Like most fashion relevant questions, the answer depends upon who you
ask. In terms of dresses & gowns it is not easy to find an exact
The difference between a dress and a gown is largely one of semantics
and personal preference. The word "gown" tends to refer to more formal
garments, like those worn for weddings, proms or balls. A "dress" can be
any one-piece garment with a skirt of any length, and can be either
formal or informal.
dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with an attached
bodice (or a matching bodice giving the effect of a one-piece garment).
It consists of a top piece that covers the torso and hangs down at least
partially over the legs. A dress can be any one-piece garment
containing a skirt of any length. Dresses can be formal or informal.
The hemlines of dresses vary depending on the whims of fashion and the
modesty or personal taste of the wearer.
gown, from medieval Latin gunna, is a usually loose outer
garment from knee- to full-length. The gown technically be any
full-length woman's garment consisting of a bodice and attached skirt.
A skirt is the lower part of a dress or gown, covering
the person from the waist downwards.
Before the Victorian period, the word "dress" usually referred to a
general overall mode of attire for either men or women, such as in the
phrases "evening dress", "morning dress", "travelling dress", "full
dress", "priest's gown" which are white, and so on, rather than to any
specific garment, and the most often used English word for a woman's
skirted garment was gown. By the early 20th century, both "gown" and
"frock" were essentially synonymous with "dress", although gown was more
often used for a formal, heavy or full-length garment and frock or dress
for a lightweight, shorter, or informal one. Only in the last few
decades has "gown" lost its general meaning of a woman's garment in the
United States in favor of "dress". Today, the usage is chiefly British,
except in historical senses or in formal cases, such as evening gown and
wedding gown. Formal gowns generally have a fitted bodice and a
full-length full skirt.
An evening gown, evening dress or gown is a
long flowing women's dress usually worn to a formal affair. It ranges
from tea and ballerina to full-length. Evening gowns are usually
made of luxurious fabrics such as chiffon, velvet, satin, organza, etc.
Silk is a popular fibre for many evening gowns. Although the terms are
used interchangeably, ball gowns and evening gowns differ in that a ball
gown will always have a full skirt and a fitted bodice; in contrast, an
evening gown can be any silhouette—sheath, mermaid, A-line or trumpet
shaped—and may have an empire or dropped waist.
A wedding dress or wedding gown is the clothing worn
by a bride during a wedding ceremony. Color, style and ceremonial
importance of the gown can depend on the religion and culture of the
wedding participants. In Western cultures, brides often choose white
wedding dress, which was made popular by Queen Victoria in the 19th
century. In eastern cultures, brides often choose red to symbolize
In many cultures, dresses or gowns are more often worn by women and
In the opinion of Apparel Search, a gown is a type of formal
By the way, do you know the meaning of the word "frock"? Frock
has been used since Middle English as the name for an article of
clothing for men and women. In Standard and World English the word is
used as an alternative term for a girl's or woman's dress.
In your opinion, what is the difference between a dress & gown?
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