What is Shift?

Shift Cut, Gossamer Gang, LLC 2013, Model: Adrienne H.
Shift Cut, Gossamer Gang, LLC 2013, Model: Adrienne H.


What is Shift?

The Shift, also called Chemise, or Trapeze, is usually a short dress with universal appeal.

Straight-lined, basic dress not fitted to the body, generally cut down from the shoulders, and can feature bust darts and slight flair at the hips, or a tie-waist.

Shifts can come in various sleeve lengths and hemlines; the classic version being the sleeveless, knee-length, characterized by a non-tapered waist.

A Shift dress actually shifts – with the bottom having a wider skirt than the top, but not necessarily an A-Line, actually skim the curves rather than clinging to them.

A Shift will more likely be called a Baby Doll, when it features an Empire, or Baby Doll waist, and is of Mini length.

When I label a Shift I usually follow the guide of: straight or slightly flared line, no darts, Cocktail or Mini length – not to be confused with the Tunic, which would have a straight line from shoulder to hem, and less overall structure.

Adrienne is wearing a Shift by Bob Mackie.

Gossamer Gang

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