If you haven't noticed (but I'm sure you have), slip dresses are back. Part of fashion's current obsession with the 90s, they are the dress of the season, having been seen on numerous spring catwalks, including Céline, Burberry and Givenchy. FYI, they were also "done" at Valentino and Mulberry for autumn, suggesting that they are going to be sticking around for a bit.
Pioneered by Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang in the early 1990s, it was of course Kate Moss in THAT sheer silver slip that made the dress so – dare I say it – iconic. See also Cindy Crawford, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Love, Gwyneth during the Brad years and Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface. Worn with a pair of strappy sandals and not much else, slip dresses were the epitome of carefree "Who needs underwear?" dressing.
However, if you don't happen to be a supermodel and you do need underwear, then how do you wear one now? In fact, can you wear one now? The Pool team found out.
I’ve always associated silky slip dresses with Kate Moss. Kate Moss is a waif. I’ve never been a Kate Moss waif. When I was asked to wear one, I was more than a little reluctant but, like with anything, if you don’t try something, you won’t know. So I did… and found I quite liked it. This dress ticks a few boxes – it’s silky, but substantially so, and cut in a way so it skims, rather than clings. Navy blue is one of my new favourite colours (I’m trying to wean myself off black) and the straps aren’t too strappy – especially good if you have an “arm hatred”, like I do. Layering is also a new thing for me – teaming it with a light, buttoned-up Whistles shirt worked well and felt smart and modern.
I felt like a lady in this slip dress – even with my trainers on. It's not something I would have picked out for myself, but the addition of an army jacket – which is very me – made me feel really comfortable. I'm a fan of the slits on the legs, too – nice for summer. I love how versatile a simple slip is and, after trying this one, I will be buying one for myself.
Ever since I saw Laura Craik at last summer's Port Eliot festival, wearing a black slip dress over a white T-shirt with Stan Smith trainers, I have wanted to try one out. I love the idea of midi length but, unless you're 6ft tall, it requires a pair of low-heeled boots. A shorter length would work better with flats. Choosing a style with slightly thicker straps means visible bra straps aren't an issue and something in a flowy fabric or with a lace trim looks great dressed up, even better with a tomboy jacket.
I rarely feel comfortable wearing a dress, especially during the day, because I always feel too dressed up. But with its 90s grunge appeal, this slip dress was sufficiently casual enough and just the thing to get me out of my trouser rut. It was easy to wear and I can imagine experimenting with different ways to wear it over the next few months. I don't think you need to spend a lot on a slip dress – no doubt fashions will change soon enough. So, instead, I will be investing in a really good-quality T-shirt to wear underneath it – I know I'll be wearing that for seasons to come.
I missed slip dresses the first time round (I was just a teensy bit young in the actual 90s), so I had been looking forward to trying them out, but their resurgence hasn’t been straightforward good news. A slip dress isn’t as convenient as other dresses because often they look better with something worn underneath, and that can be a slight faff – you know, finding a top that fits just so. And then, well… They’re not that flattering (on me, anyway – 5ft 4in and with a bottom half bigger than my top half). So, I’m sorry, I’m not 100 per cent convinced by the slip dress. They looked cool in the early 1990s, but it’s hard to find one I really love in 2016. I think that perhaps I missed my slip-dress moment.
Picture: Claire Pepper