What is Dress

A dress is a garment that covers the body in one piece from the shoulders to the legs. It pulls the head through an opening in the back, on the front or no openings at all.


If the term refers nowadays in the West almost exclusively to women’s clothing, many cultures consider it a traditional male garment (Islamic countries, the Far East , some peoples of Africa and Latin America , in China up at the beginning of 20th  century).

Even in Europe, the dress has long been worn by both sexes before the birth of the concept of femininity in the Renaissance .It remains a unisex clothing for children up to 19th century as shown by the iconography: when it is no longer wrapped and can sit up, about seven or eight months, the shirt is removed to the child to make him take the dress. This garment can change the layers of the child more easily and leaves the nude and free in its actions and its games, in summer at least. Some details on tables however possible to recognize gender: boys dress like a jacket buttoned at the front, the girls dress is buttoned in the back; differences between the collars, caps, games. This robage abolish sex differences and that abolition is reinforced by the fact that boys and girls wear their hair long. The child is “robed” until the age of six or seven days of the age of reason for first communion set by the Council of Trent and is a rite of passage important for the boy who made ​​the enter the world of men. This ritual does not exist for girls, which gradually move from children dress than women.

When the dress is a unisex garment in the middle of 19th century, it stigmatizes the role which women must be confined hampering his movements or by excessive petticoats ( crinoline , etc.) or by tissue shackles ( 19th  century ) 2 . It takes several successive forms:

  • Scabbardunder the Empire and the Restoration  ;
  • Belluntil 1850  ;
  • Incrinoline until 1870  ;
  • Totwist until 1910.

And it was only after the First World War that the cut will be simplified to provide greater freedom of movement or otherwise emphasize forms.

It was around 1920 that the dresses start a glimpse of the ankles, causing numerous scandals. It is also during this period that the little black dress, short dress and light with simple lines and colors dark.

The materials and styles are variable; it can be long or short on the legs, or may not have sleeves. The cup has a bodice and a skirt sewn to form a single piece.

Types of dresses

  • Scabbard, a tight dress without belt , often low-cut and considered an evening dress
  • Gaulle, a dress chiffon fitted at the waist, open around the chest
  • Dress the French, worn dress 18th  century
  • Polo dress, dress featuring a polo neck, but down to the knees.
  • Wrap Dress 
  • Prat dress
  • Bandage dress specialty brand Herve Leger, but also to Azzedine Alaïa .

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