slip dresses styling man repeller crystal elizabeth
5 Slip Dresses and a Million Ways to Wear Them
07.24.19

Figuring out what to wear when it’s this hot and you’re just a tiny bit bored of shorts and a tank tops can be a real conundrum. Fortunately for my overheated brain cells, Edith wrote this story about wearing linen pajamas during the day, a fantastic solution for warm weather dressing because linen is so breathable. It got me thinking about another member of the pajama-adjacent family: slip dresses! In my experience, they’re versatile enough to wear to a wedding or a bodega, depending on how you style them. To test this thesis, I enlisted my favorite creative dresser, Crystal Betcha-Didn’t-Think-of-That Anderson to style FIVE slips TEN ways with me. Scroll down to see the results.

The Tissue-Thin Slip That Feels Like Air

These slips from Wolf & Badger are pretty short (almost more of a shirt length), which makes them interesting fodder to style with. They’re also tissue-thin to the extent that you almost can’t feel them on your body–what a gift for 90-degree weather, huh? Crystal styled hers with board shorts and lace-up sandals–boyish additions to balance out the slip’s femininity. I wore mine with linen trousers and clogs because I wanted to add some weight to the silhouette of the outfit since the slip is so light. Crystal and I both felt naked in the best of ways.

The Sheer Slip That Lets What’s Underneath Do the Talking

I love a totally sheer slip dress, because it’s really fun to play with which you wear under it. Leandra recently wore this outfit, which inspired me to put these Dries knit shorts (are these even considered shorts?) underneath this Commando mesh slip. To frame the lace on top, I covered my chest with a knit tube top in a color that coordinated with my shorts. The addition of gold lace-up block heel sandals elevated the outfit to something beyond simply “hanging out in my underwear,” so to speak. Crystal layered an oversized T-shirt as a dress under her slip and tied a blue shirt around her hips. With sneakers as the final touch, the overall effect was quite casual–a nice contrast to the sheer slip’s lingerie-esque connotations, and thrillingly different from my own approach.

The Classic Slip With a High Slit

These DANNIJO slip dresses are rendered in a deliciously luxurious, slinky silk, with plenty of rich jewel colors to choose from (they also have a tie dye!). The high slit on the side offers an interesting degree of versatility: While Crystal showed some leg, I tied up the skirt so it morphed into more of a tunic length. I wore knit YanYan bike shorts under with a matching short sleeve kimono cardigan, both coordinating with the sapphire color of the slip. I added these Clergerie x Both hiking boots–which, by the way, are perhaps the most comfortable boots I’ve ever put on my feet–to anchor my outfit with something chunky.

The Fishtail Slip That Kisses Your Ankles

Réalisation Par has a slew of slip dresses, but I was immediately drawn these gold ones with a subtle print. How fun is the fishtail hem!? It prevents the slip from looking too much like lingerie. Crystal and I both layered white tops underneath–Crystal’s an oversized T-shirt and mine a knit white polo. I love how Crystal slung one strap down to make the slip look one-shouldered. Her hat and pool slides transform the outfit into an ideal beach-to-dinner transition look. I added Ked’s and a polo to dress this otherwise fancy ensemble down, and a Repeller scarf as a hair-kerchief.

The Drawstring Slip That Shape-Shifts Like a Pro

This slip has a drawstring that lets you scrunch the hem up on one side, which might be why it was Crystal’s and my favorite of the bunch. Crystal ballooned her yellow version out of a pair of A-Line shorts, while I matched my tie-dyed one to bleached jeans. We both felt called to utilize our heads as the proverbial cherry on top: she went for buns, I went for a headband.

And that’s that! Over pants, tucked into shorts, tied up, slung down…the options definitely don’t even end there. Let me know how you’d style a slip dress in the comments. I’ll be there to answer any and all questions as well (unless you’re asking how to fix a toilet, because last week I discovered the limitations of my resourcefulness in that particular area).

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Photos by Laerke Rose

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