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A-line, swing dresses, tunic and sheaths. Princess dresses, tent dresses, strapless or empire waist. Whether retro or vintage, minimalist or mermaid, babydoll or kimono, all of these styles of dresses are amazing and fun to enjoy.

No matter what the style of dress or the preferences of the women who are wearing them, National Dress Day is here to celebrate each and every one!

History of National Dress Day

Certainly the concept of dresses started out as a functional way for people to cover their bodies. Togas, shifts, robes and wrap dresses all find their place as part of the origins of dresses. Originally worn by both men and women, eventually the convenience of trousers became the preferred garb of choice for men, but women were still expected to wear dresses.

By the 14th and 15th centuries, in Europe at least, dresses became not only a functional way for a woman to cover her body but also started to become part of fashion trends. Covered in various embellishments and paired with extravagant accessories like hats and capes, dresses have continued to evolve ever since.

And even though women have been rocking pants on a regular basis for several decades now, there’s just something extra that can make a woman feel feminine and beautiful when she chooses to wear a dress.

National Dress Day was founded by fashion and dress designer, Ashley Lauren. It was first celebrated in 2016 to draw attention to the beauty of dresses, reliving and celebrating the memories that happen while wearing them. Ashley Lauren is a designer that focuses on formal wear, from prom and pageant dresses to wedding gowns, particularly with the purpose of accentuating a woman’s curves.

Today, National Dress Day can be celebrated in a variety of ways, whether by simply wearing a favorite comfortable dress to work for the day or going out on the town in the evening, dressed up to dance!

National Dress Day Timeline

3000 BC

Dresses make an appearance

Some of the world’s oldest dresses seem to come from Ancient Egypt during this era. [1]

15th Century AD

Dresses become fashion

Going beyond simply being a covering, women’s dresses begin to become a fashion statement with elaborate embellishments for the rich. [2]


Marilyn Monroe’s famous white dress scene is filmed

This white halter dress is rather normal until Marilyn stands over a subway grate and it scandalously flies in the air for The Seven Year Itch. [3]


Princess Diana reveals her secret wedding dress

Setting the tone for style throughout the next decade, the Royal Wedding dress features puffy sleeves, ruffled neckline and a 25 foot train. [4]


Lady Gaga wears a meat dress

Calling it a political statement, pop star Lady Gaga wears a dress made of flank steak to the MTV Music Video Awards. [5]

How to Celebrate National Dress Day

Have tons of fun participating in National Dress Day by getting involved with some of these ideas for celebration:

Wear a Favorite Dress

One of the best things to do in support of National Dress Day is to grab that favorite dress out of the closet and put it on in honor of the day. Those who have to wear a uniform or certain dress code to work can toss a dress into the back of their car and change into it as soon as work is over. Take this day as an excuse to head out with friends for cocktails, dancing – or a game of bowling! But no matter what you end up doing, this day is best enjoyed while wearing a dress.

Take the 100 Day Dress Challenge

One dress company is working toward making the world a better place. Not by wearing a new dress every day, but by wearing the same dress for 100 days in a row. The Wool& company believes it is good for the Earth to wear items that are sustainable, require less washing and also make it easier to spend less time deciding what to wear in the morning.

So the company makes classic style dresses out of high-quality, long-lasting wool that allows women to wear it every day for 100 days. Wool is a sustainable fabric that doesn’t need to be washed each time it is worn, which cuts down on laundry (only needing to be washed every 5-7 days) and saves the earth. Plus, wool is not hot like many people think, but it is breathable and comfortable.

Perhaps National Dress Day would be the perfect time to get started on that 100 day dress challenge and fall in love with a comfy wool dress while doing something good for the planet.

Make a National Dress Day Playlist

Celebrating is always better when there’s a fun soundtrack playing in the background – and National Dress Day is no exception! Create a playlist on Spotify, Apple Music or another platform, tailored to enjoying this day to the fullest.

Get started with some of these songs, both classic and modern, that complement the dress theme for the day:

  • Little Black Dress by Sara Bareilles (2013)
  • Devil with a Blue Dress On by Mitch Ryder (1967)
  • Dress by Taylor Swift (2017)
  • Better in a Black Dress by Katie Armiger (2013)

Buy a New Dress for National Dress Day

Some women find themselves in a life uniform of jeans and t-shirts or yoga pants and hoodies. And that’s great! But sometimes this leads to a rut and makes it easy to forget how nice it feels to get dressed up once in a while. National Dress Day is a great time to remember and create new memories.

For those who don’t have a dress in their closet that fits well, perhaps National Dress Day is just the right time to change that. Take the day to go dress shopping, whether on your own or grabbing a friend. Make a day out of it and try dresses on at several shops or boutiques, but don’t forget to include a nice lunch or dinner in there somewhere too. See what kind of lovely styles of dresses are out there these days and choose a favorite one to bring home and wear.

Because certainly dresses can be worn and enjoyed any day or every day of the year!

Follow National Dress Day on Social Media

National Dress Day has its own hashtag that is not only fun for people to share their own photos, but it’s a great way to get inspired. Not sure about what styles have been trending lately in dresses? Everyone who shares their pictures on the day can help bring new ideas and fresh styles into that wardrobe.

National Dress Day FAQs

Are dresses professional?

Dresses can be professional, especially when paired with a jacket or blazer.

Are dresses comfortable?

Many women find certain dresses to be very comfortable, sometimes more comfortable than pants. [1]

Can dresses be tailored?

Dresses can certainly be made smaller, and some dresses can be made larger if they have extra fabric in the seam. [2]

When did dresses become feminine?

When men started wearing trousers in the 14th century, dresses became something only women wore. [3]

Where did dresses originate?

Experts think the oldest dress in the world originated more than 5000 years ago.[4]

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