WARDROBE TIP: WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT--ALL-SEASON SHIRTWAIST DRESSES
How do you choose the best shirtwaist for yourself?
There are many options you can cycle through to figure out what you would like and what would look best on you.
Shirtwaists are a classic style. Be careful not to use faddish ideas as those don't last more than half a season sometimes. This includes the trends that are popular now: short skirts, tight bodices, cap sleeves, odd colors, flashy fabrics, overpowering prints or designs to name a few. Basically, a shirtwaist that incorporates a classic style and a complementary color in quality fabric will make it a worthwhile piece in your wardrobe.
Decide what BODICE style you like.
- fitted with waist and bust darts--allow body measurement plus wearing ease plus design ease for comfort
- semi-fitted with slight waist gathers and bust dart--will work well for large bosom, large hips, long waisted, and skinny frame (pictured right)
- blouson with loose fit and no darts--flattering to the large bosom, large hips, long waisted, skinny frame
- yoked bodice with gathers or pleats--good for small bosom, narrow shoulders
- forward shoulder seams meeting gathers on front bodice--good for small bosom and narrow shoulders
Decide what COLLAR style you like:
- shirt collar, no band--good for short neck, broad shoulders, large bosom on short frame, small bosom on tall frame
- shirt collar with band, tailored (or stand collar) --flattering for long neck
- peter pan collar--not recommended for tall large frame
- wing collar--flattering for broad shoulders
- shawl collar--flattering to large bosom also for a small bosom on tall frame
- no collar--good for short neck
Decide what SLEEVE style you want:
- long for winter and heavier fabrics
- cuffed--flattering for thin or heavy arms on short frame
- long with button on fold
- long and fitted --no cuff or button
- 3/4 sleeve
- short-- good for transitional seasons to add sweater or jacket
- the less arm exposed the more feminine the appearance--includes thin, heavy, and the older one gets the more it should be covered.
- some patterns have a raglan or dolman sleeve styles
Decide what SKIRT style you like: these can be either buttoned to the hem or made without buttons. Please do make the skirts to come below the knees so that it is flattering to the feminine figure.
- A-line--flattering to all figures
- slightly--more A-line shape with some gathers
- full gathered--these are flattering to the long waisted and small hips
- gored--flattering to large hips
- flared (4 sections to skirt)--flattering to large hips
- single front pleat--very flattering to short waists
- double front pleat-- good for all body types
- pleated is flattering to small hips
- yoke--flattering to short waist on tall frame
If the shirt is just extended to the hem length then a little width can be added at the sides. If adding width to the front it would take more effort to make it flared with buttons to the hem. It would be easier to not have the buttons but make the buttons come down to the waist and put in a placket or make it wide enough to go over the head and put a belt on and /or add elastic at the waist.
There are so many interesting VINTAGE SHIRTWAIST DRESS PATTERNS that offer a wonderful variety of styles. Vintage dress patterns have more details with bodice styles and offer interesting variety as opposed to the simple styles in the major pattern books this year.
Even if there aren't any patterns satisfy your needs you can always combine a top with a skirt to make it a one piece dress.