Worth It: Tory Burch's Claire McCardell Dress

Its namesake is credited with inventing American sportswear.

Tory Burch Claire McCardell Dress
(Image credit: Tory Burch)

During World War II, designer Claire McCardell's style philosophy pioneered a new female dress code that was coined the "American Look." Her designs for women were as chic as they were practical; as McCardell wrote in her 1955 book, “casual never means careless.”

Now, 80 years later, one of American fashion's most beloved female designers, Tory Burch, is paying homage to American sportswear via The Claire McCardell dress. 

"[McCardell] was a problem-solver," says Burch of the designer who often utilized men's shirting fabrics to create dresses during WWII rationing. "It's what I love most about her."

Burch's McCardell dress embodies the same ethos as McCardell's collections, marrying an unfussy design with sophistication. Its classic silhouette boasts four different color combinations and signature details, like a pintuck waist and hook-and-eye closures, giving the dress a modern edge with subtle vintage appeal.

Like McCardell's novel designs, from dresses with pockets to backless halterneck swimsuits, the McCardell dress is meant to both look and feel good.

Pair it with ballet flats for errands around town, or pop on a kitten heel for a night out. The 2.0 version is both a piece of history and a hero summer piece.

Shop Tory Burch's Claire McCardell Dress:

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Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director at Marie Claire, covering runway trends and tracking down the latest finds to buy and wear. When she’s not writing about fashion, she pens about the best places to jet-off to. Over her six years with Marie Claire, Sara has reported on the ever-evolving world of fashion— covering both established and emerging designers within the industry. Sara has held fashion positions at Lucky and SELF Magazine and was a regular contributor to Equinox’s Furthermore website, where she wrote across their style, wellness, and travel verticals. She holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and currently resides in Manhattan. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork.