The Difference Between a Dress and a Gown—Everything You Need to Know

Posted June 1, 2022 by in Fashion

When it comes to dressing up, there are many words and jargon which are often confused or used in place of each other. Dress and Gown are also often used interchangeably, but there’s a subtle difference between a dress and a gown. 

The world of fashion is vast and glamorous, but also confusing. For a layman, the difference is unnoticeable, but that does not change the fact! Let us make it clear to you the difference between a dress and a gown. So now, when you go shopping, you don’t confuse yourself between the two garment options. Especially with wedding season finally here. You don’t want to show up to a black-tie affair in a cocktail dress, and you don’t want to arrive at a graduation in a gown if the attire specified dress…

What is a gown?

Well, it seems like some English riddle. All gowns are dresses, but not all dresses are gowns. Gowns are more of formal attire. They are worn for formal events such as charity dinner parties, ball parties, or wedding gowns. Gowns are usually full-length, with or without flare. 

Gowns, defined in terms of clothing articles, are cloth garments that consist of a bodice and a full-length skirt. There are various types of gowns available. They are classified based on events, occasions, and cuts. 

The top in the gown can have various cuts and styles. Some of the most popular cuts in gowns are back-cut top gowns and cut out corset top gowns. 

The sexy dress below is a dress—the length is preventing it from being a gown. However, if the dress went to the floor, it would be considered a gown.

Sexy solado dress

Types of Gowns

Evening gown

Evening gowns are one of the most flattering and elegant forms of dress famous among young people. Evening gowns are preferred by women for almost all the occasions like evening parties, cocktail parties, proms, ball dances, and weddings.

Ball gown

Ball gowns are designed especially for ball-style dance parties. They are full-length and often have a lot of tulle and flair. Think Cinderella.

Wedding gown:

Wedding gowns are the most beautiful and precious of all. You do not necessarily need to be a bride to wear a wedding gown. Even bridesmaids can wear a wedding gown if that is the style the bride and groom have chosen for the wedding. Wedding gowns fit for brides tend have a long train. Wedding gowns are usually paired with a veil—Kate Middleton’s wedding dress is the a perfect example of a wedding dress that fits the ball gown style.

What is a dress?

All gowns are dresses, but not all dresses are gowns. Dress in contrast with gown is more casual, more formal, and everyday wear too. Dresses are available in multiple lengths from midi dresses to full-length dresses. Dresses similar to gowns differ from occasion, season, and cuts. 

The dress can be a floral midi-length summer dress, a full-length flared dress, a flowing maxi, cut out mini dresses for a cocktail party, or even a full-sleeved georgette dress for winter. As you already know, gowns are dresses, and hence a wedding gown with train and veil is also known as a wedding dress. A wedding dress can be midi length, or even short. It just depends on the brides style—more on that later.

LBD dress from Solado

Various Types of Dresses

Wedding dress

A wedding dress is a garment that is particularly worn at the wedding or on the occasion of the wedding. The style, cut, and look of the wedding dress change based on the location, choice, and traditions of the bride and groom. 

A wedding dress can be worn for many occasions such as pre-wedding photoshoots, on the day of the wedding, and also at the wedding as a dress for the bridesmaid.

A wedding dress that is full-length and has a large, dramatic flair (often with a train and veil) would be considered a wedding gown.

Midi dress

A midi dress is the one whose length fits between the full-length dress or maxi dress and mini dress. The length of the midi dress is slightly below the knee. This dress suits well for both formal and informal events. Midi dresses are one of the best types of dress for everyone.

Off-shoulder dress

An off-shoulder dress is the one in which the shoulders are usually kept off the shoulder. They are the dresses where the neckline is usually swept across the chest. It might come with sleeves or sleeveless. The off-shoulder dresses with sleeves will have sleeves starting just right with the neckline, below the shoulder. 

Bodycon dresses

Bodycon dresses are form-fitting shape dresses. The dress is a tight fit and it outlines the silhouette. Bodycon dresses are made of stretchable fabric making it best to pull off as top with ease. They are very popular among young women and tend to be worn for sexier events—like a club in Las Vegas.

High-Low dress

A high-low dress has uneven length. It can have either high front length and low back length or low front length and high back length. They can also be cut in a way where one of the side lengths is low and the other one high. 

Usually, the high low dress with a low front length and long trailing back length is popular among women. These dresses are a perfect choice for events, parties, and celebrations. A High-low dress paired with a clutch purse and pair of heels gives the most elegant look for parties and celebrations.

Dresses are the perfect outfit one can choose for almost every season and occasion. Adding the right adjective will help get you the right one for your event.

LBD from Solado

Adjectives for selecting the right outfit:

Yes, adjectives make great impact on choosing the right outfit. A gown or dress can be easily differentiated with adjectives. Some of the adjectives are:

  • Prom gown
  • Ball gown
  • Wedding dress
  • Wedding gown
  • Summer dress
  • Midi dress
  • Club dress
  • Party dress
  • Floral dress
  • Halter neck dress
  • Back cut tops
  • Cut out corset top gown
  • Cut out mini dress

The key to fashion is using the right wording. Now that you know the difference between a dress and a gown, when you look for garments you can be specific and choose the right one! Also, do not forget to add adjectives while looking for the right outfit, adjectives to the type of outfit you are searching for will make your search easier. 

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