The Shirt Dress: How To Wear A Spring Staple

The Shirt Dress: How To Wear A Spring Staple

They're easy, cool and bang on trend. InStyle's contributing fashion writer Antonia O'Brien is in love with this season's hot trend: the shirt dress.

Antonia O'Brien is a TV host and fashion writer

I’ve been fantasising about my summer wardrobe since last September, when I properly met SS15's hero piece: the shirt dress. 

Sexy, easy, cool and nodding to the ubiquitous seventies trend, the shirt dress was seen in military guise at Chloe, fresh gingham at Altuzzara and in a sexy thigh split style at Rebecca Minkoff.

But how should we be wearing this hot-off-the-catwalk look?

1) Embrace the boho

Embroidered, striped and printed shirt dresses have the instant style appeal of the Ibizan sundowners and Bedouin chic lifted straight off your dream holiday mood board. With a classic shirt shape and waist tie, there are so many boho-chic options on the high-street (check out Zara and Topshop) which will work right now over your ripped boyfriend jeans or styled simply with cork wedges, a Panama hat and a high SPF when the weather warms up.

2) Layer it up

If you prefer longline tops which cover your bottom and thighs, this is a look for you: layer a shirt dress (that sits a few inches above the knee) with cropped trousers and a military shirt for a flattering and on trend look.  You may have also seen shirtdresses in the style of Ebenezer Scrooge/your grandad: loose fit, striped and buttoned with a nightdress hem. I think the ease and charm of this style is its lazy-cool nonchalance. You can wear it suggestively unbuttoned with platforms for boy-meets-girl styling or over slim fit trousers and block heel Mary-Janes for a more elegant approach.

Whilst we are still in between the seasons, I belted this pastel blue Kenzo shirt over tailored trousers and under a sleeveless blazer to really test the versatility of the trend. Just remove the jacket and belt for two seasonal looks in one.   

3) Not sure? Go for a halfway house

I call this the-shirt-that-thinks-it's-a-shirtdress: the dipped hem. Those of you who love a skinny leather trouser or jean may be partial to a dipped-hem shirt: partly long line at the back where the fabric dips down but short at the front and easily tucked in, you get the best of both shirt worlds with this one. French label Equipment is my go-to for blouses, shirt dresses and dipped hems because their lengths are perfect and fabrics are ultra-silky.

Using one of my favourite spring palettes, it is the blushing nude tone and pleated front of this Kenzo shirt that I love, easily styled with a failsafe cropped leather trouser and a fierce heel - job done.

How are you styling the shirt dress? I would love to hear from you!
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