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National Dress Day

Dress memories are relived and celebrated today with National Dress Day, by wearing favorite dresses and posting memories about them on social media. The holiday was started by ASHLEYlauren, a well-established dress company that designs evening, cocktail, mother of the bride, bridal, prom, and pageant dresses that are sold around the world. Ashley Lauren Kerr, who founded ASHLEYlauren in 2011, said of National Dress Day: "I have fond memories wearing dresses and I realized that dresses hold such powerful emotions for women. I remember the dresses I wore to my prom, first job interview, first date, competing in a pageant, my first red carpet event, the list goes on. This is a fun day to cherish and celebrate those memories. To me this day is about empowering women to celebrate our femininity and cherish memories of wearing dresses. It's the women and their stories behind the dresses that make this day so special."

There are a wide variety of styles of dresses which are worn for numerous social occasions. Dresses date to ancient times and have changed in style over thousands of years. By the early nineteenth century, dresses were rather lightweight and simple. This changed in the 1830s when oversized dresses with puffy sleeves became the norm. By mid-century, extra-large dresses were formed with crinolines, which went under skirts and were made of steel wire or other materials. But fashion shifted again during the following decade, and cinch corsets that accentuated small waists came to prominence. Victorian "bustle" dresses, with flat skirts and bulky backs, reigned from the 1860s into the 1890s. Inventions in the nineteenth century led to continued changes in dresses in that century and the next. Elastic, safety pins, the electric iron, and the zip fastener all contributed to changes, as did the arrival of paper dress patterns, which led to an increase of dress sewing at home.

Knee-length dresses came into vogue during the 1920s, but more conservative dresses were once again at the forefront in the 1930s. Shorter hemlines returned during World War II, which can be attributed to the need to conserve material. In 1947, Christian Dior introduced the "New Look," which consisted of a style of long dresses with narrow waists that emphasized the hourglass figures of women. Dresses maintained a feminine look with full silhouettes until the mid-1960s when the miniskirt came on the scene. Dresses became more informal and relaxed at this time. In the present day, there are all kinds of styles of dresses, and on National Dress Day we celebrate them and remember the memories we've had with them.

How to Observe National Dress Day

Celebrate the day by wearing one of your favorite dresses! Perhaps you have one that you've worn on a special occasion—or occasions—that you've made important memories in. Post a photo on social media of yourself in your dress along with a memory about it! Use the hashtag #NationalDressDay and tag @ashleylauren and @nationaldressday. Make sure to follow the National Dress Day Instagram and Facebook pages for more information about the day. You could also buy yourself a new dress today—perhaps from an ASHLEYlauren retailer—so that new dress memories can be made. If you aren't one to wear dresses, you could let others know about the holiday, buy someone a dress, or learn more about the different styles of dresses.

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