The Regency period of the late 18th Century saw the arrival of the high-waisted, easy empire gown as the fashion statement. Dreamy and flowing, the empire gown highlights a woman's bust and neckline and often has sweet, poufy cap sleeves and a ribbon or waist-defining detail that sits directly under the bust. While the gown is modest in its coverage of the rest of the body, that singular waist detail adds a bit of a subversively sexy twist.
Films like Shakespeare In Love and Emma have helped to bring the empire gown to the forefront of fashion again by celebrating an utterly romantic style that flatters many women. Empire wedding gowns are a style staple in most wedding collections since they lend themselves perfectly to a softer, sweeter, more feminine bridal look. Smaller busted women look fantastic in empire gowns because it gives the appearance of curves and highlights that area exclusively. The soft, drapey skirt hides a multitude of sins and is divinely comfortable. Most empire dresses are made in soft, silk chiffons, georgettes and featherweight silk tulles.