Slip dresses have been around since the early 1900s, but they were popularized as fashion staples–not just undergarments–in the 1920s, during the flapper era, when women were liberated to embrace more relaxed and free-flowing clothing styles. Later, during the 1930s, these styles became more normalized as Hollywood actresses like Jean Harlow and Marlene Dietrich drew attention to slip dresses by wearing them on screen. Slip dresses continued to make short resurgences in following decades, but most iconically became a pillar of 90s chic, yet grungy minimalist style–a fashion era that many aspire to replicate today.
We owe the 1990s slip dress resurgence possibly most notably to designer Calvin Klein, whose simple, slinky, yet elegant slips were regularly worn by celebrities and fashion icons like Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow. Other designers like Versace, Dior, and Ralph Lauren brought slip styles to the runway. Naomi Campbell, Winona Ryder and Sofia Coppola regularly donned slip dresses on the red carpet–even Princess Diana wore a slip dress to the Met Gala in 1996.
While slip dresses were commonly worn for formal occasions, they could easily be dressed down too. Grungy trends lent to layering dresses over t-shirts and pairing them with combat boots for an edgier look. Or, you could soften the look of a slip dress by layering a sheer dress over top, like Winona Ryder’s infamous doily dress from Reality Bites. But if you ask us, it was absolutely a vibe.
If you’re jonesing to give the slip dress trend a try, we’ve got a few options that won’t make you look like a doily–unless, of course, that’s what you’re going for.
The Midi Slip
If you aren’t feeling quite so daring, give the midi-length slip dress a try to ease into the trend. Midi-length slip dresses are a popular choice for both casual and formal occasions. They fall somewhere between the knee and ankle, creating a flattering and feminine silhouette. This moody floral look from Kilo Brava is perfect for an evening look. Or, pair with ankle boots and a leather jacket for a daytime take.
The Patterned Slip
Bold prints are another trend that has made its way into slip dress fashion. From animal prints to abstract patterns, bold prints can add a pop of color and personality to a simple slip dress. Keep the rest of your outfit simple to let the dress take center stage.
The Embellished Slip
Embellishments like feathers or embroidery will add a little extra luxury to a slip dress. The Jasmine Chemise in Ivory is giving flapper vibes and we’re here for it. Bring the style into 2023 with a kitten heel and statement clutch.
The Sheer Slip
Kate Moss knew her way around a sheer slip dress, and we’ve got a few options so you can try out this daring look for yourself. The Darling Chemise in Petal Pink features flirty lace paneling along the sides. This size-inclusive piece is available in Small - 3X.
Pro tip: If you’re feeling like this look is a little too bold, you could layer a t-shirt, shirt dress, or bodysuit underneath! Here are a few ways to change up the look of a slip dress.