WHAT IS … SHIFT DRESS
STYLE NOTES: Unlike the body-hugging sheath dress, the shift dress does just the opposite. It’s a relaxed fit that’s loose all the way through, allowing breathing room from the neck to the chest to the waist and along the legs.
Shift dresses, like sheath dresses, are knee-length nearly 100 percent of the time. Their shared attributes in length could be part of the reason for confusion.
You’ll know that you’re wearing a shift dress because it should flare out all along the body, so much so that you may want to take a skinny belt to create a waist and fitted feel.
While sheath dresses can have short or puff sleeves, shift dresses are almost always sleeveless.
HOW TO WEAR: The shift dress is perfect for just about anything and anywhere. I imagine the most glamorous of women wearing a vintage version to the grocery store with pearls, or funking up with gold bling and strappy heels for night.
Try a shift dress with leggings, boots and a leather jacket for a cosmopolitan feel, or throw one on with a sun hat and flats to gallivant around the boardwalk this summer.
WHO SHOULD WEAR: The key to wearing a shift dress for you is finding one with the appropriate length for your frame. Shift dresses should hit the knee or right above. Anything shorter and you’re drifting into babydoll mini territory.
When buying online, note how long the dress is. Measure your neck to your knee to see how the length compares. Ask the seller how tall the model or mannequin is, to get an idea of how the dress sits on their body.