Dress: Wikis


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Did you know ...

  • throughout the Western world until the 19th or 20th century, young boys wore dresses (example pictured) until they were breeched at an age varying between two and eight?
  • the self-made dress that Barbara Dex wore while performing "Iemand Als Jij" at the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest led to the creation of an award for the worst-dressed performer in the contest?
  • less than two months after showing what would become the dress of the season for Spring 2006, Roland Mouret split from his backers and took a two-year hiatus from the fashion industry?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres depicts the Comtesse d'Haussonville, wearing a dress.

A dress (also frock, gown) is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.

In Western culture, dresses are usually considered women's and little girls' clothing. The hemline of dresses can be as high as the upper thigh or as low as the ground, depending on the whims of fashion and the modesty or personal taste of the wearer.



19th century

Dresses increased dramatically to the hoopskirt and crinoline-supported styles of the 1860s; then fullness was draped and drawn to the back. Dresses had a "day" bodice with a high neckline and long sleeves, and an "evening" bodice with a low neckline (decollete) and very short sleeves.

Throughout this period, the length of fashionable dresses varied only slightly, between ankle-length and floor-sweeping.

See also History of Western fashion: 1795-1820, 1820s, 1830s, 1840s,1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, 1890s
Victorian fashion, Artistic Dress movement, Victorian dress reform.

Dress types

Depending on design dresses are classified. Different basic dress shapes[1] are:

  • Shirtwaist, a dress with a bodice (waist) like a tailored shirt and an attached straight or full skirt
  • Sheath, a fitted, often sleeveless dress, often without a waistseam (1960s)
  • Shift, a straight dress with no waist shaping or seam (1960s)
  • Jumper dress (American English) or Pinafore dress (British English) is a sleeveless dress intended to be worn over a layering top or blouse. Jumper dresses exist for both summer and winter wear.
  • Sundress is an informal sleeveless dress of any shape in a lightweight fabric, for summer wear.
  • Tent, a dress flared from above the bust, sometimes with a yoke (1960s, renewed popularity after 2005)
  • Maxi dress, a long, formfitting, floor or ankle length dress.
  • Surplice dress - has a neckline which is formed by two pieces of fabric wrapping around each other creating a V-neck.
  • Wrap dress, a dress with a front closure formed by wrapping one side across the other and knotting the attached ties on the side, or fastening buttons. This forms a V-shaped neckline and hugs a woman's curves. A faux wrap dress resembles this design, except that it comes already fastened together with no opening in front, but instead is slipped on over the head. (1970s; renewed popularity from late 1990s)

Dresses for particular purposes

  • Gown, a dress with a fitted or tight bodice and a straight or full skirt, worn for formal occasions like a banquet, an opera, or a gala
  • Tea gown, a frothy, dressy dress with a low hem for afternoon social wear, or for dinner at home
  • Cocktail dress, a party dress of the current street length (1950s and sporadically popular since)
  • Dinner dress, a formal dress worn when fashionable people "dressed for dinner" (men in tuxedos or dinner jackets). While it may be as fancy as a ball gown, the skirt is generally narrow.
  • Evening gown, a long dress for formal occasions, worn to formal receptions in the evening
  • Ball gown, a long dress with a full, sweeping, or trained skirt for dancing, worn to balls and other white-tie occasions. The term ballroom dress, by contrast, usually indicates a costume worn for ballroom dancing competitions.
  • Coronation gown, formal wear for coronations
  • Wedding dress, a gown for the bride of a wedding

Fads and fashions

  • Chanel's little black dress (1920s and on)
  • Kitty Foyle, a dark-colored dress with contrasting (usually white) collar and cuffs (1940s, after a dress worn by Ginger Rogers in the movie of the same name)
  • Granny gown, an ankle-length, often ruffled, day dress of printed calico, cut like a Victorian nightgown, popularized by designer Laura Ashley (late 1960s-1970s)
  • Hoodie dress, this dress type became popular in 2006 and continues through 2009. This is a dress with a hoodie. This can look like the style of a regular hoodie top or it can look like a hoodie without sleeves and a long sleeved shirt underneath. Like a layered t-shirt. The hoodie dress is popular worn with jeans, leggings, or opaque tights footed or footless, and sneakers or flats.


A typical pre-prom gathering, with girls in dresses, and boys in tuxedos.

In Europe and America, dresses are worn by females of all ages as an alternative to a separate skirt and blouse or trousers. Dresses are often used by young girls and as more formal attire by adult women.

Potential drawbacks of dresses include being either too long or cumbersome for the performance of some physical activities such as climbing stairs or ladders. Their use can run contrary to the individual or wider public sense of modesty and decency, especially given their potential to intentionally or accidentally expose the wearer's underwear or lack of. In addition, some dress styles, particularly those with back closures, can be difficult or even impossible to don or remove without assistance.

Dresses however can be cooler and less confining than many trouser styles, and they are still very popular for special occasions such as proms or weddings.


Dresses are, like other outer clothing, usually worn with underwear. A wearer of a dress is likely to wear a form of panties as innerwear, though depending on the occasion, type of material, and type of skirt for modesty one may wear a half slip (also called a underskirt) over the panties. Dresses are sometimes worn with tights, footless tights, bike shorts or capri, or ankle length leggings.

On top, one usually wears a bra, but for modesty wearing a camisole or full slip is also an option.

See also


  1. ^ Womens Dresses - Designer Dresses and Skirts for Women
  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Brockmamn, Helen L.: The Theory of Fashion Design, Wiley, 1965.
  • Picken, Mary Brooks: The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957. (1973 edition ISBN 0-308-10052-2)
  • Tozer, Jane, and Sarah Levitt: Fabric of Society: A Century of People and Their Clothes 1770-1870, Laura Ashley Ltd., 1983; ISBN 0-9508913-0-4

External links

1911 encyclopedia

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From Wikispecies

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


Materials used

The earliest and simplest an apron of fig-leaves sewed together (Gen 3:7); then skins of animals (3:21). Elijah's dress was probably the skin of a sheep (2Kg 1:8). The Hebrews were early acquainted with the art of weaving hair into cloth (Ex 26:7; 35:6), which formed the sackcloth of mourners. This was the material of John the Baptist's robe (Mt 3:4). Wool was also woven into garments (Lev 13:47; Deut 22:11; Ezek 34:3; Job 31:20; Prov 27:26). The Israelites probably learned the art of weaving linen when they were in Egypt (1Chr 4:21). Fine linen was used in the vestments of the high priest (Ex 28:5), as well as by the rich (Gen 41:42; Prov 31:22; Lk 16:19). The use of mixed material, as wool and flax, was forbidden (Lev 19:19; Deut 22:11).


The prevailing colour was the natural white of the material used, which was sometimes rendered purer by the fuller's art (Ps 1041, 2; Isa 63:3; Mk 9:3). The Hebrews were acquainted with the art of dyeing (Gen 37:3, 23). Various modes of ornamentation were adopted in the process of weaving (Ex 28:6; 26:1, 31; 35:25), and by needle-work (Jdg 5:30; Ps 4513). Dyed robes were imported from foreign countries, particularly from Phoenicia (Zeph 1:8). Purple and scarlet robes were the marks of the wealthy (Lk 16:19; 2 Sam 1:24).


The robes of men and women were not very much different in form from each other.

(a) The "coat" (kethoneth), of wool, cotton, or linen, was worn by both sexes. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling in use and form our shirt (Jn 19:23). It was kept close to the body by a girdle (Jn 21:7). A person wearing this "coat" alone was described as naked (1Sam 19:24; Isa 20:2; 2Kg 6:30; Jn 21:7); deprived of it he would be absolutely naked.

(b) A linen cloth or wrapper (sadin) of fine linen, used somewhat as a night-shirt (Mk 14:51). It is mentioned in Jdg 14:12, 13, and rendered there "sheets."

(c) An upper tunic (meil), longer than the "coat" (1Sam 2:19; 24:4; 28:14). In 1Sam 28:14 it is the mantle in which Samuel was enveloped; in 1Sam 24:4 it is the "robe" under which Saul slept. The disciples were forbidden to wear two "coats" (Mt 10:10; Lk 9:3).

(d) The usual outer garment consisted of a piece of woollen cloth like a Scotch plaid, either wrapped round the body or thrown over the shoulders like a shawl, with the ends hanging down in front, or it might be thrown over the head so as to conceal the face (2 Sam 15:30; Est 6:12). It was confined to the waist by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of the robe served as a pocket (2Kg 4:39; Ps 7912; Hag 2:12; Prov 17:23; 21:14).

Female dress

The "coat" was common to both sexes (Song 5:3). But peculiar to females were (1) the "veil" or "wimple," a kind of shawl (Ruth 3:15; rendered "mantle," R.V., Isa 3:22); (2) the "mantle," also a species of shawl (Isa 3:22); (3) a "veil," probably a light summer dress (Gen 24:65); (4) a "stomacher," a holiday dress (Isa 3:24). The outer garment terminated in an ample fringe or border, which concealed the feet (Isa 47:2; Jer 13:22).

The dress of the Persians is described in Dan 3:21.

The reference to the art of sewing are few, inasmuch as the garments generally came forth from the loom ready for being worn, and all that was required in the making of clothes devolved on the women of a family (Prov 31:22; Acts 9:39).

Extravagance in dress is referred to in Jer 4:30; Ezek 16:10; Zeph 1:8 (R.V., "foreign apparel"); 1 Tim 2:9; 1 Pet 3:3. Rending the robes was expressive of grief (Gen 37:29, 34), fear (1 Kg 21:27), indignation (2Kg 5:7), or despair (Jdg 11:35; Est 4:1).

Shaking the garments, or shaking the dust from off them, was a sign of renunciation (Acts 18:6); wrapping them round the head, of awe (1 Kg 19:13) or grief (2 Sam 15:30; casting them off, of excitement (Acts 22:23); laying hold of them, of supplication (1Sam 15:27). In the case of travelling, the outer garments were girded up (1 Kg 18:46). They were thrown aside also when they would impede action (Mk 10:50; Jn 13:4; Acts 7:58).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

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Marie Therese in dress and Louis Charles
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A dress is a piece of clothing that women sometimes wear. A dress is like a shirt attached to a long, matching skirt, which may trail behind the wearer. They are also called gowns or frocks. There are many types of dresses. A dress is usually worn at formal occasions, such as a wedding or a dance. It is also worn in the summer to keep cool. In some places, men may wear dresses as part of their culture.

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