Dress sweater 2018

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For the general concept of dress, see. For other uses, see.

"Dresses" redirects here. For the song by Betty Blowtorch, see.

A dress (also known as a or a ) is a garment consisting of a with an attached (or a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment). It consists of a top piece that covers the torso and hangs down over the legs. A dress can be any one-piece garment containing a skirt of any length. Dresses can be formal or informal. In many cultures, dresses are more often worn by women and girls.

The of dresses vary depending on the of the time period and the or personal taste of the wearer.


Dresses are outer garments made up of a and a and can be made in one or more pieces. Dresses are generally suitable for both general and in the West for women and children.

Historically, dresses could also include other items of clothing such as,,,, smocks and.


11th century[]

In the 11th century, women in wore dresses that were similar to men's tunics and were loose, with a hemline reaching to below the knees or lower. By the end of the century, these dresses featured a tighter fit on the arms and women's upper bodies. Dresses were made snug by featuring slits on the sides of the dress that were pulled tight in order to fit a woman's figure.

16th century[]

Starting in the 1550s, middle- and upper-class women in Europe wore dresses which included a smock, stays,,, forepart, sleeves, ruff and a. Undergarments were not worn underneath. In England, dictated what kinds of dresses women were allowed to wear. French women were inspired by Spanish-style and also wore. French dresses were known as marlottes. In Italy, dresses were known as ropa and semarra. Dresses in the 16th century also displayed surface decoration such as, with being especially popular.

Women's dresses in during both the 16th and 17th centuries identified a woman's place in society or their family.

17th century[]

, as a center of textile production, was a particularly noted area of innovation in dress during this time period. During this time period, in Spain and Portugal, women wore. However, in England and France, dresses became more "naturally" shaped. Lace and slashing were popular decorations. Skirts were full, with regular folds and the overskirt allowed the display of an underskirt of contrasting fabric. Necklines became lower as well. Embroidery that reflected scientific discoveries, such as new animals and plants discovered were popular. In the, the multiple-piece dresses were also popular, though less luxurious. Wealthy women living in the Spanish or Dutch colonies in the Americas copied the fashions that were popular from their homelands.

The three-piece dress, which had a bodice, petticoat and gown, were popular until the last 25 years, in which the, or a one-piece gown, became more popular. became more important in dresses by the 1680s.

Working women, and women in, used simple patterns to create shifts, wool or linen petticoats and gowns and cotton dresses. The bottoms of the skirts could be tucked into the waistband when a woman was near fire when near a cooking or heating source.

18th century[]

Large, triangular silhouettes were favored during the 18th century, skirts were wide and supported by hoop underskirts. One-piece gowns remained popular until the middle of the century. During the 1760s in France, hoop petticoats were reduced in size. Lighter colors and lighter fabrics were also favored. In Colonial America, women most often wore a gown and petticoat, in which the skirt of the gown opened to reveal the underneath. Women also had which consisted of the petticoat, jacket and a waistcoat.

French fashion regarding dresses became very fast-changing during the later part of the 18th century. Throughout this period, the length of fashionable dresses varied only slightly, between ankle-length and floor-sweeping. Between 1740 and 1770, the was very popular with upper-class women. In France, the became popular after the. This style was more simple and was also favored by. Other types of dresses that were popular during the revolution included tunic dresses and the negligée à la patriot, which featured the red, white and blue colors, symbolic of the revolution.

19th century[]

Early 19th century dress. Early 19th century dress.

Women's dresses in the 19th century began to be classified by the time of day or purpose of the dress. High-waisted dresses were popular until around 1830.

Early nineteenth century dresses in Russia were influenced by and were made of thin fabrics, with some dresses being semi-transparent. wore these types of dresses with a short skirt (reaching to her ankles) when she lived in Russia between 1785 and 1801. Many Russian women copied her style. By the 1840s, Russian women were turning to what was in fashion in Europe.

Europeans styles in dresses increased dramatically to the and -supported styles of the 1860s, then fullness was draped and drawn to the back. Dresses had a "day" bodice with a high and long sleeves, and an "evening" bodice with a low neckline () and very short sleeves. In Russia, metal hoopskirts were known as "malakhovs." Skirts of the 1860s were heavily decorated.

To sleep, women in the American West wore floor-length dresses of white with high collars displaying decoration. Various people, such as the and the began to adapt the designs of their dresses to look more like the European Americans they came in contact with. Navajo women further adapted the European designs, incorporating their own sense of beauty, "creating hózhó."

Paper for women to sew their own dresses started to be readily available in the 1860s, when the began to promote them. These patterns were graded by size, which was a new innovation.

The dresses were tight-fitting and decorated with pleats, and frills. Women in the United States who were involved in in the 1850s found themselves the center of attention, both positive and negative. By 1881, the had formed in reaction to the restrictive dress of the era.

20th century[]

Model posing in a glamorous 1930s evening gown. Model posing in a glamorous 1930s evening gown.

In the early twentieth century, the look popularized by the was fashionable. The upper part of women's dresses in the included a "pigeon breast" look that gave way to a corseted waist and an s-shaped silhouette. Women called their dresses "waists" if one-piece, or "," if it consisted of a skirt and a blouse. The bodice of the dresses had a boned lining. Informally, wealthy women wore at home. These garments were looser, though not as loose as a "wrapper," and made of expensive fabric and laces.

By 1910, the Edwardian look was replaced with a straighter silhouette. French designer,, had a huge impact on the look of the time. Designs developed by Poiret were available in both boutiques and also in. Popular dresses of the time were one-piece and included which could be layered. At around the same time, in the United States, the developed a dress called the, which was practical for women to work and move around in. Another innovation of the 1910s was the ready availability of factory-made clothing.

Waistlines started out high and by 1915 were below the natural waist. By 1920, waistlines were at hip-level. Between 1910 and 1920 necklines were lower and dresses could be short-sleeved or sleeveless. Women who worked during preferred shorter dresses, which eventually became the dominant style overall. In addition to the shorter dresses, waistlines were looser and the dominant colors were black, white and gray.

By 1920, the "new woman" was a trend that saw lighter fabrics and dresses that were easier to put on. Younger women were also setting the trends that older women started to follow. The dresses of the 1920s could be pulled over the head, were short and straight. It was acceptable to wear sleeveless dresses during the day. dresses were popular until end of the decade.

During, dresses were slimmer and inspired by military uniforms. After WWII, the New Look, promoted by was very influential on fashion and the look of women's dresses for about a decade.

Since the 1970s, no one dress type or length has dominated fashion for long, with short and ankle-length styles often appearing side-by-side in fashion magazines and catalogs.

In most varieties of in Western cultures, a dress of an appropriate style is mandatory for women. They are also very popular for special occasions such as or. For such occasions they, together with and, remain the de facto standard attire for many girls and women.

Types of dresses[]

Time period[]

  • 16th century dress.

  • Calico dress, circa 1656-1693

  • Late 17th century, wool and metallic thread.

  • Russian dress, 1717

  • Dress circa 1750-1800, wool and chintz.

  • Dress circa 1770-1800, chintz and printed cotton

  • Classic empire line gown, muslin with tambour, circa 1805

  • Dress and outfit, circa 1855

  • Late 19th century

  • Silk velvet, chenille and chiffon created by  (), 1903

  • Rayon with seed beads, circa 1925

  • Dance dress, 1939

  • Day dress, circa 1940s

  • in "afternoon dress", 1950

  • Blue satin cocktail dress, 1959

  • Printed dress, circa 1960

  • Jersey dress, circa 1970


  • Gown or Long Dress - a woman's formal dress, usually having a floor-length skirt.

  • Maxi dresses (c.1970) - maxi is a term used since the late 1960s for ankle-length, typically informal dresses.

  • Midi dress - a “midi” is used to refer to any dress or skirt that has a hem which hits at mid-calf – halfway between the knee and ankle.

  • Knee length dress- Hemline ends at knee height.

  • (1960s) - a very short dress that terminates above the knee.

  • Micro dress (right) with minidresses, 2008.- A microdress is an extremely short version of a mini.

See also[]



  1. Condra, Jill.. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 59.  . 
  2. ^ Davis, Michael (2007). Art of dress designing (1st ed.). Delhi: Global Media.  . 
  3. . Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2018-01-29. 
  4. ^ "Costume".. 2017 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^. Colonial Williamsburg. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  6. ^. Makers. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  7. . Butterick Patterns. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  8. Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn (2014).. Infobase Publishing. pp. 71–72.  . 
  9. Greenberg, Molly (2017-03-01).. UNC. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  10. Khan, Sarah (2016-11-16).. Marie France Asia. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  11. . Women's History Network. 2013-09-01. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  12. Pundir, Nirupama (2007). Fashion technology : today and tomorrow. New Delhi: Mittal Publications.  . 
  13. ^ The Vogue Sewing Book. Vogue Patterns. 1975. p. 337. 
  14. Cumming, Valerie; Cunnington, C.W.; Cunnington, P.E. (2010). (Rev., updated and supplemented [ed.]. ed.). Oxford: Berg. p. 130.  . 
  15. Delamore, Philip. "Mini and Midi".. Pavilion Books. p. 122.  . 
  16. Cumming, Valerie; Cunnington, C. W.; Cunnington, P. E.. Berg.  . 


  • Bigelow, Marybelle S. (1970).. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Burgess Publishing Company.  . 
  • Brockmamn, Helen L.: The Theory of Fashion Design, Wiley, 1965.
  • Darnell, Paula Jean (2000).. Reno, NV: Fabric Fancies.  . 
  • Cunningham, Patricia A. (2003).. Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press.  . 
  • Delpierre, Madeleine (1997).. Translated by Caroline Beamish. New Haven: Yale University.  . 
  • Edwards, Lydia (2017).. London: Bloomsbury Academic.  . 
  • Havelin, Kate (2012).. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books.  . 
  • Krohn, Katherine (2012).. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Bookos.  . 
  • Newman, Paul B. (2001).. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.  . 
  • Parezo, Nancy J.; Jones, Angelina R. (June 2009)... 33 (3): 373–404 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • Picken, Mary Brooks (1957).. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. 
  • Pietsch, Johannes (September 2013).. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. 17 (4): 397–416. : – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • Pushkareva, Natalia (1997).. Translated and edited by Eve Levin. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe.  . 
  • Richards, Marlee (2010).. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books.  . 
  • Staples, Kathleen A.; Shaw, Madelyn (2013). Clothing Through American History: The British Colonial Era. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood.  . 
  • Stoykov, Lubomir (2016). Theoretical problems of fashion, Sofia: National Academy of Art.  
  • Tozer, Jane, and Sarah Levitt: Fabric of Society: A Century of People and Their Clothes 1770–1870, Laura Ashley Ltd., 1983;  

External links[]

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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