Difference Between Gown and Dress

Gown vs Dress

It is the desire of every woman to dress up in an attractive manner so as to look and feel beautiful. There are many types of attires that women wear and these are labeled differently as evening gowns, cocktail dresses, party wear, ball gowns, and so on. When you go to market to buy new attire, what do you buy; a dress or a gown? What is the difference between a gown and a dress? These are very confusing questions for those who have not been to markets to buy garments for ladies. This article attempts to find out the differences between gown and dress.


Gown is a formal women’s attire that has become most popular with brides wearing bridal gowns on the most important day of their lives, their marriage. A gown is necessarily a dress but the same cannot be said about all women’s dresses. Wedding gowns are formal and are made of fine fabrics. They are either printed or have brocade work. They are figure hugging but flowing at the bottom. A gown is a unisex word as a gown can be worn by a man as well as a woman. Dresses worn by students in their convocation ceremonies where they receive educational degrees are also called gowns. Judges in law courts also wear gowns. In daily life, long and easy dresses that drape women at homes are referred to as gowns. However, in general, a gown is a word that connotes a very rich and beautiful dress worn by women that has a long flowing skirt sewn at the bottom part.


A dress is anything that a woman wears. But an evening dress is a women’s wear that is commonly associated with glamour and beauty. A dress can be long or short, casual or formal. In some parties, there is a dress code that has to be observed by the guests. The word dress is unisex and applies to both men as well as women. The dresses worn by employees in certain organizations and by students in their schools are referred to as uniforms.

Any one piece garment with a skirt sewn to it at the bottom is also called a frock, but the word is used mostly for the dress that is worn by small girls. Different attires worn by women at parties are referred to as party dresses just like the wedding attire worn by a bride on her wedding ceremony is called a bridal dress.

Gown vs Dress

• The words dress and gown are interchangeable at times, and it is a matter of semantics and personal preference.

• A bridal gown is also called a bridal dress.

• A gown is a type of dress.

• All dresses are not gowns.

• Gowns are mostly formal, whereas dresses can be formal or casual.