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The new first lady Michelle Obama, echos Jackie Kennedy in her style choices at times, hence the comparisons. She often wears different versions of the simple shift dress - a shape that is almost synonymous with Jacqueline Kennedy

The shape of the shift dress is so flattering and you can see how Michelle often updates hers by adding a belt

Jackie tended to keep it simple, in the style of her times, a dress, fabulous shoes, great bag.
It's all a girl needs really.

Shift dresses made their appearances in the late 1950s. The "definition of one" is a dress that is slim fitting and barely covers the knee. Quite scandalous in its time. The simple cut was offset by elaborate use of fabrics, big florals, brocades, metallic........ like this

In 1958 the waist line shifted up
(yep I did just use shift in that sentence - please do feel free to groan)
and the shift dress went empire. By 1964 the hemline also went up and the shift dress became that classic 1960s no-waist mini.

The shift dress went out of style as the looser draped shapes of the seventies came in, though you can see the ghost of it in most dresses made since back then. Its hard to get away form a shape that really flatters most bodies.

Yesterday I posted three shift dresses - all in happy, joyful, yummy spring colors.

All three are versions of that classic shape. Simple but done in great fabrics and colors. They are all terrifically made and fully lined so are great quality.

Vintage shift dresses often get overlooked, they just do not have that same "wow" factor as some of the more extravagant vintage pieces out there. But don't overlook them. When you find one that fits (or get one that fits almost (perfectly and have your seamstress tweak it to perfection) its a dress that you will grab over and over. For day wear or to the office, flatter heels and carry a tote. For evening add high strappy sandals and a big modern clutch.

It works. And it works well.

You feel pretty. You feel girly. You feel classy. You might even feel a bit, well, powerful.

And if you add pearls, you might even be feeling a little Jackie O.

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