|Outnet.com: Sonia Rykiel, Vince, Reed Krakoff, Marc Jacobs|
I don’t know about you but I never leave time to buy myself something to wear for the holidays. Maybe you’ve poked around in the Misses department in between buying a sweater for your husband and another pair of gloves for your sister. If so, then you’ve noticed the racks full of dresses and most on sale. But have you carved out some time to shop for a Christmas dress in between the endless gift buying, cooking and decorating? We should all take an afternoon off, grab a friend or not, have a nice lunch and try on some dresses. And I think I’ve rediscovered the style that will make this easy and painless.
The Shift Dress
You may have worn one in high school although peasant dresses were more popular with the hippie generation on the few occasions we took off our jeans. The shift dress is a perfect style for a second life when our bodies tend to take on a shape of their own. By definition, a shift dress is a boxy style that hangs straight from the shoulders with no waist definition. The only fitting is in the darts at the bustline. A shift is usually sleeveless although there are variations on that. The hem hits at or above the knee and the neckline is typically scoop or boatneck.
This silhouette dates back to the 1920’s. The irony is it was first worn by the young flappers who spurned the fitted waists and house dresses of the turn of the century. This move was less scandalous and more practical in that the modern women wanted to wear something more comfortable to dance and shift their hips in. Our grandmothers might be amused to see that we have reconsidered a style they helped to invent.
|I guess these hemlines were considered risque back then!|
A number of online fashion and shopping web sites have been promoting the shift dress this season. Real Simple recently featured shift dresses and gave pointers on how to select one based on your shape and height. The most inspired collection I found is at TheOutnet.com although I should warn you there are limited sizes left. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus each have an impressive assortment of shifts, a lot already marked down.
While the shift dress has a specific shape the overall
look is as varied as the designers that include it in their collections each year. Take a look at some in the slide show below and click on the store links above to find more about the shifts you like most. But first remember to take some time off for yourself…even if you don’t wind up buying a dress. In that case buy an accessory and shop your closet!