Welcome to The Essentials, our weekly series highlighting a must-have classic, key to building a timeless, pulled-together closet.
The 1990s gave way to a lot of trends that still remain relevant to this day, and chief among them is the slip dress. Born from the underwear-as-outerwear movement championed by Madonna and Jean Paul Gaultier, the slip dress quietly made its way from the shadows into the spotlight. With designers like John Galliano creating covetable bias-cut creations, once favored by Diana, Princess of Wales for Dior, to the minimalist-chic slips that designers Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez floated down their catwalks, to the grunge-inspired versions seen at Marc Jacobs' seminal collection for Perry Ellis, the slip dress became the era-defining look of choice. In the 30 years that followed, women everywhere have reimagined ways to incorporate this sexy-yet-versatile dress into their wardrobes. Whether layered-up for day with tights and a sweater, amped-up on its full-tilt sexiness for a night on the town, or paired-down with a T-shirt and boots for your off-duty day-to-day look, the slip dress might be the most adaptable dress in your closet. So, sit back,"slip" into something comfortable, and let's shop!
1. Dolce & Gabbana Satin Lingerie Slip Dress with Lace
Hands down, no one does lingerie for day like Dolce & Gabbana. Channel your Sicilian widow fantasy—turning heads of all the men who aren't supposed to be staring—in this instantly chic, "sempre perfetto" slip. Not to worry, for fall, a big shlubby grandpa cardigan or full teddy bear coat will get you where you're going without too much unwanted attention.
2. Anthropologie Bias Slip Dress
Could there be a more perfect summer slip? This tangerine dream begs for a sexy summer date. Style it as seen for day, or take a walk on the wild side and punch it up with a neon bra and strappy-heeled sandal for those sexy, steamy nights.
3. H&M Slip-style Dress
Like a crisp white shirt, this no-nonsense black slip can be the base layer of some of your most creatively styled days. For day, pair with a silk scarf and blazer for the office, or a sweater and sneakers for the weekend. For evening, go full glitz with some jewels, a lip, and your highest heel for a night to remember.
4. Nili Lotan Short Cami Dress
This army green slip can become your all-season workhorse. Pair with wood and straw accessories with gold accents to play up that summer tan or bust out your denim jacket, nubby knits and boots to take you well into fall.
5. Marc Jacobs The Liz Satin Slip
Elizabeth Taylor made the slip forever iconic in her back-to-back star turns in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and BUtterfield 8 (1960). This Marc Jacobs version nods to Taylor's waist-nipping, lace-trimmed slip, but this time with a full cup to make wearing for day a less indecent proposal.
6. PAIGE Cicely Plaid Satin Slipdress
Hello, '90s? It's me, I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet? A plaid slip dress with a slit bias-cut hem is a perfect addition to you wardrobe. The styling options are practically endless. Lean into your pretend-Portland past by tying a flannel around your waist and adding combat boots and a beanie or make it more "fashion grunge" with a long sleeve T-shirt layered underneath. You can even half-tuck this slip into some boyfriend jeans and Chucks for a sexy "borrowed from the boys" look.
7. Helmut Lang Double Strap Satin Slip Dress
So while the petal pink of this slip might have you thinking it should be regelated to WFH use only, by adding a nude heel and a camel coat you can go from bedroom to boardroom faster than you can say "hostile takeover." Speaking of work, this dress can easily carry you into the colder months: By adding an elongated pink or nude cashmere pullover, you can create a chic office-appropriate monochromatic look.
8. SLVR Midi Slip in Ocean
SLVR is a Brooklyn based brand whose ethos is based in sustainability and "conscious consumption. This silk slip is "hand dyed to imperfection," allowing for rich, unique coloring. The optional side drawstring allows the wearer styling options. Wear down for a louche evening style or draw up the strings, pair with a blazer, and wear over pants for a modern asymmetrical suiting look.
9. Urban Outfitters UO Kay Slip Midi Dress
Pay forever homage to Courtney Love and Amanda de Cadenet's infamous 1995 Oscar-party night on the town in this V-neck cream dream. Tiaras and art deco jewelry optional.
10. Reformation Crimini Slipdress
Get yourself a slip that can do both! This floral Reformation number is yet another dress that can do it all: From your summer festival-approved, (sexy) Little House on the Prairie fantasy to an all-business-come-September look by slipping a thin turtleneck underneath and pairing with tights and knee-high boots. ... For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter (subscribe here).
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