Wednesday 16 October 2019

A slip dress was January's most searched for fashion item, but is it actually worth the hype?

Alexandra Guerain wears a black slip dress over a Fila t-shirt and Acne Studios show at the Fila show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on September 23, 2018 in Milan, Italy
Alexandra Guerain wears a black slip dress over a Fila t-shirt and Acne Studios show at the Fila show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on September 23, 2018 in Milan, Italy
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

The humble slip has come a long way since its introduction to the mainstream fashion market.

After years spent being folded in lingerie drawers around the world, Kate Moss legitimsed it for real-life wear in the '90s, choosing an array of slips, which she usually accessorised with a cigarette. Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez championed it for years, with endorsements from the supermodels of the day including Moss, Naomi Campbell, Winona Ryder and Gwyneth Paltrow before it was retired comes the early noughties.

But fashion moreso than anything is cyclical and the simple slip dress was revealed as the most searched for item of clothing for the month of January., the shopping app which works directly with Instagram influencers to track recommendations, reported an increase in 66% of searches over the last month, according to Glamour, tapping into the Insta-aesthetic so beloved particularly by women in their twenties.

Topshope first set the shopping world alight last year with its best-selling midi slip that consistently sold out and has since been restocked in even more sizes. The problem is - well, the slip dress isn't particularly flattering if you're in any way curvy - and for those of us frantically hitting the gym to still ditch the post-Christmas pounds are particularly aghast at its popularity.

Dublin-based stylist Lorna Claire Weightman says it has its obvious faults when worn on its own, like clingy fabric and the spaghetti straps which don't exactly provide warmth in winter.

"I look at the slip dress on my Instagram feed and think it looks so simple yet chic especially among the LA set in their warmer climate and against a cool urban backdrop," she told Style. "But, I try to style it on myself, on a rainy Irish day with the wind swirling around and I just can't pull it off. Additionally, the straight cut of the dress does not have a happy marriage with hips and bums."

But there is hope and if you're directly influenced by the outfits on your feed, look past the #OOTN pictures which focus on a solo dress and high heels and instead look for ways to style it into daywear, including runners and a polo neck underneath.

Lorna advises: "There is a styling alternative - use it as a layer. The 'slip' in the traditional sense was to be worn underneath something, so try to layer with an over size knit, and opt for a knee high boot that goes under the hem. The result gives the soft effect of the dress but it's practical and balanced."

Celebrity stylist Aideen Feely has a similar appreciation for this item based on its versatility and encourages curvy women to give it a chance.

"I love a slip dress - it's easy dressing at its best! Paired with a cardigan is how I like to wear it but if you add heels and a statement earring, you can transform your look in minutes," she told us. "My issue is that a lot of them - both high street and designer - tend to crease, so you need to find a good fabric. For women with bigger busts, the shape can get a bit lost. I would suggested a cowl neck or adding a belt to help shape your figure.

"Penneys recently brought out a slip dress that has ties on both sides to nip in at th waist and it gives a flattering ruffle effect, which is perfect for women of all shapes and sizes."

Online Editors

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