DID THE TENT DRESS MORPH??
I recall when the tent dress became popular in the late 1960s. The tent dress was comfortable, very forgiving and still feminine. The tent dress could be just an everyday dress or evening wear depending upon the material used and/or trim. There’s scads of vintage patterns of tent dresses. However, it never really left us, in my opinion. The tent dress appears to have morphed into oversized tops (worn with leggings or pants) and many dresses with hi/lo hems. Comfort is always popular it seems.
There are many over-sized dresses that are touted as “tent dresses.” I tried to narrow the comparisons down to unbelted style dresses in the full A-line style of the true tent dress that was somewhere at knee level; just above or just below. Otherwise the dress starts to look like an evening gown or a caftan. Some that were touted as tent dresses actually resembled more of a trapeze dress and these had ample fullness and draped from the collar line. Add a ruffle and you had a granny dress! Usually, the tent dress was more fitted at the shoulder line/neckline and armholes.
Vogue 1766 and McCall’s 8755 were both issued in 1967. As you will note, with a tent dress, there’s little variation. Basically, you can have a collar or not, pockets or not and sleeves or not. Buttons and bows are optional. Pierre Cardin’s Vogue 1702 gave us a very tailored tent dress in the same year. Some tent dresses required a back zipper and some merely had back buttons.
Simplicity 7148 was issued in 1967, Simplicity 7203 was issued in 1967 and Simplicity 7585 was issued in 1968. Vogue 2016 designed by Christian Dior was issued in 1968 and is an example of a tent dress resembling an evening gown. There is a short length version in the package and it does appear to be a tent dress.
Look at some of the current tops and dresses of today. Some are very loose and over-sized and are meant to be worn with leggings or pants. It’s like the tent dress morphed into these tops or dresses. Pretty sneaky. But, they’re ohh so comfy and you can dress them up or down, make them from cotton or silk, and again, very forgiving. A quick and easy sewing project.
Just a bird’s eye view.