WHAT IS … PINAFORE DRESS
STYLE NOTES: The image that comes almost immediately to mind when thinking about the pinafore is that of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Remember her white apron over the blue dress?
The white apron is actually called a pinafore apron, which is simply a sleeveless garment worn over dresses to protect them against soiling. The pinafore dress became popular in the 1870s as a style for children.
Like we see with Alice, the pinafore dress had a separate apron that was tied in the back, and which was a different color than the dress base itself.
Today’s version of the pinafore dress has similar elements but is all-around an updated version. Pinafore dresses were introduced as an everyday style for women all ages (and not just those who were cleaning!) in the ’40s. It was adopted again as a “country/peasant” look in the ’70s and ’80s.
HOW TO WEAR: Keeping in mind the current trends, the pinafore dress is a day dress worn best at picnics, outdoor festivals and BBQs or when doing anything that screams “outdoors,” “sunshine,” and “country.”
WHO SHOULD WEAR: Because the pinafore dress carries childish, almost impish connotations, it’s important to keep in mind how you want to portray yourself. If you are looking to dress down the age of your style, the pinafore dress is for you.
However, pinafore dresses also have a very pin-up girl quality to them when styled that way. Like a lot of “child” pieces in fashion, it can be stylishly sensualized to the opposite end of the spectrum.
If have cherub features and a very American girl look, the pinafore dress will probably suit your personality well. If you are an urban girl on-the-go, hopping from subway to cab and back down underground … the pinafore dress could make you stick out like a sore thumb, or at least like a burnt hot dog on a summer day’s grill.