should look for a dress that ends at the most attenuated and slender part of the leg. Once the ideal dress is selected, the flowing femininity of the skirt line on an empire waist dress gives legs an elegance and shape, while the wide proportion of the skirt line gives a woman’s legs room to move and makes them appear more slender and agile.
Accessorising the Empire Waist Dress to Flatter the Legs
As the attention of the empire dress is on the decolletage, women can accessorise these dresses with larger or more ornate necklaces. This draws the attention upwards, creating a longer silhouette overall. Smaller, more delicate shoes should be worn so as not to imbalance the look and detract from the upper region of a woman’s form. A smaller shoe also goes well with the more feminine lines of this type of dress.
5. Tunic Dresses
Tunic dresses are loose and flowing dresses that, with their wider structure, can create an optical illusion that flatters the legs. By highlighting an expansive silhouette at the top, a tunic dress can create the illusion that legs are slimmer than they are. Tunic dresses can feature any one of several types of necklines, including a boat neck, a spaghetti strap bodice, or a one-shoulder design. If a decolletage on a tunic dress reveals a good bit of skin, women should look for a dress that ends at a more modest length at the knee or just above the knee so as to avoid too revealing a look.
Accessorising the Tunic Dress to Flatter the Legs
Tunic dresses that have a statement silhouette at the top such as a one-shoulder design should not be over-accessorised. A pair of dangling earrings can accentuate the flow of the material in the dress, but a necklace added in as well can create a busy and distracting look.
Tunic dresses can work well with platform heels and knee-high boots, with the volume on the feet counterbalancing the volume at the top, further underscoring the slimness and length of the legs. Thinner, strappier shoes can look imbalanced with the geometric, abstract volume of a tunic dress.
Shoe Choices in General for Flattering the Legs
Whichever dress type a woman selects, it is important for her to consider the size and scope of any shoe worn. The correct shoe can perfectly accentuate a long leg line, while the wrong shoe can undo all of the work achieved by the right dress.
This mainly stems from proportion. As referenced earlier in this buying guide, a shoe should ideally work with the proportions of the dress that has been selected to flatter the leg. In terms of a woman’s build, smaller women should avoid large choices such as knee or calf boots or even platform shoes. Any woman wearing a boot, whether an ankle or a knee boot, should pay special mind to where the boot ends on the leg. As with a dress, the boot should end at a narrow point on the leg to encourage a longer, slimmer silhouette.
Buying Dresses that Flatter the Legs on eBay
While different types of dresses can be found in local shops, eBay is among the larger online resources for individuals looking for dresses of specific types. On eBay, a woman interested in finding a dress that best flatters her legs can look through an extensive array of listings, accessing everything from A-lines to empires to maxis.
To begin a search on eBay, you can start by entering a search term in the search bar at the top of a page. If you wish to get an overall idea of the items available, run a general search for the term "dresses". If you already have a specific silhouette in mind, run a specific keyword search, such as "blue dress".
When shopping on eBay, it is important to get to know the vendors from whom you will be purchasing the items. Look through their past auctions and review the feedback they have received from other customers to get a proper sense of their level of customer service and policies.
Any woman of any body type can find a dress silhouette that compliments her legs. By carefully considering critical items such as proportion and length, a woman can find a dress that lengthens the leg, streamlines the silhouette, and flatters the leg line overall. Dresses such as the empire waist dress or the A-line dress can work to lengthen the leg line by creating a contrasting silhouette, while more subtle choices such as the maxi dress can hint at the length and suppleness of a leg.
Whether a woman is interested in leveraging a pencil line or a maxi, she can find a wide array of options via online aggregator sites such as eBay. On eBay, a woman can access any number of dresses in each category and peruse a wide variety of listings. With its array of choices, this auction site can offer any woman the ideal dress that flatters her legs.