Today's Dressesntials is all about the history of the shift dress! You can look at past Dressentials features here for a look at the history of a few of your favorite dress silhouettes like the drop waist dress and fit & flare dress. Our love for cute dresses is reaching new heights as we explore the facts and history behind our favorite dresses! Shift dresses are known for keeping it short & sweet; featuring a straight up-and-down shape, high neck, and an overall simple elegance. Shift dresses are perfect for the girl on the go, because the fabric slightly floats away from the body, leaving room for movement. The shift dress first rose to popularity in a sleeveless silhouette, but the dress that first became loved at the height of 1960s fashion soon was available in short sleeves, long sleeves, and in many prints, colors, and lengths!
In our last Dressentials post, we discussed the drop waist dress. The subject of today's post is the shift dress, which actually was inspired by the drop waist silhouette popularized by 1920s flappers! The creation of the shift dress is credited to designers Hubert de Givenchy and Cristobal Balenciaga. They introduced the classic silhouette, known for a shorter hemline and simple lines, in their 1957 Paris collections. The shift dress rose to popularity when worn by timeless actress Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's. Audrey Hepburn's black shift dress from the film was designed by Hubert de Givenchy himself, and has become an iconic image of timeless elegance.
Among the fans of the shift dress was fashion icon Lily Pulitzer. A fan of bright and bold colors along with vibrant prints, Lily took the shift dress and created a style that was completely her own. Did you know that Lily Pulitzer first started designing in bold prints because she needed something colorful enough to cover up the stains that appeared on her dress from operating a juice bar? Fellow style icon and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy wore both Pulitzer and Givenchy's designs often, and popularized the shift dress when she appeared on the cover of Life Magazine wearing Lily Pulitzer's design. The mini shift dress silhouette was created when designer Mary Quant cut the hem of her shift dress, and found a 16 year old model to show off her new design. That model would soon rise to fame and go by the name "Twiggy" (we think you may have heard of her!). The shift dress has remained a favorite for women everywhere ever since!
The shift dress is still a favorite in and can be found in almost any Ruchette's wardrobe today! Perfect for adding a touch of vintage style to your everyday ensemble, or an easy, cute dress to slip into when you're on the go, we have a feeling the shift dress will not fall out of style any time soon!