Fashion Tips – Choosing Formal Wear for Different Torso Types

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,948
    Fashion Designer and Project Runway finalist Wendy Pepper explains the torso and how important it is to dress for your body type.

    Wendy Pepper

    If you start in the heart of Washington DC and take the bridge over the Potomac River into Virginia, you're well on your way to Wendy Pepper's working studio. The gallery is the culmination of a life's dedication to the pursuit and practice of the age old craft of Haute Couture.

    Born in Dayton Ohio, Wendy returned with her family to the Washington DC area at an early age. Growing up in the nation's capital afforded Wendy the unique opportunity to absorb the myriad cultural influences that Washington DC alone could provide. After earning an Anthropology degree in college, Wendy decided that she was interested in the role of fashion in today's culture and, by extension, the role it played in a modern world of increasingly mass communication. She taught herself to sew and draft patterns, and subsequently sought out apprenticeships with specialists in the fibre arts fields.

    Wendy was part of the cast of the BRAVO series "Project Runway" and was chosen as a finalist and showed her collection in Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week in February 2005. Her Gallery is open by appointment (540-687-8272), and her line is available exclusively at "Santangelo and Sandridge" (540-687-4775), also in Middleburg.

    Wendy Pepper: Hi, I name is Wendy Pepper and today we are taking about specific types of formal wear for your body line. Thank you, Pasha for letting us analyze your figure. Today, we are going to talk about the torso and how important it is to understand, how to address your particular issues and I feel that there is a perfect dress for every body type and this is what I would recommend for Pasha. What it does is, it has a beautiful exciting print. There is a lot of action and feeling which is definitely reflected in Pashas personality and it's soft, it's flowy, it's got some drape, it's got some little details, it's got a beautiful neckline but everything is soft. It moves, and I feel with this particular type of body line, you need to have something thats forgiving and something that also has a lot of kind of interesting little things that draw the eye in lots of different ways. So, in my opinion, this is the perfect type of dress for this body type.

    Now, we are joined by Grace who brings to our examination, the special challenges of the petite figure. I always like to recommend a dress that has details that are in, they complement to petite figure and so far as they are small and delicate. So, I like the little detail of the ribbon. I love the empire line which is right under the bust for a petite figure. I like the small little button, that cute little bow. I like the use of lace which has a scalloped edge. All these fine things completely complement the petite figure and show exactly how delicate all of those areas are for the smaller torso.

    We are here with Marin and she is going to demonstrate for us, the particular challenges of somebody who is a taller figure and also has a bust and so she wants to choose dresses that are going to accentuate her bust line. I have put her in this dress because it's a bold print, it's geometric. Again, I feel as if, Marin has very structural bones in her face and I like a geometric pattern on her. I love the way the neck plunges. She has the height to take in the detail through here, the shearing. This is a very flattering little bit on a dress. It hides the multitude of sense throughout here. So, depending on whether or not you may gain or lose a little bit in your torso throughout the year, a dress that has the shearing details through here will absorb that and hide it. It will all cling to you, when you want it to and it will be forgiving when you want it to as well. So, this dress is a very successful dress for a taller torsoed person. It's strong, it's bold and she can wear it.

    So, in conclusion, it's important to take into account all of the different aspects of your torso shape and size when buying evening wear. We have had three examples today, one is tall and angular and I put her in a dress that has geometric patterns and it has details that are strong and bold which she can carry off because she is tall and then we had a petite model and I gave her delicate details, small that keep in proportion with her shape and size and most complement her and then we had a model that was full figured and I felt that her dress ought to reflect that. It was a bold pattern, it was soft, it was flexible and it moved with her and really celebrated those things that made her most beautiful which is her curves. So, in many ways dresses can solve lots of problems and turn them into assets.