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Filtering by Tag: 1960s

A shift in fashion: The Shift Dress

The Shift Dress is an iconic, timeless item of clothing that is still as much of a must-have today as it was in the 1920’s! And Playful Promises is here to help keep you all bang on trend this season with their clothing line.

Yes, Playful Promises also offers clothes as well as underwear for all of you who did not know!

The Shift Dress is still a really prevalent trend in today’s fashions and never fails to appear every year. Not only are Playful Promises offerings delectable and help release your inner flapper, but they make you so ready to hit up a jazz club that you will be doing the Charleston down the street!

After researching the history of the Shift Dress I have come to realise how this fashion has managed to stay popular for decades, and I think you’ll agree that many of my findings are still relevant today.

It all began in the 1920’s, so a massive thank you must be said to all the fashion forward women of that decade as I think the ‘what to wear’ dilemma would be that much worse without the Shift Dress!

There were many factors that can be attributed to the development and success of the Shift Dress in the 1920’s:

  • Economic prosperity led to the Roaring Twenties, allowing women more spending power and women began to buy their clothes instead of making them themselves, meaning that fashion trends spread quicker and changed faster.

  • Social norms began to change throughout the 1920’s, becoming less rigid and enforced. Although alcohol was banned, people were allowed to drink a little within the home and soon women began to socialize and drink in public at illegal Speakeasies. Fashions begun to change becoming more revealing and freeing – a scandal at the time!

  • The textiles and garment industry became more advanced due to industrialization and women’s fashions became accessible to all consumers at different levels of the social spectrum.

  • As clothing was becoming easier to manufacture and produce in mass volumes, stores began selling ready-to-wear fashions in a variety of sizes and colours.

With these factors all playing a role in women’s fashions throughout the 1920’s, it’s no wonder that’s styles changed so drastically from the restrictive fashions of previous generations. Enter the Shift Dress.

The Shift Dress is not only an iconic piece of clothing it also represents a change in the way women were perceived in society. As well as this, it embodies and symbolizes the 1920’s; with its loose style and androgynous appearance it quickly became a favorite style of the infamous Flapper Girls of the 1920’s.

As well as being obviously stylish and big supporters of the Shift Dress, Flappers furthered the popularity of the style itself. Flappers were the iconic female representation of the 1920’s as a decade and were symbolized by their reputation for smoking from long cigarette holders, applying make-up in public and dancing wildly in short, shapeless Shift Dresses that exposed their limbs and created a flat-chested, androgynous look. This is the first example in history of women actively defying social conventions and instead of accentuating their figures through the use of corsetry; comfort was at the forefront of women’s clothing choices for once.

All this is pretty impressive for one style of garment don’t you think?! Not only was the Shift Dress stylish and comfortable but it stuck two fingers up at society encompassing clothing and revolutionary mind-set for women! Power to the people and all that!

As well as being an important fashion throughout the 1920’s the Shift Dress made a huge resurgence in the 1960’s. Audrey Hepburn often wore sleeveless shift dresses both onscreen and off, which had a major impact on 60s fashion.

The style was updated by designers such as Mary Quant, altering the length to create the Mini Dress. The Shift Dress became popular with women all over the world due to its simple style, adaptability to any situation and the way it suited all women. It even became a firm favorite with Jackie Kennedy!

Bound to be the most useful dress in your wardrobe, it’s a perfect choice for so many occasions because you can dress it up or down with your choice of accessories.

Why not experience the wonder of the Shift Dress for yourself and pick one (or more!) of Playful Promises offerings! The Digital Sunset Print Dress and the Swinging 60’s Lace Shift Dress are perfect for all you classy ladies out there. 


Based on all my research, I can’t help feeling that I was born in the wrong era! I would have fitted in perfectly in the 1920’s or 1960’s – not only do I love Shift Dresses, but I’m also flat-chested! Oh well, looks like I’m going to have to go on another Playful Promises shopping spree to cure my need for a Shift Dress!