AskDefine | Define dress

Dictionary Definition

dress adj
1 suitable for formal occasions; "formal wear"; "a full-dress uniform"; "dress shoes" [syn: full-dress]
2 (of an occasion) requiring formal clothes; "a dress dinner"; "a full-dress ceremony" [syn: full-dress]

Noun

1 a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice [syn: frock]
2 clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion; "formal attire"; "battle dress" [syn: attire, garb]
3 clothing in general; "she was refined in her choice of apparel"; "he always bought his clothes at the same store"; "fastidious about his dress" [syn: apparel, wearing apparel, clothes]

Verb

1 put on clothes; "we had to dress quickly"; "dress the patient"; "Can the child dress by herself?" [syn: get dressed] [ant: undress]
2 provide with clothes or put clothes on; "Parents must feed and dress their child" [syn: clothe, enclothe, garb, raiment, tog, garment, habilitate, fit out, apparel] [ant: undress]
3 put a finish on; "dress the surface smooth"
4 dress in a certain manner; "She dresses in the latest Paris fashion"; "he dressed up in a suit and tie" [syn: dress up]
5 dress or groom with elaborate care; "She likes to dress when going to the opera" [syn: preen, primp, plume]
6 kill and prepare for market or consumption; "dress a turkey" [syn: dress out]
7 arrange in ranks; "dress troops" [syn: line up]
8 decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods [syn: trim, garnish]
9 provide with decoration; "dress the windows" [syn: decorate]
10 put a dressing on; "dress the salads"
11 cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of; "dress the plants in the garden" [syn: snip, clip, crop, trim, lop, prune, cut back]
12 cut down rough-hewn (lumber) to standard thickness and width
13 convert into leather; "dress the tanned skins"
14 apply a bandage or medication to; "dress the victim's wounds"
15 give a neat appearance to; "groom the dogs"; "dress the horses" [syn: groom, curry]
16 arrange attractively; "dress my hair for the wedding" [syn: arrange, set, do, coif, coiffe, coiffure]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • [drɛs]
  • Rhymes: -ɛs

Noun

  1. A garment; an item of clothing (usually worn by a woman or young girl) which covers the upper part of the body as well as below the waist.
    Amy and Mary looked very pretty in their dresses.
  2. Apparel, clothing.

Related terms

Translations

garment

Extensive Definition

A dress (also frock, gown) is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached bodice or with a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment.
In Western culture, dresses are usually considered women's clothing. The hemline dresses can be as high as the upper thigh or as low as the ground, depending on the whims of fashion and the modesty or personal taste of the wearer.

History

19th century

Dresses increased dramatically to the hoopskirt and crinoline-supported styles of the 1860s; then fullness was draped and drawn to the back by any dresses had a "day" bodice with a high neckline and long sleeves, and an "evening" bodice with a low neckline (decollete) and very short sleeves.
Throughout this period, the length of fashionable dresses varied only slightly, between ankle-length and floor-sweeping.

Dress types

Depending on design dresses are classified. Different basic dress shapes are:
  • Shirtwaist, a dress with a bodice (waist) like a tailored shirt and an attached straight or full skirt
  • Sheath, a fitted, often sleeveless dress, often without a waistseam (1960s)*Shift, a straight dress with no waist shaping or seam (1960s)
  • Jumper dress (American English) or Pinafore dress (British English) is a sleeveless dress intended to be worn over a layering top or blouse. Jumper dresses exist for both summer and winter wear.
  • Sundress is an informal sleeveless dress of any shape in a lightweight fabric, for summer wear.
  • Tent, a dress flared from above the bust, sometimes with a yoke (1960s, renewed popularity after 2005)

Fads and fashions

  • Chanel's little black dress (1920s and on)
  • Tea gown, a frothy, feminine semiformal dress
  • Dinner dress, a semiformal dress worn when fashionable people "dressed for dinner" (men in tuxedos or dinner jackets, even at home)
  • Coronation gown, formal wear for coronations
  • Evening gown or formal, a long dress for formal occasions
  • Ball gown, a long dress with a full, sweeping, or trained skirt for dancing
  • Kitty Foyle, a dark-colored dress with contrasting (usually white) collar and cuffs (1940s, after a dress worn by Ginger Rogers in the movie of the same name)
  • Cocktail dress, a semiformal party dress of the current street length (1950s and sporadically popular since)
  • Granny gown, an ankle-length, often ruffled, day dress of printed calico, cut like a Victorian nightgown, popularized by designer Laura Ashley (late 1960s-1970s)
  • Tunic

Usage

In Europe and America, dresses are worn by females of all ages as an alternative to a separate skirt and blouse or trousers. Dresses are often used by young girls and as more formal attire by adult women. Outside the U.S., higher-status women (judges, cabinet ministers, physicians, corporate executives et al.) generally avoid wearing trousers in public. Conversely, women at the lowest socio-economic levels sometimes do not own dresses.
Potential drawbacks of dresses include being either too long or cumbersome for the performance of some physical activities such as climbing stairs or ladders. Their use can run contrary to the individual or wider public sense of modesty and decency, especially given their potential to intentionally or accidentally expose the wearer's underwear. In addition, some dress styles, particularly those with back closures, can be difficult or even impossible to don or remove without assistance.
Dresses however can be cooler and less confining than many trouser styles, and they are still very popular for special occasions such as proms or weddings.

Underwear

Dresses are, like other outer clothing, usually worn with underwear. A wearer of a dress is likely to wear a form of panties as innerwear, though depending on the occasion, type of material, and type of skirt for modesty one may wear a slip over the panties.
One may usually wear a bra, but for modesty wearing a camisole / vest or full slip is also an option for the top. Dresses are sometimes worn with tights.

References

  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Brockmamn, Helen L.: The Theory of Fashion Design, Wiley, 1965.
  • Picken, Mary Brooks: The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957. (1973 edition ISBN 0-308-10052-2)
  • Tozer, Jane, and Sarah Levitt: Fabric of Society: A Century of People and Their Clothes 1770-1870, Laura Ashley Ltd., 1983; ISBN 0-9508913-0-4
dress in German: Kleid
dress in Esperanto: Robo
dress in French: Robe (vêtement)
dress in Lithuanian: Suknelė
dress in Japanese: ドレス
dress in Polish: Suknia
dress in Portuguese: Vestido
dress in Russian: Платье
dress in Simple English: Dress
dress in Finnish: Mekko
dress in Samogitian: Jupelė

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Mother Hubbard, accouter, adorn, anoint, apparel, appoint, arm, armory, arrange, array, attire, backset, badge, badge of office, badges, ballet skirt, bandage, bathe, baton, bawl out, beautify, bedeck, bedizen, bedizenment, bedrape, beeswax, berate, bib and tucker, bind, blazon, blazonry, bless, brassard, brush up, buff, bundle up, burnish, butcher, button, camouflage, cap and gown, care for, castigate, chain, chain of office, cheongsam, chew out, chiton, clad, class ring, clean, clear for action, clear the decks, clothe, clothes, clothing, cockade, cocktail dress, collar, color, costume, crinoline, cross, culottes, cultivate, culture, cure, cut, dab, dandify, daub, deck, deck out, decorate, decoration, delve, deploy, diagnose, dig, dight, dirndl, disguise, dizen, doctor, doll up, drag, drape, drapery, dress down, dress up, dresses, dressing, dub, dud, duds, eagle, embellish, emblazon, emblems, embrocate, embroider, enclothe, endue, enrich, enrobe, enshroud, ensigns, envelop, enwrap, equalize, equip, even, fallow, fasces, fashion, fatigues, fatten, feathers, fecundify, fertilize, fettle, fig, fig out, figurehead, fit, fit out, fit up, fix, fix up, flatten, fleur-de-lis, flux, force, frock, fructify, full skirt, furbish, furnish, garb, garment, garments, garnish, gear, get ready, give care to, glycerolate, gown, grace, grade, grass skirt, grease, grease the wheels, groom, guise, gussy up, gut, habiliment, habiliments, habilitate, habit, hammer and sickle, harrow, heal, heel, heraldry, hobble skirt, hoe, impregnate, inseminate, insignia, invest, investiture, investment, jumper, jupe, kilt, kirtle, labor, lap, lapel pin, lard, lay, level, linen, list, livery, lubricate, mace, make arrangements, make preparations, make ready, man, manicure, mantle, mantua, manure, markings, marshal, masquerade, massage, maxiskirt, medal, medicate, microskirt, midiskirt, miniskirt, minister to, mobilize, mortarboard, mow, muffle up, mulch, munition, muu-muu, nurse, oil, old school tie, operate on, ornament, outfit, overdress, paint, pannier, peplum, petticoat, physic, pin, pinafore, plan, plane, planish, plaster, plow, plume, polish, pomade, poultice, prank, prank up, prearrange, preen, prep, prepare, pretreat, prettify, primp, primp up, prink, prink up, process, prolificate, provide, prune, purge, put in shape, rag out, rags, raiment, rake, ready, ready up, rebuke, redecorate, redo, refurbish, regalia, remedy, reprimand, reprove, rig, rig out, rig up, ring, robe, robes, rose, rub, rub up, sack, salve, sand, sandblast, sandpaper, sari, sarong, school ring, scold, set off, set out, settle preliminaries, shamrock, shave, sheath, sheathe, shine, shirtdress, shroud, sigillography, skirt, skull and crossbones, slaughter, slick, slick on, slit skirt, smarten, smarten up, smear, smooth, smooth down, smooth out, smooth the way, soap the ways, spade, sphragistics, splint, sportswear, spruce up, staff, strap, style, suit, swaddle, swastika, swathe, tan, tartan, tea gown, tell off, tend, thin, thin out, things, thistle, threads, tie, till, till the soil, tire, titivate, togs, toilette, tongue-lash, treat, trick out, trick up, trim, try out, turn out, tutu, unguent, uniform, upbraid, verge, vestment, vesture, wand, wax, wear, wearing apparel, weed, weed out, work, wrap, wrap up
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