Hail the Shirtdress!

Indianapolis Personal Stylist Shirtdress Tips

Hello Indianapolis Fashionistas. Yesterday I did a rare thing! I actually shopped for myself. The trip didn’t start out that way: I was doing some research for an upcoming corporate presentation I was doing about following a dress code and wardrobes for work. I wanted to check out some nice dress pants — even though really we don’t wear them as much as we used to do so! I was loving some beautiful peachy-creamy trousers from Banana Republic. They were beautiful and supposedly for curvy figures. I didn’t try them on, but I made a mental note.

I digressed: anyway, today I am talking about one of my favorite pieces of clothing: the shirtdress.  The 1950s version of the shirtdress was launched as part of Christian Dior‘s post–World War II “New Look” couture designs, with a full skirt held up by wearing a crinoline. Today, this classic comes in many forms, and I have and do own a couple. One is even denim, and I cannot describe how comfortable it is. (It’s made by Macy’s INC.) There are the original versions modeling the 1950s when all ladies wore them. They had a “shirt top” and a gathered skirt. This is an idea shape for me since i am bigger on the bottom and have a smaller waist. I just love the feeling of this dress style. (Yes, I should have lived in the 1950s just to wear this dress.) But, alas, you can still buy these treasures in stores in your city. Vintage stores, consignment shops and even Goodwill may have some as well as mainline places such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, etc.

Fast forward to today. What does today’s shirtdress look like? They are still amazing, fashionistas, but I have found them to be more of a straight style, often with a belt or gathered waist as their ancestors of the 50s. They often have a shirttail hem as well–slightly longer in the back–although there are some classic styles still out there I found this treasure, pictured above, at Banana Republic. It is a Daisy print on a navy background (much better color for me than black). I like that you really have to look hard to know that it’s a floral print so I would be perfectly comfortable wearing this to a meeting or corporate event.

What’s even better: it feels and looks like silk, but it’s a poly blend. I can wash it: yes, I can. Envisioning all the dry cleaning bills I am saving, I justify buying it. You know when your Indianapolis Personal Stylist, encourages you to buy quality pieces and consider the cost per wear — let’s also consider the dry cleaning bills we save when we buy washable items.

What I really like about this dress besides the slimming print–yes, prints are nearly always more slimming than solids–is the shirttail hem and gathered waist. It makes me look tall since it’s one print from head to toe.

There are also many other great shirtdress choices, all at Banana Republic. I am often not pleased at the dress choices at Banana and even Ann Taylor, but this season is looking grand. There are also many versions of sheaths: even an updated tweed choice in a peach/pink tweed, strong and tailored enough for the office.

Don’t be afraid to accessorize your shirtdress with clingy earrings, a dainty choker necklace or longer necklace that hangs midway on your chest. Beware of wearing very clunky boots, however, with this style. A pump is always acceptable, however. You don’t want to change the lady-like vibes of this true classic.

Your Indianapolis Personal Stylist