A drop waist is a low, horizontal waistline in a dress or skirt. Drop waists skim past the natural waistline and over the hips. The natural waistline is the narrowest part of the waist between the rib cage and the belly button. Drop waist dress styles may just ease over the body or hang very loose, depending on the dress style. Many dresses and skirts with a drop waistline feature a pleated skirt.
The pleated-skirt part of a dropped waist style dress may have soft folds or crisp pleats. A dropped waist dress may be long or short in length. Long drop waist dresses are often made in comfortable knit or cotton fabric and are designed for lounge wear or as a summer dress. Shorter styles can have a scalloped or uneven edge; these short, dropped waist dresses can look quite funky when paired with leggings, slouch boots, and perhaps a long rope necklace. Slouch boots have draped or bunched fabric at the instep or ankles, while rope necklaces are a strand of beads or a metal chain.
Some shorter styles of drop waist dresses are made from elegant fabrics such as silk and lace. These evening-wear dropped waist dresses are often worn with nylons and high-heeled shoes. Some wedding gowns feature a drop waist. These can give a long, lean look to the figure.
The drop waist style is especially flattering to fuller figure types. A dropped waist skims the waist and hip areas without clinging to the body. Since a drop style of waist doesn't sit on the stomach or hips, it can have a slimming effect on these areas. A dropped waist skirt may have an elastic or fitted waistline. The top section is often smooth, while the drop part of the skirt is usually pleated.
A drop waist first became fashionable in women's wear of the 1920s. Flapper-style dresses had low dropped waists that were often fringed. Today, similar styles in rich fabrics and colors are sold as evening dresses. Long, elegant drop earrings can be a good accessory to wear with a dropped waist evening dress because they keep the elongated line consistent.
Dropped waists are frequently found in children's fashions, as well. Both drop waist dresses and tops are popular looks for little girls. The dropped section may be gathered or ruffled. Infant dropped waist fashions include onesies with a gently gathered skirt to give the look of a short dress. A onesie is a one-piece, shorter-length baby sleeper suit with snap closures.