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The Shirtdress

by Bunny Fayne |

The shirtdress is a look that is as wonderfully classic as it gets. Introduced in the 1890’s as a uniform for factory workers and nurses, this clever take on men’s shirts were originally called ‘shirtwaists.’ In the late 1940s, none other than Christian Dior was responsible for taking something utilitarian and making it glamorous and overwhelmingly popular. Style icon Grace Kelly wore a beige silk shirtdress when she and Prince Rainier of Monaco announced their engagement in January 1956. For spring/summer 2016, some designers have made short work of the shirtdress by making them longer in length.Others have added cut-outs, embellishments and a bit of feminine flair with delicate, whisper-thin pleats. Traditional elements of the shirtdress go unconventional when sleeves are redesigned as a neckline. With minimal effort, shirtdresses can go from office appropriate to cocktail party perfect with a slip of the shoe. Swap your flats out for strappy sandal and you’ll be surprised at how sultry a shirtdress can look. If you’re looking to really amp up the sex appeal, try pairing a shirtdress with thigh-high boots.For the weekend, a denim shirtdress worn with sneakers looks ultra-cool and casual. Saturday nights were made for glamming up your shirtdress by wearing it over cigarette pants with stilettos.Finally, with lingerie and fancy pajama looks currently all the rage as streetwear, try treating your shirtdress like a robe, by unbuttoning it over a tank with jeans underneath.“We were emerging from the period of war, of uniforms, of women-soldiers built like boxers. I drew women-flowers, soft shoulders, fine waists like liana and wide skirts like corolla.” Christian Dior

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