Fashion Vocab: Dresses

When you don’t know what to wear, wear a dress…it’s a complete outfit! You just need to add shoes and accessories. However, what is not that simple, is all the different terms for the different styles of dresses. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some of the more common dress terms:

1. Bodycon Dress

A tight-fitting dress which clings from your bust to the hem which usually ends at the upper thigh, mid-thigh or knee. A lycra and polyester blend fabric is usually used to give a bodycon dress enough elasticity for their figure hugging qualities.

2. Empire Dress

A dress with a fitted bodice that ends just below the bust. The skirt loosely flows from the waistline, which is placed above the natural waist, for an elongating effect.

3. Shirtdress

A dress that incorporates shirt details such as buttons, a collar and cuffed sleeves. Usually made from cotton with a loose fit. It can be paired with a belt for a more defined waist.

4. Maxi-dress

A maxi-dress can come in various styles, but the term is usually used to refer to an informal dress that reaches to the floor or ankle. They are loose flowing, but can be tight-fitting at the bust.

5. Hi-Lo Dress

The term hi-lo is used to describe a dress that has a shorter hem at the front and a longer hem at the back, often with a flowing skirt and form-fitting top.

6. Shift Dress

A shift dress hangs from the shoulder to just above the knee. It has a column shape and does not have a defined waist.

7. Sheath Dress

Similar to a Shift dress, the Sheath hangs from the shoulder to the knee, but is more fitted around the waist and hips.

8. A-line Dress

An A-line dress has a fitted bust with a cinched waist and a skirt that flares out from the hips to the knees in the shape of a capital ‘A’.

9. Tent Dress

An extremely loose fitting dress that flares out from the shoulders to the knees with no darts or waistline.

10. Wrap Dress

A dress made from one piece of material that closes by crossing the one side over the other with attached ties around the waist.