there’s a popular series on the blog called wear now wear later. last fall, i shared how to wear a pair of silk pants for both summer and fall. same with a denim sheath dress and a jumpsuit. it’s great fun to add a versatile clothing item to your wardrobe. versatility is key. who doesn’t love to get a bang for your buck? nothing is more practical or comfortable than a simple shirt dress in a neutral fabric. dress it up with a pair of heels for work or dinner date. or keep it casual with a pair of boots for those off-duty days. it’s the perfect dress for both work and play. even better when that same shirtdress can span the seasons. today, i’ll show you how to wear a shirtdress now, and later. on second thought, you’ll have to wait for spring for the later version… it’s downright cold this month.
a shirtdress got its name from how it combined a shirt with a skirt into one dress. genius! shirtdresses leaped into popularity in 1947 when Christian Dior launched the “New Look,” which was a feminine variation of a man’s shirt. the shirtdress became so popular in the 1950s that it turned into an iconic look. who remembers television shows of that era like Donna Reed or Father Knows Best, where the stars regularly wore shirtdresses? back then, shirtdresses consisted of a full skirt lined with crinoline attached to a fitted bodice. lucky for us, the shirtdress slowly evolved as women began to discard crinoline in favor of a more relaxed look.
shirtdresses are typically cut without a seam at the waist, relying on a self-tie belt to define the waist. but i love to exchange the self-tie belt for a leather belt. belts are a fantastic accessory that lasts for years and infuses personality into an outfit. whenever i shop, i always head to the belt department to see if anything catches my eye. Ralph Lauren is by far my favorite designer for belts, but they can be pricey.
so how to wear a shirtdress now, and later? for winter, layering is key. but you don’t want the layers to be too bulky. that’s when a tissue turtleneck comes in handy. J.Crew makes tissue tees and turtlenecks, and i’m a big fan of both. today, i spotted a leopard tissue turtleneck that goes beautifully with this neutral shirtdress from Banana Republic. suede boots (old, similar here and here) and a leather belt (old, similar here and here) add texture and dimension to this ootd. last but not least, i chose a classic handbag for a polished and sophisticated look.