Let’s take a serious (okay not too nerdy) look at the rise and rise of the wiggle dress. In a world where we are constantly changing, it’s reassuring to know some things just don’t go out of fashion. Enter the wonderful Wiggle Dress!
Jayne Mansfield – the Wiggle Dress was a hit
In the last decade the wiggle dress has had its hard-core fans in the vintage and rockabilly corners of society recreating the favoured style of icons like Bettie Page, Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield but after the series Mad Men hit our screens it has once again been thrust into the big time. For those of you who don’t know, the US series is set in early sixties New York where men wore a hat to work, women wore white gloves for everyday errands and lunch was always served with a cocktail. Equally sexism and the smoker’s cough were rife, but Team LBD are focusing on the fashion highlight here, namely the curve-enhancing wiggle dress. Worn mostly by the show’s resident sexpot Joan Holloway, costume designer Janie Bryant has practically brought back this super sexy style single-handedly.
The definition of a wiggle dress is an exaggerated form-fitting sheath dress with a hemline that tapers from the hips to the hemline. It is built to highlight an hourglass silhouette, emphasise curves and the ‘wiggle’ of a woman’s walk, hence the name. The key is in the tapering shape — if it doesn’t taper, it isn’t a wiggle dress!
And with Joan (played by renowned red head, Christina Hendricks) positioned as the poster girl for the wiggle alongside a bevy of other celebrities sporting this sultry style, it was inevitable that us mere mortals would get in on the act as well, hoping for a slice of their seductress style. It is the ultimate figure flatterer and from the A-listers to the fashion editors to the street styles we’re all welcoming its return to the mainstream with open arms.
Typically this is a dress that suits the fuller figure (hoorah!), so Team LBD had a look to see which curvaceous celebs have been out and about in the sultry style…
Always one for vintage style, burlesque star Dita Von Teese poured her womanly curves into this black wiggle dress for a night on the town back in 2006, well before the trend had even taken off.
As ever her perfectly coiffured hair and milky skin looked flawless and in keeping with her 1950s pin-up style, especially when paired with bright red lips and a 22 inch waist! We can’t promise her measurements but you can emulate Dita in a black pencil wiggle dress from our own black dresses.
Marilyn Monroe – the ultimate siren
Very few stars have made so many looks and dress styles so iconic. Not only will Marilyn Monroe be remembered for that white William Travilla dress on that infamous side walk vent and her sexy LBDs but also for her signature wiggle. Which was of course courtesy of the wiggle dress. Make like Norma Jean and inject fun and kitsch in to your wiggle style dress with feminine straps and a polka dot print. Kate Fearnley has a fantastic new retro-inspired collection full of these available at LittleBlackDress.co.uk, take a look here.
Inject fun and frills in to your Marilyn inspired look: Kate Fearnley Abbey Dress with Yellow Peplum, £185.
Nigella Lawson – a fan of the wiggle dress
When the newly slimmed-down-but-with-lumps-and-bumps-in-all-the-right-places Nigella Lawson appeared on the American show The Taste the television station was immediately inundated with calls, all desperate to know where the celeb chef got her wiggle from. An hour later the dress had entirely sold out — now that is good press! You can look just as sizzling in this red hot vintage wiggle dress.
Steal Nigella’s naughty style here: The Pretty Dress Company Red Vintage Wiggle Dress, £95.
Given she is the mother of all things wiggle at the moment we think Joan deserves another look in. In one of her many dresses, Joan is a voluptuous vision in floral print, a cute retro accent that you can mirror in this navy and red cherry print dress. Add over-sized earrings and wear with Spanx to look and feel like the retro femme fatale you are!