Channel your inner 60s diva with a shift style party dress
The shift dress has been sported by many famous celebrities and fashion icons, but none have been quite as significant as young Pippa Middleton, sister of Kate Middleton, who very recently wore a stylish shift dress to the christening ceremony of her 3-month old baby nephew, Prince George. The dress itself has been described as one of the most elegant outfits she has ever worn, and has been designed by British couture designer, Suzannah Crabb, who is now the go-to designer for all things “royal and elegant”.
A blush oyster hued dress with a high neckline, but with sheer panels around the neck area, this elegantly-designed, Royalty approved shift dress has been ordered from almost every designer worldwide, thus bringing back a trend which used to be quite the rage back In the 60’s. Interestingly the dress was made famous in those days by another significant political figure, then-First Lady, Jackie O, who, along with entertainment star, Twiggy, brought shift dresses by Lilly Pulitzer and Mary Quant into the spotlight. It was rare for them to be seen at a party wearing anything other than a classic shift dress; Twiggy’s often had graphic prints on it, while Jackie O stuck to classic accessories, her trademark pillbox hat and strings of precious pearls.
One can see how the shift dress has become one of the season’s most popular styles of party dress, no doubt the celebrity endorsement has helped! By definition, the shift dress is a short, sleeveless garment which is said to be “universally flattering”, since there are options to modify and style it according to one’s body type. Those who are comfortable with their bodies can simply wear this short dress by itself, while those who are not comfortable with the length of the dress can opt to wear a pair of stockings under the dress. The latter look is reminiscent of the late 50s, when shift dresses were first considered to be fashionable party dresses.
In terms of shift dresses as party wear, they make ideal dresses for all kinds of occasions, notably those of a formal nature. For less formal occasions it is recommended to play up the best aspects of the dress such as its short length and lack of sleeves; try the classic LBD [little black dress] with a pair of stockings in a contrasting color. Mix and match current fashion trends by blending neon color tones, Aztec geometric prints, and strips. There is no end to the options you have while creating a unique shift dress party look for yourself.
Designers who are best known for highlighting the shift style party dress trend include Louis Vuitton, Moschino, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, and Michael Kors. Take a cue from their takes on the style, or better still, modify it to suit yourself. Remember that there are a number of celebrities from different backgrounds whose unique “shift dress party looks” can be used as inspiration!