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Dresses increased dramatically to the hoopskirt and crinoline-supported styles of the 1860s; then fullness was draped and drawn to the back. Dresses had a "day" bodice with a high neckline and long sleeves, and an "evening" bodice with a low neckline (decollete) and very short sleeves. Throughout this period, the length of fashionable dresses varied only slightly, between ankle-length and floor-sweeping.
In Europe and America, dresses are worn by females of all ages as an alternative to a separate skirt and blouse or trousers. Dresses however can be cooler and less confining than many trouser styles, and are therefore commonly worn in warmer weather. In most varieties of formal dress codes in Western cultures, a dress of an appropriate style is mandatory for women. They are also very popular for special occasions such as proms or weddings. For such occasions they remain the de facto standard attire for most women. Dresses can be worn for a number of sports - most notably tennis, netball and figure skating. Their traditional status as formal wear has carried over into ballroom dancing, where they are the garment worn by most female participants.
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Ball gown, a very formal dress, typically elaborate and floor-length
Bouffant gown, a fancy gown for formal occasions
Cocktail dress, a semi-formal dress
Débutante dress, a white dress worn by young women at debutante cotillions
Evening gown, a long dress worn for evening events
Gymslip, a sleeveless tunic most commonly worn as part of a girl's school uniform
House dress, an informal dress worn at home for doing housework in
Jumper dress, a dress worn over a blouse
Little black dress, an evening dress or cocktail dress, often quite short, which has enjoyed popularity as a wardrobe staple since the 1920s
Maxi dress, a long dress, often ankle length, corresponding to the maxi skirt
Midi dress, a dress of mid-calf length
Minidress, a short dress with a high hemline equivalent to that found on a mini skirt
Nightdress, worn as nightwear, which may come in a variety of styles
Sari, a style of clothing worn by women in the Indian Subcontinent
Shift dress, a short, sleeveless dress in a simple style with little detailing
Shirtdress, a dress borrowing details from the style of a men's shirt, often including collar or front buttons
Strapless dress, a dress with no visible means of support (usually held up by interior corsetry or boning, or by elasticated fabric.)
Sundress, intended for wearing in warmer weather. It will often be made of a lightweight fabric and will frequently be sleeveless.
Tea gown, a semiformal gown intended for wear during afternoon tea
Wedding dress, worn exclusively by the bride at her wedding. In Western cultures, white is the most popular colour.
Wrap dress, a dress having a front closure which wraps around the body, forming a v-shaped neckline