The category of women's fashion that includes bras, panties, lingerie, sleepwear, sportswear, dresses, activewear, outerwear, performance apparel, special occasion, and accessories. Although menswear and womenswear traditionally have been influenced by historical events, women's fashion trends progress at a much faster rate than those of men. A major shift in female dress occurred when Western European women of the twelfth century moved away from the Greco-Roman himation and chiton, in favor of clothing that emphasized, rather than concealed, their bodies. With the melding of cultural influences between the East and West beginning during the Byzantine period, trends in women's fashion really flourished in the Renaissance. Some trends were not always the most practical, however. Some examples are tight-fitting corsets (eleventh century), awkwardly oversized skirts with panniers, and long trains such as the robe à l'anglaise (eighteenth century), bustles and restricting hobble skirts (late 1800s and early 1900s) and torturous stiletto heels (twentieth century). As women's role in society changed, so did their clothing needs. While Charles Frederick Worth, fashion's first couturier, was dictating fashion from Paris (mid 1800s), women in the United States were initiating dress reform, introducing clothing that was more functional and comfortable. The Rational Dress Society (London 1881), founded in reaction to the excessively harmful nature of the corset, high-heeled shoes, and heavily-weighted skirts, resulted in popularity of informal clothing. The concepts of standardized sizing, mass production, separates, ready-to-wear, and the introduction of American coordinated sportswear created new womenswear product categories such as activewear, athletic footwear, office attire, performance apparel, and sportswear.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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  • womenswear — wom‧ens‧wear [ˈwɪmɪnzˌweə ǁ ˌwer] noun [uncountable] clothes for women; used especially in shops and manufacturing: • the womenswear department * * * womenswear UK US /ˈwɪmɪnzweər/ noun [U] (UK also ladieswear) COMMERCE ► used in stores,… …   Financial and business terms

  • womenswear — /wim inz wair /, n. 1. See women s wear. 2. cloth, esp. wool or wool blend fabrics, used for women s tailored garments. [1975 80; WOMEN + S1 + WEAR] * * * …   Universalium

  • womenswear — noun Womens clothing, particularly in a mercantile context. Syn: ladieswear …   Wiktionary

  • womenswear — noun clothing for women …   English new terms dictionary

  • womenswear — /ˈwɪmənzwɛə/ (say wimuhnzwair) noun clothing for women …   Australian English dictionary

  • womenswear — /wim inz wair /, n. 1. See women s wear. 2. cloth, esp. wool or wool blend fabrics, used for women s tailored garments. [1975 80; WOMEN + S1 + WEAR] …   Useful english dictionary

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