Thanks to Calvin Klein’s spring 2011 collection, the days of over-romanticizing the mid-1990s have finally been justified. The slip dress is back, and while donning a Kate Moss-circa-1996 style would be ideal, this season’s selection is just as classic, showcasing twists on the old favourite through longer lengths, different shades and boxier cuts. But before you bust out your Obsession and ready your Mary Jane platforms, here’s a few cardinal rules to keep the slip dress in top form:
DO: keep it minimal
As proven by Calvin Klein’s runway show, the best way to showcase a slip dress is by keeping it basic. While a simple shade in a subtle style may seem like the recipe for accessory overload and/or over-the-top hair and makeup, the best way to make your slip dress stand out is to abide by the simple rule that less is more. Thus, keeping hair and makeup natural will not only keep attention focused on your dress, but serves as even more of a mid-90s throwback: after all, wasn’t Kate Moss the queen of natural?
DON’T: go overboard
If you’re one to pay tribute to the late 20th century on a daily basis (guilty as charged), it can be tempting to embrace a 90s throwback by wearing every accessory aligned with decade. However, since this year’s slip dress is reflective of spring 2011 (and not 1996), it’s important to keep vintage pieces to a minimum so you don’t look like a walking novelty. Meaning? You can pair the slip dress with Mary Jane shoes or platform sandals, but by donning a mini-backpack, scrunchie and denim jacket simultaneously, you’ll only look like a throwback to Clarissa Explains It All.
DO: know what you can wear
The thing about this year’s slip dress is that unlike its mid-1990s counterpart, lengths are longer, necklines are higher and styles stray from the classic lace and silk building blocks. So while you may want to stick to the ultra-basic style synonymous with Calvin Klein’s heyday, you’ve also got to keep in mind what flatters you best. Thus, if you’re not one to wear ankle-length dresses on a normal occasion, opt for a style cut above the knee and cinched at the waist. Or, if you’re not comfortable donning a halter neckline, opt for a crew or boat neck that’s come to define most of 2011’s springtime collections.
DON’T: limit yourself
True, we’re condoning the traditional slip dress, but as proven by the wide range of 2011 collections, the slip dress has also evolved into pajama-wear equivalents, skirts and jackets piggybacking on the iconic mid-90s aesthetic. Therefore, if you’re not one to don ultra-feminine styles, you can take solace in a wide range of branch-offs that connote the same attitude without the dress itself. After all, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about this season, it’s that diversity reigns supreme.