The classic shirtdress is easily one of the most versatile and timeless pieces you can have your closet. This staple can not only be dressed up or down effortlessly, but it also calls to mind the too oft forgotten dressing of days gone by. Whether worn by Grace Kelly in Monaco or Audrey Hepburn in Manhattan, the shirtdress has not only stood the test of time, but has also managed to get better with age.
Part of this longevity I think is due to the comfort that shirtdresses provide. In fact, despite being a dress I find that they are some of the most comfortable items I own. When constructed of super soft cotton the shirtdress is not only breathable and airy but also the perfect layering piece for all four seasons. During the spring and summer you can easily wear yours alone or with the sleeves rolled up and then with sweaters, tights and blazers as the temperatures cool.
For an early spring day in the city, I couldn't resist pulling out my shirtdress for a casual but put-together look. To bring out the rich navy blue stripes in the dress I paired it with my favorite cognac accessories. In order to prevent the look from feeling too precious I mixed my single strand faux pearl necklace and bold gold bracelets. The final look was classic and comfortable and I felt perfectly dressed for both a lazy afternoon stroll and early outdoor dinner.
Dress: Polo Ralph Lauren / Bellt: Dooney & Bourke / Satchel: Dooney & Bourke / Necklace: Brooks Brothers / Bracelets: J. Crew / Ballet Flats: Chanel
Until next time!
When it comes to working with a minimized wardrobe, starting with a monochromatic base and then changing it up with standout accessories is key. I've mentioned this dressing tactic countless times on this blog before, but I want to discuss it again because I think it truly is the key to success and makes a huge difference when choosing an outfit that doesn't feel redundant. The first point to consider when paring down your wardrobe is to ensure that you begin with a foundation of staples that can mixed and matched across all four seasons. In order to act as the perfect base for outerwear and accessories, this collection of core pieces should be in neutral colors and high quality materials that can stand triumphantly alone, or gracefully under layers of necklaces, bracelets and more.
For this look, I started with a simple navy silk dress with an a-line cut and 3/4 length sleeves. While this dress can easily be worn alone with layers of necklaces and some great flats or heels, it also lays beautifully under sweaters, blazers, jackets and even vests without a ton of extra bulk. To suit the early spring temperatures here in the city, I did the latter and paired this dress with my go-to denim jacket, brown belt and brown ballet flats. I could have easily stopped there and been left with a simple yet classic look but I opted instead for rolling the sleeves slightly, throwing on a long tortoise shell necklace to pull out the brown in the accessories and carrying a statement clutch to set the whole look apart. By adding these last three elements I was able to take a basic look from basic pieces and make it a little more memorable. Whats even better is that I could have easily worn this same dress later in the week and made it look completely different just by swapping out the flats for ankle booties, the jacket for a pullover or cardigan, the belt and necklace for some great statement earrings, and the clutch for a cross body bag.
All in all, this look is one that I will undoubtedly wear again but I am also looking forward to styling this dress is many more ways during the warmer months. Below I have listed the items I'm wearing and have linked some similar pieces so that you can recreate the look yourself at different price points.
Dress: Club Monaco Murilla dress / Jacket: J. Crew / Belt: Vintage Dooney & Bourke (a similar one is available in the shop) / Necklace: J. Crew / Clutch: Louis Vuitton / Ballet Flats: Chanel