When I was a young girl, little girls wore dresses for all occasions, but especially for church and school. Gradually, the dress code changed to the point where only the very young or the very rich wore dresses and everyone else wore jeans or sweats. I really didn’t mind all that comfort in the winter and, keeping mostly to the air conditioned malls and my house, the summer heat. I didn’t notice that day-wear dresses had become harder and harder to find.
Cocktail party dresses and formal-wear gowns still remained on the market and the sundress would pop up annually, but dresses meant for weekday wear had slowly withered away. With the return of cottage industries, the daily-wear dress is making a comeback (and I hear less whining at home).
The dresses lack some of the finesse of yesteryear, but are nonetheless a welcome sight. Cotton is making a comeback as a dress fabric, but seamstresses have forgotten that woven cotton has very little give and dresses made from it need to have darts in them in order to accommodate the curves and bumps of the female figure. I’ve seen far too many dresses that seemed more suited to flat-chested men than ample busted women.
Another difficulty is with the sleeves. Many of the sleeves seem to be designed for stationary mannequins and not active women who must bend and stretch throughout their day. As dress sizes increase to accommodate the enlarged figure, they fail to increase the diameter of the sleeve and wrist to match. I have large wrists (see Fashion Rant – Women’s Watches) and as a result have difficulty finding long sleeve dresses that work for me.
The newer dressmakers do seem intent on improving their product and I applaud them for that.