The dress seems to be a medieval version of the tunics worn by women in classical societies. Its invention is not credited to any single individual.
In ancient societies, women wore tunics overlaid with fabrics. During the Middle Ages, women continued to wear tunics; however, wearing fabric became a way for nobility to showcase their wealth. By adding more fabric to tunics, females could show off their position in society. From this, dresses evolved. Thus, the tunic was reduced to merely peasant-wear, and gowns became the symbol of high society. Clothing became so important during the Middle Ages that laws were passed about what types of clothing people of various social strata could and could not wear.