Granny Dress

AKA: 

How to say it:  gran-ee  dress

Traditional Features: 

Granny Dress

  • long sleeves
  • high neckline
  • floor length
  • lace panels, ruffles and/or embroidery

21st Century Granny Dresses

The Granny dress in all its covered-up glory doesn’t really exist in the current fashion marketplace, but aspects of the style live on in modern dresses that reference design features that would make every girls’ granny proud.

Alexander McQueen Badgley Mischka

Alexander McQueen, Belle Badgley Mischka

Free People Mes Demoiselles

Free People, Mes Demoiselles

Origins…

…of the style: The granny dress came into the fashion world in the late 1960s early 70s. As the miniskirts and hot pants ran their course, women of the Hippie culture turned to the simple flowing styles of older times, drawn to the nostalgic designs of a distant past.

The granny dress was everything the early 60s fashion wasn’t – prim, proper, and pretty, with high necklines, long sleeves, long skirts, and soft flowing fabrics that bloomed with lace, ruffles and embroidery reminiscent of another time. Designer Laura Ashley was an advocate of the granny dress and produced many variations on the style throughout the 70s.

The granny dress trend barely lasted the decade and fell from favour in the 1980s and hasn’t really ever come back. In the 21st century, the closest style available to the granny dress is usually called a peasant or gypsy dress, and while these style do mimic one or more of the features of the granny dress, they do not offer the complete look of prim and proper simplicity that was so popular in the 1970s.

…of the name: The style is said to have been styled off a dress ‘Granny’ would have worn.

For more info on Granny Dresses try Skool Days or check out the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

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