For evenings and events, the popular look was a smoky eye with long lashes, rosy cheeks and a bold lip. The shift dress has many manifestations. Dresses can be formal or informal.
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The shift dress is particularly popular with young to middle-aged women, but really it's appropriate for any age. The short hemlines and boxy cut may not appeal to older women, but the style is timeless and flattering. As an "Everywoman" dress, the shift holds a democratic appeal in fashion. The dress is a versatile and convenient wardrobe staple that can be worn for so many different events including both professional and personal.
The shift converts well from day to night, travels easily and can be worn for almost any occasion. Its universally appealing cut and style take the guesswork out of outfit planning.
It's just one of those dresses that will never go out of style. The shift dress can be traced back to the s flapper trends. Dresses of that era, particularly those of Coco Chanel, featured exposed legs and arms, simple cuts, loose shapes and little waist definition. This was a move away from corsets and offered women both style and ease of movement.
According to fashion expert and costume historian Pauline Weston Thomas, the shift dress was derived from the "sack dress" resembling a food sack — designed by Hubert Givenchy in Paris — and the fitted sheath dress designs of the s. The shift dress became popular by Other historians argue that the shift dress was introduced into popular culture by Lilly Pulitzer, who sold the dresses at her lemonade stand.
The Lilly Dress was noted for its bright colors and playful fabrics. The dress was then glamorized by First Lady and fashion icon Jackie Kennedy as well as trendsetting actress Audrey Hepburn. Shift dresses of the s signified a new trend in women's clothing.
They promoted independence, modernity and a redefinition of the female shape. The design was at once feminine and androgynous, youthful and ageless. Its popularity spanned form the First Lady to the high school student.
The shift dress was a hallmark of the Sexual Revolution. It allowed women to dance, move and work at liberty. It united style and comfort, but was sensationally short and revealing.
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