The Babydoll Dress

The babydoll dress is swinging back into action, which means it’s going to be a season of pins on parade. It’s been some years since the style was hanging on the rails, let alone in our wardrobes. Fashion went androgynous, it went normcore and then it went and had a love affair with the Seventies and suddenly romance and ethereal shapes wafted back into the minds of designers and both waistlines and hemlines were on the rise.

They are again.

For the pre-autumn/winter 2015 season, Dior, JW Anderson, Valentino, Chloe, Calvin Klein Collection all put forward the case for the dress, which although based on Fifties nightwear and a doll’s style of dress, manages to be one part smart (the structured high neck or yoke-based point from which the trapeze silhouette falls) to one part easy (that’s a swingy skirt for you). And it’s something that looks set to stick around for the pre-spring/summer 2016 season too – Mary Katrantzou, Chanel, Prada and Saint Laurent have all done a version.

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And the great thing about them is that you don’t have to think too much about what you wear with them – they will take centre stage when it comes to the outfit. But you do need to make sure you get it right, or suddenly the babydoll will look all wrong.

The secret lies in a great coat – a fuzzy Louis Vuitton number from the autumn/winter 2015 collections is the way to aim; or if wearing in the last of those summer days, then a faithful leather jacket will work – and tap into the garment’s original mod appeal.

When it comes to shoes, flat simple sandals will fit the bill to see you out for the next month but then you need to switch to boots – ankle will be best, or a brogue. Knee-high or more will feel too retro to a decade we’re starting to say goodbye to (the Seventies in favour of the Eighties). A flat shoe or boot feels modern and mod and keeps the whole look youthful, which is entirely its intention. But that doesn’t mean it can’t look smart. Opt for more structured shapes, detail on yokes and collars, long sleeves and cuffs for this.

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Heatwave Chic In The Office

The countdown until the British heatwave has begun. While we’d all rather be sporting a bikini, poolside, there’s work to be done, which presents a dressing dilemma: how to make the most of the sunshine while remaining office-appropriate.

Find here a guide to surviving the soaring temperatures, and crucially, keeping cooly chic.

1. Don’t Go Sheer

It’s one thing to risk a glimpse of silken underwear over a vodka martini on a balmy summer evening, but quite another to flash your knickers at an 11am with your boss. If your dress reveals the outline of your legs when you look in the mirror at home, leave it at home. Heat wave or no heat wave – breezy, opaque cotton is a far chicer alternative to putting it all on show.

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2. Sandals

We all have summer sandals that we should have got rid of, but haven’t. The Birkenstocks that were half-dissolved by seawater, or the scuffed flip flops we usually only wear for yoga. These aren’t your friend when it comes to selecting office appropriate footwear during the heatwave. Book a pedicure and pick a barely there leather thong sandal or do comfortable-chic with Balenciaga’s double-strap leather sandals – a winner for coverage that conceals feet in need of extra TLC.


3. Summer Black

While we advocate midnight black on cooler summer days, or warm Grecian evenings, it doesn’t pay to create your own sartorial hot house. Navy is your cut off point. The same applies to leather. Don’t do it.

4. Yes To Tailored Shorts

Bleached denim cut-offs should not wander into any office, anywhere, ever. Shorts, of the crisply tailored variety, do work, however, especially with a high neck ribbed vest. Pick a darker shade of short – plum, navy or khaki are a favourite – and opt for a high waist.


5. Think Natural

Jersey, satin, lamé…any clothes that shimmer or gleam in bright sunlight will make you sweat limitlessly. Your faithful day-long fabrics are silk or cotton. Keep Jo Malone’s ‘Red Roses’ in your desk drawer for a discreet spritz at 4pm.

6. Fringe Is Off Limits

There’s a limit to the amount of fringing a girl can carry off in a field, with a golden tan, somewhere in California. Unless you work in the mid-west, leave the tassels for parties only. You also have the safety hazards of fast closing lift or tube doors to consider…

Then before you know it you’ll be on holiday and life in the office will be completely forgotten.

A holiday where sometimes no clothes are the best clothes.

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