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Different Parts Of A Dress – Anatomy Of A Dress

parts of a dress-anatomy of a dress-dress part names-dress partsThe parts of a dress are the various elements within the dress that come together in the setting to create the prefect piece of clothing called dress.

Dresses have evolved considerably over the past century or so. Specifically after 1900, the dress has gotten emboldened into various forms and shapes.

These new various forms and settings have been possible by playing around with different elements of the dress called ‘Parts Of A Dress’.

The parts of the dress belong to the overall anatomy of a dress. These parts can be single or come in pairs. The single parts like the skirt can be symmetrical to both sides of the body or can be asymmetrical.

What are the Parts of a Dress?

The dress has several parts that makeup the whole garment. These are chiefly Neckline, Sleeves, Bodice, Waistline, Skirt, Hemline, Fabric, Decoration or Embellishments. Making a variation in these parts leads to a uniquely designed dress.

dress-white dress-dress neckline-neckline of dressDress Neckline

What is the Neckline of a Dress?

The neckline is the top most part of the dress. It is the top edge of the dress that surrounds the neck especially at the front. The neckline is very important in shaping the upper edge of the dress.

The neckline sits at or below the neck between the shoulders of the dress. The necklines appear in a ton of shapes, most of which are named after the shape they look like.

The shapes of neckline can be grouped into various broad shapes. The common shapes for necklines are the boat neck, deep neck, halter neckline, jewel neckline, polo neck, square neckline, v-neck, and others.

The french actress Brigette Bardot in the 1960’s, is largely responsible for popularizing the off-the-shoulder neckline style. Off-the-shoulder also came to be known as “Bardot” style as she wore this many types of dresses.

dress-white dress-dress straps-straps of dress-spaghetti strapsDress Straps

What are the Straps on Dresses for?

The strap on a dress is a long piece of fabric that runs over the shoulders of a dress. It usually is in pairs. The main function of straps is to hold the dress in place and to prevent it from falling down.

The shoulder straps of the dress may or may not be made from the same material as the dress. In some cases the straps may be very thin, and so are referred as “spaghetti straps”. Also, sometimes called a noodle strap.

Spaghetti strap dresses or spaghetti dresses are very commonly found in cocktail dresses, prom dresses, evening gowns and wedding gowns. There are some dresses that may feature a single strap too.

dress-sleeves of dress-dress sleeves-white dressDress Sleeves

What is a Sleeve in a Dress?

The sleeves are the upper part of the dress which covers the arms or through which the arm passes. In other words, sleeves are the covering for the arms. There are many types of sleeves based on lengths and styles.

There are 2 basic types of sleeves – set-in sleeves and non-set-in sleeves. Set-in sleeves are joined to arm hole and are of variety such as bishop sleeve dress, peasant sleeve dress, angel sleeve dress, puff sleeve dress and more.

Non-set-in sleeves are sleeves that form part of the main dress or garment. Since these are part of the main garment, there is no attaching required. Such sleeves are of the variety such as kimono sleeves, raglan sleeves, dolman sleeves, and more.

dress-dress bodice-bodice of dressDress Bodice

What is the Bodice of a Dress?

The bodice is the upper body part of the dress. This dress bodice covers the body from below the neck to the waist. This is a very prominent part of the dress and is very central to the design.

The term bodice was derived in Europe from 16th to 18th century. This was and is used to refer to the piece of dress which is used to cover the torso. Usually the bodice fits the body well, and can be tight fitting to slightly loose.

The bodice outlines the neck and the torso. The main function of dress bodice in styling is to accentuate the waist and the chest. There are many types of bodices for a dress such as ruched bodice, basque bodice, halter bodice, and so forth.

velvet dress-burgundy dress-dress waistline-waistline of dressDress Waistline

Define Waistline – Dress Waistline Meaning?

The dress waistline is a horizontal seam line, where the bodice and skirt of the dress join together. The styling of the waistline very much impacts the silhouette. There are many styles of waistlines.

The many styles of waistlines exist chiefly to accentuate the waist of the wearer. Different waistlines are suitable for different body types. The waistlines do affect overall appearance of wearer such as make the legs look taller, or make the person look thinner.

There are several types of dress waistlines such as natural waistline, asymmetrical waistline, Empire waistline, basque waistline, princess waist, clinched waistline, and more.

Empire waistline comes from 18th century Europe, while dropped waistlines from 1920’s makes one’s torso look longer. Clinched waistlines help to create hourglass figure, and raised waistline creates a slimmer look.

dress-white dress-skirt-dress skirt-skirt of dressDress Skirt

What is a Skirt?

The dress skirt is the lower part of the dress. Skirt falls down from the waistline to the bottom edge of the dress.  Skirts can be long, short, or mid-length and can be tight fitting or free flowing.

There are many styles of dress skirts, that are worn according to body shape. Various skirt shapes are asymmetrical, straight, A-line, pencil, bubble, pleated, and many more styles.

While skirts have been around since prehistoric times, only in recent times dress skirts have seen entry of numerous styles. Particularly after 1910’s there have been numerous changes in fashion, and various dress skirts styles have appeared like those above mentioned.

dress-sweater dress-dress hemline-hemline of dressDress Hemline

What is a Hemline of Dress?

The hemline is the horizontal line of the bottom edge of the dress. The hemline decides the length of the dress. Ever since the 1900’s the hemlines have grown shorter and have become more stylized too.

The hemlines are usually formed as a hems by folding edges. The hemlines do come in my styles and lengths. These very with a person’s age, personal style, occasion, and more.

The hemlines can be floor-length, ankle length, midcalf, asymmetrical, handkerchief, and more. Based on length of hemline, a dress can be categorized as maxi dress, mini dress, midi dress, tea-length, and more.

Every women has her own sense of style and the way she carries a dress. The personal dressing sense of the wearer, usually means she highlights or favors a particular style or particular style of a part of a dress. Tell us which is your favorite style for a dress part or favorite parts of the dress in the comments!! Is there a particular part of dress you’d want us to write more about?

About the author

Jill Jensen

Jill Jensen

Fashion is my first love. All the clothing shoes bags, all the other stuff. A woman's beauty is incomplete without these. Fashion accentuates the beauty of a woman and takes it to newer heights. My deal here is to bring the very fine of wearable fashion to the front lines through this website.