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Empire Waist Formal Dresses

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Showcase this Dreamy Silhouette and Rule the Empire!

Empire waist dresses are oh-so-flattering! This lovely silhouette is well known for the closely fitted bodice that extends to below the bust, topping a flared skirt. The high waisted feature of the empire dress also helps disguise tummy and hips, making it a favorite, forgiving style. Born in the tradition of the Edwardian era this classical style remains modern and well loved by Hollywood A-Listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone.

The Empire Dress silhouette crosses over into many different styles and has many variations of bodice styles and skirts.  A Demi-Empire dress has a bodice that is quite small. It could be a sweetheart or a v-neck, resembling a swimsuit bra top. If the neckline is straight across it is referred to as a bandeau style. Demi-Empire dresses often have straps as the small bodice needs some support to stay up properly. A short length version of a demi-empire is also called a Baby Doll style. The Demi-Empire is well suited for smaller busted figures, especially if the ruching is vertical as it accentuates the bustline by adding volume.  The Baby Doll style crosses over to sexy when paired with retro styling. A great pair of hoop earrings and knee high boots take this look over the top!

An Empire Dress can also have a more full bodice, with many variations of necklines and embellishments. We have empire dresses with bodices that are plain or fancy. Typical bodice styles are ruched, with lace, sequins, and lots of beads and crystals. They may have plain or jeweled straps, cap sleeves, long sleeves- the variety is endless! The cap sleeve Empire dress is lovingly referred to as the “Juliet Dress” because this style was made famous by Juliet of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and  reminiscent of the Greek Goddesses ages before.

If a Baby Bump Is On Board - Empire Style Dresses Are the Perfect Style Option

The skirts of the empire dresses have just as much variety as the bodices. Multi layered or car wash or ruffled skirts in soft chiffon are the most typical, creating a feminine flowing feel. Flowing fabric add volume and allow for a gracious tummy area. This is truly the ideal style if you have a baby bump showing or desire a great tummy disguise while maintaining a wonderful shapely silhouette. Empire dresses in satin or velvet are elegant and formal and usually more fitted through the skirt line. This style has been popular among royalty throughout the ages. We often see the Empire style embellished with beaded details that are historically reflective since this classic dress style has been around for ages. This is an ideal style if your event is Greek or Arabian themed. With these themes in mind consider soft flowy fabric in layers to create the classic silhouette of the era. For an even greater Greek influence look for styles with one shoulder strap.

Our Advanced Feature Filtering Tool Can Guide Your Search

The distinct feature of the raised waistline gives the empire dress its distinction. There are so many choices in bodice styles and embellishments, as well as skirt styles. Use our Advanced Feature Filtering Tool on the left side of the page to select the colors and features you are seeking. You will find this tool most helpful in picking and choosing the vast list of feature to narrow down your search to find the perfect dress.