July 31, 2008

Reinterpreting the Shirt Dress

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

41 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. C said...

shirtdresses are great! it's definitely a wear-everywhere piece of clothing.

i think what can make a shirtdress un-dowdy is to make sure that the length is above the knee. any longer and it'll look a bit old.

http://pursuitingstyle.blogspot.com

8/01/2008 8:36 AM  
Anonymous raheel said...

the dress looks really awesome specially the 1st one

8/01/2008 8:43 AM  
Blogger Fashion Tidbits said...

RALPH LAUREN makes the best!

8/01/2008 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Shirt dresses are classically chic! The more tailored styles are perfect for a business casual office. And the updated less structured styles are great for adding a more professional style to a casual work day. I love them. Great selection.

8/01/2008 8:46 AM  
Blogger Knikki said...

Loving the shirt dress more and more. :( that I don't own one.

8/01/2008 9:50 AM  
Blogger sb. said...

Ah, the age old shirt dress. I particularly love how classy the shirt dress is, thankfully it has progressed from an 'indie' almost masculine trend to a glamorous one..they're everywhere on the high street!

http://lanvade.blogspot.com

8/01/2008 10:28 AM  
Blogger Mini said...

I love that they're universally flattering! They create curves if you don't have them and hug them (in the right way) if you do! The dress from Nordstrom is especially fabulous--that yellow belt is SO cute!

8/01/2008 11:31 AM  
Anonymous E said...

I have always liked fitted shirt dresses that almost fit like a shift, I often think the ones with big circle skirts can look to country and western, however I have seen them look chic a few times. However I have a few questions:

What's a good way to make a shirtdress work the the late fall or winter in a colder climate?

and what do you think of my tote design?

http://www.coach.com/designatote/default.aspx?pbb_qsi=3736637&=HP061708coach_PPIMEMAIL

thanks so much
-E

8/01/2008 11:36 AM  
Anonymous jamie said...

i agree, the yellow belt makes the shirt dress look amazingly fantastic.

i like the derek lam 3.1 shirt dress, but i doubt i can pull it off.

8/01/2008 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no one is going to see my comment after that humongous spam, but this is a great post. i especially love the unstructured shirtdresses you found because although i love the look of shirtdresses i find them uncomfortable and unflattering for myself. i so love the dvf shirtdress although i cant afford it and the topshop dress is cute too but im not sure about the fullness but it would be worth a try if topshop were anywhere near me which it isnt. but great ideas, maybe i will find something similar. there is hope that i may be able to find an adaption of this trend that will work for me! thanks!

8/01/2008 12:51 PM  
Anonymous The Vera Company said...

Hey,
Very cute shirt dresses. They are casual yet stylish at the same time.

8/01/2008 10:24 PM  
Anonymous The Vera Company said...

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8/01/2008 10:26 PM  
Blogger THE VERA COMPANY said...

cute

8/01/2008 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously I'm in the minority, but these are not cute. The models are, but the outfits are poor.




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8/01/2008 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Little Black Dress said...

The white one is quite cute. I think it is the best out of all.

8/02/2008 1:59 AM  
Blogger A said...

I love the shirtdress, have at least 4! And I love the Topshop redesign you posted. I hear they're coming across the pond to open stores over here...great blog by the way!


http://ruralfashion.blogspot.com/

8/02/2008 3:29 AM  
Blogger Little things that count said...

I loove the nordstrom shirt dress with the yellow belt! how fun!

8/02/2008 4:24 AM  
Anonymous coincidence said...

wow that's so funny, i was just browsing around a store on Friday and was considering buying the cute white shirt dresses they had on sale! i ended up not, but after reading this, i want to go back and get them now :)

8/03/2008 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love shirt dresses, especially the ones with plaid on them :D

And are you sure you mean Derek Lam 3.1, not 3.1 Phillip Lim?

8/04/2008 12:42 AM  
Blogger ♥ fashion chalet said...

I love the t-shirt dress. Nice article!! :)

8/04/2008 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Sophi said...

You have picked out some absolutely adorable shirt dresses. Nice selection indeed. Chic and classy and still sexy if done right.

8/04/2008 12:13 PM  
Blogger alis said...

The topshop dress is so cute o-mi-god! Would have never guessed it was high street!

8/04/2008 6:32 PM  
Anonymous kicks said...

Great to see these back in fashion. There is no doubt that RALPH LAUREN makes the best!

8/04/2008 8:31 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

The Corey Lynn Calter dress is great! It looks a little '60. My favorite decade for fashion.

8/04/2008 11:15 PM  
Blogger LaCouturier said...

shirt dresses are adorable! i've been meaning to get one like the one blake lively wore when she went out with her bf!

awesome blog! loveee it!

http://la-couturier.blogspot.com
:)

8/05/2008 5:25 AM  
Anonymous mandamayhem said...

i love the khaki ralph lauren shirt dresses! i have the perfect safari-inspired bag to match!

8/07/2008 1:14 AM  
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9/25/2009 7:32 PM  
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Anonymous Term Papers said...

Very nice write up. Easy to understand and straight to the point.

3/12/2010 7:21 PM  
Anonymous gih said...

That's a a perfect design. I like that white dress. Fabulous look.

4/02/2010 7:22 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I really like the t-shirt dresses shown here, all but the last one. They work well any time of year.

4/09/2010 11:05 AM  
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7/29/2011 6:51 PM  
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8/12/2011 5:17 AM  
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11/13/2012 11:11 PM  
Blogger fashionista2013 said...

omg after I read this, I miss Hong Kong. I love those little dress boutiques that they have there. Definitely a great place for fashion!

12/25/2012 8:40 AM  
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