My friend Skye saw a summery floor length dress she liked but wondered if it was a good idea on her figure which is thin with small chest and large butt. The dress had a bikini style treatment at the top and then about 5oo yards of gathers from directly under the bust to the floor. While I don't often agree with fashion critics about what figures should sport which styles, in this case I thought the style wasn't likely to be the most flattering.
I went through my binders, patterns, and scraps to come up with a few styles that I thought Skye's figure would be flattered by that would feel breezy and summery (she lives in Austin so the motivation is obvious). The first one is a Roberto Cavalli, a designer I have a very strong loathing for most of the time (for the sleaze factor), but I love this one. Just be careful not to take opium while wearing it or you might drown yourself just because your dress would look awfully pretty caught in an eddy.
Liz McClean's long dress styles would be flattering on most figures in my opinion. Especially the dark one. I have no idea what season this is from. I love her understated drapes and the kimono sleeve style. For Austin though, the dark color might make a person combust.
While it's true that I'm not a fan of Jennifer Lopez (or of any of her many many endeavors) when I saw this picture of her in one of her own designs I was smitten. She is the poster girl for the small boobed large derriered figure. She's thin yet curvy and unconventionally NOT busty. A sleeveless empire dress with a band for a bust is normally not a style I would recommend to those with this figure, yet look at her! She looks (in my opinion) stylish and cute as hell.
The other dress is a Derek Lam and I think it would be attractive on anyone who still has a waist (which doesn't, at the moment, include me) and would be a super comfortable style to wear during the hot months. The reason this would work on women with large butts and/or hips is that the fullness increases as the dress lengthens, but if you're thick in the middle, don't do this style.
I never did get around to making this one. Yet. Because I can't bear to sew it for myself and be disappointed. However, this style is a classic and I love it. Drew Barrymore wears a similar style in the movie "Music and Lyrics" and that's my favorite part of the movie aside from a couple of the songs that Hugh Grant sings(!).
This vintage dress is gorgeous. It has enough drape and ease to be a perfect choice for summer. It's a vintage dress so I don't know who made it. Pay attention to the placement of the drapes and how it gathers to a relatively small area at the high waist and is mirrored, though more modestly, in the bodice. This is another dress that would be flattering on large and flat butts alike. Big breasts and small alike can be flattered by this dress. All you need is a waist.