Clothing Masterclass: Curve-tastic Style – Dresses

Written by Wendy Mak

I’m SUPER excited about this upcoming series of posts!!!

I’d like to introduce you to Tanya – a gorgeous lady who has generously allowed me to photograph her for a series of posts so I can show you how to embrace and love your curves! Tanya is a lovely size 14 – 16, which is a much more realistic and common size than the standard model sizes we’re shown on TV or the runway. So, over the next series of posts, I will be showing you how to dress for your curves, look curve-tastic and start giving other women serious curve envy!!!

In this first post I’m going to show you some carefully selected dresses that flatter and skim, rather than hug, curves.

(Note: now is probably a good time to tell you that Tanya’s modelling is much more impressive than my photography skills – but I hope the pictures tell the story anyway despite my doubtful camera skills!)

So without further delay, let’s get this curve-alicious show on the road!

The first tip is to look for faux wrap-around dresses with lots of side gathers like this great dress from Diana Ferrari. The ruching effect from the gathers conceals and hides, while the colour pops for summer. A faux wrap-around is crucial because (and call me a traditionalist) I hate having to hold my skirt down with both hands and a handbag for modesty when walking through the wind tunnels of the city streets!!!

12 12 14 Curvetastic Dress green draped

Dress: Magadalene ruched dress from Diana Ferrari available in stores


You’ve probably seen a lot of dresses of late with the darker or black side panels running down the sides. This photo below will show you how effective this is at drawing attention away from the sides, to create a slimming effect. The black stripe across the waist also draws the eye to the waist (Tanya is actually quite rectangular in shape, so creating a waist and shapely curves in the right places is something we worked on – but that’s a sneak peek into future Curve-tastic posts!).

12 12 14 Curvetastic Dress Target Panel

Dress: Target
Shoes: Galore from Diana Ferrari


For the festive season, many of us would like a soft, flowing dress – a perfect option to look elegant but stay cool in the heat! The trick when looking for a flowing dress is to ensure the fabric is very soft and not overwhelming. When there is too much fabric it stops being flattering and ends up making us look larger. I chose the Saratoga dress from Diana Ferrari which is soft and drapey but not voluminous.

12 12 14 Curvetastic Dress Blue dressy

Dress: Saratoga from Diana Ferrari available in stores
Shoes: Oleda from Diana Ferrari


For many of us with hips and thighs, we automatically fall back on to an A-line skirt. And for those of you that know me, you know I have a love-hate relationship with A-line skirts. Not all A-lines were created equal and while some can be an overachieving A+++, others can be an Epic Fail (yes, capitalised – that’s how epic a fail it can be). In A-lines with pleats, please please always look for a flat pleat like the one below, as this will smooth and lie flat on the hip area rather than pucker and pouf out like a bad 80’s prom dress.

12 12 14 Curvetastic Dress DF floral

Dress: Diana Ferrari available in stores


And finally to round out our festive dress special, check out how slimming and beautiful Tanya looks in this Target dress (yes, Target). A peplum (that funny flouncy looking thing around Tanya’s waist) is off putting for many curvy women, as we think it will only make us look larger. Like A-lines you can have bad peplums (like a frilled lizard) or a soft, flattering peplum like this, which drops gently from the waist and covers any problem areas (and allows you to eat all 3 courses at dinner including desert! V important point!!).

12 12 14 Curvetastic Dress Target Peplum

Dress: Target
Shoes: Oleda from Diana Ferrari


I do hope you enjoyed the first Curve-tastic post, a big thank you to Tanya, and to my sister for lending us her home to shoot this in. Please also do leave us your comments as I’m sure Tanya deserves to hear how amazing she looks!!! Meanwhile stay tuned for the next Curve-tastic clothing masterclass!

Happy Styling xx

By | 2017-09-04T10:21:26+10:00 December 15th, 2012|Fabulous Fashion, How to fashion|9 Comments


  1. Heather December 15, 2012 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Love this post Wendy! It’s perfect for me! I think I need to take a trip to some of these stores! And Tanya does look fabulous!

    • Anonymous December 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Heather!! I loved doing this post as I think a lot of women will relate. Thanks so much for always reading xxx

  2. Barbara December 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    Tanya looks fabulous in every outfit! Too hard to pick a favourite, but she does look sensational in turquoise!

    • Anonymous December 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      I do love the turquoise on Tanya too Barb! I also love the lace dress on her!

  3. Virginia January 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this Masterclass Wendy. I’m learning alot about style, shape, drape of fabric and colour. Tanya is a great model – the turquoise and lacy black outfits are very flattering.

    • Anonymous January 22, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Thank you Virginia! So glad to hear you are finding the Masterclasses useful – I do love the turquoise and lace dress on Tanya too – hard to believe the lace dress is from Target, it looks so much more expensive! ~ Wendy

  4. Mia June 11, 2014 at 8:25 am - Reply

    How could I possibly thank you enough??? This is AWESOME! I’m not a shopper but rather a sewer so I’m off to work out how to sew these outfits for myself!

    • Wendy Mak June 11, 2014 at 8:37 am - Reply

      So glad to hear it Mia, happy sewing!!!

    • Wendy Mak June 26, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Wow I take my hat off to you Mia – I can’t even sew a button on – enjoy!!!!!

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