Have you ever wondered, what A-line dresses are? Why are they so universally regarded as the most flattering shape? Where did they come from?
We have broken down everything you need to know about A-line dresses to help you decide if they should be a new wardrobe hero or another sartorial oversell.
So, what does A-line mean?
The term A-line isn’t exclusive to dresses, it can be used for skirts, coats, or anything else with a triangular silhouette. Specifically, a garment that is narrow and fitted on the top, which widens either at the bust or waist in a straight line to the hem. This cut creates a structured item, one that stands away from the body in a shape reflecting the sides of the letter A.
Where did a-line dresses come from?
The term A-line was first used by the French couture designer Christian Dior as the label for his collection in spring 1955. The collection’s feature item was a fingertip-length flared jacket that soon became the ‘most wanted silhouette in Paris’.
The A-line shape of Dior’s collection differs slightly for the silhouette we now associate with the term. It was actually Dior’s successor, Yves Saint Laurent, that defined this modern classic cut. Laurent’s dresses in the ‘Trapeze Line’ of Spring 1958 used a dramatic flare from a fitted shoulder line, which is a style that’s still being emulated to this day.
The A-line style remained popular into the 1960s and 70s but took a decline in the 80s where it was almost never worn. However, the retro trend of the late 90s thrust it back in popularity; by this time the term A-line was used more loosely to describe dresses that were wider at the hips than at the bust or waist. The “true” A-line shapes seen in the patterns of Dior and Saint Laurent wasn’t to return to vogue until the 2000s.
Why are a-line dresses so flattering?
As Janet Easter says the ‘A-line is the holy grail for every body shape.’. The magic in the A-line is that it reduces the midsection and draws attention to the bust while taking attention away from the thighs.
The result of this is that the cut not only highlights and accentuates the waistline but add curves as well. That’s the reason that almost all bridesmaid dresses are A-line. It is the single most flattering fit for every body type, which also means you’ll be able to wear it again and again.
Some great A-line styles available today
Who doesn’t adore a LBD, and with A-line dresses, what’s not to love about this little number?
Love a print? Go for this floral A-line dress.
A-line dresses with sleeves are the perfect option for this time of year.
If you are after an A-line mini dress you can’t get more classic than this one.
Like an off the shoulder style? Then this is the A-line dress for you!