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How to Wear a Trapeze Dress

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Petite actress Julie Benz in a trapeze dress with a front panel.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Is a trapeze dress a good style for a short woman to wear? If you’re one of the millions of women who fit the petite size profile, – 5’4” or shorter – wearing this vintage-inpired style will present some unique challenges for you. You’re not alone though. Even tall, leggy women, who have model-type figures may not look their best when they wear trapeze dresses.

Why does wearing a trapeze dress cause styling problems? Trapeze dresses are shapeless, and so wearing one is almost like wearing a sack. Because of this characteristic, many women think that a trapeze dress is a good choice to hide figure flaws, but there are more effective ways to camouflage problem areas.

Besides hiding a woman’s shape, a trapeze dress may actually cause the appearance of an additional, unwanted shape. Many women complain that wearing a trapeze dress makes them look pregnant. This is fine for those who really are pregnant, but hardly desirable for a woman who isn’t expecting.

Despite these problems, it's often difficult to resist fashion trends. If you’re short and still want to add a trendy trapeze dress to your wardrobe, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the style’s problems:

  • Stand up straight.
  • Avoid a front panel or large motif that falls right over the stomach.
  • Don’t wear a mini length.
  • Belt the dress to create some shape.
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