Evolution of Dresses – Fabric, Style & Occasion

Fashion is limitless. Trendsetters are all over the internet. Everything related to fashion, from designing clothes, modelling, and becoming an influencer, has a significant setback on everybody, especially with the extensive use of social media.


Dresses are an integral part of the wardrobe and have tons of classifications simply because of the way they’re styled or designed. DIn fashion shows/events/weeks happening all year around the globe (e.g., Paris fashion week, Australian fashion week, New York fashion week, etc.), dresses are displayed.


Of late, fashion magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, etc., feature brands of all sorts (e.g. maje dresses, etc.)


Brief History

Being inspired by various surroundings, dresses have evolved over eras serving different purposes.


The oldest dress identified is the Tarkhan Dress that Egyptians had used to distinguish between tribes. The vibrant and comfort-inclined Greek dresses succeeded this.

During the late eighteenth century, colonization by the British Empire in India, Australia, etc., had an impact on the kind of clothing and was the period when they introduced “dresses” to Australians.



Among commonly used fabrics are cotton, silk, satin, nylon, crepe, georgette, polyester, lace, wool, and linen. Leather, chiffon, velvet, denim, rayon, viscose, and lycra fabrics are other extensively utilized fabrics in designing dresses.


Many top-end brands like maje dresses, etc., mention the actual quantity of fabrics used while designing, while some just mention the material used in a majority on their websites.



Modifications made to the different parts of dresses were the starting point of its evolution. Initially, it was limited to intricate designs, high neckline alteration, resizing sleeves, hems, waist, and shoulders. These were either draped or tailored.


The 19th century saw the establishment of dresses (from muslin fabric) as a fashion statement or garment regularly worn in countries like Australia and many other Asian countries.

Among all this happening, the dresses’ design was done with “modesty” because a woman who shows less of her skin was more pure and innocent.

The late 19th century saw the change in lengths of dresses from full gowns of different kinds owing to other purposes to maxi dresses, midi dresses, knee-length dresses, mini dresses, and finally micro dresses.


All these alterations took place alongside adjustment of sleeves from simple full length to puff sleeves to mega sleeves to sleeveless. Waist styles were not limited to the classic empire waist, and necklines went from high to deep, not worrying about “society’s” judgments. After all, it was a fashion statement!



The evolution of dresses not only established a fashion statement but also was apt for different occasions. There are about 50 types of dresses now, and four main categories of classification are:


Formal, casual, party, and bodycon dresses

Formal dresses were full-length gowns usually accompanied by gloves (evening opera gloves) worn to an office or a formal party. Casual dresses, worn on regular outings, usually involve simple-looking, comfortable clothing of any length.


Partywear dresses are either mini, micro or full-length elegant-looking clothing designed for a ball/ anniversary/ informal or wedding parties. Bodycon dresses(inspired by tailored dresses) are fitting, shape-outlining dresses usually in the length of a mini or micro dress, designed for any event!


Events like the Oscar, Met Gala, etc., feature celebrities in dresses by designers all around the globe. Websites like maje dresses and others have affordable yet luxurious dresses of all kinds and a variety from which one can choose what best suits them.


All in all, dresses are dynamic pieces of clothing. They are easily accessible because of the internet, and if styled the right way, they can be suited to look elegant, comfortable, and meet the dress code of any occasion with ease!

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