How to dress like a grown-up with Shane Watson: Found! The only dress you really need to pack
Allow me to introduce you to the slow burn dress, which has been around for a while, suitable for all ages and summer silhouettes.
You’ll probably recognize it even if you don’t already have a version. Proportionally, it has points in common with a caftan: it is voluminous, not fitted. It has an opening at the neck and that’s it: no zipper, no buttons, no belt, just a simple trapeze shape, often with one or two tiers, and wide, flared three-quarter sleeves.
Typically it ends just above the knee and (unlike a kaftan) has a swinging hem. I’ll call it the only dress you need.
If this sentence doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will.
Royal approval: Vibrant look for Queen Letizia of Spain. Shane Watson says the ‘only dress you have to pack’ is this flowing A-line number
But, just in case, let’s detail the ways this dress makes a living. It’s the perfect beach cover-up – just slip it over a bathing suit in the morning, then slip it over your wet cozzie to go to lunch. (You can also use it as a changing tent, undress and dry off under the cover of your personal canopy.)
It looks like it’s made for long lunches under the vines, barefoot shopping at the beach stalls, drifting through the shallows, or dancing the night away, but all it really needs is a sunny day. – that’s why The Only Dress You Need (ODYN) has moved to the UK this summer.
The key is the fabric, which shouldn’t be wispy or see-through (so it’s not just for the beach), and the loose fit, which makes it both cool in hot weather and a mother-daughter swap to compete with Ugg boots at the time. daytime.
The UK-based fashion expert says it suits all ages, styles and body types. “Proportionally, it has points in common with a caftan”, she adds
Where you wear it depends on the fabric and how you wear it. A bright orange ODYN is more vacation. An abstract print in black and white, it’s more summer in town. The more ethnic the details, the less you will wear it to the garden of the local pub; but if it’s navy with red and white embroidered trim (£140, aspiga.com), you’ll wear it just about anywhere. (This style from Aspiga has short sleeves, but the swing hem and pockets are very important.)
Birkenstocks or similar strappy flat sandals work well with the ODYN on a day-to-day basis; sneakers make him dressier for the holidays; the clogs give it a touch of lunch in the garden. Sienna Miller would wear her bare legs with Cuban heel ankle boots.
If you want to spruce it up for the evening, then strappy gold flat sandals will do the trick. The proportions of this dress mean it needs a sturdy footing to balance it out. Even a mid-heel will tip this look into Baby Jane territory, and we don’t want that.
Shane writes of the chic dress: “Usually it ends just above the knee and (unlike a kaftan) has a swing in the hem. I’ll call it the only dress you need…’
Some women who don’t like a hemline above the knee (me) wear these dresses as super blouses, over skinny white pants; but I prefer to look for slightly longer styles that you can get away with without compromising the swingy A-line look.
Interestingly, UK indie brands are the ones that seem to make the most notable ODYNs of the moment. Head to NRBY, Aspiga, or Boden for the best selection and quality. (It’s important that this dress doesn’t look flimsy and messy, otherwise it won’t do you any favors.)
NRBY specializes in ODYNs in plain, shiny and soft linen and my favorite is the Elizabeth Fluted Sleeve Dress in Candy Pink that finishes just above the knee (£91, nrbyclothing.com).
I also love the blue and white striped print style from Aspiga, which has a deep tiered hem that ends below the knee and has good dress-up potential (£110, aspiga.com). More boho and beachy, with raw edging on the tier seams and beaded neck tassels is the brand’s cornflower blue Willow dress (£115).
Boden make a casual linen variation on the theme (£98, boden.co.uk) and Pink City Prints – also a UK company – make ODYNs from hand-printed Jaipur (from £95, pinkcityprints.com).
Freemans makes an almost maxi ODYN in a blue and white or pink stripe (£42.99, freemans.com). I have the pink wrapped and ready to go, as well as some ribbon espadrilles that I never really find a chance to wear. Don’t you like it when things are so easy?