Not my most flattering pics, but really happy to share as it is such a great distinction between the shift and the sheath. We had a wonderful time experimenting with fit and I am a convert to bespoke! Great blog Kate.

Fit and Flare

What is the difference between a shift dress and a sheath dress? Both are one piece dresses, made in woven rather than stretch fabrics, often knee length or shorter, often sleeveless, and are often confused. Both styles are classics and have been in and out of fashion during the 20th and 21st centuries.

The shift was a phenomenon in the 1960s and is essentially a short, A line dress. In is semi-fitted or loose fitted.  A sheath dress is fitted much more closely to the body. The bottom half of the dress resembles a straight pencil skirt rather than the A line of the shift. In essence the shift is better on straight body shapes, and the sheath flatters more curved figures.

woman in black sheath dress sheath dress

A sheath dress is

  • a one piece dress with no waist line join
  • closely fitted through the body so that it follows its curves
  • it skims…

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The sheath dress – what it is and how to fit it

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