What's stylish now: slip dresses

Slip dresses

I never thought I’d wear a slip dress again. I overdosed in the ’90s. Too many Kookaï spaghetti straps and second-hand-nightie-type affairs, with long cardigans and Dr Martens or strappy metallic sandals. 

I think the last time I wore a slip dress was in Miami over a decade ago, when I’d been assigned to do the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was July and the climate could have been categorised as “wet sponge”. By midday, under a plastic roof (why, Miami, why?) I’d lost half a stone in sweat and my lilac slip had turned to glue. 

And yet, and yet... here I am wanting another slip dress. It’s only because I happened to be talking to a famous French editrice last month (more of whom another time), who convinced me in about three seconds flat what an absolute essential a slip dress is. I am easily swayed. 

Not a short one, though. The VMAs lilac was short, on top of everything else, and that would not be becoming now. No, now I want a slip dress that falls below the knee. The ladylike among you will wear it with a simple black heel and a bit of elegant lacing somewhere. I’ll probably wear it with a chunky flat sandal. This is strictly night-time dressing (unless you’re a famous French editrice who will comfortably wear her slip to a board meeting).

It’s for end-of-summer evenings when your shoulders are tanned and you can pull your hair back in a messy ponytail and let your gold earrings dangle. You don’t need to bare your arms, if this worries you. I’m into sweet v-neck cardigans again for the full ’90s look, but a masculine tux jacket thrown over would be perfection (think Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy in her Calvin Klein days).

You could accessorise with a tangle of gold and silver pendants and a masculine/feminine perfume – I’ve recently discovered a brilliant natural one called She Came to Stay by Timothy Han.

Do I need to emphasise that the easiest colour to wear is black? Or you could try navy, khaki or royal blue. For brunettes, I’ll allow red or ivory – but no other colours, please. And definitely no lilac.

Crêpe midi dress, £730, by The Row from Net-a-Porter

Silk-mix cami dress, £75, by Atterley

Silk dress, £340, by Dosa from Farfetch

Silk dress, £95, by & Other Stories

Plait-strap midi dress, £28, by Warehouse

Ruffle-hem cami dress, £55, by Finery London 

Tile print slip, £32, by Topshop

Lace slip, £39.99, by Zara

Layered slip, £19.99, by Mango

Deep V slip, £100, by Raey from Matches Fashion