Best shirt dresses of the moment

THERE is an old expression and it goes something like “Another day, another shirt that buttons up to your neck and falls at your ankles.” So maybe it’s not that old (or valid) an expression. But it’s true. The shirt dress is, in my very humble opinion, one of the most brilliant pieces of clothing ever made. An entire outfit in one garment, it’s feminine, varying hugely in length, colour, cut, structure, material and style – with just enough hardness thrown in by an austere, stiff collar. It’s the kind of piece that kicks butt in a boardroom and works well on the street.

Now, in my never-ending quest to validate how much time I spend online window shopping, I’ve compiled a shirt dress edit. It’s by no means exhaustive, and you might not agree with all of my choices, but as far as I’m concerned, these are the best shirt dresses of the moment. Some are too pricey even for a payday splurge, and some are much more affordable, but all are very, very covetable. Get shirty, pals. I’m all about the expressions today.

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BRIGHT AND WHITE

 

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COS

MANGO

UNIQLO

ACNE

ASOS

ASOS

TOPSHOP.COM

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ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

TOPSHOP

TOPSHOP

ASOS

 

KATRANTZOU

TOPSHOP BOUTIQUE

TOPSHOP

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IN THE PINK

ASOS

MODA OPERANDI

THE WHITEPEPPER

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THE MONO-DRAMATICS

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COS

McQUEEN

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BACK TO BLACK

THE WHITEPEPPER

THE WHITEPEPPER

MONKI

BELSTAFF

Canny Penneys

It’s been nothing but a pleasure watching Penneys (or Primark, as the rest of the world knows it) expand its range and tap into trends over the last few years. I used to work in the same building as the Penneys Dublin HQ, and get a little thrill of excitement up my spine seeing rails of trend-focused clothes rolling past or sharing the lift.

Primark is going from strength to strength internationally. This has also been the 12 months in which we’ve seen Primark’s flagship Irish store on Henry Street expand hugely, and the year in which the budget retailer expanded its wings and took to online sales at ASOS.

And all the while, producing clothes that truly look the business – no doubt the work of a team of canny buyers and trend forecasters.

I’ll be the first to admit it. Philo’s latest diversion scared me a little – just when you think lo-fi is comfortably embedded in the fashion consciousness and here to stay, the queen of minimalism throws something strange and discomfiting out. Gorgeous, to be sure, but shocking? Hell yes.

I’m not sure I’m ready to give up on my craggily structured coats, sweaters, skirts and muted tones. Thankfully, Penneys isn’t ready for me to do that either. Here are some of the gorgeous Spring pieces you can see in store now and soon.

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Jumpsuit in stores from  February

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Neoprene backpack in stores now

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Sheer dress available in store from March (shoes, bandeau and pants in the coming weeks)

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Sandals (in my opinion, a lot more publically wearable than Adidas Slides but still getting a good dose of monochrome)

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Grey quilted sweater and white visor, available now

I’ll dream about that sheer dress tonight.

Viktor and Rolf: Getting hitched in shirttails

My poor, lovely, long-suffering boyfriend knows when I have a certain look, and that look mostly manifests itself after after one too many gin and tonics, and it’s a look that can only really be described as ‘hand me the oxygen, baby, because I’m drowning in love for you here’. Then I’ll invariably nag him until he agrees to marry me within 12 months, which thankfully, he finds amusing, and then uses as fuel for a relentless, firey slagging the next morning when my head is sore and my defences are down. How do I still have a boyfriend, you ask? I, to be honest, am equally baffled.

Thus, I’d say he’s probably the last person who wants to see me posting about wedding dresses, so maybe keep this one under your hat.

But for the most part Victor & Rolf’s lovely white dresses are distinctly un-bridal. They’re certainly non-traditional, and the designers said: ‘We love playing with iconic garments, such as the white shirt, the LBD and the trench coat.’

And it shows. The consistent theme of white and ivory is the only real thing tying the pieces together. But while I don’t find the collection aisle-ready, with the exception of the bow-backed stretch crepe dress, there is a delicacy to each piece that you wouldn’t find in the average  street-ready dress.

What caught my eye was the beauty below, centre (click to enhance). The biased lapel-esque front, sweet collar, scooped hem and what might be the world’s first mullet train just sum up all the things that make me happy. Beautiful? Undoubtedly? Stern? A little, yep. Small and white? Clean and bright, and gorgeous. I’m an awful sucker for a shirt dress. Take away the bouquet and you have something just as perfect for strolling about or eating brunch. Probably with a bib on, mind you.

VIKTORROLFCOLLAGE