Shirt Dresses for the Non-Basic Chick

Everywhere I turn, I can’t seem to escape the shirt dress trend. Coworkers rock them in the office, storefront windows merchandise them as the *must-have* of the moment, and magazines forecast them as a necessity this Spring. Though I’m often one to gravitate towards the more tailored details, I can’t seem to find a lot of shirt dresses out there that truly pique my interest. As you know, I love the quirky little details, especially ones that lean towards the dark, the edgy, the avant-garde…key features that tailored or flowy shirt-dresses don’t typically include. I’ve rounded up a few options below that go beyond the basic shirt dress with the little details, a different silhouette to suit different tastes, and best of all just a little bit of funk.

ShirtdressesFrom Left to Right, click below to shop
Dress: MSGM Striped Shirt Dress
Heels: Reed Krakoff Snake Print Leather Sandals
Flats: Office Ghillie Lace-Up Flat

Dress: Aquilano Rimondi Striped Contrast Shirt Dress
Brogues: Prada Leather Laced Derby Shoe

Dress: Michael Kors Long Striped Kaftan
Sandals: Chloé Suede Lace-Up Sandals

Dress: Prabal Gurung Ombré Effect Marble Print Shirt Dress
Heeled Booties: Saint Laurent Lace-Up Booties

Dress: MM6 Maison Margiela Shirt Dress
Heels: Tibi Pierce Sandal
Sandals: Tomas Maier Lace-Up Sandal

Transitioning Trends: The Peplum

Do transitioning seasons make you grimace at the thought of parting with your current favorite go-tos? Are you anxious for the new season, but still want to hold on to a few summer favorites for as long as possible? If one of your go-tos right now is part of the peplum trend, your garments will not be forgotten this Fall.

This ultra-feminine staple is more flattering than it looks–I surprised myself when I first tried it on. Because the silhouette juts out at our widest part–-the hips-–I thought it would emphasize my hips, but it does quite the opposite. The peplum skirt itself is  w i d e r than our actual hips; your eye goes above the skirt to the smallest part: ze waist! Wearing a peplum top or dress will accentuate your waist while the frilly-ness of the style will up the feminine factor of your outfit as well. I have to admit: I’ve succumbed to the peplum…

I even spotted fellow DC blogger, Lacey Maffettone, rocking a peplum. If you’re reading this, Lacey, I want to apologize in advance for buying the same top–it was my feminine indulgence at the end of the summer 🙂 I want to note what the same exact H&M top did for our different body types:

For me, the skirt balances my slender hourglass figure. I am conscious of how masculine my shoulders can look, but the peplum creates a literal symmetry between my bony shoulders and the width of the skirt, allowing each to look very proportional and neither too extreme. I’m also a bit self-conscious of my upper arms, but the longer length of the short-sleeves takes care of that.

For Lacey, the skirt balances her fuller hourglass figure. Again, the peplum creates a literal symmetry balancing a wider upper-body with the fullness of the skirt. An added benefit can be seen on Lacey as well–her larger chest provides curves for the peplum to cling to, accentuating her tiny waist even more! For you readers who have a well-endowed chest, I suggest you seek a peplum in a polyester double knit, or “scuba,” fabric–this fabric has a fantastic amount of stretch (read: cling) as well as form, so the garment will have a better chance at clinging to the curves of your bust and waist but enough form to properly jut out as a peplum should.

Anywho, let me show you how versatile this popular trend is:

Everyday wear: Play up the feminine factor by choosing your peplum in a girly hue and pair it with your favorite pair of cropped jeans & wedges.

Cocktail / Work wear: Instead of a shirt, choose a structured jacket with a peplum detail–an interesting twist to the standard blazer. You’ll be able to pair it with skirts as well as pants, even as a topper to a form-fitting dress.

My way to rock a peplum: as a shirt–I can’t bring myself to buy this trend in anything other than a topper (my style just isn’t that girly). To take the focus off of the girly-ness, I chose the shirt in a dark merlot or burgundy color and added a tougher plated waist belt with cone spikes. Throw in my staple jeggings and wedge moto booties…that’s how I rock a girly trend 🙂


Photo of Lacey via