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The History of the Babydoll Dress

The babydoll dress began its life as a short nightgown. It was invented by a designer named Sylvia Pedler in 1942, who shortened her nightgowns in response to the fabric shortage caused by World War II. She also created a version for young children; the length was kept short to make diaper changing easier. In the 1960s and 1970s, babydoll dresses were adopted by adult women as daywear. This new daywear version of the babydoll dress was characterized by a high neck, a short length, a swingy skirt, and (often) long sleeves. Babydoll dresses were worn by '60s models like Twiggy and more recently, they have been featured on TV shows like Mad Men. Babydoll dresses are still worn today — in fact, they have recently come back into fashion — and are often styled with boots or chunky flats to offset their innate girlishness.

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