It’s time for another Fashion Flashback! Fashion Flashback (FFB) is where we highlight items from fashion history that have made their way around to the current years’ trends. It’s fun to see how designers and fashion forward thinkers wear old designs to make new trends!
This months FFB is highlighting the Shift Dress. The history of the shift dress is a fun one, with many big names any fashionista will notice. There are two interesting stories that give credit for the designing of the shift dress. The first one is giving credit to Hubert de Givenchy, whom designed Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe and most notably, the black shift dress that came to fame, for the legendary movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The second story giving credit for the designing and creation of the shift dress involves non other than the famous designer Lilly Pulitzer. Back in the 1950’s Lilly moved to Florida with her husband who owned many fruit orchards. She decided to make a little side business selling fresh squeezed juice to tourists via road side stands. She asked a dress maker to make a dress that would hide juice stains and be comfortable yet fashionable to wear in the sun. They came up with the brightly colored shift dress which soon had her fruit stand tourists more interested in her clothing than her juice. After several requests she decided to sell the dresses that were affectionately named “The Lilly Dress”. Jackie Kennedy, who happened to be a childhood friend of Lilly Pulitzer, wore one of the dresses in her Life Magazine feature. They caught on and became a hot fashion trend throughout America.
Then, in the late 1960’s, Mary Quant, the famous London designer of the mini skirt (among other famous “Mod” era fashion designs), took the Shift Dress and turned it into the Mini Dress by making it’s hem line shorter. Her agency hired a young, newly discovered 16 year old girl to model the dresses. Her name was Twiggy, and she became one of the first, and most famous Super Models in fashion history! Pretty neat huh!?
Today, we are calling these shift dresses “Shirt Dresses” or “T-Shirt Dresses”, for their similarity to basic long shirts. Designers have gotten rid of the bright, bold designs for the most part, and are choosing to produce them in a lovely array of fabrics including Rayon, Silk, Cotton, and even Denim. Their short length is great for showing off extra cute shoes, and this fall they will look amazing with ankle boots. You can belt them to add shape, or wear them hanging off your body the way they were designed to be.
Have you added any Shift Dresses to your wardrobe lately? We want to see! Post a selfie on Instagram and tag us @mderteen! Mention this post so we know you were reading! We LOVE to see our followers and what they’re wearing!
Thanks for “Flashing Back” with us, and be sure to check back each day for lots of other fun and amazing fashion tips!