4 Reasons To Say Yes To A Sheath Dress

One of the funniest things I’ve read in a while was Gayle admitting in Oprah magazine that she is a sheath-a-holic.  I’d never heard that term before, but I instantly realized that was me too.

I  can honestly say that about  95% of the dresses I own are this classic Jackie O style.

Deborah Boland sheath dress

Like good friends, my sheath dresses are steady, solid, and reliable,  but slight changes in necklines, colors, fabrics, and details give each its own unique personality and special value. A sheath dress is my personal go-to outfit. It works for me, so I’m sticking to it. Maybe you should give one a try too?

Here are four reasons I think you should say yes to a sheath dress.

1. Sheath Dresses are Timeless

Sheath dresses were an instant hit when they arrived on the fashion scene in the 50s, and fast became a classic wardrobe staple. They’re a symbol of chic and look just as modern, feminine, and powerful today on women like Michelle Obama, as they did decades ago on famous stars like Audrey Hepburn. When you aren’t sure of the dress code, a sheath dress always looks appropriate.

2. They Make Your Body Look Good

Sheath dresses have stayed in style for so long because they flatter feminine figures. They fit across the shoulder and bust and nip in at the waist following your curves and skimming your shape. Usually, there is a pleat or slit at the back. Even if you do not stick thin, a sheath dress is a very pleasing style for most body types. Its highlights give you curves where there are none. An bonus- this style with its straight, lean line will make your legs look extra long and make you look thinner too.

Deborah Boland


3. Sheath Dresses are the Perfect Blank Canvas 

One of my favorite things about the sheath dress is that is so much fun to accessorize. Because it is a blank canvas, you can have fun injecting some personality in the way of shoes, bags, jewelry, and wraps. And jackets. Big statement necklaces look great with a sheath dress, and so do bracelets and cuffs, scarves, and belts. A classic pointy-toe pump always looks perfect with a sheath, but with such a blank screen any sexy shoe looks fab. Try high strappy sandals, mules, wedges, platforms, slingbacks, ankle strap shoes, booties, or tall boots. A pair of sexy metallic pumps will make a sheath dress come alive.

4. Sheath Dresses are Practical and Appropriate

Dress it up or dress it down, you can wear this style of dress anywhere.  It’s a great power piece because it’s bold and commanding. Did I mention that sheath dresses are always very classy and ladylike too?

Color blocking continues to be hot, and a sheath dress with contrast panels at the waist gives the illusion of a definite nip in! Floral sheath dresses never go out of style and this spring they take a modern new twist. Do you wear sheath dresses? Send me a photo, and I’ll post it!

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7 thoughts on “4 Reasons To Say Yes To A Sheath Dress

  1. Dear Deborah,
    Sheaths are my favorite style of dress for all the reasons you mentioned! Here’s my question, though.

    I have a semi-formal event (hubby will be wearing a dark suit) in mid-November. I have a simple, dark green velvet sheath that I am considering, but I am concerned it may look too Christmasy at that time of year. I need a wrap, cardigan, or jacket to cover my arms, so perhaps adding a new color to that piece would tone down the holiday look. Any suggestions would be welcome!

    I am almost 60, with brown hair and blue/green eyes. I am busty and short-waisted, with average height and weight. Thanks. I love your site!

  2. When completing my ” must have” list for my shopping trip next week, a sheath dress was number one on the list. Thanks for the article that helps reinforce why this is a must-have, not a want.

  3. You said it all – sheath dresses are very feminine and versatile, so I love them!
    I often wear them for the office with a light cardigan or a blazer, for a function, or going out with lots of statement jewelry. And for a more casual look, I sometimes pair them with a denim jacket.

    Annette | Lady of Style

    1. I love sheath dresses, but I can’t wear them. I am 45 years old, a size 10-12, and do not have the body or legs to pull one off. It’s yet another item of clothing that, unless you are a size six or under with gorgeous legs, is not wearable for the “average” woman. Yes, I know I have to lose weight, and I’ve been working on that, but until it happens, no sheath dresses for me. And even then, a 45-year-old woman does not need to wear dresses 4-6 inches above the knee. At the knee, sure but not that far above the knee. Just my opinion, of course.

      1. I’m 45, size 20w and I rock sheath dresses all year!

        Mine vary in length from above the knee to just below the knee. I wear them with statement necklaces, silk scarves, or paisley pashminas. The latter two, you can tie in multiple ways.

        I add a cardigan, bolero, or blazer in the fall and winter. Sometimes even a vintage fur wrap.

        I often wear them with pointy fleets for work, metallic leather sandals in summer, and knee-high fitted wide calf boots in the winter. Sometimes I jazz them up with elbow-length leather gloves.

        I always get compliments on my style. I’m a massive fan of sheath dresses!

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