A fit and flare (or fit n flare) dress is, in short, a dress that is fitted on top and flared on the bottom. A classic, vintage-inspired silhouette, it is characterized by its defined waist and voluminous or flowing skirt. Sometimes called an A-line dress, we think the fit and flare is differentiated from the A-line style in its tailoring, which is definitively fitted and flared from the waist, versus the A-line which is fitted and gradually flares out from the waist and hips into the shape of an ‘A.’
Though dresses with some variation on fit and flare styling have been around practically since the beginning of time, we have Christian Dior to thank for the modern fit and flare dress, which was part of his post-WWII “New Look” collection. The style became a staple of 1950s fashion, and a symbol of femininity and domesticity. Its popularity trailed off in the following decades, but has since become recognized as a classic and timeless silhouette.
You can fit and flare just about anywhere. A totally appropriate dress for office and professional settings, the fit and flare is equally at home at brunch or a holiday party. Fit and flares come in strapless, sleeveless, short sleeved and long sleeved styles. Length varies from mini to midi, though most dresses hit just above the knee. Variations on fabric, detailing and embellishment ensure that you can find a fit and flare dress to suit most occasions, from work to cocktail hour.
Something like a classic, monochromatic crepe fit and flare dress is perfect for the office, paired with pumps, a satchel, and trench coat. A holiday party or wedding calls for an embellished or lace fit and flare, which looks great with heels and a clutch. For everyday wear, a casual fit and flare dress outfit is complete with flats and a tote.