The History and Evolution of Dresses

Dresses are generally worn by women or girls and consist of a skirt with an attached bodice (sometimes called as a frock or a gown) (or a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment). [1] It comprises of a top piece that hangs down over the legs and covers the body. A dress can be formal or informal and can be any one-piece outfit with a skirt of any length.

A dress can be kept up by elastic across the chest, have sleeves, straps, or none of the above, leaving the shoulders naked. The colors of dresses also differ.

Dress hemlines might differ based on modesty, the outside temperature, fashion, or the wearer's personal preferences. Dresses are outerwear that can be created in one piece or more and consist of a bodice and a skirt. In the West, dresses are typically appropriate for both formal and casual occasions for women and girls.

In the past, dresses could also incorporate other garments like stomachers, kirtles, partlets, petticoats, and corsets.

11th century in history

Women in Europe wore loose dresses with hemlines that ended at the ankles or lower in the 11th century. These garments resembled men's tunics.
By the turn of the century, these dresses had a tighter fit on the upper torso and arms of the women. [8] Slits on the sides of the dresses were used to make them tight.


16th century

Women of the middle and higher classes in Europe wore garments with a smock, stays, kirtle, gown, forepart, sleeves, ruff, and a partlet beginning in the 1550s.
 There were no undergarments worn. Queen Elizabeth set the standards for the kind of clothes that women could wear in England. Spanish bodices served as an inspiration for the ruffles worn by French women.French clothing was referred to as marlottes.The Italian words for dresses were ropa and semarra. The 16th century saw the appearance of dresses with surface embellishment like embroidery, particularly blackwork.
In Russia throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, a woman's dress indicated her position in society or her family.


17th century

During the 17th century, Holland, as a powerhouse of textile manufacturing, was a particularly notable location of innovation in garment fashion.
Women wore stomachers in Spain and Portugal, but not in England and Wales.
The three-piece gown, which consisted of a bodice, petticoat, and gown, was fashionable until the last 25 years of the century, when the mantua, or one-piece gown, gained popularity.By the 1680s, corsets had become more popular in garments.Working women and slave women in the Americas made shifts, wool or linen petticoats and gowns, and cotton outfits from basic designs.
When a lady was near a cooking or heating fire, the bottoms of her skirts might be tucked into the waistband.

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