Shift your way towards sheer elegance

When something is unabashedly fashionable and has been made famous by icons like Jacqueline Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn, you’d definitely want to get a piece of the action! We’re talking of none other than the shift dress, one of contemporary fashion’s biggest stars. These are mostly sleeveless dresses and come in various styles. A shift dress is mostly regarded as a contemporary classic that definitely deserves a place in your closet. This is considered ideal for multiple situations and can flatter several body shapes with aplomb.

The classic style involves something that falls down rather gracefully from the shoulders (playing Greta Garbo at parties just got easier). These dresses stand out for their smoothened and straight lines rather than mere tailored fits. They come down in a straight line with only a tiny outward flare in most cases. Though shift dresses are considered suitable for those with thinner and leaner frames, you need not curse yourself for your heavy build. There are several varieties out there that will suit you just as well. There have been some fun styles for the shift dress including three-quarter, cap or short sleeves but women have always seemed to prefer the sleeveless version (gorgeous arms anyone?).

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The sleeveless dress helps smoothen out curves and allows prominent display of your arms and legs. The style has always been quite popular with women over the years, especially those between twenty and fifty as per several studies (lucky job for some!). The 1920s saw these dresses hitting bull’s eye as far as global attention was concerned. The first generation drew immensely from the sack dress design (no puns intended) courtesy Hubert Givenchy’s design. The lack of a definitive waistline and the elegance of the style definitely made women throw out corsets (how thankful we are today) and pick up these beauties. Even icons like Coco Chanel made the shift dress famous in this period.

A hitherto unknown designer (means there’s hope for us yet) named Lilly Pulitzer shot into the spotlight by refining the shift dress in the 1960s. She had Jackie Kennedy, the reigning fashion icon and First Lady of the time (lucky girl) who took a fancy to the dresses she showcased at her lemonade stand. This style also became the inspiration for whole generations of LBDs (little black dresses for total fashion dorks) and hence its overwhelming popularity.

However, the absence of waist definitions and the somewhat columnar cut of these dresses make choosing an elaborate affair. Here are some tips you can hopefully fall back on while choosing that perfect shift dress for your wardrobe. In case you have a tummy (you don’t have to crash diet again!) you should definitely go for dresses in darker colors which smoothen out the midsection and those which are not overtly tight or boxy. As per the global fashion frat (yes, we’re in touch with them too!), a bolder hem or neckline works well to divert attention away from your midriff. While you’re at it, consider avoiding materials like silk or cotton in this regard. If you have been endowed with a large bust, look for more A-line styles and cuts to balance your proportions along with diagonal or vertical seams. You should always avoid dresses with ruffles on the top or even fake pockets as this will create a bulkier look up there.

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For women with fuller thighs and hips, A-line shapes are also recommended and it is a must to avoid hemlines that fall way above the knees. In case you have a reed thin figure (we recommend you start eating first), it is better to opt for a shift dress that has some detailing at least including any pattern, pleating or even a lower neckline (in case you’re tempted to play flirt). While choosing shift dresses, opt for comfortable and loose fitting dresses that offer an elegant and classy look. Consider regular needs including the office, trips with friends, parties, trips with children and so on. You will also require dresses for parties and other events. Shift dresses are versatile enough if you pick the right colors.

Consider opting for a black dress for cocktails and parties along with a white one for a charming look at events and semi-formal occasions. You can also go for softer hues with embellishments that are ideal for a day out with friends/family or even picnics. For workplace dressing, consider shades like navy, grey and brown. Choose the neckline carefully; you should ideally go for a jewel or boat neckline but people with longer necks should go for higher necklines while short necks necessitate something lower. Scoop or square necklines work perfectly in case you wish to show off your perfectly chiseled collarbones (no we aren’t joking!). Length and width are two other factors you need to keep in mind depending upon your usage requirements.

Visit StalkBuyLove and make that much needed shift towards a more elegant wardrobe. A shift dress will prove to be a rewarding buy and you’ll definitely feel like a million bucks.