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Reinterpreting the Shirt Dress

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Shirt dresses are the best. They are smart, sophisticated but still very feminine and daytime perfect. Tailored, clean cut, prim and pretty, they are the sisters to classic DVF wrap dresses (and can even be worn by girls less well endowed in the chest area!). These kind of shirt dresses, like the ones shown from Ralph Lauren, will never go out of style. But in a more casual atmosphere, as I almost always find myself in, sometimes these shirt dresses make me feel slightly too dressed up, even if they are designed to be perfect for the daytime- like a sore thumb who somehow landed on the streets from the country club.
Luckily for me, the newly updated shirt dress this season neatly solves my dilemma. They are less structured, more casual, with fun, youthful details. And yet they still manage to maintain the very proper and put together effect of a classic shirt dress! These two are from DVF (left) and Sass & Bide (right). I especially love how they made it into a high collar instead on the Sass & Bide dress.
Over at Paul and Joe Sister (left) and Derek Lam 3.1 (right), they turned in the buttons and switched it for laces . Usually I'm not a fan of this type of lacing up (too Pocahontas!), but I think it works here. It gives it a more casual, outdoor-sy feeling to the whole look.
Here are two of my favourite reinterpretations of the shirt dress from Top Shop (left) and Corey Lynn Calter from Nordstrom (right). The Top Shop dress barely looks like a shirt dress with its wide round collar, bubbly sleeves and scrunching. But all the crucial elements are still there. With the right accessories i.e. big colorful necklace, this dress would look so cool and now. Going in the opposite direction, the dress from Nordstrom is loose but still structured in a futuristic kind of way. The addition of the bright yellow belt is absolutely genius. It completes the look. I DEFINITELY wouldn't mind owning this dress!

Image Source: Ralph Lauren, Paul and Joe Sister, Top Shop, Nordstrom and Net a Porter

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