Friday, May 15, 2015

THE SHIRT DRESS


My rules for a shirt dress are that it has to be long enough that you can bend in it (even if you need to squat a little), that it has to be a good natural fibre- (no poly!), for me at least, the plainer the better in colour and pattern as I can then use it as a base to style it up or down, it can be fitted or oversized....
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 By Jenelle Witty
Photographed By: Mario Recchia

A staple in any wardrobe for seventy years, the shirt dress is the best go-to for a fuss free style. 

The shirt dress has been a wardrobe staple for women since the 1940's (as they were know back then, the shirtwaist dress). The shirtwaist dress combined a blouse and skirt, buttoned down at the front (rather than needing a man's help to 'do you up' in the morning) for an easy everyday style. Post-WWII the shirt dress was adopted for everyday as a part of the British Governments introduced utility clothing (in response to the shortage of materials and labour). In 1942 the US government followed introducing the General Limitation Order L-85 and later in 1947 Christian Dior re-worked the humble house dress into a couture gown, cementing the flexibility of the style. 

While the emphasis may still have been on creating a waist and sharing your shape, the shirt dress has stuck around for seventy years. Today's style may not always have a waist band, the skirt may not always be an a-line cut, it borrows a little more from menswear and almost cross the nightshirt line.

My rules for a shirt dress are that it has to be long enough that you can bend in it (even if you need to squat a little), that it has to be a good natural fibre- (no poly!), for me at least, the plainer the better in colour and pattern as I can then use it as a base to style it up or down, it can be fitted or oversized. 

There are of course a lot of ways to wear a shirtdress like this one, here I opted to leave it as it is and wear a 70's vintage boot/ Army jacket to channel the current "we just realised that if we take out the poly and crazy purples the seventies were cool" trend revival. However you can layer it up with a jumper, blazer or longline coat, belt it at the waist - even tucking a long silk scarf around your neck and into the belt, you can unbutton the top buttons and layer necklaces underneath, roll up the sleeves, wear with sandals, sneakers, wear it as a coat or layering item etc, etc. 

Wearing: Bohemian Traders Longline Linen button down in grey
Anorak,Vintage Boots, Vintage SA Army Jacket
Photographed By: Mario Recchia



Jenelle Witty is a creative who has worked in the fields of Costume Design and Set Design for Theater, Event Design for Arts Festivals and Interior Design. Her blog Inspiring Wit explores topics including culture, travel, food and beauty as well as fashion. Incorporating real life experiences, a desire for adventure and a cheeky sense of wit, Inspiring Wit is a trusted friend online and valued contributor at The Beetle Shack.

3 comments:

  1. Get information regarding the brand. Find Outdoor Games Information. Top 10 Bike Accessories

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  2. I love shirt dresses - I may own too many {but could that really be the case?}

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em