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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

So you wanna go strapless this spring? We've got tips

23

April

In the past two days, I've gotten four emails about trends for spring. At the top of the list? Strapless dresses. 

Did you just make a face? 'Cause I did too, when I read that. Strapless dresses are just so... so... stressful, right?

They never stay in place.

They only work on one body type (a.k.a. not mine).

They're for prom, they're for your sister's wedding.

They can make even the lovliest bumps look like... er, lumps. 

And yet...

When they're good, they're really, really good. (See: skinny models in the slideshow above.) And despite myself, and the reasons I just listed, maybe this IS the year to dig out those old strapless frocks that are in the bottom of The Pile, and try this trend again. 

But first, some sensible guidelines:

Do pay attention to the Big Three: Structure, Shape and Size.

I dont know what it is about strapless dresses, but whenever I try one on, I usually have to go a size up. Sad, but true. I also have to pay attention to the hem. You're already leaving a lot of area up top exposed - no need to do the same at the other end. Before you leave the dressing room, please, please, please do the sit test, and the arms above your head test, and the bend over test. Do all the tests, people! Luckily for us all, the trend this spring with strapless also seems to combine built-in structure. Many of the dresses you see on the racks these days have slimming vertical seams in the bodice before flaring out to a fuller skirt.

Do wear a bra, ladies.

I know the lack of straps makes it SEEM like a free pass. I know finding the best strapless bra is a MAJOR pain. But trust me on this one, this is not the time to skimp. Better yet, buy the bra first, then go try on the dress. 

Don't do what I did in 8th grade and fall in love with tube dresses.

(Hey, we all make mistakes.)

Do go long -- if you can.

Y'all know that long dresses scare the heck out of me, but they really do look good on a lot of you. What's more summer-y than a long chiffon dress with a floppy hat and flip-flops on the beach?

Do keep a cardigan handy.

I know cardigans aren't the most exciting piece of clothing, but I can't remember a time when I wore strapless that I didn't, at some point in the night, want something to cover my shoulders. Plus, it's probably the only way to get away with wearing a strapless dress to the office. Don't like cardigans? Put a blazer on it. 

Don't be afraid of color, prints -- or saying no to this trend altogether

Patterns and bright colors are all over the place right now, and strapless dresses are no different. Just go with it. Still not convinced? I might not be either. But hey, if we're going to do it, might as well have fun, right? 

Here's your reward for reading this far:

Old Navy is having a great sale on dresses right now. (A lot of them don't have straps, natch.) They start at $24.94. And if you go to the website now, you can get an extra 15% off with the code ONSAVENOW.

Want to try this look in a low-key environment? Tracy Reese is selling sarongs for spring. Full disclosure: They're not cheap, and the photo online looks weird because the model paired it with boots. (Boots at the beach? Almost as bad as the "body mullet.")

What about you guys? Have any fail-safe methods for rocking a dress sans straps?

-Deal Diva Kameel

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 2:20pm]

    

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