Waistlines have a great impact on the appearance of your torso, waist, hips, and height. While choosing a waistline, these body features should be kept in mind.
Asymmetrical: This waistline starts on one side as a Raised or Empire Waistline, or a Natural Waistline and falls to a Natural Waistline, or a Dropped Waistline. It has a wonderful slimming effect for full-figured or thick-waisted women. Those who are short should avoid this waistline; the long waist makes the legs appear shorter.
Recommended for: Full Figured, Thick Waists
Not Recommended for: Short legs
Basque: The sides start at the Natural Waistline and drops down to a “V” in the front about two to three inches below the Natural Waistline. The Basque Waistline is usually very fitted and sometimes corseted. This is the most flattering of all Waistlines on most figures. It gives the impression of height and slenderness by reducing the width of the waist and hips and elongating the torso. Much like the ball gown silhouette, the basque waist plays down the hips.
Recommended for: Everyone
Not Recommended for: Virtually no one
Dropped: This waistline falls three to five inches below the Natural Waistline, stopping at the hips. This waistline is good for full-figured, short-waisted, or wide-hipped women. Dropping the waist down pulls in the hips and elongates the waist. Because it creates the illusion of an hour-glass figure, it also works very well for a very slim figure. Those who are long-waisted may want to avoid this waistline. It has a tendency to elongate the waist even more, making the body appear disproportionately longer than the legs.
Recommended for: Full Figured, Short Waists, Wide Hips, Slim Figured
Not Recommended for: Long Waists
Empire: An Empire waist is a raised waistline usually located anywhere from just under the bust to three to five inches above the waist. This waistline works well for full figures, wide hips, thick waist, and even pregnancy by allowing the skirt to cover over lower body issues. It gives the illusion of added height, so it looks great on anyone who is short. It also helps those who are small busted appear fuller since it draws attention to the neckline. On the flip side, those who have a large chest may want to avoid this waistline because of its natural tendency to draw the eyes up to the bust. Like the A-line, the empire style is very versatile and can accommodate a wide range of formality.
Recommended for: Petite, Thick Waists, Wide Hips, Small Busts
Not recommended for: Hourglass, Curvy Figures, Large Chested or Wide Shoulders
Natural: The narrowest part of the body between the ribs and the hips is where the natural waist hits. A Natural Waistline creates balance. This waistline is great for those who have a natural hourglass figure. Those who are apple-shaped (the waist is wider than the hips) should avoid this waistline; it will only serve to accent the thickness of the waist.
Recommended for: Hourglass Figures
Not Recommended for: Thick Waists
While every dress will have a silhouette, length, and neckline, it may not have a waistline. The absence of a waistline is best worn by those with an hourglass or petite figures.