Style 911: How Do I Wear Short & Fitted Without Looking Slutty?

I wear a lot of longer skirts and dresses and I want to switch things up. I saw this really cool short, tight dress while out shopping the other day and I want it but I’m not sure how to wear it without looking inappropriate. Ideas?”–Linda

First up, if appropriate is what you’re going for, back away now. If, however, what you mean by “without looking inappropriate” is “without looking like a street walker,” we can help. Take the jump for a few tips and start practicing exiting vehicles in a ladylike fashion now.

If you want to get really fancy about it, go strapless, but increase the length a bit so as to accommodate a bit of a heel. We like the ruching on this dress as it’s a good camouflage. For daytime, a bit of a sleeve is a good thing. Or at least some straps. [$90, Topshop]

  • A sky high hem does not call for sky high heels. If you’re determined to do both a) don’t be surprised if someone offers you money and b) at least have the decency to wear opaque tights.
  • Know your body type and know if tight and short just isn’t your look. If, for example, you’re pear shaped, realized that other things will be more flattering for you.
  • Fitted doesn’t have to mean spandex. Consider something body con but a little more structured.
  • Don’t overkill with the accessories; that’s never a cute look. And a necklace almost as long as your dress will only call attention to the fact that you’re basically wearing a tunic as a dress.
  • Consider sleeves. Don’t take on the tight, fitted challenge with a tube dress during the day. That’s always going to look ridiculous.
  • Black is your best friend if you want to camouflage a little jiggle.