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Ease of Side Zippers on Dresses Vs. Center Back Zippers Full Guide of 2024

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use of side zip in dressesImagine slipping into a dress with effortless ease, the side zipper gliding smoothly, allowing you to dress independently.

Side zippers aren’t just a matter of convenience; they’re a design element that offers a plethora of benefits, from personalizing the fit to enhancing the overall aesthetic.

Let’s delve into the world of side zippers, exploring their advantages and how they can elevate your dressmaking experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Side zippers allow for effortless dressing and offer personalization of fit and style.
  • Side zipper placement provides designers flexibility compared to traditional center back zippers.
  • Converting a dress pattern to have a side zipper is possible by moving the zipper and adjusting the pattern pieces.
  • Side zipper placement on the right or left can accommodate handedness and individual needs.

Side Zipper Vs. Center Back Zipper

Side Zipper Vs. Center Back Zipper
Here, we’ll look at the ease of use and historical context of side zippers versus center back zippers on dresses.

Side zippers excel in independent dressing and everyday wear.

Center back zippers have roots in historical overlap and maid dressing customs.

With invisible zippers eliminating the overlap issue, designers now have full reign on placement.

Ease of Use



Right over left

Shift in thinking

Historical Context

You’ll find side zippers possess historical precedent tied to functional concerns like ease of access and social conventions around modesty.

Right Side:

  • Easier for right-handed people
  • Traditional female garment placement
  • Favored by dressmakers
  • Allows designers more freedom

Left Side:

  • Easier for left-handed people
  • Traditional male garment placement
  • Preferred by Napoleon
  • Allows personalized convenience

Converting a Dress Zipper to the Side

Converting a Dress Zipper to the Side
You can convert your dress’s center back zipper to the side by:

  • Cutting the back piece(s) on the fold.
  • Removing the center back seam allowance.
  • Inserting a 14 zipper in the side seam.
  • Following tutorials for lapped side zipper insertion.

With some creative thinking and basic dressmaking skills, zipper relocation expands your design possibilities.

Historical conventions dictated back closures, but modern sewing technology gives you options.

Consider hand-picking a lapped side zipper for precision and ease of use.

This customization puts convenience first, accommodating your unique needs.

Experiment with zipper placement to find your perfect fit and personalized style.

Simple modifications create dresses offering effortless dressing, versatility, and the freedom to confidently express your individuality.

Right Side Vs. Left Side Zippers

Right Side Vs. Left Side Zippers
When choosing between right or left side zippers, consider your handedness and history.

Right suits righties for easier dressing while lefties may prefer the opposite.

Either way, you now get to decide based on personal ease over past overlap conventions.


When choosing between a right or left side zipper, you’d base it on whether you’re right or left-handed.

  • Right-handed preference for easier use.
  • Left-handed ease with left-side zippers.
  • Historical traditions influenced placement.

Considering handedness allows for design flexibility and customization options.

Whether it’s the side seam or an invisible zipper, designers can prioritize ease based on individual needs.

This personalization enhances the intimacy and freedom experienced when wearing a dress with a perfectly placed side zip.

Historical Placement

The tradition of left side zipper placement stems from overlapped closures on women’s dresses, where exposing the right side fastenings to the front was considered improper.

Historically, maids dressed ladies from the right side, while men dressed themselves from the left.

Now with invisible zippers, designers prioritize wearer convenience, customizing garment details like zipper placement for ease and fit flexibility benefits.

Overlap Issue Handedness Modern Choice
Improper Exposure Self-Dressing Men Personalization
Maid Assistance Ease of Use Custom Fit
Napoleon’s Preference Designer Flexibility

Design and Customization Benefits

Design and Customization Benefits
As a dress designer, you can fully leverage the ease of side zippers to provide personal convenience options for your clients.

Made-to-order placement allows you to position the zipper on the right or left side based on whether the wearer is right or left-handed.

You also gain tremendous fit flexibility benefits, omitting or adding darts as needed to flatter an individual’s unique curves and proportions.

This customization takes dress personalization to the next level.

Personal Convenience Option

Depending on your body type and dexterity, you can opt for customized zipper placement that caters to your dressing and undressing convenience.

  • Comfort while dressing solo.
  • Accommodating physical limitations.
  • Prioritizing ease of use.
  • Optimizing the garment for you.

Made-to-Order Placement

One more benefit you’re getting with side zippers is personalized placement based on your individual needs. Side zippers allow made-to-order placement that suits your body, preferences, and lifestyle.

Consideration Center Back Zipper Side Zipper
Ease of Use More difficult Easier
Historical Placement Traditional Non-traditional
Customization Limited Flexible

Fit Flexibility Benefits

You can also customize zipper placement to improve fit.

Considering individual needs, made-to-order dresses allow personalized zipper positions.

Side zippers accommodate curvier silhouettes through precise placement, while stabilizing a center back zip eases strain.

Strategic zipper applications provide construction solutions that flatter your form.

Experimentation with innovative seam techniques grants the intimacy of precision fit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How difficult is it to insert an invisible side zipper for a beginner sewer?

Inserting an invisible side zipper can be tricky for beginners.

With patience and attention to detail, you can achieve a professional-looking finish.

Take your time, use the right tools, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

What type of zipper foot works best for inserting both lapped and invisible side zippers?

Slip into a world of effortless dressing with lapped or invisible side zippers.

Embrace the freedom to adorn yourself with garments that celebrate your individuality, crafted with the utmost care and precision.

Can I use a side zipper if my dress fabric has a pattern to be matched?

Yes, side zippers can be used with patterned fabrics.

Carefully match the pattern at the zipper seam before inserting.

An invisible zipper helps minimize disruption to the pattern.

Will adding a side zipper compromise the structure or shape of my dress?

Adding a side zipper will not compromise the structure or shape of a dress.

With proper application, a side zip can be an easy, convenient way to get in and out while allowing the garment to keep its form.

What trick can I use to keep the zipper hidden and flat against my body while wearing the dress?

Unleash your inner stylist and tame unruly zippers with a clever trick:

Stitch a hook-and-eye closure at the top of the zipper.

This discreet guardian will keep your zipper in check, ensuring a smooth, seamless look that flatters your every move.


Where there’s a zip, there’s a way.

When opting for a side zipper over a center back zipper, you open up a world of ease and possibilities:

  • From catering dresses to your handedness
  • Customizing the perfect fit

By placing convenience and comfort at your fingertips, side zips empower your independence, creativity, and confidence to slip into any dress with effortless style.

Simply put, side zips provide personal liberation through thoughtful design.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.