There are certain styles of dresses that are flattering on just about all body types. There is the wrap dress, halter dress, and the empire waist dress. It's the kind of dress you should put on when you feel regal or when you need a quick pick me up and a reminder of the queen you are. It is comfortable and playful yet stylish all at once.
"An empire waist dress is fitted just below the bust and flares, creating a silhouette that floats away from the waist and hips," says fashion expert Maggie Gillette. The look became popular during the 1780s in Europe when women were inspired by the dresses they saw in classical art. "Napoleon Bonaparte's first wife, Empress Josephine, was a fan of the style and the name 'Empire' comes from this look's popularity during the first French Empire," Gillette added.
Since then, the style has come in and out of fashion and may just be looking to make the rounds once again. "The Netflix sensation Bridgerton has brought the empire silhouette back into the forefront of fashion with its beautiful and whimsical costumes," says Gillette.
Well we wouldn't want you to be left behind. Here are 8 of our favorite empire waist dresses that would make a nice addition to your closet.
The Normal Brand Deep, V Button Thru Dress ($78)
We love fashion that can live in more than one season, and the Normal Brand’s Deep V Button Thru Dress is an excellent example of that. It can go comfortably from spring through summer. For the fall, throw on a thick cardigan and some cowboy boots, and you have the perfect weekend look. It is light and breezy and features a shirttail hem.
Cara Cara, Sip Sip Dress ($425)
This Cara Cara dress gives you the perfect opportunity to show off your legs. It's flirty and fun, and its puffy sleeves can be worn on or off your shoulders. You can pair it with your nude strappy flat sandals and a pair of oversized gold hoops, à la J. Lo.
Motf, Empire Waist Flowy Dress ($54.99)
If you're in the market for a dress that you can wear for a day or early afternoon wedding, feast your eyes on the Motf Empire Waist Flowy Dress. Its neutral Khaki hue gives you the opportunity to add your own sense of style, and the ruched button front enhances your waistline. Grab a fun, ornamented clutch, slip into a pair of high-heeled sandals, and help celebrate those nuptials.
Banana Republic, Petite Knit Maxi Dress ($120)
If you're petite, it isn’t always easy to find clothing that is properly proportioned to your height. A maxi dress can be even more of a challenge, especially if you want it to have a high waist that lands in the right place...Sigh! Well, we found one that is flattering, a must-have, and will work well with your favorite slip-on flat sandals. The Banana Republic Petite Knit Maxi Dress is available in red and black.
Lulus, Sweeten the Occasion White Lace Short Sleeve Maxi Dress ($79)
Light and pretty with a fitted bodice are not the only things that make the Lulus Sweeten the Occasion White Lace Short Sleeve Maxi Dress a good buy. The way the empire waist flows into the maxi skirt adds feminine appeal; slits on the sides make it easy to glide in and out of it, and the sheer crochet lace ensures it's breathable even on the hottest summer day.
Magnolia Boutique, V-Neck Light Blue Lace Empire Maxi ($69)
If you like to have your clothes speak for you, this light blue empire Magnolia Maxi dress will do just that. The short flutter sleeves are made all the more delicate with lace and scalloped edges. Finish your look off with a pair of comfy espadrilles and a pair of oversized square sunglasses.
GothicRockabilly, Boho Empire Midi Dress ($65.01)
You can find so many things on Etsy, including the GothicRockabilly Ivory White Boho Empire Midi Dress. It's handmade and features threading that accents its creamy color and flutter sleeves. Pair it with blush-colored slides for Sunday afternoon brunch.
Boston Proper, Tassel Metallic Tiered Maxi Dress ($149.50)
Summer parties are an invitation to wear pretty dresses and Boston Proper’s Tassel Metallic Tiered Maxi fits the bill. It's 100% cotton, making it comfortable on warm days, plus the touches of gold threading give it a sophisticated look. Wear it with ankle-wrap sandals and go all out with chunky pieces of gold jewelry.