Shapeless dresses?


Aug 6, 2012
I was planning to buy a couple of new summer dresses this year, but I feel like all I'm seeing in stores are these shapeless sacks. Most don't have any kind of waistline, and the few that do have really lazy ones: tie or wrap waists, elastic waists, smocked bodices, etc.

Why is it so hard to find clothes that have waistbands or darts or shaped seams or, god forbid, zippers? Is it designers convincing women these clothes are attractive so they can get away with cutting corners? Is it pandemic related--like all women want to wear are clothes that fit like pajamas? Is it an outgrowth of resurgent feminist politics? Or is just that with close to 75% of the American population being overweight or obese, designers have thrown up their hands and said to hell with it?

And how are they charging $150+ for these dresses when they're unlined, poorly sewn, and practically 100% rayon or polyester?

I'm showing my age, but I have a bias-cut 100% wool midi skirt that I bought at HMH around 2001 that's still going strong. And I recently bought second hand a 100% silk embroidered LOFT summer dress with a side zip, waistband, and full lining. These things are impossible to find now unless you're shopping at a high-end store. I know clothing quality has been declining for a long time now, but it's getting to where don't see the point in buying anything new anymore.
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Super Star
Recently Verified
Jan 14, 2015
Not a shapeless dress, but loose clothing can look good on the right person.
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Grand Dame
Feb 21, 2017
New York
I mean I think… it’s summer and it’s hot and people generally want to wear loose clothing?

I do understand what you mean about “fitted” options being better at higher-end brands. I just got two dresses from Farm Rio and Joie with proper xxs waists, for example, while cheaper Zara knockoffs of either dress would def be some elasticized version that could fit xxs-large. But I think this is a matter of lower-end brands just pragmatically appealing to as wide/flexible a market as possible.

You can definitely find a lovely and high-quality fitted-waist dress for $150. It sounds like you’re looking in the wrong places. Some places to try: Rebecca Taylor, Sézane, Rouje, Réalisation Par, & Other Stories, Reformation. But even the lower-end online shops like Shein or Princess Polly have fitted dresses.
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