By and  on January 2, 2007

Dresses have been gaining momentum for several seasons. Now that spring merch is about to hit the racks, retailers expect the category to soar, and their high hopes have significant foundation. Many women started embracing dresses as something more than a novelty only last season, so their lust for the silhouettes is far from satiated. They love the ease of slipping into a frock and the fact that they can do so while working other trends of the season, such as futurism, romance or metallics. Scores of designers have expanded their offerings to include a wealth of day looks that should be adaptable to even the most staid work environments. WWD surveyed the fashion directors of major stores to learn what dresses they'll be pushing and pulling for as spring blossoms on the selling floor.

"Almost every collection was, maybe, 65 percent dresses," says Nordstrom's vice president of women's designer apparel Jennifer Wheeler.

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