How to Accessorize an Empire-Waist Dress

Add elegance to your empire-waist dress with a chic strand of pearls.

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Need a dress that flatters any figure? Slip into an empire waist dress. This versatile and classic dress style features a high waistline that glides over curves. No matter your shape or size, this workhouse of the woman's wardrobe can transition from day to evening easily with the right eye-catching accessories.


Your best baubles, real or fake, will give sparkle and shine to your favorite black empire waist dress. The trick? Pin a brooch near the top of your dress, or drape your neck with three or four strands of long pearls for an evening dinner date or a Sunday brunch with the girls. To add a little more glamour to your black dress and black pumps, snap bejeweled clip-on earrings on the shoes for instant evening pumps.


If your brown or tan empire waist dress is more basic than beautiful, unleash your inner French girl with a yellow, red or orange scarf of cotton or silk. For work, tie a square scarf around your neck once. The splash of color at your throat will draw the eye up toward your beautiful face and away from any perceived weight gain. In winter, add an element of surprise to your neutral dress for evening by wrapping a faux mink scarf around your neck.

Handbags and Shoes

Brighten your solid-colored black or white empire waist dresses with a statement handbag and a beautiful pair of shoes. To make your legs look longer, wear nude pumps that match your skin tone. Feeling really brave? Pair your nude shoe with a leopard handbag and a bold red or orange coat for a classic look that amps up your dress for a impromptu dinner date with the one you love.

Evening Accessories

For special occasions, wear bold evening accessories to complement your empire-waisted dresses. Grab a metallic gold or silver clutch and a pair of sky-high red pumps to spice up a short black frock for a cocktail party. For a formal event, pair your blue floor-length strapless gown with long white opera gloves, shoulder-duster crystal earrings and a pair of silver strappy sandals.

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