In the fashion industry, a sheath dress is a straight cut dress, fitted, often nipped from the waistline, and has no waist seam. When sewing, the dress’s bodice and the skirt are joined together by sewing the skirt darts into one dart.
This will align the skirt darts and the bodice waist dart. The dress highlights the waist as its skirt part is fitted.
Although the sheath dress is coming in many different patterns and lengths, it is often worn with short sleeves and the dress reaching knee length.
The definition of the sheath dress is it is a long, close-fitting dress or a skirt that often comes with a slit or pleat on one side. The dress can be longer than a cocktail dress, and also it falls around the knees or your lower thighs.
History of the sheath dress
Sheath dress first shows its roots in Egypt in the ancient world. You can see this dress in Egyptian art, even in pyramid arts. The dress symbolizes the slender and youthful, artistic capture of the women in the country.
The clothing item is often presenting with a seam under the breast area and with beads.
The Princesses wore the sheath dresses in their eras as it was popular between 1878 and 1880. It was commonly associated with the beloved Princess of Wales, also famous as Queen Alexandra.
The Princess sheath is built with the bodice and skirt cut in one, including a gored skirt. To tighten the front of the dress, they attached ribbons in the back’s interior.
When it comes to the 1950s, the sheath dress was famous for American women’s modern look. In 1950, a designer introduced the “Vertical Line” to the attire.
The line fitted to a woman’s body and showed her curves when comparing to previous years. From this line, Vogue called the sheath dress as the “most important single day fashion”.
Pattern companies manufactured sheath cuts from size 22 ½ and 41-inch bust size. These dresses are called “the hourglass dresses.” For a casual day, the sheath dress goes very well with a short sleeve and printed on bolero.
If they used it as business attire, wore a box jacket over the bolero with the dress. As the dress’s sheath cuts became much more comfortable to construct, many textures and decorations were sewn to the dress such as chains, glittery things, and beads.
What you should consider in order to look fabulous?
Without any doubt, the sheath dresses are super flattering, cute, versatile, and timeless. It does not matter what your body type is. It has that simple, shape fitting cut, and it is an excellent attire option for the office.
However, it is a fantastic dress choice for every occasion and season, only if you know how to wear it correctly.
Here are some useful tips for wearing your sheath dresses and being super stylish for the fashionable styles out there.
What you have to look for;
Length of the dress
The most flattering hemline dress can be either a few inches down your knee or just above it. Anything with a shorter dress will be likely to take the ladylike look away from you. The same goes for mid-calf hemlines.
The fit of the dress
If the sheath dress squeezes you at your armpits or pulls you out at the seams, then it is way too small. The clothing must be close to your body, but it should not be too tight.
Sometimes you could consider buying a good quality sheath dress and making the alterations required so that you will be able to wear the clothing piece for many years to come.
When you are looking for the best starter piece, the suggestion is a lightly-textured and neutral fabric dress. Also, you can choose with so many fun colors and fabrics.
Besides that option, a sleeveless sheath dress with a classic neckline, back vent, and a tapered skirt shape with a fitted waist is a beautiful option for any occasion.
If you are in for a more professional atmosphere, make sure your dress has a concealed zipper, and it is above your knee-length (not too short though).
Whether the slit is in the back or side, a slit can make you feel more comfortable and attractive when walking in that slim shape. Of course, you are free to cut the dress open if it is sewn shut.
Decide the sheath dress based on your occasion.
Are you going for an explicit casual setting? In your office with business casual?
The business atmosphere with a formal setting?
Are you going to be sitting down or walking around?
Is the weather wet, or do you expect warm changes in the environment?
All this list of questions should be taken into consideration when you wear your sheath dress.
For example, if you think the temperature is cold, the clothing’s layering is a must. When you are in for a business-formal occasion, you can pair your sheath dress with a blazer and a pair of closed-toe shoes.
You can choose from different colors.
Here, you can start with a natural base and add different colors (better add colors up to 2 unless the adding colors are in a similar color family).
Yeah, you can complete your look with a statement accessory or a mixture of textures. It can even be a print or pop of colors that can add visual comfort. Your appropriate work outfit is now ready to give you shine during weekdays at your office!
Try to layer your dress.
If necessary, you can layer your sheath dress while transforming your look.
For example, if you are going to dress in a sleeveless sheath dress, it can be an attractive option for months in the summer, but it can also become a great outfit for the colder seasons.
Try matching it with a jacket or cardigan over. These are pretty standard tips that you hear, and you can wear a turtleneck (or a collared shirt) underneath with the same dress for a different look.
Depending on the occasion and the dress codes you want to meet, you have to choose a combination of a couple of layers.
- Layers under the dress
Turtleneck Top, Button-up Dress Shirt, Long (or Short)-Sleeved Tee, Thin Sweater, Printed Top (or Striped), Silk Blouse, Chambray Shirt
- Layers over the dress
Denim Jacket, Blazer, Sweater or Cropped Top, Leather Jacket (could be faux), Button-up Blouse, Vest, Swing Jacket
Match with accessories
A belt, classic pumps, a ladylike handbag, a silk scarf, brooch, eyewear, and the tights are some of the most straightforward and primary accessories that you can wear with your sheath dress.
If you are in for a fun night out, you can decorate your dress with some statement jewelry or a strappy stiletto heels, and with a compact clutch.
If you are out while heading for a picnic or an outing with friends, a sheath dress with a light color-matched with a straw tote, some flat handles, and a floppy hat can work beautifully.
But, make sure, not to over-accessorize. Over-accessorizing will make you ugly. One or two of the accessories suggested are quite enough.
Before making a choice, you better to consider your figure type
Sheath dresses have versatile and minimalistic style. The dresses come in various forms and designs to match with every body type. Although it is a slim fit dress, it does not mean that you cannot wear and style it for figures other than slim and narrow bodies.
Pear Shaped Figure
If you think that you have a pear-shaped figure but you are conscious of the size of your hips hugging your upper half, you can go for a sheath dress too.
Choose a dress that is a bit looser around the upper half of the body. Also, you should select a lower neckline, like a boat neckline. This style will draw more attention to your upper half body.
So it can move the attention away from the width of your hips and your bottom half. When you select the skirt sections of your sheath dress, make sure that the dress is not too tight for the body.
In particular, when you try on your dress and you see or feel any pulling or a rippled effect of the clothing, do not choose it. This can only accentuate the width and size of your insecure areas.
If you think that you are on the slimmer side and you have more of a boxy and a straight figure, try wearing a sheath dress that is tight. If it is a too-tight dress, it will make you appear more thin and shapeless.
To avoid this appearance, go for a sheath dress with some details built-in. Another fantastic rescue for this body type is choosing patterned dresses.
You can choose both floral and geometric patterns. They will be able to give an intrigue and depth into your dress’ style and design.
For those who are with a big bust and a small waist are likely to have more options. You do not have to consider many things when shopping for a perfect sheath dress.
A sheath dress that is original and in unedited form can do wonders for this body type. If you want to maximize the shape and curves, go for a thinner clothing material so you can avoid restricting and compromising your natural body shape.
Sheath wedding dress
Sheath wedding dresses have long, straight lines that are following the natural shape of women’s bodies. Many sheath designs offer to hug the hips, that can show off a bride’s curves, and it is highlighting her feminine charms.
Many ball gowns or A-lines have very complicated designs, but sheath dresses are more likely to have simpler designs, which give them a modern and minimalistic air.
What is important is that sheath dresses are not boring. It is far from boring. Many wedding sheath dresses have beautiful beadwork, fanciful laces, and so many eye-catching adornments.
They also offer a way of highlighting the natural beauty of the bride and enhancing other parts of the bride’s dress, such as a beautiful necklace or a dashing bouquet of scarlet roses.
A great way to enhance your sheath wedding dress is by wearing it with a sash or belt or pair it with a glamorous veil or else a wedding cape.
Who should wear a sheath wedding dress?
Like most of wedding dress silhouette, the sheath dresses can enhance and complement the certain figures of the body.
Due to its natural symbolization to lengthen the lines of a person’s body, a sheath wedding dress is much suitable for shorter and more petite brides.
The figure-hugging style of this dress is a great option for brides who will get lost in a dress with wide and thick skirts. Taller brides also look fabulous in this style. More form-fitting sheath dresses are the perfect choice for brides with curves.
Don’t want to emphasize your arms?
You can find sheath wedding dresses with full sleeves or pair your dress with a stylish wedding jacket.
Midi sheath dresses
A midi sheath dress is a sheath dress that falls below the knee and above your ankle. The difference between midi dresses and maxi dresses is that maxi dresses fall below this knee point, either to the ankle or the floor.
What colors go best with your sheath dresses?
Another fabulous way to make your sheath dresses work for your figure and occasion is to strategically go for the colors that compliment your figure and occasion.
If you are a plus-sized woman, consider that darker dresses such as black sheath dresses and navy blue sheath dresses tend to be far more slimming.
Paler and neutral dress tones such as white sheath dresses, stone, and pink sheath dresses can give the illusion of a wider frame and shape. Therefore it is the best sheath dress color if you look slimmer and fragile.
Only the figure alone does not just choose which colors will compliment you the most. You should highly consider your skin tone too. Your skin tone can also go for a long way in determining the best sheath dress.
Too often, bold color dresses such as red sheath dresses and blue sheath dresses are cast off as they are risky and brave, mostly if you are a curvy build woman.
There is more about colors!
However, as long as you choose these colors with your natural coloring options and remain mindful of whether there is a dramatic color matches the fit of your occasion, these color dresses can look great on anyone.
If you choose bolder colors and patterns, it is really important that you pair these dresses with a simple cut and minimal detailing.
For an instance, if you have a plus size dress and you are conscious of your body figure, you should avoid a coral sheath dresses with a bold pattern, and that has lots of shirring.
These dresses will look busy, and they will create unwanted shapes, with more width and volume.
Lace sheath dresses are out there if you are in love with the fabric. Laces are the delicate fabric that is making from yarn or threads in an open web-like pattern. These laces are made by machines or by hand.
Normally linen, gold, silk, or silver threads will be used. Today laces are often made with cotton threads, although linen and silk thread laces are still available.
Lace sheath dresses and Bardot lace sheath dresses have an exquisite appearance when they are worn. You can select the accessories that go best with them.
The fabric of the sheath dresses
If you think you have a fluctuating weight, and you are insecure about your figure, avoid stiff and thick materials with little give. These materials will give you a feel as restrictive, and most importantly, they will just give you a feel of uncomfortable.
The thick materials will work in your favor if you are conscious about hiding your unwanted volume. The figure-hugging sheath dresses follow the contours of your figure.
So, if you do not want any potential rogue lumps and bumps in your body, you should easily smooth over these by going for thicker material. These materials will work to minimize any excess fat to give a slimmer, refined and more perky shape.
Thinner sheath dress materials can emphasize and exaggerate overspills and bulges of your body. Materials in dresses such as cotton and polyester can give you a perfect balance between sturdy and breathable.
Sheath dress vs. shift dress
The most common FAQ about the shift dresses is how it is different from a sheath dress. Both dresses convey clean, simplicity, and both tend to land short to mid-length.
But a shift dress is more loose and comfortable while a sheath dress is formfitting. Shift dresses can have panels made to hang with its vertical line, but sheath dresses follow the curves of your hips, waist, and bust.
Simply summarizing, a shift dress is a short dress that can hang straight down from your shoulders with clean and simple lines. Typically, a shift dress is sleeveless, but some styles can include short sleeves or even off-the-shoulder variations.
Commonly, a shift dress must hang loosely from your body without a fitted cut. So the shift dresses typically symbolize little to no embellishment. The most important thing is, minimalism is the key with a shift dress.
When taking a look back, the shift dress featured the aesthetics’ mind in the early 1960s, which made it a natural fit for every occasion, from festival wear to spring and summer attire. Although the shift dress maybe got famous in the mid-20th century, its roots are relatively older.
In the 1920s, many designers sewed loose, anti-corset dresses in a flapper style, with revealing arms and legs, a boat neckline, and a simple straight, boxy waist. These features eventually gave birth to the shift dress.
The loose, short form of the shift dress was a marked change from corset-laden styles that predated the ’20s, making the shift dress a style associated with youth culture.
The shift dress then is an apt term for a dress style that symbolized a shift in thought around womenswear.
Q: What body type can wear a sheath dress?
A: It does not matter what your body type is; sheath dresses can look great in any body shape. They have figure-hugging designs so that you can express your curves, just the way you like them to be.
Q: How should a sheath dress fit for an occasion?
A: Sheath dresses are classic for a reason; the simple dress can be one of the hardworking clothing items in your wardrobe. They can be available in many colors and fabrics, going from embellished and fanciful to wool blends that is appropriate for any situation.
The best thing is sheath dress is like a blank canvas so you can create your perfect outfit according to your style.
Q: Is a sheath dress appropriate for a wedding?
A: Absolutely. If you choose the right accessories, your sheath dresses can fit into almost any type of wedding venue or a wedding theme.
They will work if you are at a more casual wedding or a wedding that is in a modern venue, like a trendy art loft or a treasured gastropub.
Q: Is a sheath dress appropriate for work?
A: Classic sheath dresses for work are one of the easiest things to wear. Particularly, you have to accessorize it with a blazer or cardigan and a pair or two of pumps or comfortable heels in your office. You can totally create a work uniform from a sheath dress.
Q: Is a sheath dress business casual?
A: Pencil-cut dresses or sheath skirts and dresses are the best as a business casual attire. The shoes are tricky with the sheath dress because some people that have medical needs wear flats. Most sheath dresses as business casuals go best with the high heels.