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After years of forgiving flowy dresses, fashion has rediscovered the figure

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Heard the buzz… Wasp waists are back: we knew it couldn’t last long. After years of forgiving flowy dresses, fashion has rediscovered the figure

  • A defined waist can be seen on the catwalks of Erdem and Emilia Wickstead
  • Hanna Woodside Says You’re Entering the Trend with a Wide Belt Over a Coat
  • UK-based style expert reveals a selection of stores stocking the seasonal trend










For seasons we’ve enjoyed flowing ‘buffet’ dresses, roomy layering styles and flowing midi dresses. So it may come as a shock to hear that a defined waist is back in fashion. (Do not shoot the messenger.)

As seen on the Erdem and Emilia Wickstead runways — the latter recently declared the waistline “the new erogenous zone” — a cinched-in silhouette has made a comeback. Welcome news perhaps for those who felt awash and shapeless in voluminous designs. It can help you feel slimmer, put together, and even a little sexier.

However, for those of us who have grown accustomed to the comfort and coverage of tent-like cuts, the prospect of ‘cinching in’ feels strange. Get in on the trend with a wide belt over a jacket to emphasize the waist, but with the safety of a few layers underneath. The wider the belt, the more corset-like the look.

Hanna Woodside shared advice to embrace the return of defined-waist outfits. Pictured: jacket, £279, skirt, £159, and shoes, £199, lkbennett.com; earrings, £30, puzzle-online.com; rings, from £27.99, gb.pilgrim.net

Top, £185, thefoldlondon.com;  jacket, £29.99 and trousers, £19.99, zara.com;  shoes, £199, lkbennett.com

Top, £185, thefoldlondon.com; jacket, £29.99 and trousers, £19.99, zara.com; shoes, £199, lkbennett.com

Dress, £295, thefoldlondon.com

Dress, £295, thefoldlondon.com

Instead of oversized double-breasted blazers, look for figure-hugging styles that curve in and buttons at the waist, or designs with built-in belts. Let the tailoring give the illusion of a neat center and do the hard work for you.

Look for tops and jackets with a peplum, like LK Bennett’s elegant dogtooth jacket (far left). The flare makes your waist look smaller.

Dress, £299, and shoes, £229, lkbennett.com;  belt, £50, jigsawonline.com

Dress, £299, and shoes, £229, lkbennett.com; belt, £50, jigsawonline.com

Dress, £27.99, zara.com;  shoes, £140, whistles.  com;  bag, £255, russelland bromley.com;  necklace, £39.99, gb.pilgrim.net

Dress, £27.99, zara.com; shoes, £140, whistles. com; bag, £255, russelland bromley.com; necklace, £39.99, gb.pilgrim.net

Dress, £299, hobbs.com;  belt, £95, thefoldlondon.com

Dress, £299, hobbs.com; belt, £95, thefoldlondon.com

Pencil skirts always create a nice in-and-out, hourglass shape, but don’t think the return of the waistline means embracing revealing bodycon styles (unless you want to, of course). Long-sleeved, high-neck midi dresses are still on the menu, but now they come in at the waist — which you can highlight with a thin belt in a matching color (second from the right) — before tucking into the body. of the skirt.

Sure, there’s nothing like the convenience of a giant sack dress, but sometimes a little bit of shape and edginess is all you need to feel like you’re at your best again.

Jacket, £355, jigsawonline.com;  belt, £55, mintvelvet.co.uk

Jacket, £355, jigsawonline.com; belt, £55, mintvelvet.co.uk

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