Don’t get shirty – get a shirt dress!

There’s a bit of a sea change afoot in the world of dresses at the moment. Closely-fitted, highly structured bodycon-style dresses are being edged out of the limelight – at least as far as elegant daywear is concerned. In their place, the trusty shirt dress is now having its moment in the sun. You can find out a little bit more about this trend in this article from the Guardian – and this Marie Claire feature has some high-street examples for inspiration.

There are lots of variations on this theme and we’ve gathered together some ideas and inspiration for you on our latest Pinterest board – do drop in and have a look!

A favourite for the summer is the sheer or semi-sheer shirt dress over a more fitted underlayer, as seen at Cos for instance:
Sheer shirt dress from Cos
We’ve lots of sheer fabrics this season – you can find them here.

The relaxed, oversize chambray approach is a way of dressing this look down – here’s one H&M made earlier:
Chambray shirt dress
The key here is to use a more substantial fabric with a crisp, shape-holding quality – not unlike this selection from our shirting fabrics for instance:

Powder blue cotton fabric for shirt dress
‘Classic shirt’ powder blue cotton fabric
Shot blue cotton fabric for shirt dress
‘Full of attitude’ shot blue shirting fabric

Finally, there’s the classic, slightly 70s version of this style. Choose your length, whether or not to have sleeves or pockets – this is a style that comes with plenty of options. We’ve used Vogue Pattern 8903 for our version.

Vogue Pattern 8903 - shirt dress
Vogue pattern 8903 – Shirt dress

We made this up using our edgy ‘Snake it up’ bronze & violet printed viscose fabric.
Snakeskin printed viscose fabric as shirt dress
This fabric is surprisingly cool to wear on one of the hottest days of the year. As far as the pattern is concerned, we think it’s a winner. It’s rated ‘Easy’ but we’d say it was worth taking the time to get the finish you’ll want on that collar and those buttonholes. We’d also suggest you size it down a fraction from the actual measurements on the pattern.

This is a versatile pattern – we’ve sewn it in a fairly fine, draping woven fabric and the pattern image shows it made up in a jersey fabric. One of our regulars, Miga, used a crisp cotton fabric as a fresh, cool option when she holidayed in Australia, as you can see here:

Miga in cotton shirt dress

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