What kind of dress is this?
June 17, 2012 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Please help me identify this dress style.

Dear folks of metafilter, I need fashion advice. I'm getting married in October and so far, I haven't picked a dress. (I only know what I don't want: traditional, white, pouffy, princess-y.)
While looking for bouquet ideas, I came across this which looks like it might work on me. However, the linked website does not provide more information about the dress and a tineye search didn't help either. And since I am completely ignorant about most fashion-related things, I don't even know how to call this style and fabric.
Can you help me with a description? It would be extremely helpful in case I end up getting a dress made for me.
posted by elaine_marley to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
[Link fixed, carry on.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:47 PM on June 17, 2012

That looks like a sheath dress.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:48 PM on June 17, 2012

Because of the way the skirt under the waistband puffs out, you could also look for a tulip dress.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:50 PM on June 17, 2012

The pic seems to originally be from the etsy shop of Miss Jennifer Rae (google images works better than tineye, I have found). I'd also call it a tulip dress. The material seems to be heavy, some sort of brocade maybe.
posted by helion at 12:57 PM on June 17, 2012

It also appears to have an inset waistband.

Could you be more specific about what elements of the dress (that you can see in that photo) appeal to you?
posted by enlarged to show texture at 12:58 PM on June 17, 2012

The pleats are called box pleats. The material kind of looks like it might be a contemporary pattern brocade (woven silk type material). I would say that you could call it a retro style. It's a common 60's dress pattern, though this seems pretty updated, but without seeking the neckline it's hard to know. Also I would second the tulip concept as well.
posted by greta simone at 12:59 PM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you all! "Tulip dress" seems to be a great start.

helion: Wow, thank you! I'll contact Miss Jennifer Rae, maybe she can tell me who made the dress.

enlarged to show texture: I like the vaguely retro feel I get from this picture. Also, the textured fabric. The dress seems festive, but playful.

It's a pity the neckline isn't visible, but you have given my search some direction now!
posted by elaine_marley at 1:12 PM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would search for: button waist sheath dress

Here are some similar dresses: one, two, three (white - don't know if that's important - but sadly out of stock)
posted by beyond_pink at 1:13 PM on June 17, 2012

Also try "wiggle dress" or "wiggle skirt." Your results will be evenly split between "super-trashy pin-up" and "chic retro sheath dresses." You might also e-mail the blogger here, who loves retro fitted dresses and seems to have a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of such patterns, both vintage and modern.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:19 PM on June 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Other people have found similar names, but this sewing pattern is similar (the belt/waistband alteration is structurally not really significant). It is dated 1952 and another box-pleated one with more of a flared skirt is 1954, if that helps your search.
posted by cobaltnine at 2:40 PM on June 17, 2012

The vintage, feminine look is really popular right now, and since you're not specifically seeking a "wedding" dress, there should be lots out there to suit you.

See if you like anything at ModCloth, Unique Vintage, or even Anthropologie.

If nothing there appeals, I'd try googling for "vintage style dress" and I bet you will find something that inspires you. Maybe throw in "1940s," which will get you the fitted waist and pleated skirt.
posted by zadermatermorts at 3:16 PM on June 17, 2012

Miss Jennifer Rae replied: the dress is from Anthropologie (2010 collection, no longer available).

Thank you all for your suggestions! (I'm leaving this question open for now in case anyone else has a link to share.)
posted by elaine_marley at 11:34 PM on June 17, 2012

Nthing "sheath dress". Tulip dresses generally have more volume in the hips and taper more markedly to the knees. This one has neat pleats!

There are a couple similar Vogue patterns – if you know a seamstress, getting a sewing pattern (or asking the seamstress if s/he already has it) can be ideal, because then you get to choose the fabric and so forth:

- Badgley Mischka dress (Vogue)
- Vogue dress (sleeveless and 3/4 sleeve variations). This one is out of print, so if you like it, you might look for it elsewhere and see if you can find it for less than Vogue charges for OOP patterns.
posted by fraula at 11:36 PM on June 17, 2012

Mmn, not to nit-pick, but according to Mrs. Roseman in my home ec class a thousand years ago, that's not a sheath. It's close fitted all the way down. The box pleat on your dress is there to add volume. "Tulip" is better.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:32 AM on June 18, 2012

"Sheath" describes a shape that has a fitted bodice and straight or very slightly tapered-in skirt.

"Tulip" is a shape that can be used on any type of dress, and has no Wikipedia entry since it's a newer sub-style and more "fashion" than "staple". Pleats do not necessarily mean "tulip", since all sheath dresses have to have three-dimensional (curved) forms sewn into them to fit well. Usually that means darts; pleats are simply a type of open dart on this sort of sheath dress.

"Tulip" has come to refer to pleats used in place of darts, but usually when there's more volume at the hips than shown in this dress, which skims the hips and legs nicely. A "tulip sheath dress" can be one of those.
posted by fraula at 6:53 AM on June 18, 2012

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