Long dresses, or more specifically, gowns are dresses worn primarily by women. These dresses are worn as a single piece, with the frock and the blouse attached to each other. These long dresses are worn differently in different parts of the world. With the passing of time, gowns have earned a global fame and are worn in an enormous number of styles and fashion. And many of these styles are limited to specific purposes, such as for official meetings, or casual gatherings, parties, domestic use, or night dresses. One thing which all may agree to is that long dresses have come a long way to where they are now.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF LONG DRESSES
Big and long gowns have been worn by the women of this world from as far back as the 4th century, mainly in European and Asian cultures. And that time, they were nothing but merely a long cloth tied to cover their body from their shoulders. The actual hype seems to have begun after Renaissance, mostly in the Elizabethan Age in the European world. At those times, it came out as a fashion statement representing the class. For example, peasant women would wear simple gowns with petticoats. While the upper and royal class women have laces and ribbons on them. Also, they were more very fluffy and delicate. Since then, the gowns of the European custom have remained as the top most fashion choice for women for almost every important occasion.
THE REASON BEHIND THE POPULARITY AND USE IN POPULAR CULTURE
There must be something in these long dresses that out of every other piece of clothing, only they thrived. Well, I believe the reason lies in the pure feminine aspect of this. A gown is as feminine as any clothing can get. They give an impression of delicacy, beauty, and gracefulness. And also, obviously, they restrict women from certain things which are meant for men. For example, a woman wearing a gown cannot ride a horse, or go to war, or work in a factory. So they had all the necessary factors.
Furthermore, the European culture is often related to royalty, as the royalty still survives. And since the queens and princesses were also showcased in pretty gowns, it gave another woman a dream-like feel. Yes, gowns are dreamy. Even in popular culture, fairy-tale princesses were shown in gowns which have now become timeless classics, for example, Cinderella’s blue gown, or Belle’s yellow gown, or Barbie’s preference to pink gowns.
Even in modern parties, like Hollywood shows or parties, women’s gowns become a major eye – catching a piece for everyone as it seems to be representing the life in the land of stars. Weddings are another major reason why long dresses or gowns are so talked about. A wedding dress for a woman is more important than her wedding apparently. The charm of a beautiful fairy-like wedding dress also plays a major role in the importance of gowns.
TYPES OF LONG DRESSES FOR WOMEN
Now something which has survived for centuries, and something which is a global phenomenon, is obviously supposed to have variations. And even the variations depend on many specifications, such as the design, or usage, or culture. Following are some of the different styles and types, depending on several aspects.
ON THE BASIS OF DESIGN OR CUT
1. BOUFFANT GOWN – These are the gowns with the most exaggerated and fluffy skirt. Usually worn at the ball parties by women of high social class, these dresses were one tough thing to carry. They are not worn in today’s time but were extremely popular in the classic age.
2. BUSTLE DRESS – A classic dress of Victorian Era, these dresses had an elaborated back, like a hump. Again, they are not worn today and are a thing of the past.
3. CRINOLINE DRESS – This is the most beautiful and most popular long dress ever. Simply fitted from the top to waist, the dress than elaborates like an umbrella from the bottom giving the woman a unique and royal look. The gowns began in the 19th century and are still a preferable stylish clothing for woman.
4. SLIP DRESS – A simple yet stylish piece, these long dresses are straight fit and single-layered. They are quite a red carpet favorite by Hollywood women as they are more elegant than anything.
5. STRAPLESS DRESS – These dresses are without any sleeves or straps to carry the dress. They are simply supported by the tight fitting or the corsetry interior. They are extremely fashionable and is a 21st-century favorite.
6. TRAPEZE DRESS – A classic A-shaped dress, they are beautiful in their appeal and in the comfort they provide the woman.
7. FISHCUT DRESS – These dresses are inspired from a mermaid, as that is exactly the lower portion of the dress is. They are fitted til the knee, and then flares up from there, giving a mermaid-like look.
8. WRAP DRESS – They traditionally originated in the Chinese culture, but looks effortless in today’s western designs as well. They are tied in the front, giving a V-shaped neck look.
ON THE BASIS OF PURPOSE AND OCCASION
1. BALL GOWN – They are very elaborated and specifically detailed as they are especially worn at the balls and other formal high-class parties.
2. COCKTAIL DRESS – A cocktail dress can be as stylish and experimental as one likes. Even though it is a little bit formal, it can be fashionable modern as it is worn at the cocktail parties and other functions.
3. HOUSE DRESS – These are the simple domestic gowns worn by a woman at home for everyday purposes. They are usually worn over a petticoat and are made up of cotton and other durable material.
4. NIGHT DRESS – It is a dress worn by women at night as their sleepwear. They are usually in a wrap-dress form but comes in other styles as well.
CONCLUDING IT ALL
Now it is common knowledge that long dresses are for women and represents feminity. But one thing we must understand that from a dress for the weaker section, long dresses have come a long way are now seen as a dress for powerful and independent class. And at the same time, they represent such a style and elegance that you can never ignore them.