This weekend is our HUGE Memorial Weekend Sale at Deja Vu Vintage Finery. Earlier during the week when gearing up for our big sale, I was adding onto the sale rack fun and flirty vintage dresses that I knew our customers would love. Most of the dresses that were on the rack were the popular recognized "shift" dress, most popular and worn during the 1960's. I had asked my boss, why are these called shift dresses? I know what a shift dress looks like and feels like, but where exactly did the name come from? Bill, owner of Deja Vu, did some reseacrh and came accross why the "shift" is called that way.
So vintage lovers, if you did not know why the shift dress was called a shift, well now you do!
A shift dress is a short, sleeveless dress that hangs from the shoulders. It is suitable for all body types and sizes. It has been popular since the 1960s. Though it is easy to shift or move around in a "shift dress," the term signifies a shift in culture. When the dress became popular in the late 1950s, American youth culture was at its height. The dress represented the youthful, free and revolutionary attitudes of the time.
The credible shift dress entailed many features, it's short and straight with a simple line. It hangs loose on the body from the shoulders and is held together by side panels. The dress is sleeveless with a short hemline. The neckline is high, typically with a boat-neck collar. The dress has almost no detailing, beyond side panels and breast darts. The waist is de-emphasized. This allows women to move around freely without constraints.
The history of the shift dress, I read the dress can be traced back to 1920's flapper trends. Dresses of Coco Chanel had featured exposed legs and arms with simple cuts and loose in shape with minimal waist definiton.
This movement caused many women to slowly drift from the corsets and offered women both with style and ease of movement. The shift dress was not only a new look, but was also promoted independence, modernitity and redefined the females shape. The shift is a symbol of youth culture. It was all about mobility at casual ease.
here are some photos of the shift dresses we currently have in stock at Deja Vu Vintage Finery.
If you see anything you love, please give us a call at 760 699 5365 and we'd love to put a shift on hold for you.