My waist has always been at least 10 inches smaller than my bust and hips, even though I've worn every dress size from a UK 4 to 12 in the past, so I qualify as an hourglass. I don't subscribe to body shape rules, as no body, or item of clothing, is exactly the same (I mean, I may be an hourglass, but the same garment isn't going to look the same on me as on Christina Hendricks, and tiny variations in cut can make the difference between something that works for you and something that doesn't), but I do believe in bearing rules of thumb in mind (like those in my How To Wear posts, and in New Look's body shape guide).
So, whilst I love to occasionally try out a relaxed, oversized or sixties-style swing fit, more often than not, you'll find me in something that emphasises my waist to the max! If you're a regular reader, you'll know how much I love fifties Hollywood starlet inspired pencil and fit-'n'-flare silhouettes, but this time I challenged myself to try something a bit different, and fell in love with this dress at first sight. This ensemble is all about setting hourglass curves to stun, combining maximum va va voom with a sexy-but-empowering (and still elegant!) contemporary twist on classic staples like the LBD and LBB (little black blazer).
Dress, £69.99Bandage-style bodycon dresses and "illusion panels" are fantastic for honing and displaying hourglass curves to their best effect, and cut-out detailing is great for showing off a toned waist and flaunting a bit of skin without going down the cleavage route, but it's the gold buckles which really ramp up the wow factor here. They give the dress fairly explicit "Fifty Shades" overtones, without actually revealing anything explicit, all bound up (sorry!) in an overall aesthetic which radiates strength - you couldn't help but feel in charge wearing this! I can't stop myself envisaging Kim Kardashian in this outfit (as well as myself, obviously - well, not at the same time - you know what I mean).
Blazer, £29.99The structured shape and nipped-in waist of this blazer will ensure curves don't get lost the minute you step outside, whilst its sheer sleeves and panels reflect the unexpected, unashamedly sexy "twist-on-a-classic" vibe of the dress.
Boots, £39.99The fierceness of the dress demands a shoe with a bit of attitude and substance to balance it out - these boots are perfect, with buckles and studs echoing the outfit's main features for optimum impact.
Tights, £7.99Well, it's fantasy fashion so why not go all out? These tights tie the cherry on top of our bewitching bondage look, whilst helping to lengthen limbs (which can be shortened by ankle boots) by drawing the look's black elements together from head to toe.
Clutch, £15.99Simple but fierce, this bag ties in perfectly with the rest of the look. A girl needs somewhere to keep her emergency handcuffs, right?
If you're inspired to concoct your own entry, visit the New Look blog for all the details, but be warned - you may be forced to make a lot of new additions to your Christmas list!