Although you could be forgiven for thinking that Bodycon is a shortening of “body contouring”, and let’s be fair, that is what it seems to be with reinforced panels sucking things in, and lycra hugging curves you want to advertise, the name is actually short for “body conscious” and in the fashion world this has been attributed to French designer Hervé Léger. In 1991 Léger gave the world the “bandage dress.”
The bandage dress was made of strips of material that, when mixed with lycra have a tight and structured fit that best show the wearer’s shape. So, a big thank you, Monsieur Léger from all of womankind.
But was the idea of using material to shape, or hide, or extenuate, a woman’s figure all that new? Surely the silk panels and laces on a corset do that exact same thing?
From here we gained the “girldle” from The 1940s until my childhood and the Playtex shaping underwear.
And maybe, once whale bone and girdles dropped out of fashion (oh, thank God for that one!), we really moved into the modern bodycon era with what my mum calls “Granny Pants” the high waist, contouring, tummy flattening underwear you can get from Marks and Spencers and Damart to suck in the pudge. Remember Bridget Jone’s scuba suit?
And with lycra being used as a material in clothing other than underwear and sports gear, we move up to date combining Léger’s idea with the shaping that has been in fashion, albeit underwear fashion, for over a century.
And everyone is wearing bodycon, from Rihanna, Beyonce, J-Lo, and of course Kim Kardashian. Which, given the curvaceous shape of these girls, begs the question; who can wear Bodycon?
Should I or Shouldn’t I? Advice from Ebay
Yes, the marketplace for everything also dispenses fashion advice, ladies. Here is what they have to say about Bodycon.
The hourglass shaped woman has equally generously proportioned hips and chest, and a well defined waist. These luscious curves work well with a bodycon dress and the dress can be tremendously flattering.
Pear Shaped Figure
Pear shaped women have small chests, but broad hips. This figure is generally not suited to bodycon dresses. The clinging material emphasises the hips, and makes the body look unbalanced or ill-proportioned.
Apple Shaped Figure
Apple shaped women have broad stomachs, broad hips, and no waist definition. On this figure, a bodycon dress gives the appearance of roundness and lack of shape in the body.
Inverted Triangle Figure
Women with inverted triangle, or heart shaped figures have a large bust, narrow hips, and no waist definition. This figure is not suited to bodycon dresses as it emphasises the triangular shape of the silhouette and gives the illusion of an extra broad upper body.
Thanks for that Ebay, but I am not hourglass and can find plenty of body-con dresses out there for my shape.
And not just my shape. Miley Cyrus, who can be described as the opposite of hour glass and voluptuous, was seen wearing the Free People “French” Terry Bodycon Dress.
Which, as you will agree, is absolutely adorable and I could see myself wearing this somewhere hot in the Summer. So you will find most celebrities, in fact anyone, wearing a bodycon dress to show off their shape and look good. Here is my favourite, that I do love to wear on holiday.
Here are a few I really like. Bodycon dresses are giving you that little extra to make your body look amazing and I, for one,am proud to wear mine.