How to wear the wiggle dress with Dawn O'Porter
Just how to wear the wiggle dress, with Dawn O'Porter. Some styles just never go out of fashion, and the trusty wiggle dress, or bodycon dress, is one of them. At the peak of its popularity in the 50s and 60s (think Marilyn Monroe, Bettie Page and Christina Hendricks in Mad Men), it has flattered the female form for decades and remains a wardrobe staple for any vintage fan. For those of you not enlightened and wondering what is a wiggle dress? Don't worry, read on...
We asked writer, television presenter, self-confessed Twitter enthusiast and all-round vintage fashionista Dawn O'Porter for her top tips on how to wear the wiggle dress. Fresh from filming her latest venture, This Old Thing: The Vintage Clothes Show, which saw her work her magic (as well as her powers of persuasion) on several vintage-phobes in an attempt to convince them to try the look, we think she's in a pretty good position to advise us on all things a little retro.
So Dawn, what exactly is a wiggle dress?
"Officially, it's a dress or skirt where the hem is narrower than the hips, so you can't help but wiggle when you walk."
How to Wear a Wiggle Dress - Who does the wiggle dress suit?
"Personally I think it's perfect for women with curves. If you have boobs and a bum with a smaller waist it's perfect, but really the wiggle dress flatters most female forms. The main thing you need to pull it off is confidence!"
What are your top tips on how to style a wiggle dress?
"It's a sexy look. So why not Marilyn it up with some pointed heels. I like block colour wiggle dresses that are jazzed up with colourful and detail-rich handbags. A contrasting thin belt to emphasise the waist is usually a winner."
What are the dos and don'ts of the wiggle dress?
"Too tight and bad underwear is an unfortunate combination. Also be aware of too much cleavage, there is no need for it in a dress that is already sexy without having too much flesh on display. Just don't over do it. Let the shape of your body be the main event but retain a little bit of mystery."
Who are your most inspirational wiggle dress wearers?
"Ms Monroe is the ultimate wiggle icon, she made the dress go global. But Christina Hendricks in and out of Mad Men pulls off a wiggle better than anyone. Victoria Beckham, famous for her black dresses,¬† always looks a dream in them too, as does Dita Von Teese. It's proof that the wiggle dress really does flatter every figure."
Describe your modern take on the wiggle dress.
"Avoid cliche 50s hair dos and red lipstick and keep the accessories modern. I also love sexy wiggle dresses with funky ankle boots."
Where would you wear a wiggle dress?
"Everywhere from the office to a cocktail party, depending on fabrics and tightness."
How do you walk in a wiggle dress? There must be some technique!
"Firstly you need a great pair of shoes that you feel comfortable walking in, then it's all about holding your posture, and wiggling those hips with confidence!"
And on a completely different subject, but we'd love to know‚ what do you think of the little black dress?
"It's a crucial part to anyone's wardrobe. I have a couple and they are my emergency dresses, they never let me down. Sometimes, it's the only dress you want to wear."
Sum up your personal style in three words.
"Colourful, bonkers and unpredictable."