Welcome to the next installment of Dressentials! In honor of our love and adoration for cute dresses, we're looking back on the history of a few of our favorite silhouettes. From our past exploration of the history of the fit and flare dress to today's look at the drop waist dress, we're taking a deeper look at the different types of dresses we already adore, and finding new favorite silhouettes! Stay tuned, we're looking forward to the romantic maxi dress and classic wrap dress in our features ahead! If you read our last feature on the history of fit & flare dresses, we're certain you're ready to learn all about the history of the drop waist dress!
Drop waist dresses are typically characterized for their relaxed silhouette that floats away from the body and a hemline that falls slightly below the hips as opposed to the waist, hence the name "drop waist!" The stunning drop waist dress' first appearance was during the mid 1910s courtesy of famed French fashion designer Coco Chanel, who departed from the constricting 1900s fashions like corsets and heavy skirts with her "Garconne" look. Literally translating to "boy", the "Garconne" look featured more masculine styles like relaxed tops, trousers, and an early version of the drop waist dress. This collection emphasized women's curves and classic conceptions of femininity with straight silhouettes, vertical lines, and an apparent lack of waistline. One of the most noticeable changes in 1920s fashion was rising hemlines, and many drop waist dresses fell just below the knee.
The drop waist silhouette first rose to popularity in the 1920s thanks to the flappers. Flapper girls were known for their rebellion against the social conventions of the 1920s. Clad in kitten heels, pearls, and a signature 1920s bob haristyle, they often would actively participate in defying female conventions day and night. While the early history of drop waist dresses is covered in feathers and fringe, today's drop waist dresses come in a variety of colors, prints, and even have skirts that are more voluminous, like ruffled skirt, or more structured, like an a-line skirt. While the early drop waist dresses of the 1920s fell just below the knee, drop waist dresses today come in a variety of lengths and come embellished with sequins for a night out or solid colors and light fabrics for a casual day.
A must-have in any closet, the drop waist dress has been a favorite of women for decades. From what began as sign of more modern and progressive times is now a delightfully retro nod to the 1920s that can be worn with anything from sandals and a denim jacket to the kitten heels and long strands of pearls the women of the 1920s favored. Join us next time for even more Dressentials!