Undershirt Dress

AKA: henley dress

How to say it:  uhn-der-shurt dres

Traditional Features: Undershirt Dress

  • dress style similar to a long, fitted t-shirt
  • has a buttoned, placket neckline similar to a Henley neckline
  • generally has sleeves
  • made from knit fabric

21st Century Undershirt Dresses

Chic, casual and easy to wear, the undershirt dress, more commonly known as a Henley dress in the 21st century, is the perfect choice for casual chic.

Free People GAP

Free People, GAP

LAUREN Ralph Lauren Tory Burch

LAUREN Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch

Origins…

…of the style: There really isn’t a lot of information out there about the undershirt dress, in fact the only mention of it I could find was in the Fairchild’s Dictionary. According to the dictionary, the undershirt dress is a simple knit dress similar to a t-shirt dress with a skivvy or buttoned placket neckline, similar to a Henley neckline.

Apparently the style was introduced by André Courrèges in 1969 and popular in 1970 which is a similar time to when the Henely top was introduced to fashion by Ralph Lauren.

I couldn’t find any further mention of the style so I have no idea what happened after the 70s, but a search for ‘Henley dresses’ in today’s marketplace turns up more than a couple of options so the style must have survived the decades. In the 21st century the undershirt or Henley dress is a fairly simple style – fitted, usually short, with sleeves and a buttoned placket. Often in stripes or classic plain colours the style is easy to wear and gives of an air of preppy chic that will no doubt keep this classic dress in style for years to come.

…of the name: The neckline of the dress resembles that of the old school men’s undershirts, hence the name.

The only mention I could find of the Undershirt dress was in the                            Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

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