National Dress Day

National Dress Day is a day dedicated to one of the most versatile pieces of women’s clothing available. This article of clothing dates back at least 5,000 years, and one of the first dresses worn was the Tarkhan Dress at the beginning of the kingdom of ancient Egypt. They became especially popular from the 11th century onward and continue to be a highly popular fashion choice. With that being said, let’s take a few moments to not only look at this holiday but also at the piece of clothing that has inspired its celebration on March 6th every year.

The History of National Dress Day

National Dress Day was first founded by Ashley Lauren as a way for people to celebrate the dress and to relive their favorite memories of this article of clothing. According to Ashley Lauren, dresses are capable of inspiring strong emotions in women, and it’s the stories behind the dresses that make this day special. We couldn’t agree more.

The History of the Dress

Even though the Tarkhan Dress was found in an ancient Egyptian tomb over 5,000 years ago, it was a garment believed to have been worn only by the very wealthy. As a result, it was an extremely rare dress. However, its design set it apart from the wrapped-around garments or robes that were typically worn during that time. This dress had a V-neck, tailored sleeves, and even narrow pleats. In other words, it could have ended up in a department store today.

We now jump ahead to 11th-century Europe. This is when significant advancements began to be made to the apparel of the time. Typically, women living in 11th-century Europe wore dresses that were very much like the men’s tunics of the time. This would change by the end of the 11th century, however, and these dresses became more form-fitting along the woman’s arms and upper bodies.

The 16th century is when the dress began to truly evolve into something more similar to the dresses of today than the apparel that came before. European dresses featured a gown, smock, kirtle, sleeves, and a partlet. In France, the Marlotte dress was popular, and in Italy, Ropa and Samarra dresses were all the rage.

The dress continued to evolve over the centuries, but the modern dress really began during the early 20th century. In 1915, dresses had a more natural waist, and by 1920 the waist had come down to hip-level, and the flapper dress dominated until the end of the 1920s. During the Second World War, dresses became slimmer, as they were inspired by the military uniforms of the time. After the war, however, Christian Dior became very influential and would set the design of the dress for decades. From the early 1970s, however, dress styles have waxed and waned as no one style dominated the market for very long.

Celebrating National Dress Day

One way that a person can celebrate National Dress Day is by donning their favorite dress. Or, if they prefer, they can post a picture of a dress they used to own or a dress they want to own. If posting on social media, people who are celebrating this holiday should use the hashtag #NationalDressDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 6 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
March 6 Thursday
Last year (2023)
March 6 Monday