Don’t scream and throw things at me, okay? But I think for AW17 you need to think about getting a slip dress.
Not for wearing on its own, because as we will all remember from the 90s, it is a nightie and only Denise Van Outen circa 1998 and Cher “It looks like underwear” Horowitz can walk that kind of look off.
But before slip dresses went bad and people were wearing them for nights out on waterfronts over baby pink t shirts with their hair in those stupid Mickey Mouse buns they were great.
Only kidding – I don’t expect you to smoke.
Consider a slip dress this season as just another layer, something to add a different length, or a critical element of sheen in the dark winter months. If you, like me, contract a non-specific chest infection and lost 1/2 a stone you could even wear it out for dinner with a black blazer over the top and some spike heels for full 90s mayhem.
(If you can get out of bed that is and aren’t just shouting down the phone at your doctor that the fucking antibiotics don’t work they’ve just given you thrush and somehow made you left-handed.)
Otherwise think about it over a black polo, or under an oversized sweater or cardigan or sweatshirt, with trainers. Just try it on with anything in your wardrobe you can think of and you will come up with something modern that you will love.
And I have found for you the most perfect black midi slip dress. No lace, good length, no fucking about. BUT it is from a shop of which I disapprove quite strongly, Victoria’s Secret. I don’t like the way that shop and that ridiculous wankfest Angels Show would have made me feel when I was 16.
But you can buy from there without being a devotee I suppose.
I do this pose every time I put it on. I am currently more like a size 10 due to aforementioned consumption; I got this in an M and it fits – but there is room if I suddenly recover and end up eating loads of white bread and chocolate (likely).
What???? A slip dress from Victoria’s Secret?
Are you winding us up??
You took the very words from my mouth, Jane.
Hahahahaha – no. I immediately thought of Caprice in that black lace dress from the TV awards, that traumatised me as a teen. I had a look through some pics of people doing the layering thing – I don’t like to give up without a fight – and honestly, only a couple genuinely looked good and one of them was Rhianna ffs, so highly unlikely I’d manage it. Think it would look nice under a jacket if your tits are up to it, but not sure about it over stuff. I was a huge 90s layerer though, slips over rollnecks and teeny jumpers over huge silk shirts and I never had a boyfriend so maybe I just can’t go back there.
Hope you feel better soon, that sounds horrible (my phone autocorrected that to “boreholes”, which could have worked equally well I suppose) xx
Laura B. says
There’s always ASOS…
Yes, the last thing I could ever get away with wearing on this earth is a slip dress!
Esther, with respect, we are not Olivia Palermo at Fashion Week. . .
Sophie come on. I said with a SWEATER AND TRAINERS. how hard is that ffs
tracey davies says
Oooh I think it could work – layered with cashmere and leather jacket perhaps. Well I have ordered and can always wear it to bed.
Dear god send me that bloody cold… I so badly need to lose weight. I have somehow put on weight (think partial hysterectomy started it all creeping on a year ago and the fact I am forty fucking four… 40 – no probs, 43 – body somehow becomes twice the size if you even glance at a white food). Depressing. Also, slip dresses should stay in the 90s. No matter what you do unless you look like that girl off the Fashion Me Now blog (a size 8 and under 30) then you look like you wore your nightie and they just do not work with boobs. I tried. But your line about not smoking made me laugh out loud, so thank you for that! x
I’m willing to give this a go though will probably get a cheapo one from H&M for reasons you mention. Are we thinking tights? Not sure I can make that work with trainers, but with boots … hmm.
BTW I got my other half that J Crew field mechanic jacket for his birthday and it went down a storm and am now very much in good books, so thanks for that. No need to mention that I really wanted the khaki version for myself but it was sodding well sold out.
Sasha B says
Well, FUNNY you should mention slip dresses. I saw this rather cute slip dress by Pearl Lowe on Instagram yesterday and thought, “hmm, are slip dresses BACK?” and “could I even think about getting away with one these days..” Well, I have a Pearl Lowe dress back from when she did a collab with a high st store (can’t remember who) and I have to say, I love it and still wear it today. However, it was/is a gothic style tea dress so NOT slip dress but what about this one?? :
I would love to try this but as a 44 year old size 12 with big boobs, I just can’t see it looking good on me however it is styled….😂
I think it all sounds fabulous and at 51 and a size 12, I would actually do it, but I just never wear dresses. I have an awful work uniform that I have to spend most of my life in, and then my preference is really for leggings or jeans. But really 51? FFS how did I get that old?
I’ve been missing the slip dress since the 90’s – been having to wear nighties on all slip dress occasions. Not any more.
Oh, and you need decent probiotics but apparently only after the anti biotics have all been taken.
Guys! Ladies! I’m kind of surprised by how easily so many of you are immediately rejecting this suggestion. I started getting back into slip dresses last year. But this is a different slip dress than you wore in the ’90s. These are loose, ideally. Worn over a t-shirt, with a lazy cardigan slung over the top, and sneakers. Or with ankle boots and a sweatshirt. Or on their own with a denim jacket thrown over the top. If you are doubtful, check out this kind of gorgeous thing, from sustainable clothing line of capsule gems, Grana:
Or this (from a similarly sustainable company, Everlane):
The loose fit means that even if you have a big bust you can wear it with a t-shirt underneath. I think it’s worth a try, if you haven’t yet. It might not be for everyone, but the simplicity of the style is surprisingly flattering, and reads as kind of effortlessly cool.
Thanks Nikki you’re saying all the things I am too tired and ill to say – thanks!
Yes we’re all being a bit stubborn, but I’m afraid I just really didn’t like the look of the slip dress over a t -shirt/shirt etc that I’ve seen. I think it would be nice under a jacket or sweatshirt, and to add a different texture, but honestly I know day to day I wouldn’t pick it out of the wardrobe, so leaving this one for the people who really dig it xx
Cindy that is more than sensible and why I never trash your comments
Louisa Booth says
Ah the slip dress – I’m afraid not the area that the short and round of us can pull off … I love the look but if I wore it with a jumper I’d look like I’d escape from the asylum and was on the run *sigh
YAY! That is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for! (John Lewis – you’re in disgrace with your nylon slips for £40) Not to wear on its own, as sadly I’ve also been suffering from consumption – the consumption of wine and biscuits… but to preserve dignity under a dress. Brilliant, another wedding outfit dilemma solved.
Well actually I have been eyeing up an All Saints floppy ( do AS do anything but) slip .. it has lace detailing ..hmmm lace I know … but actually it works ! if the aim is to layer various contrasting fabrics and textures I think it’s fine – just another twist … and the print in no way screams bedtime ( google zeny gingham AS slip ) I am with you Esther .. And I’m seriously thinking about it …
Kathy Sandison says
So anyway, the slip dress is most definitely NOT for me as I am of a certain age and not without lumps and bumps. But I was at a garden party a few weeks ago and there was a girl wearing one with black clunky boots and a cardi of some description and she looked casual and fab! So maybe Esther has something here.
I think it’s the clingy fabric….but no I’m just too old to carry it off.
Linda we all have to draw a line somewhere
Right. Long time lurker here, but I’ve had two glasses of wine and I have Things To Say about slip dresses.
I think the uncomfortable truth is that unless you are properly slim (say, size 12 or under), it is really difficult to pull them off as outerwear. Over any significant amount of bust or hip they look like seduction boudoir power lingerie, no matter how many grungey cable knit cardis you layer over the top. HOWEVER, as a busty 14/16 I wouldn’t be without mine. They are a joy to wear under dresses, adding a bit of extra skim and support to jersey/silky/chiffony things. They also act as a vest would in terms of making things less buxom, without the line of the bottom of the vest showing.
In a past life, I worked in the costume department for tv/films, and some of the best I’ve come across are from Free People (behold: https://www.freepeople.com/uk/shop/tea-length-seamless-slip-28811149/?color=017). Midi length and in loads of colours, they are clingy and offer a bit of light support, so you feel neat and ‘tucked in’, even in the slinkiest jersey number. You have to order from the US, but they are worth the faff. Wore one under my wedding dress. Recommended.
Love your clothes posts Esther, don’t stop. Gagging for a winter shoe guide tbh.
O Claire my long time lurkers are my favourites. this is a great comment! Thank you very much for taking the time to write it. I always find writing after two glasses of wine really helps. Recipe Rifle was written almost exclusively mashed off my face x
De-lurking here too… I can’t decide about a slip dress on me yet so have bought a cheaper one from Asos and will use free returns if I reckon I’ll never wear it. However, after your post I did a bit of blog/instagram browsing and saw enough versions I liked to give it a go, so please don’t think everyone hated it and pause the clothes posts!! I’m about to go back to work after baby 1 and am in desperate need of the a/w capsule ideas (sadly not the kind of job where the slip dress is a work option!).
Stumbled across this slightly curvier blogger wearing one, and whilst I’m not a fan of the length I think she illustrates the boots, jacket and t shirt styling pretty well: http://styleandsushi.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/outfit-feeling-dressy.html?m=1
Lou thank you for taking the time to write this xxx
tracey davies says
The slip arrived! Tried it on with cashmere jumper and long boots and leather jacket – looked great!
Tracey that’s great news!
I’m at Euston. It’s Friday. There’s a fire on the line. It’s chaos. But on the upside, a girl walked past wearing a light gold-y sort of ivory slip dress, black 80s style mid thigh blazer, GI-normous gorgeous tassled earrings and white converse. She looked fantastic. But- she was about 25, very slim and no boobs to speak of.
I have just bought a brown librarian style cashmere cardigan (charity shop woohoo!) so am pondering the slip dress potential. However I agree with Claire just above, if you’re at all curvy, am I am, even normal stuff can look tarty and like you’re on the pull.
Yesterday at soft play, wearing my EC capsule wardrobe, my husband told me I looked like the posh mums. I normally wear snot stained fleeces and sigh that I should make more effort but cba after 3hours broken sleep but I was actually just as comfy as in my fleece.
Not wearing a slip dress (taking my 2yr old down the big slide in that wouldn’t end well) but kettlewell longline vest, oversized uniqlo jumper and new skinnies (not EC approved but it worked)
Getting dressed up to go out out is easy. Looking like a posh mum on a wet Sunday when your baby has spent all night screaming and vomiting on you is a bit harder. So thanks for the help!
so welcome Caroline! I will let you have the skinnies as long as they don’t piss you off