There is no other fabric quite like airy, lightweight chiffon. You know chiffon when you see it. This is the soft, lightweight stuff that looks like somehow someone stitched clouds together and dyed it pretty colors. Chiffon is used in clothing of all types and it truly looks amazing in dresses. Try out these chiffon dress styles and see how many of these pretty designs you love to wear.
What is Chiffon?
Chiffon actually isn’t a type of fabric. Almost any type of fabric can become chiffon. It’s made from silk, nylon, cotton, polyester and rayon. Chiffon is a type of weave, not a type of fabric. The technique was originally used in silk to create sheer, lightweight fabric that is semi-transparent. Chiffon weaving was first developed in France and the word itself is French.
An alternating weaving pattern called the S-and Z-twist is used to create chiffon. This alternating design is why chiffon has a slightly rough texture. But this fabric is also very lightweight and very sheer. That’s why it’s so often used for nightgowns and in dresses and clothing that is meant for semi-formal and formal occasions. It’s a very popular choice for wedding dress and bridal party attire. Chiffon isn’t often used for everyday wear, outside of professional work clothing.
History of Chiffon
When the Industrial Age exploded in the 1900s, textile manufacturers started to make chiffon all over the world. Until 1938, all chiffon was made from silk. A new fabric had appeared on the market by this time: nylon. In 1958, polyester was used to create chiffon. Today, chiffon is made from a wide variety of fabrics, including silk.
Types of Chiffon
While the weaving technique is always the same, the material used to make chiffon varies. This results in slight variations in chiffon material. There are several different types of chiffon that all have different characteristics.
Chameleon chiffon has an almost iridescent look to it. This chiffon is highly transparent and has a beautiful sheen.
Jacquard chiffon is thin and airy. It’s also very smooth and somewhat heavier than other types of chiffon. This makes the fabric drape beautifully.
Pearl chiffon fabric has a glossy, almost pearlescent finish.
Silk crepe chiffon is made from silk, the traditional material used for chiffon. This results in a very lightweight, soft chiffon fabric. This chiffon has a somewhat rough texture.
Made from satin that was made from silk, silk satin chiffon has a very smooth finish. This chiffon is highly transparent and very lightweight. It’s airy and breathable.
Types of Chiffon Dresses
Chiffon is used to make accessories and clothing of all kinds. It’s frequently used to make blouses, scarves, skirts and of course, dresses. Many different types of dresses can be made in chiffon and many different types of dresses are.
Because chiffon is such a lightweight material, it may be made in many layers so that it can’t be easily seen through or it may have its own lining sewn right into the design. Otherwise, you’ll want to wear undergarments so that your dress isn’t see-through. Take a look at the most common chiffon dress styles and find out when and where you can wear them all. You don’t have to wait for a wedding to experiment with this gorgeous fashion fabric.
A line chiffon dresses are a popular formal and special occasion attire choice. This style is seen often in wedding dresses. They’re worn at the wedding by bridal party members in some designs as well but A line dresses almost make gorgeous dress styles when worn as evening gowns. A line dresses have form-fitting bodices and they are fitted around the waist. From here, the skirt flares out and then gets wider and wider as it reaches the hem of the dress. This wide skirt creates a silhouette that resembles the letter A. The A line chiffon gown is almost always a floor-length design.
Ball gown styles look especially princess-like in chiffon. It’s a very popular material for ball gown dresses and evening gowns, in fact. The ball gown is a classic silhouette that continues to be a wedding dress and special occasion favorite. The bodice of the ball gown is form-fitting and usually strapless to show off a lot of shoulder. It fits around the waist and the skirt flares out dramatically, big and wide, to go all the way to the floor. In chiffon, the dress becomes big and poofy and pretty.
Fit and flare
Fit and flare dress styles are short mini dresses that look very pretty in chiffon. The top of the dress is fitted. The skirt of the dress is a short circle skirt design that flares out wide to create a fun finished style. This chiffon dress style can be worn as semi-formal or formal wear. Chiffon fit and flare dresses are popular chiffon short gowns that are often seen in bridal party wear at wedding ceremonies and they make pretty professional dresses, too.
Kaftans, or caftans, are long dresses that resemble coats. Kaftans are an old, traditional style of dress that originates in the Middle East. It’s a loose-fitting, comfortable garment. Kaftans are made in rich fabrics, including chiffon, and often they’re embellished with beautiful designs and accents, such as lace. Kaftans have wide, long sleeve designs and a loose fit all over. This is a beautiful dress for casual wear.
Maxi dress styles are long, flowing styles. The bodice is form-fitting but not tight, usually with a higher neckline, and the skirt is full and ankle-length or longer. Maxi dresses are airy, bohemian styles that are perfect for casual wear. In chiffon, these dresses are even more fanciful and lightweight. In more formal styles, maxi dresses are a popular wedding party dress choice.
Mermaid dresses are long, full-length gowns that are worn as formal wear. This silhouette is seen often in wedding dress styles. Mermaid gowns fit the body like a glove from the bodice, down the torso and through the hips, hugging every curve all the way to the knees. This makes for some sexy bride dresses! The skirt flares out wide from the knees to create a very distinct look. This is why the dress is called mermaid because the bottom of the gown flares out like the tail of a mermaid. In chiffon, the skirt of the mermaid dress becomes a lightweight, fluttery design.
Midi dresses have a hem that ends midway between your knees and your ankles. This is a great length because it can be semi-formal, formal or casual as needed. This is also a great length for any professional environment. There are many different midi dress styles, including tea-length dresses. They’re made with a variety of different sleeves and necklines. Midi dresses are often seen in bridal party styles because they look great as wedding attire.
The sheath has become a staple of any closet. When it comes to dresses, this is one of the most versatile you can have. Sheath dresses fit snugly, hugging your body from the bust to the knees n a close-fitting, straight design. Sheath dress styles can be worn in the office, they can be worn for casual settings, they can be semi-formal and they can even be formal, depending on how you style them. The sheath is a bodycon dress because it is body-conforming, which means it fits tightly on your figure.
Shift dresses were all the rage in the 1960s. These are mini dress styles that end above the knee and hang straight down the body from the shoulders n a loose fit. They usually have a high neckline that covers the collarbone. The straight style of the shift makes it highly flattering for multiple body types. In chiffon, the simple shift can be worn as anything from casual to formal wear, though it may be too short to wear to the office. Shift dresses have a fun, retro look that has become a timeless classic.
The skater dress is a fun mini dress style with a short, flaring skirt and a fitted waist. The bodice and neckline of the dress may be loose or form-fitting. The important feature is the wide skirt, which flares upward. This is a great dancing dress. In chiffon style designs, the airy skirt is even more lightweight and even more prone to flaring upward, so pay attention to your undergarments. Skater dresses are great for casual wear and semi-formal wear but the short length makes it a little tricky at a formal event.
Slip dresses are specifically designed to look like the thin, short, lightweight little dress you might wear under a dress. This is a mini dress that ends around mid-thigh. It has spaghetti straps and fits close to the body but it’s not tight or form-fitting. However, this thin dress leaves very little to the imagination. Slip dresses are often made in sating but you can find them in chiffon as well. This is more of a semi-formal rather than a casual dress and it’s best-suited to an evening out because of its somewhat sexy style.
Wrap dresses have become a fashion staple for many women because they’re so beautiful and versatile and they look so good on all body shapes. These dresses wrap around the body so they have a way of always fitting and flattering your figure, even if you lose or gain a couple of pounds. The way the dress crisscrosses n front of the body enhances the bustline and helps to de-emphasize the waist, making one look bigger and the other smaller. Wrap dresses are not tight-fitting n the seat, thighs or legs, so they help hide the curves you may not want to display as much.
Chiffon wrap dresses are beautiful and a good fashion choice for professional environments, semi-formal and formal events. You can even wear a wrap dress casually if you like. The wrap is a perfect dress style for all-occasion, any-event wear.
Chiffon looks like something that a fairy would have to whip up but now that you know more about this fabric, it’s a bit less mysterious. There’s still a lot to learn about wearing chiffon dress styles. Luckily, we’ve got the answers. Take a look at the most commonly asked questions about chiffon and de-mystify this material completely.
Can chiffon be altered?
Some alterations can be made to chiffon, though this material is very difficult to work with. Chiffon is lightweight and can be slippery and hand to keep in place, which is why it’s so difficult to make alterations to a chiffon dress. The hem can be taken up to shorten the dress and other parts of the dress can sometimes be altered. However, a tailor can only do so much. Usually, you will have to make alterations to chiffon dresses by hand because even in a machine, the dress slips and slides around.
How should you wear and style a chiffon dress?
Because chiffon is such a light and airy material, it’s perfect as spring and summer wear. Chiffon dresses look great with strappy sandals, high heels of all types, ballerina flats, loafer and even sneakers when you’re wearing a casual fashion look.
If you want to wear chiffon in colder weather, you’ll want to wear it with layers. Pair your chiffon dress with tights to keep your legs warm, closed-toe heels or high-heeled boots and a jacket or sweater. You can also wear a blouse under the dress to add an additional layer, if needed. Use accessories, such as a scarf or a wrap, to add even more warmth.
How do you pack a chiffon dress?
Chiffon is gorgeous yes. But it’s very thin material and you know what that means: it can wrinkle. Trying to pack a chiffon dress and then get back out unwrinkled is almost as hard as folding a fitted sheet so that it will lay flat. To keep a chiffon dress looking wrinkle-free after you pack it, take a little extra time and care with your dress when you’re packing.
The best way to pack any dress, including a chiffon dress, is to hang it up inside a garment bag. Garment bags are specifically designed to keep dresses and other clothing wrinkle-free. But if you can’t use a garment bag, you can always properly pack the dress so that it won’t wrinkle inside your suitcase.
Before you pack the dress, make sure it’s free of wrinkles. Lay out a piece of large plastic, such as a dry cleaning bag, or a large piece of tissue paper. Smooth the dress out flat on the plastic or the paper. Make sure you’re working on a flat surface. Now, fold the dress and the bag or the paper carefully. Smooth out wrinkles as you go. When you pack the dress, be sure to place it on a flat surface inside the suitcase. You should place it on top so that you don’t stack a bunch of items on top of it.
How do you wash a chiffon dress?
Chiffon is a lightweight, delicate material. This fabric cannot be machine washed and dried the way you might treat other types of clothing. Chiffon must be dry cleaned or hand washed. You can also wash chiffon in the washing machine on gentle. You must use a very mild detergent and wash chiffon in cold water. Don’t wring out chiffon, because this material can easily lose shape.
Do not machine dry chiffon. Lay it out flat. You don’t want to hang chiffon up because the clips or pins used can leave marks on the fabric. Don’t hang chiffon in the sun because the color can fade if you do.
Why should you choose a chiffon bridal party dress?
Why choose chiffon for bridesmaid dress styles? For one thing, this fabric is forgiving. Chiffon is not clingy material that sticks to the body. It’s lightweight and breezy. It hangs well and looks very elegant. Chiffon has a way of looking expensive, even when it’s not, which is always a bonus in bridal wear. This material is also breathable and soft, so it’s very comfortable to wear. For all these reasons, chiffon is a great choice for bridal wear.
In spring and summer, chiffon is an absolutely gorgeous choice. But in fall and winter, chiffon may be a little too cool and lightweight, depending on where you’re at geographically. Consider the weight and warmth of the fabric when you’re picking out your bridal party dresses.
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