Of all things '90s, our favorite closet hero from the nostalgic years has got to be the slip dress. It's everything we want in a garment after all: comfy, sultry, and universally flattering. But just how did this loungewear earn its place beyond the boudoir? Find out below and scroll down further to discover how you can maximize its sartorial potential.
What Is a Slip Dress?
We can trace the slip dress' roots way back to the 17th century. Back then, undergarments were worn under sheer dresses. In fact, Queen Marie Antoinette loved her chemise (French term for slips) so much that she would receive her close female friends wearing only her slip dress. This of course elicited a lot of gasps as this princess-cut slip was supposedly made to be worn in between the underwear and outerwear. Its essential functions included making sheer clothing more modest and saving the ladies from feeling uncomfortable while wearing super tight corsets.
However, it was in the 19th Century that it fully had a distinct characteristic: a one-piece, fitted, sleeveless undergarment worn under a petticoat and corset. Fast-forward to the 1920s, where restricting corsets fell out of fashion and flapper style became known. Drop-waist, highly-embellished, loose-fitting dresses that resembled innerwear, the flapper dress was the modern slip dress Marie Antoinette wished to have.
Then came the new decades; the ‘40s and ‘50s cemented the slip dress as the new must-have frock. These dresses have a more fitting silhouette. Lace also came into the picture, adding more daintiness and a hint of sultry allure to the garment. Meanwhile, it was in the ‘90s when the slinky slip became truly iconic, thanks to designers like Calvin Klein, John Galliano, and more. The slip’s minimalist aesthetic fit right in the ‘90s sartorial practice of poetic restraint. This garment was beloved by high fashion labels for its clean lines coupled with maximum comfort when worn, and it was deemed to be a blank canvas of sorts—slips are sensuous, have a high potential to look luxurious, and are ultimately modern.
Today, the '90s nostalgia has circled back, rekindling our love for this versatile garment. After all, simplicity married with elegance never gets too old and is hard to forget. And with an adaptable nature that slips have, you can easily wear it to almost anywhere and with almost anything.
Below, we break down styling techniques you can do to wear the classic slip dress to the office, on a casual day, and to a night out.
How to Wear a Slip Dress
FOR THE OFFICE:
1. Add a pullover.
Slip dresses usually come in thin, satin fabric, which may be a little to slinky when worn to the office. Balance off its sultriness by layering a relatively thicker material. Chunky knitted sweaters are perfect to achieve this; not to mention, it will keep you warm while working.
2. Put on a blazer.
If you need an outfit add-on that will turn your look into something boardroom meeting-ready, your trusty blazer will accomplish this feat without a fuss. But don’t succumb to the usual neutral palettes. Add a pop of color into your attire by opting to pair your blazer with a brightly-hued slip. Think happy, warm tones like yellow, orange, or maybe hot pink to keep you from looking too plain.
3. Layer over pants.
As you’ve noticed, a slip dress can be a tad too sexy for the office, thus the goal is to offset its allure. So for casual Fridays, you can opt to layer your slinky dress over a pair of denim jeans. If you can’t wear sleeveless pieces to the office, add a cute jacket or a button-down to make the look more work-appropriate.
4. Go for a dual-toned look.
Make a simple shirt and slip combo look extra profesh by opting for a two-toned outfit. Choose one neutral and one bold hue to make a statement. Keep things modest by wearing a long-sleeved top underneath your slip of choice. Put on a pair of heels and ace that meeting!
5. Style with a button-down shirt.
Turn the slip into your office uniform by wearing it with another closet staple: a button-down shirt. Experiment with different color combinations to keep your looks effortlessly varied.
FOR A CASUAL DAY:
6. Add a tee.
Look stylish even on errand days by upgrading your T-shirt with a short slip. Pile on the accessories to elevate the look.
7. Wear with something floral.
For a brunch date with your gals, wear a nude slip and layer it with your favorite floral shirt dress. Show off the slip by treating the button-down dress as a light trench. Cinch your waist with a belt and complete your look with a pair of cute mules.
8. Stay comfy with a cardigan.
Who says you can't be fab when at home? For casual stay-at-home lunches or merienda, stay stylish in your slip dress by adding a comfy cardigan on top.
9. Go sporty.
Slips can fit your athleisure style, too. Don’t be afraid to pair your fave slip dress with chunky sneakers. You’ll easily balance the slinky look of the dress with the comical bulkiness of your beloved dad shoe.
10. Make use of a button-down shirt.
Your favored office button-down can also be your slip dress’ chic add-on. Look summer-ready with a seductive slip and a linen button-down knotted haphazardly around your waist. This nonchalance is what makes the look uncomplicated, easy, and comfy.
FOR A NIGHT OUT
11. Learn to color-block.
Get creative with your slip and intimate wear. Bright slips will look extra stylish when worn over colored bralettes.
12. Go printed for a beach soiree.
When on the beach, night parties can feel extra hot so you can’t afford to feel sticky in dark-colored pieces. Hence, keep the look party-ready by opting for printed pieces—plus points if they’re bold and tropical!
13. Toughen it up with your choice of footwear.
If heels aren’t your thing, try combat boots to add a bit more edge and grunge to your slip dress as you party the night away.
14. Opt for thigh-high slits.
Bare more skin with a slip dress that has slits that go way up your thighs. You can compensate by wearing your shirt over your tee if you don’t feel like going hubadera all the way. Don’t forget your layered necklaces for a touch of glam.
15. Show your wild side.
Sartorially, that is. Animal-printed slips are the au courant versions of this vintage piece so don’t fall behind and ride the trend!
Ready to style your own slip dresses? Start by buying the most stylish ones we've spotted below!
Where to Buy
Camisole dress, P1995, ZARA, Greenbelt 5
Slip dress in Black, P1190, H&M, Glorietta 4
Slip dress with Leopard print, P1190, H&M, Robinsons Magnolia
Ombré print dress, 1495, BERSHKA, SM Megamall
Satin camisole dress, P2295, MANGO, TriNoma
Long strappy camisole dress, P1595, PULL & BEAR, SM Megamall
Camisole midi dress, P1595, PULL & BEAR, SM Megamall
Long strappy tie-dye dress, P2495, STRADIVARIUS, SM Aura
Camisole dress, P2495, STRADIVARIUS, SM Megamall
Coco Strappy Slip On Midi Dress in Lilac, P2999, THE___EDIT, Zalora.com.ph