The ‘80s continue to influence fashion in a big way, but ‘90s influences are gaining momentum. A ‘90s look I fondly remember is the woven bias-cut skirt, dress and top. Bias cut means that the pieces used to make the garments were cut on the diagonal bias of the fabric. In other words, the pattern pieces were not positioned parallel to the straight or cross grains of the fabric, but at a 45 degree angle.
The beauty of the bias cut is the increased elasticity and flexibility of the finished garment. Visually it creates superior drape and swoosh. Practically it creates stretch sans the spandex and an amazing ease of movement.
Bias-cut items can create a unique type of structure that clings to the body with ease and fluidity. It’s not the same effect as spandex that grabs onto the contour of the body, showcasing lumps and bumps because there is no ease. Bias-cut items can also create a controlled volume that collapses back onto the body with flouncing grace. The hems of bias cuts flutter in a subtle or exaggerated way that looks soft, pretty, and interesting.
The collection shows examples of skirts, dresses and tops that are bias-cut.
If you choose a bias cut in the right silhouette, chances are high it will flatter your body type because there is tailoring without the cling, or volume with ample structure. Bias cuts mould to the contour of your shape in a magical way. Curvy body types will enjoy how the fit stretches to glide over their curves instead of fighting them like straight cuts do. Conversely, straighter body types will enjoy how the fit contracts to stick to their narrower hips and thighs.
I’ve found that narrower bias-cut skirts are much easier to fit than dresses, because if the bias cut is slightly off on the waist and torso of a streamlined bias-cut dress, the fabric bulges and doesn’t lie flat against the body. If the bias cut of a dress or skirt is too narrow, it can accentuate saddle bags, so finding one with more volume or is A-line is key. If the bias-cut skirt or dress is too short, it will ride up the body. Longer bias-cut skirts and dresses with a bit of volume tend to fit more easily because the weight of the volume creates a better drape. The “gliding” effect can be magical.
I’m open to adding a bias-cut midi dress or skirt to my wardrobe this year because I love the way they drape, move, and flutter on the hems. How about you?