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Article: The Timeless Appeal Of The Humble Sundress


If there is one style of dress that has made a lasting mark on the fashion scene and held its popularity year after year, it’s the sundress!


The sundress is a wardrobe classic that never goes out of fashion.


These popular dresses first arrived on the scene back during the 1940s when styles were becoming bolder and a lot barer. Although evening dresses had been pretty revealing for a number of years, women were basically buttoned up and modest in their daytime attire.


But, as it became acceptable to show more skin during the day, sundresses were perfect and kept the wearer infinitely more cool and comfortable.


Why is a Sundress Called a Sundress?


Well, there is no definitive answer to that question. But the popular, widespread theory is that these dresses were first designed to allow a woman to not only stay cool, but to catch a few rays for a becoming suntan in the process.

When they first came along, most were made out of cotton. Nowadays, many sundresses are still made from cotton, but they may be constructed from a variety of fabrics such as Rayon, polyester or silk, as well as various others.


This style of dress is the very picture of femininity!


They may be sexy and flirty, or young, innocent and demure looking, but one thing all sundresses have in common is charm.


When Did the Sundress Become Popular?


This dress style has been popular since it showed up on the fashion runways in the 1940s. Then, in the 1960s, Lilly Pulitzer came along and brought sundresses even further into the limelight. Her designs were mainly full and free flowing with a sort of floaty, ethereal appeal that was a huge hit on the Hippie and Bohemian style scene.


During this period, which was the first era of the Maxi Dress, a lot of sundresses were full length, going all the way to the ankles. They were often worn with great, big floppy hats and strappy sandals.


While the Maxi Dress enjoyed great popularity, there were sundresses that were shorter. Many were a graceful waltz length, while some were knee length and others above the knee.


The same era that spawned the floor length Maxi Dress also brought us the Mini Dress, and the sundress made an appearance in this controversial and as some claimed, too risqué style, too.


However, even while the casual sundress was blazing a trail in the fashion world, the more formal versions of this style were also hot!


Straps had gradually narrowed. Moving from spaghetti straps to sometimes strapless, sundresses had become fully acceptable as evening wear on the cocktail party circuit.


Tight, form fitting “wiggle” dresses were one popular style of sundress, along with the full skirted varieties made even fuller with petticoats worn underneath.


Some sundresses had side zippers, while others had back zippers and still others had buttons and no zippers. In addition, there were pullover styles and the very attractive type that laced up, corset style.


Regardless of the occasion, women were bound to find a sundress that was perfect; the range of lengths and skirt styles was equaled by the wide range of fabrics and patterns!


Everything from Swiss dots to polka dots…geometric and Avant Garde designs during the Eames era of the 1950s…romantic florals…stripes and solids…anything and everything might be used in the making of a sundress!


Now, as then, the sundress is extremely popular! Year after year, it holds its share of the market for women’s dresses as females of all ages buy and wear a version of this popular style.


If you are in the market for a pretty, cool and comfy dress that will let you enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer in style---try a sundress!


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