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The Classic Sheath Dress That Defies Time

Updated on May 2, 2017

The Classic Sheath Dress

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Learn the history of the sheath dress, and how fashion icons made it their signature look. Also tips on how to accessorize a sheath dress.

This simple classical sheath style dress is often made of a fabric that is light weight, such as cotton jersey, silk or even fine wool blend. These lighter weight fabrics assures that the sheath drapes well over the body, and just slightly hugging a woman's natural curves. A classic length will most typically fall around the knees or mid calf, keeping the design - line sleek in appearance. However, not to say that you won't find sheaths in mini's and maxi's styles, as well as floor length evening dresses.

The neckline of the sheath can vary widely, some designed with high necklines, and some with lower sexy plunging necklines not to mention the classic boat neckline. In regard to the sleeves, a true sheath is designed to have three quarter length or long fitted sleeve. The cap sleeve became popular in the 1960s. Today you can find many sheath style dresses that are strapless or with a spaghetti strap. As you can see the sheath dress of today can vary, depending on the fashion designers. However, ultimately the fabric will dictates the purpose of the dress. If a sheath dress is made of silk and strapless, one would surmise it's to be worn for a formal occasion. However, if the same design sheath is produced in a cotton print, one would more likely wear it to a fun casual event or maybe even the beach. The sheath dress has clearly evolved to become a very versatile dress, a dress for all occasions.


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The Versatility Of The Sheath Design

The sheath is elegant, feminine, yet can be a very practical style for business. Although it has a figure hugging design, the sheaths style gives a slimming silhouette. It also flatters the waistline, and can provide most women that well sought after hourglass figure. The long lines skim over the figure, and can be worn comfortably by most figure types.

In the workplace the sheath gives its wearer a polished look, with its hemline at or below the knee, and slightly scooped neckline it offers a professional look. The sleeve for the workplace should be comfortable. Such as or three length sleeve or a long sleeve that ends at the wrist. The cap sleeve is also a great choice for work, and can be easily layered by adding a jacket or a sweater. The formal or evening styled sheath dress as a rule will possess a deeper cut neckline, and in some cases a shorter hem line. The deeper cut neckline is a great frame for a statement necklace or a simple strand of pearls.

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Just who is responsible for designing the first sheath dress

Let's Talk Sheath Dress Trivia

The" little black dress" was first made popular in the 1920s, by the well - known fashion designer "Coco Chanel ". She truly Intended the style trend of her little black dress to be long-lasting, very versatile, and yet affordable for or women of all classes. Little did CoCo ever realize or dream that her simple classic black sheath dress endure and go on for many decades to come.

In 1926 "Vogue Magazine" published "CoCo Chanel's" little black sheath dress on its cover. The first Chanel dress was designed with a simple design. It was calf length had a straight line, and had a few diagonal lines which made it easy to wear for most figure types. Vogue called it "Chanel's Ford". Naturally Vogue was referring to "Henry Ford's" Model T automobile. Chanel's little black dress took off like gangbusters. It became a staple for not only wealthy woman, but copies were soon produced which made it affordable for all women to have at least one little black dress in their closet.

The little black dress continued to be popular through the Great Depression, due to its affordable price. it remained very popular through the 1930s, and soon Hollywood discovered it. Hollywood's influence on the little black dress was evident, but for very practical reasons. As movies were being shot in technicolor, the little black dress became common for filmmaker's to depend on, because most colors become washed out, and distorted on the big screen. During World War ll, the little black dress continued to be popular, in part due to widespread rationing of textiles. CoCo's black dress was very affordable, and suitable for business wear. At this time in history many more women were forced to enter the workforce, and needed affordable clothing, yet suitable clothing to conduct business.

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The Evolution Of CoCo Chanel's Little Black Dress

The wonderful thing about the little black dress is it can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Example, if worn with a jacket and simple pump, the look is perfect for the office. After a hard day at work, that same little black wonder can be dressed up with jewelry a great evening bag, and perhaps a strap high heel shoe, and take you out on the town. So, how to get more" bang for your buck" when choosing a little black dress? Because of its clean classic design it's smart to choose a style that will serve you well for a number of years. The ideal style of little black dress should have a simple line, such as the sheath cut. I suggest the length be kept at a mid knee, you can't go wrong with mid knee length. The scoop or boat neckline is suitable for adding jewelry, and if you are going to use the dress for work as well as evening, a cap or mid length sleeve is very easy to accessories.

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Designers Of the 1960s Made The Little Black Dress Sizzle

In the 1906's well-known designer "Bill Blass" went on to design the his own version of the little black dress. Blass kept the dress simple and elegant, where many other designers were hell bent on making it skimpier, and much sexier. Designed especially for the women that frequented the disco's of that era.

The popularity of the little black dress has not in the least suffered over the last 45 plus years. The casual fabrics, especially knits, have made the little black dress perfect for business, travel, and not to mention evening wear. The new fabrics and designs make it an attractive choice for fashion wise women of today. Designers today have made it easy to find little black dresses in figure flattering styles, by making sure their designs are simple and versatile.


Audrey Hepburn Brought Chic To The Sheath Dress

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Can Anyone Forget The Sheath Hepburn Wore In Breakfast At Tiffany's?

"Audrey Hepburn" made this little floor length black sheath the dress every woman wanted to own in 1961. Hepburn wore this fabulous sheath in the movie "Breakfast At Tiffany's" . Where she portrayed the character "Holly Golightly", a somewhat naive, eccentric woman that was making her way in New York City in the early 1960s.

Do you know who designed Audrey Hepburn's Little Black Dress For The Movie "Breakfast At Tiffany"?

Audrey Hepburn LBD was designed by designer "Hubert de Givenchy".

"Jackie Kennedy Onassis" Made The Sheath Dress A Popular Go To Classic

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Jackie Kennedy Onassis Style Icon

The 1960s will be remembered for a time when fashion changes came fast and furious. The "Kennedy's" were in the White house, and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy being young and vibrant, took the country by storm with her wonderful flare for fashion. " Jackie" became a fashion icon very quickly in her few years at the White House, and her influence on women's attire continued throughout her life.

Jackie Kennedy loved wearing bright colors, such as yellow, pink, red. She also loved prints and stripes as well. Jackie's personal fashion icon was known to be Audrey Hepburn. Throughout her life she kept to the classic look. Hubert de Givenchy was her go-to designer, she also loved Oscar de la Renta, well as Coco Chanel.

Jackie's day wear generally consisted of simple sheath dresses with a cap sleeve. Jackie also loved Chanel's suits. On a casual day at the White House Jackie would most often be seen in a simple pump shoe, sheath dress, very classical jewelry, such as her three strand of pearls. She loved to finish off a two piece suit with a perfect wrist length glove, and a pillbox hat. Casual daytime wear might find her in a tailored trouser, with crisp fitted white blouse, and simple cardigan sweater. In many photo's throughout her life she was seen wearing a gold tone 'Cartier " watch that had a thin black leather strap, the face adorned with diamonds. This watch seemed to be one of her signature pieces of jewelry.

When it came to evening-wear Jackie's style was generally a sleeveless look sheath, choosing in a single color with a jewel or bateau neckline. She loved long sheath dresses that showed off her slim figure. Jackie also loved backless or off-the shoulder gowns, which made her look like Hollywood royalty. Her shoes, and accessories would always match her evening apparel perfectly.

First Lady Melania Trump Looks Lovely In A Sheath...

It appears that the new first lady of the United States "Melania Trump" simply loves sheath dresses, and wears the style frequently. She may just take her place as First lady of Fashion. She certainly has the perfect figure to look elegant in any sheath dress. She does not appear to be smitten with any hemline length. She seems to love the classics when it comes to fashion.


Don't Shy Away From Color When Purchasing A Sheath Dress

Love the bright colorful dresses? The sheath dress may be classic with a modest style, but many are all done up in bright colors, as well as prints. The sheath dress is not your basic black or gray jersey dress any more. While the demure colored sheaths are suitable for the office, there are sheaths out there in every juicy color, not to mention wonderful prints. Therefore, after work enjoy wearing a colorful casual designed sheath dresses. The colorful "little numbers" are fashion forward, and fun to wear. Whether it be an on fire red or a graphic print, you'll look more than fabulous in colorful sheath dress.

Plus Size Women A Sheath Dress Can Be Your Friend

Did you know that a sheath style dress can make your figure appear smaller? Yes a well fitted sheath can be very slimming. So, you plus size women next time you are shopping, try on a few sheath dresses.

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Sheath Dress It Takes Off AT Least Five Pound

The sheath dress can make you look slimmer, its fitted waistline can work to create the illusion of curves, and also give the appearance of a longer legs. The elongated design of the sheath can make the figure look five pounds thinner, and a bit taller too. To further this lengthened look, add a pair of high heel Pumps. The higher heel will keep that longer line going, and also will add a look of elegance to your look.

If you have curves play them up, add a belt to make that waistline get noticed. Another tip to give your body an elongated appearance, add a long length necklace. Make that jewelry work for you. One more suggestion, add a longer length jacket.

How many sheath dresses do you have in your closet?

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How Should A Sheath Dress Fit?

Accessorizing A Sheath Dress

Use Your Imagination

The neat minimal design of a sheath dress makes it very easy to accessorize. When accessorizing a sheath choose tasteful eye-catching accessories. Such as a colorful scarf, brooch or necklace. A strand of pearls are always a good choice for a classic sheath dress. Love statement jewelry why not a chunky necklace or a ornate cuff bracelet dangling at your wrist.

For that special night out, think accessories that will add some personal flare to your outfit. The simplest of sheath dresses can really come into its own with a pair of sexy stiletto shoes. Add a sparkly earrings, perhaps a sweet little shawl, and you are ready to make heads turn. Hey, if it's special evening out, why not try a brighter shade of lipstick? You will sizzle from head to toe.


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The Sheath Is So Easy To Accessorize

The biggest plus with a sheath dress is its well-defined waistline. Therefore, girls take this into consideration when accessorizing. Try cinching in the waist with a great belt, try several widths from a thick belt to a thin belt. Go with what you feel looks best on your figure type. Another great way to wear a sheath dress, think layering!

Layering can be fun with a sheath, add a crop sweater or a vest. Maybe top it off with a jacket or great little cardigan, why not a wonderful shawl.

The neat minimal look of the sheath dress makes it very easy to accessorize. Try to Chose tasteful yet eye-catching accessories, a colorful scarf, a well chosen brooch or necklace, pearls are always a good choice to add just a bit of class to a sheath dress. Love chunky jewelry, wear a thick ornate cuff bracelet at your wrist.

" Night Time Is The Right Time" - A sheath dress can so easily be all dressed up for that special night out!

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" Night Time Is The Right Time"

A sheath dress can be accessorized to simply come alive after dark. It can be the simplest of sheath dresses, add a pair of strappy stiletto shoes, put on some great earrings a well chosen shawl or cardigan sweater, and you are good to go. It also never hurts to change up your hairstyle from that daytime look, to something a bit different for that special evening out. How about a bit brighter shade of lipstick? Another way to dress up a sheath, add a statement necklace. Dress up that sheath dress, the look will never let you down ...

Tote Bag And The Sheath - Compliment each other

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"Everything Old In New Again"

Keep in mind a sheath dress can really come alive with the right accessories. Maybe it's time to pull out one of your sheath dresses and add some great accessories and create a great new outfit. You don't have to break the bank to make a fashion statement. A cute pair of boots or spiky pair of pump can make a sheath dress come alive . Add a splash of color with a scarf or large handbag. A tote handbag works well with the classic sheath dress. Layer on some vintage jewelry, you'll be pleased with the interesting look that vintage jewelry will add to your otherwise plain sheath dress.

A sporty Pair Of Boots Look Great With A Sheath

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Shoes And The Sheath Dress - Anything Goes

When it comes to choosing a pair of shoes to wear with a sheath dress, think fearless, fabulous or fun. Let your occasion, and your personality dictate the shoe.

The Right Shoe? Believe it or not the sheath dress can be worn with many different shoe styles. The classic pump is most commonly worn with a sheath dress. However, you might be surprised how cute a sheath looks with a sandal or oxford. Pair your favorite sheath with a knee high boot for a sporty look or a pair of booties for a bit of a "rocker" look. Don't be afraid to experiment when choosing a pair of shoes to wear with a sheath dress. Make it personal, let your personality shine through.

Shoes And The Sheath Dress Mix It Up - Just Because You Can!

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Just Curious ?

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      owenlove84 4 years ago

      the varieties in the sheath dresses makes them really wonderful and keeps them in demand. many famous brands are getting into these to make designer dresses which are getting increasingly popular. Thanks for sharing the information.

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      peajock24 5 years ago

      nice... i love it