How To Wear Knotted Dresses: 4 Bulk-Reducing Tips

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Knotted dresses can be quite tricky to wear because some of them tend to be unflattering. Sometimes, the knots are made too bulky, or the gathering around them comes out looking a bit less graceful than preferred.

Sometimes, the knot is placed where it violates the natural curves of the body, making the outfit frumpy. These reasons, among others, make the trend a bit hard to ride on.

Worry not, ladies, because we’ll break it down for you. Here are 4 tips for picking out the right knotted dresses:

1. Go below the belt

Although there are actually no belts included in this styling tip, we do mean it when we say that you have to go below the waistline. One of the troubles with knotted dresses stems from unflattering misplacement of the knot.

Mayo wears a knotted dress with a neon orange necklaceMayo wears a knotted dress with a neon orange necklace

One suggestion we have is to choose combination dresses that completely treat the knot area as a separate skirt.

Since the area between the thighs and the waistline can hack a little volume without looking off-balance, your chances at failing at this look will be less (just make sure to choose flat knots or knots that are centered).

Shop Mayo of Mellow Mayo‘s style:

Knotted dress with cardigan, necklace, and pumpsASOS Body-Con Dress with Double-Knot Skirt, £28 / Therapy Longline Boyfriend Cardigan with Hot Fix Stud, £45 / Brian Atwood Nude Suede Platform Obsession Pumps, $895 / Nasty Gal Byzantine Necklace, $38

2. Get a little help from cutouts

This is probably the most popular look in the knotted dress trend. Strategically placing knots in the middle of cutouts will reduce the fabric that needs to go into the knot, hence making the knot a lot less bulky.

Toshiko wears Jeffrey Campbell shoes with a cutout monochrome dress and an Absinthe necklace by Lulu FrostToshiko wears Jeffrey Campbell shoes with a cutout monochrome dress and an Absinthe necklace by Lulu Frost

It also lessens the gathers around the knot, making it look flattering even in places where bulk is unwanted, such as the abdominal area.

Shop Toshiko of It’s Not Her It’s Me‘s style:

Striped knot dress with necklace and kitten heelsAX Paris Striped Knot Dress, £28 / JCPenney Olive Green Round & Teardrop Bubble Necklace, $25 / Jeffrey Campbell Deetz in Black, $145

3. Follow the lace-up corset’s footsteps

Lace-up corsets use strings or ribbons to pull the fabric closer to the body to show off natural curves — a good knot at the waist area should do exactly that.

Make sure to choose a knot that pulls in gathers just below the bustline and doesn’t fall too much to the side (this can widen the waist).

Cara wears a blue knotted dress with a statement necklaceCara wears a blue knotted dress with a statement necklace

Here’s a bit of a warning, though: be wary of these types of dresses that are made of stretch fabrics or do not come with back or side zippers.

Chances are they won’t fit you snugly, or they’ll loosen up over a certain period of time after slipping into them.

Shop Cara of Vagabondias’ style. Her blog is unfortunately no longer available online:

Tie knot dress with coat, pumps, and statement necklaceMichael Kors Cowl-Neck Dress with a Tie Knot, £170 / River Island Beige Drawn Wool-Blend Oversized Coat, $160 / Saint Laurent Classic Tribute Two 105 Pumps, $700.05 / Nasty Gal Ice Flare Collar Necklace, $38

4. Camouflage with prints

If the knot looks a bit awkward to you but you love the gathers it produces anyway, or if you must insist that a knot is placed at a bulk-inducing area, try making it less of a standout with a busy print, such as a reptile one.

Laureen rocks a tie knot dress with cool summer shoesLaureen rocks a tie knot dress with cool summer shoes

This will instantly bring a lot of texture and movement into the dress while minimizing the bulk of the knot.

Shop Laureen of Break My Style‘s style:

Effortless dress by DVF with cardigan, necklace, and sandalsDiane von Furstenberg New Della Dress, $345 / Selected Femme Afro Necklace, €26.95 / Vera Moda Kida Leopard L/S Cardigan, €39.95 / Veronique Branquinho Slingback Sandals, $339.28

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