What is a Sheath Dress?

So named because it resembles a sheath in which you would carry a knife, sheath dresses offer long and lean look that's perfect your next special occasion. With a variety of colors and prints available, it's easy to find a sheath dress to match your style.

The Basics of a Sheath Dress

Like other women's dresses, a sheath dress can come in a solid color or vibrant prints. The sheath dress has a narrow silhouette that fits close to the body. The hemline can stop anywhere between the mid-thigh and the mid-calf, the neckline can include anything from a boat neck to a V-neck, and the dress is usually sleeveless. Since there is such a close fit, there's typically a slit up the back to make it easier to walk. Depending on the cut and fabric, sheath dresses are appropriate for both casual and formal events.

Finding a Sheath Dress for Your Shape

While sheath dresses are known for having a narrow and close-fitting style, it's still possible to find one that's perfect for your body shape. If you have an hourglass figure, look for a sheath dress that has seams that enhance your waist to play up your proportions. If you have a straight figure, find a sheath dress that has a built-in fitted torso to help create a silhouette. Sheath dresses with interesting details on the top help balance out full hips and thighs, and a dress with ruched material around the stomach can help visually flatten that area.

Accessorizing a Sheath Dress

Whether it's for work or a party, a sheath dress offers you a classic style that's easy to pull together with the right accessories. In the office, consider pairing your sheath dress with a tailored blazer and a pair of pumps. Simple jewelry like a pendant necklace and small earrings will help complete this professional look. For a party or other special occasion, a pair of high heel sandals will look lovely with your dress. If the weather will be cool, don't forget to grab an elegant shawl to wrap around your shoulders.

When you shop at JCPenney, you'll find a great selection of sheath dresses and the right accessories to help you put together the perfect look.