Dear mid-January, come on, I’m ready for ya! Well, I’m not actually; it’s fecking miserable outside and I’m totally skint. However, one piece of good news just in: I’ve rediscovered the multitasking ease of that wardrobe perennial, the shirt dress. (Sorry to go all Fashion on you.)
As far as I can remember, between 1997 and approximately 2007 I pretty much wore a shirt dress non-stop. After that, bar the occasional “safari” trend – gotta love ye olde, churned-out-every-summer safari trend – they just sort of vanished from my wardrobe. One of the easiest things I’ve ever worn, I bought them in every style imaginable, from tight-fitting, which looked good with all the stupidly high heels I used to wear, to loose, made from cotton and therefore much easier to wear with flat sandals and ankle boots. You name it, I owned them in all manner of colours, fabrics and lengths. Short-sleeved, long-sleeved, they were the kind of thing I’d throw on in a mad rush to get to work. (In other words, perfect for those late-1990s hangovers.)
Should you buy a shirt dress that’s a little longer in length, it will work with just about every shoe in your wardrobe. That’s not something I say every day of the week
A lot like the 1950s original, as designed by Monsieur Christian Dior himself, the style of shirt dress I hanker after now has a bit more volume and can be cinched in at the waist with whatever kind of belt you fancy (if it comes with a flimsy belt that wouldn’t wrap around a gerbil, feel free to swap it with a belt you already own). The shirt dresses of 2018 also have some lovely menswear detailing, such as neat collars, smart cuffs etc. But, most importantly, they are cut loose, which, as we all know, equals dead comfy. A nice styling tip, while the weather remains Baltic, is to wear a shirt dress over trousers.
The shirt dress I tried on in Arket the other day looked great with the new smart black trousers I found in the Fenwick sale (see last week’s blog for details). Stripy, it feels like a man’s shirt and I can easily see myself wearing it over white trousers, all shades of jeans, cropped trousers with Birkenstocks, trainers and, eventually, totally bare-legged throughout summer with a pair of flip-flops. Last night, I even lay in bed, thinking how great it would look now, with black tights and my favourite leather knee-length boots (honestly, the things that keep me awake at night). Anyway, point is, for £69, that’s a whole load of different ways to wear one item of clothing. Bargain, non?
Online right now, H&M has one of the chicest high-street shirt dresses I’ve seen in ages. Loose and silky, it comes in my favourite colour of the moment – navy blue. The model in the pic wears hers over straight-leg black trousers, but I reckon it would work over leggings or even jeans. It’s a beaut and, again, I can imagine wearing it bare-legged with sandals to work in summer.
Come spring – and it’s far too early to be even thinking about springtime – you and I can have a chat about how we plan to navigate slides and mules (again). I have to say, should you buy a shirt dress that’s a little longer in length, not only will it look great with slides and mules when the weather warms, it will work with just about every pair of shoes in your wardrobe. That’s not something I say every day of the week.