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.
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.