A Tier(ed dress) Above the Rest

Nights out on the town, dinner parties, multiple meetings, day outings – there’s ALWAYS a reason to wear a cute, maxi dress. Frankly, my wardrobe always seems to be lacking in this department, so I’m constantly on the hunt for new maxi dresses to add to my collection.

I first started seeing the tiered maxi dress trend in the windows of Zara and Topshop early last year, however knowing what we know about Topshop and Zara’s track record of catering to the fats (hint: zero), I could only ever glance and lust from afar. However, the tiered dress trend is back for 2020 and I for one, am happy to see it!

Fashion designer Molly Goddard may just be the queen of tiered dresses, but it seems a few other brands are giving her a run for her money this season. Valentino, Dior, Christopher Kane and Roksanda all featured tiered dresses of various volumes in their collections during Fashion Week last season, solidifying the trend as one to try this spring.

What I love about a good tiered dress is that it’s chic and wearable in its simplicity: In its everyday form, it has a simple neckline and skims the body to the waist, where it connects to a waist-to-hip tier with a little more fabric, so that the silhouette gets looser and a little wider. A little lower, there is another horizontal seam and a lower tier with yet more fabric, and so on, to the hem. The fabric is soft and unstructured so that the shape falls with a natural gravity, rather than a grand, stiff kind of volume.

I think the reason why tiered dresses are surging in popularity is that the aim here is not to make you look ‘small’ or shapely. It doesn’t emphasise the waist, nor does it slim your silhouette. It simply does not bow down to the age-old tyranny of ‘thinness’ in fashion that we are constantly and relentlessly exposed to. This makes it incredibly relaxing to wear – you can breathe out, literally – which makes it pretty damn comfortable. They say that flattery will get you everywhere, but the triumph of the tiered dress shows that, in fashion, this is no longer the case. “Flattering” is no longer the be-all and end-all of compliments (well I hope it isn’t, anyway) from a style point of view. There seems to be a more modern take on dressing up that is more about glamour and less about sex appeal. Also, it’s one of the few trends that plus-size bodies can actively take a role in, seeing as the ultimate goal is for the look to be oversized.

The dress I’m wearing here is of course – as always – from ASOS Curve (click here), who actually have a Leopard Print version of the dress too, which I also bought. It is selling out quite quickly and at the time of writing, is only available in 5 sizes including a size 30 which is amazing. I paired the dress with some faux croc skin heeled Chelsea boots from Raid, which are also wide fit.

Dress – ASOS Curve // Wide Fit Croc Chelsea Boots – RAID

Photography by Kaye Ford

 

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