Have you ever wondered, what are A-line dresses? Why are they so universally regarded as the most flattering shape? Where did they come from?
Well, we are here to answer all your questions. To help you decide if you need to stock your wardrobe with a few more a-line dresses.
So, what does a-line mean?
According to the website fashion history, ‘the term “A-line” is used to describe a dress, skirt, or coat with a triangular silhouette. Narrow and fitted at the top, widening out from the bust or waist in a straight line to the hem. More specifically, it is understood to mean a structured garment, which stands away from the body to form the sides of the A. The fronts of A-line garments are often cut in one piece, with darts for fitting, and the skirts often have no waistband.’
Where did a-line dresses come from?
The term a-line was first used by the French couture designer Christian Dior as the label for his collection in spring 1955. ‘The ‘a-line collection’s feature item, then the “most wanted silhouette in Paris”, was a “fingertip-length flared jacket worn over a dress with a very full pleated skirt”
‘Although an A-shape, this silhouette was not identical to what is now understood to embody the A-line idea. That idea was given its definitive expression and popularized by Dior’s successor, Yves Saint Laurent, with his “Trapeze Line” of spring 1958. Which featured dresses flaring out dramatically from a fitted shoulder line.’
The a-line style remained popular into the 1960s and 70s. Then taking a decline in the 80s where it was almost never seen. But by the late 90s was back in popularity due to the retro trend. By this time the term a-line was used more loosely to ‘describe any dress wider at the hips than at the bust or waist, as well as a number of flared skirt styles. The “true” a-line shapes seen in the patterns of Dior and Saint Laurent came back into style in the 2000s.
Why are a-line dresses so flattering?
As Janet Easter says the ‘a-line is the holy grail for every body shape.’. According to Stitch Fix ‘the magic in this shape is that it can minimize the midsection, hips and thighs, and draw attention to the bust half at the same time (depending on the neckline )’
‘A-line skirts or dresses are fitted at your natural waist and gradually widen towards the hem to create a triangular shape that fans out slightly. This flattering shape pulls double duty. It draws the eyes to the waist for pear(larger on bottom) and heart shapes(larger on top), which de-emphasizes the hips and it also adds the appearance of curves for those with boyish or boxy body-types.’
‘There’s a reason that bridesmaid dresses are a-line: it is the singular most flattering fit for every body type. The good news is that you actually WILL wear this style again and again because it comes in way more varieties than just heavy pink satin!’
Some great a-line styles available today
Who doesn’t adore a LBD, and with a-line dresses black, what’s not to love about this little number?
Love a print? Go for this floral a-line dress.
A-line dresses with sleeves are the perfect option for this time of year.
If you are after an a-line mini dress you can’t get more classic than this one.
Like an off the shoulder style? Then this is the a-line dress for you!