Life is pretty funny sometimes isn’t it?
Take this slip dress as an example. The slip dress I found in a charity shop with tags still on for a mere £9 a couple of weeks ago. What a find it was. It’s in a gorgeous dusky pink silk. Similar you might say to the pink colour of my wedding dress. Yes that’s right, the wedding dress I spent almost a year agonising over, months spent searching for that elusive perfect shade of dusky silk with which to begin the design with.
And here it was. In a charity shop two minutes from my flat. And then when I paid my £9, and threw my new dress on over a pair of leggings without over thinking it too much, it somehow ended up looking better on me than my wedding dress did.
Yup, real funny life. REAL funny.
But when you find a dress for £9 in a colour you love and it fits and somehow looks good, you really mustn’t complain, and so I shan’t. I shall simply thank the anonymous soul who donated their unworn Victoria’s Secret night gown to the local Crisis instead.
In my freelance capacity I feel as if I’ve been writing the phrase ‘if you buy one dress this season, make it the slip dress’ over and over lately. Clearly subliminal messaging works even if you’re the one creating the message as when I saw what was essentially a nightie hanging in a corner of the dresses rail in the charity shop, I had the good sense to try it on with some vague thoughts of ‘I wonder if I could do something with that?’ running through my head.
And do something with it I did. If you count, wearing it with some ribbed leggings, silver heels and a bomber jacket and calling it my birthday outfit, as ‘doing something‘.
It is, let’s not forget, essentially nightwear. Actually there’s no essentially, it is a nightie. It’s silk with a lace décolletage and came from Victoria’s Secret, it’s definitely not day wear. But it was that hip high split that made it into dress territory for me. Without that, the odd calf length would have been dowdy and the lace strappy top silly. The split made sure that there was no chance of wearing it outdoors without some form of trouser underneath and suddenly it was no longer reserved for bed.
Underwear as outerwear is nothing new, but the sleepwear trend is definitely upon us this season. I’ve been coveting this silk pyjama top from Zara for a while now (Kim wears it well) and debating whether I’m brave enough for the whole set. But I must admit I wasn’t sure whether I’d go in for the slip look.
Not that I didn’t like the trend. Ever since I’d seen countless dusky pink silky creations walk down the SS16 catwalks, at the likes of Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez and Burberry, I’d loved the look. And then Net-a-Porter chose to drape Naomi Watts in all of them for an issue of The Edit this month and I was sold.
But there’s somewhat of a difference between ogling something which has graced the backs of lithe models and a gorgeous film star, and actually attempting to bring it into your own wardrobe isn’t there? I had a notion that perhaps it was a little too risqué for my own everyday attire. That thin sliver of fabric holds no mercy and barely covers ones modesty, clinging to every curve and exaggerating those squidgy parts that have made a welcome return since the wedding. Nipple gate is a constant problem and while you’re trying to achieve sexy, well, you might just look like you’ve just stepped out in your granny’s night gown.
It’s a tough trend to tackle that’s for sure.
But it’s been a while since I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something I wasn’t sure of, and seeing as I’m currently trying to ‘find’ my fashion mojo again, it’s a good job this slip dress came along really as what do you know? I freakin love it!
So I’ve come up with my rules of slip dress wearing, so as to avoid that M&S nightie look and find your inner Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein instead. Here’s how to tackle it… (I have probably followed none of these tips in my own outfit but it’s all about making it your own right?)
Slip Dress Style Tips
1. Toughen it up
Remember years ago when Agyness Deyn wore a slip with a pair of DM’s and a worn in leather jacket and everyone kind of lost their s**t a bit? That’s kind of the look to run with if you’re wearing a slip. Take it too feminine and it won’t work. Try to dress it up as you would a normal dress (with pretty heels, dainty jewellery and a pashmina) and it won’t work.
It needs a juxtaposition to look cool so team it with something masculine, something oversized, or something that’s more grunge than it is pretty. Think boxy fur coats, boyfriend fit blazers, chunky cardigans, studded bikers, oversized bombers or masculine shaped army jackets.
2. Opt for stand out shoes
I was going to say ‘always wear heels’ but I changed my mind on that because actually a flat biker boot or even a pair of trainers can work if they’re scruffy, grungy and altogether unfeminine. If you are wearing your slip for evening though and want to glam it up, I’d suggest avoiding a heel that’s too dainty. Stay away from the kitten heels, the floral prints and the delicate sandals and instead rock something stand out, chunky or fierce. If you’re going for a court like me choose one in a stand out colour or fabric – think bright neons, metallics, or suede, raw edge material. Block and chunky heels, platforms, and heavy textures all work well too.
3. Layer, layer, layer
For me it’s all about the layered look with a slip dress. On its own it can be a little Wendy from Peter Pan cruising about in her nightwear but add it in amongst a cleverly layered look and suddenly your stylish rather than childish. Dresses over jeans is a key look this season and the slip does this effortlessly as it’s not too heavy and will retain movement. Another popular look at the moment is the wrap skirt over a dress which can work equally well with a slip. For something less ‘fashion’ try tying a checked or denim shirt around your waist, adding a baggy knit over the top, or even just wearing it over a roll neck for day.
4. Choose a colour rather than a nude
And by ‘colour’ I of course mean one of the muted tones that slip dresses tend to come in such as dusky pink, champagne, gold, wine red and so on. Just avoid anything too close to your own skin tone as you might get washed out. You can see that even the pink on me blends in a little too much at the neckline but luckily the black leggings make the skirt pop more and I can just about get away with it. The thing about a slip dress is that it’s a dress that’s only one step away from being naked (hence all the layering needed by us mere mortals) and if you choose it in a colour that matches your skin tone, you’ll only add to the this effect.
5. Fix up, look sharp
Essentially, add fierce accessories. I realise I’m saying this while showing pictures of me wearing my pink slip with an even pink-er bag, but the metallic detailing on this mini clutch made it work for me (you know I’m a sucker for pink). Was I wearing this for day though I’d choose an oversized black leather tote and then pile on the jewellery. I’m thinking a spiky metal hairband could look awesome with a slip dress and a giant chunky cardigan and of course a smoky eye or a bold lip is a necessity right?
Those are the five rules I’ll be following when wearing my slip dress and if you need more inspiration on how to achieve these looks, follow my slip dress board on Pinterest.
Shop my Edit of Pink Slips
What do you think of the boudoir/ sleepwear trend? Will you be tackling it this spring?