WWW — Who hasn't ever been met with the challenge of finding the perfect fit frock for a special occasion, whether it be for a friend's wedding or a night out on the town with a cute guy, it can be quite a daunting task if nothing seems to fit properly. The occasions are plentiful, but the dress selections don't always measure up, but this worry may be a thing of the past now that a new online boutique called Scotta is helping shoppers find dresses that fit their shape. Founder and stylist Shaneia Caldwell was inspired to launch her shop after trying to help a friend with slim hips and a full bust (triangle body type) find a flattering party dress. I recently caught up with Caldwell to discuss her new venture and get the skinny on dressing for your shape.
Take time to learn your body. Once you start paying attention to what looks good on your shape, you can’t go wrong.
The Chic Spy: How did you come up with the unique name, Scotta?
Shaneia Caldwell: Scotta is inspired by my middle name. When I was developing the concept of the company, I was at a point in my life where I wanted to embrace my flaws and things that I once had a complex about. There is a crazy story behind my middle name. For a long time, I thought that my middle name was spelled "Scotté" and the kids at school made fun of the pronunciation. I was finally old enough to carry my own birth certificate and learned the real spelling. However, I never accepted it. Since, I want this to be a platform that empowers women to embrace their bodies and flaws, Scotta was the perfect name. I had finally overcome that complex and appreciated my middle name. So what better name for this website than Scotta.
TCS: What is the biggest concern you find customers have with dress shopping?
SC: I’ve heard some women say that they don’t wear dresses. I don’t think it is necessarily because they don’t want to wear a dress but it is difficult for them to find a dress that actually looks good. Dresses can be like jeans. Depending on their shape, the dress may fit well at the top but not the bottom or vice versa. No matter how big or small, many women have problem areas on their bodies and they want a garment that will cover those areas while accentuating their best assets.
TCS: What is a common myth about shopping for a particular size or shape that you would like to dispel?
SC: Slender people look good in everything. That is not exactly true. I’ve seen some slim women wearing the wrong dress. The silhouette may have better complimented a woman with more curves. Some dresses do need to be filled out. I have a slim figure so I speak from experience.
TCS: As a stylist, what advice would you like to give women who have a difficult time finding clothes that fit properly?
SC: Take time to learn your body. Once you start paying attention to what looks good on your shape, you can’t go wrong. I have a friend whom now pays more attention to what looks flattering on her figure. I can see the change in her when she gets dressed, she is more confident because her clothing fits better.
TCS: What is you body shape?
SC: Pear, but a small one. My hips are wider than my shoulders.
Caldwell shares a do and don't for each body type:
Look for clothing that accentuates your legs and arms. Loose-fitting waists, empire waists, short sleeves and knee-length skirts are best. No shift or clingy jersey nor belts or waistline details.
Look for clothing with wide collars and details around the bust to balance your lower body. A-line skirts, flared skirts, fitted waists and belts worn at the waistline are best for you. No fishtail skirts or tube tops.
Look for clothing with detail at the bust and hips. Puff sleeves, full skirts, ruching at hips and waist belts give the appearance of a curvier figure. Stay away from sheath dresses and stick to styles with more shape instead.
Look for clothing that draws attention away from your upper body. Flowing fabrics, low-necklines, three-quarter sleeve lengths, A-lined skirts and dresses that flow through the waist are best. No shoulder pads, puff sleeves, or halter tops.
Look for pieces that accentuate your curves and have a fitted waist. Fitted clothing, straight skirts and belted waists are best for you. No shapeless baggy silhouettes.
Look for fitted clothing that drapes well over muscular figures. Fabrics with stretch, knee length skirts and feminine details like puff sleeves and ruffles are best for you.
Shaneia Caldwell sizes up three celebs and shares their body type:
Chanel Iman (model) – Hourglass, her bust and hips are well balanced. I would pull the Abby Dress by Frock Los Angeles.
Adele – (musician) Apple, She is full-figured with a large bustline and wider mid-section are commonly categorized in this body type. I would pull the Samantha V-Neck wrap dress by Simone Williams.
Eva Mendes (actress) – Pear, she is bottom curvy with a lean upper body, a well-defined waistline and fuller hips and bottom. I would pull the Suri Halter Asymmetrical Long Dress by Dominique Ansari.
TCS: What's playing on your mp3 player?
SC: Adele (Someone Like You), Beyonce (Love On Top), Kanye West/Jay-z (Ni**as in Paris), Maroon 5 (Won’t Go Home Without You), Rihanna (We found Love), Nicki Minaj (Moment 4 Life), Marsha Ambrosius (Late Nights and Early Mornings), Chrisette Michelle (Epiphany), and Jasmine Sullivan (10 seconds).
TCS: If you were a Chic Spy Agent, what would be your code name?
SC: The Dress Agent
For more information on Scotta, visit shopscotta.com.