Why A Slip Dress Is A Wardrobe Essential At Any Age

A silky fluid dress is age-defying and powerful, however you choose to wear it


Princess Diana attending the Met Gala in 1996. Photo / Getty Images

Whether or not you decide to go for a slip dress in the next six months (they're everywhere — they may even be the new jumpsuit), don't let your age be the decisive factor. Far more important is how you look and feel in one.

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If your arms are toned and your decolletage is holding up, or you're just feeling what the hell? Go ahead. Harriet Walter goes sleeveless for most of an episode in the hit TV series Succession, and at 69 her arms are so fabulous they almost steal the show. So no, it's not about age, but temperament.

Walter's character in the hit TV show is a bit too uptight for a slip dress — she's just doing the sleeveless part. If you're looking for a warrior queen of slip dresses, then look no further than Diana, Princess of Wales at the Met Gala in New York in 1996.

(From left) Eckhaus Latta Spring/Summer 2020; Alexa Chung Runway Spring/Summer 2019. Photos / Supplied

Apparently she almost didn’t wear that slinky Dior slip because she was worried about embarrassing Prince William (you know how teenage boys are about their mums and any suggestion they might be sexually attractive). Somehow Diana overcame her qualms. Knowing she'd get dynamite reviews probably helped. This was the PoW at her most renegade.

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If you're not feeling up to the full rebellion but just want to shake things up, a gorgeous, silky/viscose (less creasey) version may be the answer. Don't feel ready to flash your biceps? Wear a T-shirt underneath for a combo that can be as relaxed as weekend jeans or as glam as cocktails, depending on the tee. Or slide a luxurious sweater over the top — one with a wide neckline that glides off one shoulder and reveals a decorative strap.

(From left) Cindy Crawford spotted wearing a slip dress in New York City; Zambesi ‘Long’ slip dress $295. Zambesi.com. Photos / Getty Images, Supplied

Wear with trainers or flat mules, low maintenance-looking hair (not necessarily the same as being low-maintenance) and makeup. Toss on a velvet or tweed blazer — less bulky than trying to pair a more structured dress with a jacket.

Look for a weighty fabric that drapes well and doesn't feel like a nightie, and get some great shapewear (VPL is not part of this look). Finally, think of the slip dress as a separate to be layered rather than an end piece.

Channel Lauren Hutton mooching around on a veranda in the Hamptons or Malibu, or wherever the heck she chooses to mooch. Woman in a Slip Dress should conjure up someone comfortable in their skin, not trussed up, not bohemian exactly, but definitely a free spirit.

— The Daily Telegraph

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