The Shirt Dress
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The Shirt Dress

After a long, bleak Games-of-Thrones esque winter, it’s finally spring. I spent all of Sunday starfishing in Finsbury Park in a sun-drunk haze, so it’s official. And jeez, when the weather’s good here, we need to grab it with both hands! As of this week, my poor, overworked jumpers are going safely back into storage. But what to wear instead? Like every other girl on the planet, I think I look the business in vintage flowery summer dresses. But let’s face it, one moment you’re basking in the heat, the next moment the sun goes behind a cloud and your skin’s gone blue. Not such a good look. Best saved for the Riviera and/or August. Plus, there’s always a chance that the lady in HR who’s got it in for you will give you that look and take you aside – “Not quite work appropriate attire”. Nope, summer dresses are definitely best saved for my next life, as a poetess living on a farm in Sicily. As so often happens, my own personal übermensch – Scott Schulman of The Sartorialist - solved my problem for me. He is basically a mind reader, or something. Check out these ridiculously chic New York women: IYTASpringShirtdresses It seems a little unfair, though. New York gets brilliant weather – these women can waif about in all the floral summer dresses they want from March onwards. See, the way I think of it, shirt dresses are British through and through. They unite coltish bare-legged Alexa Chung types belting their boyfriends’ shirts with young 9-5ers, who wear them with tights and an up-do in the office and then rock them with berry red lips and statement earrings at night. They can be worn bare-legged in the inferno crush of the tube at rush hour and with colourful tights when the sun goes behind a cloud. Also, I don’t know about you, but I’m still carrying a comfortable layer of hibernation fat. After all, it’s downright unnatural to crave sorbet and fruit instead of a thick doorstopper wedge of sticky toffee pudding when it snows in March – for apocalypse weather, you’ve got to eat apocalypse portions. For ladies with a penchant for beer (guilty as charged), belting it round the middle gives you the waist you grew out over winter. For lucky Joan-from-Mad-Men type bosomy ladies, it will cling in all the right places without being too revealing. For anyone with enviable gams, it’s a dream come true. They’re effortless and insouciant and don’t give a damn sexy, just like those roots you’ve been growing out (a bit on purpose, admit it) and that home-trimmed fringe. So let’s wrestle those shirt dresses back off the New Yorkers and their incredibly polished mani-pedis. Viva British springtime! Viva the shirt dress! Sophie Atkinson
9 years ago