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What is Empire line in a dress?

When it comes to fashion, there are so many styles and options available that it can be overwhelming to even understand the terminology. One style that you may have heard of, but perhaps not fully understood, is the empire line in a dress. In this blog post, we will explore what exactly an empire line dress is, how it differs from other styles, and how to wear one to flatter your body shape.

What is an Empire Line in a Dress?

An empire line dress is defined by a waistline that sits just below the bust, rather than at the natural waist or hip. This creates a long, flowing line of fabric from the bust to the hem, which can be flattering for a variety of body shapes. The empire line became popular in the late 18th century and has remained a timeless style ever since.

One of the benefits of an empire line is that it can elongate the body and create an hourglass shape. Since the fabric falls from the bust and drapes over the midsection, it can hide any insecurities you may have about your stomach or hips. Additionally, the high waistline draws attention to the slimmest part of the body, creating the illusion of longer legs and a taller frame.

Empire Line vs. A-Line Dresses

While an empire line dress and an A-line dress may look similar at first glance, they are actually quite different. An A-line dress is defined by its flared shape, which begins at the waist and flows outward towards the hem. It typically doesn’t have a defined waistline, but rather a gradual widening of the fabric.

On the other hand, an empire line dress has a cinched waistline that separates the bust and the lower half of the body. This creates a distinct separation between the top and bottom of the dress, allowing the fabric to flow gracefully over the midsection. While both styles are flattering, an empire line dress is best suited for those who want to create a more defined silhouette, while an A-line dress can be more forgiving and comfortable.

How to Wear an Empire Line Dress

When it comes to styling an empire line dress, there are a few tips to keep in mind to flatter your body shape. First, it’s important to choose the right fabric. Since the empire line draws attention to the bust, you should choose a material that drapes well and doesn’t add bulk to your chest. Fabrics like silk, chiffon, and cotton are all great options that flow gracefully over the body.

Next, consider the length of the dress. Since the empire line creates a long line of fabric, it can be tempting to choose a maxi dress that flows all the way to the floor. However, if you’re shorter in stature, this can actually make you look even shorter. Instead, choose a dress that falls just below the knee, which can elongate the legs without overwhelming your frame.

When it comes to shoes, opt for a pair of heels that match your skin tone to further lengthen the legs. Nude pumps are a great choice, or you can experiment with metallic or bold-colored heels for a pop of personality.


An empire line dress is a timeless and flattering style that can work for a variety of body shapes and occasions. With a defined waistline and flowing fabric, it can elongate the body, hide any insecurities, and create an elegant silhouette. By keeping these tips in mind, you can confidently style an empire line dress for your next event and feel confident and chic.


Why is an empire line called an empire line?

The fashion term “Empire Line” is derived from the reign of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and more specifically, his first wife, Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais. Empress Josephine was known for wearing dresses with a high waistline, typically just below the bust, and a looser, flowing silhouette below that. This style of dress became associated with the Napoleonic Empire and was eventually dubbed the “Empire Line.”

The Empire Line dress was seen as a symbol of the high fashion and decadence of the Napoleonic court. Its popularity quickly spread throughout Europe and beyond, becoming a staple of women’s fashion in the early 19th century. One of the reasons for its appeal was that it was a departure from the previous fashion of the era, which was characterized by tight corsets, heavy skirts, and restrictive undergarments.

The Empire Line dress was inspired by the Neo-classical art and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome, and was seen as a return to a more feminine, flowing style that evoked images of goddesses and muses. The high waistline of the dress drew attention to the bust and shoulders, creating a slimmer silhouette and giving the illusion of height and elegance. The garment was typically made from lightweight fabrics, such as silk or muslin, and was often embellished with intricate embroidery or beading.

As fashion trends change throughout the years, the Empire Line dress has remained a classic style that is still popular today. It has been adapted and reimagined by countless designers over the years, but the defining features of the high waistline and flowing silhouette have remained constant. The legacy of Empress Joséphine and her iconic fashion sense continue to inspire and influence women’s fashion trends today. So, this is why an Empire Line dress is called an empire line.

Is Empire waist flattering for plus-size?

Empire waist dresses have become popular among women for their flattering design and comfortable fit. The basic feature of an empire waist dress is that it has a high waistline that sits just below the bust and falls into a flowing skirt. These styles of dresses have been around since the 18th century and were popular among women during the Regency era, but with modern twists, they are now found in various styles and designs.

When it comes to plus-size women, empire waist dresses are an excellent option for those looking for a flattering outfit. They are ideal for creating a balanced silhouette and drawing attention away from the tummy area, which is usually a source of self-consciousness for many women. The high waistline of an empire waist dress elongates your legs and creates a slimmer look overall. Additionally, the flowing skirt from the waistline can create a beautiful and feminine silhouette that accentuates the curves of a plus-size woman.

Empire waist dresses come in different lengths, patterns and fabrics, making them versatile for different occasions. If you want to show off your arms, you could opt for sleeveless ones, or choose a long-sleeved one for added coverage. Additionally, you can play around with accessories and shoes to add to the overall glamour of the dress. Empire waist dresses that are made of flowy fabrics like chiffon or cotton are ideal for summer wear, while heavy fabrics like wool or velvet can be worn during the colder months.

Empire waist dresses are indeed flattering for plus-size women. They offer an effortless and chic way to showcase their curves and embrace their bodies. With a variety of styles, colors, and fabrics to choose from, it’s easy to find one that matches your personality and style. Plus-size women should embrace their bodies and wear what makes them feel confident, and an empire waist dress is an excellent place to start.

What body type is Empire waist for?

The empire waist is a popular style of dress that has been around for centuries, named after the Empire fashion period of the early 19th century. It is characterized by a waistline that is raised above the natural waistline, typically just below the bust. The style is widely favored for its ability to elongate the wearer’s frame, making it a trendy pick for a wide range of body types, including petite and plus-sized women.

Empire waist dresses are particularly great for petite women, as they add length to their bodies and create the illusion of height. The raised waistline makes legs look longer, and thus the entire silhouette looks taller and leaner. For this reason, short women tend to find the empire waistline style a great choice. Additionally, the focused part of the fabric just below the bust gives the illusion of a defined waist and creates a flattering balance between the upper and lower body.

For larger women, especially those with a pear-shaped or apple-shaped body type, the empire waist dress helps to disguise those problem areas by skimming over the hips, belly, and thighs. This style can redirect attention from these areas to the bust, which is emphasized since the fabric gathers just above it. Empire waist dresses are a flattering option for plus-size women, as long as the bodice of the dress fits properly and doesn’t squish the bust.

The empire waist dress is ideal for women of all shapes and sizes, offering a classic and versatile silhouette that creates balance, elongation, and a flattering fit. The style is popular across the ages thanks to its vast variation and its ability to suit any occasion, from formal events to casual outings.

What do you wear under an empire waist dress?

Empire waist dresses are a popular choice among women because of their flowy and elegant design. However, choosing the right undergarments to wear under these types of dresses can be a bit tricky. The necklines of some dresses are plunging or V-shaped and deep round, which requires careful consideration when choosing the right bra to wear underneath.

The most suitable types of bras to wear under an empire waist dress are those that offer support and lift. Push-up bras, uplifting bras or lift bras are perfect for creating a flattering bustline and enhance your figure to look stylish and beautiful in your empire waist dress. These types of bras help to give a natural lift and add volume to your breasts. Depending on your preference, you can choose padded or non-padded bras that offer support and lift.

If you have larger breasts, you would require a bra that provides enough support and lift. A perfect solution for this would be an uplifting bra designed with wide straps that provide support to your bust and alleviate the pressure on your shoulders. The uplifting bra holds your breasts firmly, thus providing maximum support and lift which is necessary for a comfortable, confident, and flattering look.

Another option to consider is a strapless bra. Strapless bras are perfect for empire waist dresses that have a sweetheart neckline or any type of neckline that requires minimal coverage from the bra. This bra is designed to support your bust without any visible straps showing, and it gives a smooth and polished look under your dress.

It is essential to choose the right bra that provides sufficient support, lift, and comfort when wearing an empire waist dress. Choosing the right undergarment will enhance your confidence and overall appearance, giving you a stylish and beautiful look. So, whether you prefer a push-up or uplift bra or a strapless bra, the goal is to find a bra that complements your dress and makes you feel comfortable and confident to help you shine in your empire waist dress.

Can the US be called an empire?

The question of whether or not the United States can be considered an empire is a complex and contested one. While the US has never officially identified itself and its territorial possessions as an empire, some commentators have referred to the country as such. The concept of empire itself is somewhat nebulous and there is no consensus definition, but there are certainly ways in which the US exhibits qualities of an empire.

One way to approach the question is to look at the history of US expansionism. From the acquisition of Louisiana from France in 1803 to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has consistently sought to expand its influence and territory. This expansion has often been justified in terms of national security or the spread of democratic values, but it has also frequently involved the subjugation or colonization of other peoples. The concept of Manifest Destiny, which held that the US was destined to expand across the North American continent, is a prime example of this attitude.

Another characteristic of empires is the projection of military power beyond one’s borders. The US maintains a vast network of military bases around the world, giving it a significant military presence in nearly every region of the globe. This has enabled the US to intervene in the affairs of other countries for various reasons, such as the wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East. Critics of US foreign policy argue that this military presence is a form of imperialism, as it allows the US to exercise control over other nations and resources.

The economic dimension of empire is also worth considering. The US has long been one of the world’s dominant economic powers, and its economic influence has been felt globally. The Bretton Woods system, in which the US dollar was the world’s reserve currency backed by gold, gave the US tremendous economic leverage in the post-WWII period. Free trade agreements like NAFTA and the TPP have been criticized by some as a form of economic imperialism, as they often benefit US corporations at the expense of workers in other countries.

Despite these factors, there are also arguments against considering the US an empire. One is that the US is a democracy, with a system of government that is fundamentally different from the authoritarian regimes of past empires. Additionally, the US is not a territorial empire per se, as it does not directly control vast swaths of land outside of US borders in the way that empires like the British or Spanish did.

Whether or not the US can be considered an empire is a matter of interpretation. While the country does exhibit many of the characteristics of empires, such as expansionism, military presence, and economic influence, it is not officially designated as such. Whether this is a matter of semantics or a reflection of the US’s unique place in the world is ultimately up for debate.

Did Rome call itself an empire?

The topic of whether Rome called itself an empire is somewhat complex. Rome began its expansion shortly after the founding of the Roman Republic in the 6th century BC. However, it did not expand outside of the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC. It was considered a great power even before it had an emperor, which is why it is often referred to as the Roman Empire.

The term “Roman Empire” is a modern appellation and did not exist during ancient times. The Romans referred to themselves as “res publica” or “populus Romanus” (the Roman people). However, the term “empire” (imperium) was used to describe the power and authority of Rome. The concept of an empire meant a state that had control over other states and territories. Rome certainly fits this description, as it controlled a vast amount of land and peoples.

The title of emperor was not used until the reign of Augustus in 27 BC. Augustus was the adopted son of Julius Caesar and became the first Roman emperor. He referred to himself as “princeps” (First Citizen) rather than “emperor.” However, the title of emperor did become official under the reign of Diocletian in the late 3rd century AD.

Therefore, while the term “empire” was not used to describe Rome during ancient times, it is clear that the Roman Republic and later, the Roman Empire, were powerful and influential states that controlled significant territories. As such, it is appropriate to refer to Rome as an empire, even if the Romans did not necessarily call themselves that.

Where did the word empire come from?

The word ’empire’ has an interesting origin and history behind it. The term ’empire’ is derived from the Latin word ‘imperium’, which means supreme power or authority. The Latin word found its way into French as ’empire’, and eventually made its way into the English language during the early 14th century.

During the Holy Roman Empire era, the term ‘imperium’ was used to describe the power and authority of a ruler over a specific territory or region. The Roman Empire, with its vast territorial reach and immense power, played a significant role in popularizing the term. Later, the concept of empire expanded beyond the Roman Empire, and the term empire was used to describe any large and powerful state that held sway over other regions and territories.

Empires were typically characterized by having an efficient system of government, a powerful military, and an extensive network of trade and commerce. The British Empire, for example, was a dominant global force from the 18th to the early 20th century. It was characterized by its vast territorial reach and its ability to exert economic and political influence over vast regions.

The word ’empire’ is derived from the Latin term ‘imperium’, which means supreme power or authority. The concept of empire has evolved over time, but it continues to represent a powerful state that holds sway over other regions and territories. The legacy of empires, such as the Roman and British Empires, has left an indelible mark on human history, shaping the world in ways that continue to influence us to this day.