Who invented the empire waist dress

Written by Simona | @stylishcircle

Quick History


The empire dress has a high-cut waist that sits under the breasts. This style has been around for a while and it’s getting more and more popular. It’s a very cute, comfortable and feminine dress. Not only is great for every body shape, but it can be worn at many occasions. It gives you a high-waist appearance and creates the illusion of a thin and tall body. This style is particularly flattering for women that have a pear-shaped silhouette because the dress emphasizes the bust.


Empire Cotton Dress


Nobody knows who invented the empire waist dress but in history, we can see that this style began in the Greco-Roman world.

Women were wearing long tunics known as chiton or peplos which were belted under the chest.

In the 18th century, this style came into Western and Central Europe, when very loose and light dresses, usually in white and with bare arms, were stylish and notorious.


Greek Dress (pinterest.com)


18th Century (wikipedia.org)


Empire Silk Dress


Between 1770 and 1820 the empire waist dress was reinvented several times and gradually became less simple.

In Britain, Lady Hamilton was the one who made this dress popular.

In that period of time, the empire dresses were usually accompanied by Grecian hairstyles with ribbons.

Women from the high society were wearing flowing empire dresses in white, which denoted their social status.


Lady Hamilton (nationalgalleries.org)


Perhaps because the 18th century was a romantic time, we often think about the empire waist dress as a very feminine item of clothing.

It usually has plenty of details like embroidery, jewels or diamonds that add a romantic vibe.

If you really want to wear a flattering empire dress opt for the one with V-neck.

This type is perfect for weddings or any other elegant events, especially if the dress comes in pretty, vibrant colors.

The empire waist dress will highlight your best body features, no matter what silhouette you have.


Empire Tie Dye Dress


Since this dress is loose and long, it can be a great choice for women of all ages.

If you want to draw attention upwards - to the shoulders, neck, arms and hair - rather than to your lower half, the empire waist dress is the best option for you.


Empire Curvy Dress


Who invented the empire waist dress surely wanted to create an item that is both comfortable and feminine.

It was very popular amongst women in the Greco-Roman period because it was stylish but also perfect for hot temperatures, which makes it a great element also in our modern days.


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