The western dress has been a quintessential part of a women’s wardrobe, since time immemorial. It’s the perfect embodiment of femininity, grace and glamour. A dress is easy to carry and is a go-to staple for evening soirees, cocktail parties,fancy brunches, a day out at the beach and even work wear. If you can’t decide what to wear (a real life struggle all women can relate to), just slip into a dress and you’re all set!

Knowing how the dress has become an indispensable part of our fashion lives, wouldn’t it be nice to trace the evolution of this feminine wear through the ages?

Here’s a walk down the memory runway to celebrate 100 years of this iconic western style.

1920s: The Flapper Dress

The ‘flapper’ style gained immense popularity in the Roaring Twenties. Dresses were characterized by loose silhouettes, dropped waists and shorter hemlines. Embellishments in tassels, fringes, sequins, beads, rhinestones and fur trims were quite the rage. If you ever have to attend a Great Gatsby themed event in the future, you’ll now know how to steal the limelight.


1930s: The Evening Gown

The 1930s, aka, The Golden Age Of Glamour, brought back longer hemlines, bias cuts and body-hugging silhouettes in lightweight yet rich fabrics like silk, satin, chiffon and lamé. Halter neck or backless evening gowns were made famous by leading Hollywood starlets. With the shoulders coming in focus, puff sleeves, exaggerated sleeves and shoulder pads became quite influential in this era.

1940s: The A-Line Dress

During WW2, women’s wear took a practical and plain appearance. Many functional elements were adopted from men’s fashion. Broad shoulders, structured collars, front buttons, utilitarian pockets, cinched waistlines and A-line lengths up to the knee were typical in day wear dresses.

1950s: The Circle/Swing Dress

The swinging circle dresses of the ‘50s were a picture of demure, domestic elegance, and were often styled with delicate pearl jewelry. The dresses featured a fitted bodice and a voluminous skirt to emulate an hour-glass silhouette. The bodice was decorated with bows and buttons.Pointed, peter pan or Bertha collars were in trend. The dresses could be sleeveless or have short cap sleeves, puff sleeves or dolmen sleeves. The necklines would range from halter, scooped, v-neck, boat-neck, square-neck or sweetheart.

1960s: The Shift Dress

The ‘60s were all about bold, clashing hues and loud, psychedelic prints. Straight shift dresses (with no defined waistlines) were paired with white or brightly colored boots.

1970s: The Sequin Dress

The Disco era shed the spotlight on metallic mini dresses and long sparkling sequin gowns. Grecian inspired dresses with cape sleeves, caftan sleeves, kimono sleeves or dolmen sleeves became quite popular.

1980s: The Power Dress

Power dressing prevailed in the ‘80s in the form of strong padded shoulders. Women’s work wear dresses and blazers borrowed from structured men’s styles to make an impactful, bold appearance.Mid-length, brightly colored dresses were the reigning style.

1990s: The Slip Dress

The ‘90s were defined by minimalist fashion and seductive styles. Sexy, slip dresses with thin,spaghetti straps were either worn super short or long. Remember how Carrie Bradshaw immortalized this look with her barely-there DKNY number in Sex and the City?

2000s: The Halter Neck Dress

Decking out in feminine, fun and mono-tone colors was the key to nailing the 2000s style game. Empire waist lines and halter necklines were the in-thing during this decade.

2010s: The Cut-Out Dress

In the last decade, we spied fun, peek-a-boo styles like cold shoulders, one shoulder sleeves, off shoulders, scooped backs, plunging necklines and waist cut-outs. Designed to tease the imagination, the 2010 dress trends were shorter, bolder, and playful.

2020s: The Sustainable Dress

With the shift towards sustainability and the revival in meaningful fashion, handcrafted dresses and indigenous textiles have already been in focus since the past couple of years. We predict a rising trend for breezy, summer dresses in unique hand-printed and hand loom-woven styles.These outfits are a destination and resort wear must-have.

As you may have noticed, the dress styles from each of these eras keep reappearing. Fashion is cyclical and you’ll see a lot of the styles repeated in 2020! If you want to be the belle of the ball at your next soiree, you can shop for the latest designer party dresses here.




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