Diane Von Furstenberg reintroduced the wrap dress a few seasons ago, launching a return to dresses. Although dresses don’t offer the versatility of skirts or pants, which can be paired with a jacket or sweater, it is nice to see women’s legs again. Wrap dresses are particularly limiting, since they don’t lend themselves to layering, but a sheath offers great versatility.
The sheath can be flattering for any body shape, can be worn with jackets or sweaters to give more style options and can go from day to evening. Anyone who likes to wear dresses can wear a sheath. By knowing which style will fit your body and your lifestyle, you can add lots of miles to your wardrobe just by including the right sheath.
A classic sheath dress just skims the body, zips up the back and has a boat neck. The best fabrics for this dress have body such as linen, lightweight wool or knit. Fabrics that have a bit of stretch work well. I think solid colors give more latitude in how you can wear the dress whereas a print is more memorable and will take it out of the category of being a basic. If you like a touch of drama, choose a sheath with an asymmetric neckline. Surprise is one of three techniques one can use to create drama. Sleeves add more versatility, helping bridge the seasons. I have been amazed to see so many women in newsrooms this winter wearing sleeveless dresses with below freezing temperatures outside! This always seemed to me a bit of a disconnect.
If one has an oval or rectangle shape, the sheath should just skim the waist area and the skirt bottom should hang straight. For a small waist, extra fit can be achieved by having a side zipper, which will contour more closely to the body. For wider hips, the skirt should be a modified “A” line skirt allowing for the width through the hips. Those with narrow hips can have the skirt tapered in slightly at the bottom or the “Sicilian cut”. This will require a slit in the back to facilitate waking. An inverted triangle, although slim through the hips, can balance the hips with the shoulders by wearing more of an “A” skirt shape to give the illusion of wider hips.
A sheath can have a wide range of variations from design detail at the neckline or waist or being belted or a flippy bias flounce at the bottom just to name a few. A jacket or sweater will give a more tailored, work appropriate look then add a necklace, change from business pumps to strappy sandals and you are ready to go to dinner.
Stores are filled with great selections of sheath dresses from which to choose. This could be your one big purchase to wear for spring and throughout the year.