The Iconic Shirtwaist Dress

By , July 13, 2011 2:23 pm

1950s Jonathan Logan Summer Plaid Day Dress

This summer, the dress is the way to go for comfort and style. Be it long or short, the simplicity of a one piece dress allows you to spend more time thinking of your accessories. And isn’t that easier then figuring out what top or bottom to wear together. The right shoe, jewelry or belt will add just the right finishing touch. So stay cool this summer by perhaps choosing the iconic shirt waist dress which has come a real long way just like women have.

Vintage Colorful Plaid Shirtwaist Dress

The concept of the shirt waist dress originated from a man’s shirt and was seen as early as the 1900s. Although it has a menswear influence, it’s anything but masculine. The 1950s iconic shirtwaist dress, as seen in movies like Pleasantville, emphasized the female waist and the bust and was very feminine. Casual and dressy versions of the shirtwaist dress were staples in a woman’s closet from the time Dior introduced the “New Look” silhouette in 1947. These dresses were worn with petticoats underneath to increase the skirt’s volume and create a more festive look, and girdles to make the waist smaller, creating a very flattering silhouette. They could also be worn casually without a petticoat and were then referred to as house dresses.

So cheers to the shirtwaist dress, you’ve come a long way baby! Try one on!

1950s Cotton Shirt Waist Dress in Olive Green with Orange Floral Print

Emma Sosa teaches SXF 300: Secrets from a Professional Shopper, SXS 100: Introduction to Fashion Styling, SXT 500: Star-Quality Vintage Shopping.

One Response to “The Iconic Shirtwaist Dress”

  1. ruthie hilaiel says:

    Yes, indeed….cheers to the shirtwaist dress!! A must for every woman’s closet even today.
    Nicely written.

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