Pants can change the appearance of the silhouette. Historically, women wore dresses or skirts as there was an emphasis on modesty. It was not acceptable for women to show the silhouette of their legs so pants were not worn until the second half of the 20th century. Listed below are the various pant styles and lengths.
Above Knee (shorts):
A top, blouse, jacket, or cardigans covers the torso and is paired with either a skirt or pants. The bodice, introduced in the 1500s, was the first separation of top and bottom garment. Tops did not become part of a women's fashion, to be interchanged with other garments, until the 20th century when clothing became less formal. There are a variety of cuts and styles (which are detailed below) that can create different silhouettes for the wearer.
Styles and Silhouettes for Tops, Blouses, Jackets, and Cardigans:
Follow this series with the next #FASHIONReport on Pant Silhouettes.
The waistline is significant on the appearance of the silhouette. Garments that change the presentation of a waistline typically fall on or near the wearer's natural waist. Men and women's clothing follow different guidelines for where the waistline will fall - men's garments fall near the natural waistline while women's garments vary in placement.
Waist Styles - referring to the height of the garment on the waist.
Skirts add to a silhouette. Below are different styles of skirts pertaining specifically to women's waistline and silhouette:
The concept of fashion began in the middle Ages and throughout history, trade, royalty, the laws of class systems, technology advances, women’s roles, and cultural forces have influenced fashion or the styles of dress. These factors have had an impact on fashion and the shapes and styles of everyday dress.
In the 1800s, the silhouette of the dress was simplistic with a slightly emphasized shoulder. Fabrics were lightweight with a high-waist and a straight hem. Towards the 1840s, dresses became structured with padding and firmer fabrics, skirt hems widened and fuller shoulders became enormous sleeves. Petticoats were separate skirts worn to fill out the outer dress skirt. They enlarged the bottom of the skirt, emphasizing the silhouette of the dress.
The 1850s through 1900s was a different silhouette with narrow waists and wide, hoop crinoline skirts. The sleeves became fitted the dress hem was floor length. Shoulders dropped to an unnatural position, and skirts continued to fill out leading to the hoop skirts in the 1860s. Dresses became full with the use of the crinoline cages (hoop). Hoop sizes and shapes changed throughout the next thirty years, changing the shape and fullness to the skirt. Rounding into the 1900s shoulders returned to the natural position, and the V-shaped bodice disappeared and was replaced with corsets. Corsets were synching devices worn under the dress to define the waist creating an extreme silhouette with the contrast of the wide skirts. As the 1900s approached, bustles faded, and only a small amount of padding remained. The silhouette of the dress became much smaller around the waist and hips. However, the bodice became fuller and the neckline had risen to just below the chin. Dressing throughout the 1800s was a task in itself. Small hoop eyelets were used to fasten garments and hooking the eyelets often took more than one person. The historical dressing was meant to take time, as the length of time to dress was a sign of wealth.
The 1900s brought slim dresses with an immense amount of ruffles. The silhouette became more relaxed. Skirt lines were straight with no padding and corsets were worn as support. The hem of the dress rose back to the ankles as it was in the early 1800s. The early 1930s brought longer hemlines and natural waistlines. Pads were placed within the shoulders and hips in order to exaggerate the women’s figure and create an hourglass silhouette. Zippers and buttons were introduced to clothing in replacement of the hook-and-eye closures. Zippers and buttons influenced the ease of wearing clothing, as it only required two hands to fasten a garment. The 1970s brought skirt suits with length variations from mini, midi, to maxi.
Fashion and silhouettes are influenced from historical dress, including varying waistlines, form-fitting dresses, and a variety of skirt lengths. Modern dress silhouettes are influenced by trends and less structured. Modern fashion is worn to signify the identity and personality of the wearer. How do you express your fashion identity? If you need some inspiration, check out the KM Collection of dresses. Next #FASHIONReport blog will be on waistline and skirt silhouettes.
Archeologists discovered cotton in a Mexican cave dating back to 7,000 BC. Cotton has played a role in world history and economics for at least 3,000 years and has been a chief export of Egypt, India, England, and the United States.
Over the last 30 years, cotton growers have conscientiously worked toward making cotton more environmentally friendly. Irrigation is minimal because cotton tolerates dry conditions well. Some measures implemented include: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22%, land use by 30%, and pesticide use by 50% according to Cotton Incorporated.
A long growing season means that Cotton only grows in temperate regions. In the United States, the Cotton Belt includes states in the south from Virginia, down to Georgia and across to California.
Harvesting machines pull only the cotton fibers from the cotton boll leaving the plants behind. About 15% of cotton, mostly Pima Cotton found in the Southwest, is machine stripped in a process that also harvests unopened bolls. This material is known as Seed cotton. In both instances, the short clingy fibers are removed before further processing. Once removed, oil is extracted. The remaining plant materials become feed for livestock.
Fibers initially pulled from the plant will be longer. The smaller fibers, removed at the later stages of processing, are used for non-woven fabrics and materials. What was once a labor-intensive industry now relies on machines increasing speed and production rates while lowering costs to consumers.
Cotton tolerates high heat, bleach, and frequent laundering. Unless treated with a special chemical finish, cotton garments usually require pressing to remove wrinkles. Cotton is easy to iron as it does not scorch readily. Alone or blended with other fibers such as silk, linen, or polyester, cotton can be constructed into any garment from sportswear to formal wear.
Cotton’s many benefits are:
This Turquoise Cotton Dress is 100% cotton. It is a causal dress with a flattering silhouette with box pleat details. For more cotton garments, view my Collection of garments. Next #FASHIONReport will be introducing linen.
The flax plant has been used in the manufacturing of clothing since the earliest civilizations, starting in Mesopotamia. Linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world. The fabric became widely popular in ancient Egypt. Annual floods replenished the deep, alluvial soils of the Nile River valley - making them ideal for growing flax during the cool winters. Linen fabric was ideal heat because of its lightweight and ability to wick moisture away from the skin.
Linen is harvested from the stalks of small, brilliant blue wildflowers. The cellulose inside the stalks that is used in the manufacturing of linen. Although this annual plant is ready to harvest just 100 days after planting, the process of turning it from flax plant into linen fabric may take an additional 150 days. The steps include harvesting; stacking it in sheaths and letting it dry; retting or letting moisture break down the exterior; stripping and combing the fibers. Followed by scutching, a procedure that divides the wood stems from flax fibers then combing the fibers to spin them into spools for blending the fibers; weaving; bleaching; and dyeing.
Elegant and comfortable, linen is a wonderful fabric choice. Unlike other commercially harvested plants, flax doesn't require much in the way of fertilizers or pesticides and is completely biodegradable making linen a very sustainable fabric option.
Benefits of linen:
This Slate Linen Dress is 100% linen. It is a causal dress with an elastic waistband and pockets.
For more linen garments, view my Collection of garments. Next #FASHIONReport will be introducing linen.
Silk is one of the oldest fabrics originating in China between 4000 and 3000 BCE. While legends and folklore surround the initial discovery of silk, its cultivation has always relied on one tiny creature: the silk worm.
Sericulture, the cultivation process, involves the mass farming of silk worms. Their eggs incubate at temperatures that slowly rise until the eggs finally hatch. Growing worms are then fed constantly to encourage healthy growth; preparing them for the moment they begin to build their cocoons. It is from these cocoons that silk filaments are taken; a single cocoon can produce a filament that is 1000 to 2000 feet in length. Cocoons are generally steamed or baked so they won’t destroy the silk filaments during their emergence. The cocoons are then loosened in hot water and the filaments unwound onto spools, later twisted together to create individual silk threads.
Silk fabrics are woven from these threads to create one of the world's most exotic textiles. While production occurs in countries around the world, China remains responsible for roughly two-thirds of the world's silk production.
Silk is among the most hypoallergenic fabrics available on the market, making it an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin. While seemingly delicate, silk is an inherently strong fiber that washes easily and allows your skin to breathe. It's a perfect fabric for all seasons because it keeps you warm during the winter, yet it remains cool to the touch during the hottest days of summer.
Benefits of silk:
This Silk Layered Dress is 100% silk. Inspired by the 1920s, it's a lovely selection for any summer garden party, wedding, or reception.
For more silk garments, view my Collection of garments. Next #FASHIONReport will be introducing linen.
Over the next few months, I will be reporting on fashion topics from fabric options, silhouettes, to printing techniques. As will be part of an on going series, my #FASHIONReport will be aimed at educating on the various elements that encompass fashion. There are many elements to consider when designing garments; some of those considerations are fabrics, silhouettes, and printing techniques. There is a rich history behind fabrics, silhouettes and how they have evolved, and printing techniques. I find this information to be very fascinating and educational in the realm of fashion.
Below is a list of the topics that I will report on:
Are there are any other fashion topics that would be of interest? Leave your ideas below in comments section.
I recently added a videos page to my website. Videos are a helpful way to view product details for on-line shopping. I created a few videos showcasing two of my cardigan styles – Ginger knit wrap cardigan and knit braided cardigan. I also launched a YouTube channel; subscribe to my video channel to keep up to date my video additions. Take a look at the videos on my video page on my site. Stay tuned for more introductions on the site and my additions!
Continuing with introductions, I would like to introduce my Collection page. The Collection page features all of the styles and products available – cardigans, dresses, jackets, skirts, tops and a sale section. Each category is easy to navigate and contains pictures, colors, and styles of the available products. Take a look around and stay tuned for more site introductions!