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Top 10 Must have Dresses for Women

In today’s modern world, women can wear nearly any kind of clothing they desire. However, when a lady decides to wear a dress, she has many different styles to choose from. A selection of dresses in one’s closet makes it easy to feel at home, no matter what the occasion. From a little black dress for dinner out on a date to a simple shift dress for antiques shopping with friends, the options are endless. Some women think they cannot wear dresses because of a perceived flaw. There are so many styles; however, that everyone can find something that suits them. Although dresses are available in numerous department stores, boutiques, and fashion shops, eBay’s huge selection makes shopping for different dress styles easy and fun.

1 Little Black Dress

The ubiquitous little black dress is a must-have for every woman. No matter what the occasion, this dress is the go-to choice. Dress it up with heels and sparkly jewelry for evening events or dress it down with funky flats and a matching sun hat for an afternoon lunch with the girls. From mini to just below the knee, this versatile dress keeps women in style and, as Glamour asserts, black is a foolproof, flattering color. Coco Chanel gave the little black dress to the world on October 1, 1926. American Vogue ran a small sketch of the dress along with the prediction that it is the frock that all the world will wear. Chanel was fond of saying, “One is never over nor underdressed in a little black dress.

2 Cocktail Dress

The cocktail dress is a bit more polished and refined than a dress normally worn during the day. Women wear this outfit during or after the cocktail hour, which generally means 7:00 pm or later. The hemline rests above the knee for early evening parties or as long as ankle length for late night get-togethers. This type comes in many colors and styles, and the wearer should consider her body type before purchasing one. Christian Dior coined the term cocktail dress in the late 1940s. He launched his line of clothing in 1947 and quickly became one of the most influential designers of the 20th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art asserts that, Dior offered not merely a new look but a new outlook for women.

3 Maxi Dress

The maxi dress is a long, usually flowing dress, which can be as plain or as ornate as the consumer wishes. This hugely popular style is wearable day or night, and it can look dressy or casual. Glamour advances the idea that the slip dress silhouette works best on tall, lithe figures, while Empire-waist and halter maxi dresses are flattering on curvier bodies. No matter which style, Lord and Taylor states that the elegant folds of a maxi dress accentuates the feminine figure and lends sophistication to casual or more formal styles. The 1960s saw the emergence of the maxi dress, and The New York Times highlighted one of the earliest designs in 1968.Oscar de la Renta designed it for the Elizabeth Arden Salon. By the 1970s, the maxi dress had become an iconic look of the era. However, even now it is still a popular choice, particularly as a sundress in the summer.

4 Mini Dress

The mini dress is a short dress of nearly any style. Whether skin tight or full and fluid, this dress shows off the legs. The hemline is generally half way up the thighs, although some can be much shorter. Introduced during the Swinging Sixties in London, the popularity of the mini dress has rarely faltered. Many women still wear the iconic dress, but Fibre2Fashion asserts that miniskirtsare now becoming more common for younger generations. Although a lovely style, this dress is not necessarily attractive on every figure. Londoner, Mary Quant invented the mini dress. She sold her own design in Chelsea, London from her shop, Bazaar. This simple, but groundbreaking, street fashion was raised to international heights by Andre Courreges, a well-known French designer. Often paired with tights and go-go boots, the mini skirt started a phenomenon that still exists today.

5 A-Line Dress

The A-line dress is a wardrobe staple. It is slimmer at the top and flares smoothly to a wider bottom, creating the silhouette of a capital letter A. This style looks good on almost all body types and works well to disguise bottom-heavy figures. The hemline of an A-line dress varies from mini skirt length to below the knee. This style of dress is equally at home in a cafe, on a cruise ship, or browsing the local farmer’s market, depending on how casual the dress’ style is. As A Fashionable Stitch claims, the first use of the term A-line in fashion dates back to Christian Dior in his Spring 1955 collection. After Dior’s death in 1957, his successor, Yves Saint Laurent, popularized the style even farther with his Trapeze Line. The A-line dress remained popular throughout the 1960s and 1970s. It is still beloved today for its easy style and comfort.

6 Tea Length Dress

Worn during the daytime hours, the tea length dress is a flowing, very feminine garment. The hemline of this very lady-like dress falls between the top of the ankle and the middle of the calf. Bows, ribbons, lace, and ruffles regularly embellish this style of dress, and the fabric often sportswhimsical or floral patterns. The skirt is full and the material is light and graceful. Glamour reports that a tea-length floral dress wears just as well at backyard barbecues and garden parties as summer weddings and evening events. Tea length dresses became popular in the 1800s and were actually full-length dresses with trains at that time. Considered too informal to wear in public, ladies wore them to have tea or dinner in their own home or in the home of a family member. The hemline has risen a bit, but the graceful structure makes this a lovely dress.

7 Shift Dress

The shift dress is a simple, straight dress that has a hemline that falls at or slightly above the knee. It is often sleeveless and has no definition to the waist. The styling of this versatile dress lends itself to dressing up with heels, pearls, and a pillbox hat, a la Jackie Kennedy, or dressing down with flats and a cardigan, as Michelle Obama prefers. Whichever style a woman chooses, the shift dress offers a timeless silhouette. The shift dress shape comes from the fringed flapper dresses of the 1920s. They were comfortable and easy to dance in. In the 1960s, fashion designer, Lilly Pulitzer, started selling a sleek new version of the shift dress at her juice stand in Palm Beach, Florida. The dresses were a hit, and Pulitzer entered the fashion business full-time.

8 Shirtwaist Dress

The shirtwaist dress takes many of its details from men’s dress shirts. They generally have collars, button fronts, and cuffed sleeves. The fitted top enhances the full skirt, which usually flows from a belted waist. The hemline falls from just above the knee to just below. The cut of the shirtwaist dress is forgiving and is a good choice for most body types. The shirtwaist dress became a popular style with the Gibson Girl in the early 1900s, but Christian Dior introduced his version of the now iconic dress in the late 1940s. As reported by The New York Times City Room, by the mid 20th century, calf-length interpretations of the Diorshirtwaist represented domesticity to a generation of homemakers taking their style cues from Donna Reed.

9 Wrap Dress

The wrap dress is a self-belted, V-neck dress that comes in all sleeve lengths. The wrap style of this dress is attractive on most body types. Usually made from easy to wear knit fabric, the hemlines vary greatly from mini to maxi and every length in between. This dress transitions easily from the office to dinner and dancing. Diane von Furstenberg introduced the wrap dress in 1972. They became the vogue for working women in the 1970s and a symbol of the women’s liberation movement. VAMag asserts that Farstenberg’s dress gave working women, those wanted to work like men but continue to look like a woman, a style to call their own.

10 Evening Gown

As described by the Clothing and Fashion Encyclopedia, the evening dress is the prevailing style prescribed by fashion to wear in the evening.It is a long, flowing dress specific to semi-formal or formal evening functions. Although often worn by members of a bridal party, a guest should only wear a formal gown at an evening wedding. Other times when an evening gown is necessary include state dinners, gala fundraisers, proms, and award ceremonies. These formal dresses are usually made of luxurious fabrics, such as silk, chiffon, or satin and possibly embroidered with beads or jewels. The evening gown has its roots in the 15th century with the rise of the Burgundian Court, when women began adding trains to their kirtle for formal occasions. During the 1930s, while hemlineswere rising for everyday wear, evening gowns continued to be full length. Today, women may choose from a huge variety of evening wear styles, but there is something amazing about the ultra-feminine look of a traditional evening gown.

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