Slip dresses are popular but if you style them wrong, you can look like you’re wearing a nightgown. Here’s how to wear them.
We are no longer just seeing naked illusion gowns on the red carpet. There are still plenty of those around, but there is a wider variety of gowns on the red carpet. One style of dress we’ve been seeing more and more of is the slip dress. We’ve seen celebs wearing silky versions on the red carpet and shorter ones on more casual days. You can mark this as another 1990s trend that is making a comeback. Slip dresses are effortless and not as restricting as a corseted gown with a ballgown skirt, but they can be tricky to wear. If you style them wrong, you’ll look like you’re wearing a nightie out in public. And it won’t be in a 1990s Courtney Love way; it’ll be more of an I-forgot-to-change-when-I-got-out-of-bed way.
Here’s how to wear a slip dress without looking like you’re wearing a nightgown:
1. Avoid lace.
The lace slip dress enjoyed a small revival a few summers ago among select celebrities. However, it is best to play it safe and avoid lace and other lingerie details; otherwise, people will think you are wearing lingerie.
2. Consider your hair and makeup.
It may be tempting to go for an effortless makeup look to match your relaxed slip dress, but that can just make it look like you crawled out of bed, brushed your teeth, and went out. It’s best to avoid bedhead or messy hairstyles unless you’re a supermodel like Gigi Hadid. Try a sleek hairstyle or a retro updo, or anything that looks like you obviously styled it. A bold lipstick or cat-eye will also keep your look out of nightie territory.
3. Your accessories make all the difference.
The easiest thing to do is throw on a statement necklace and pile on the bracelets to show you definitely aren’t wearing pajamas. It works, but you can also lose the relaxed vibe of the dress if you choose one piece of eye-catching jewelry, like a bold cuff, dressy shoes, and a structured clutch that is all you really need.
4. Don’t buy anything that wrinkles easily.
A silk slip dress will quickly turn into a wrinkled mess. When shopping for a dress, try scrunching the hem up. If it immediately wrinkles, don’t get it. Look for a style that is more resilient, such as a polyester blend. Wrinkles equal rolling around in bed.
5. Choose a different neckline.
The low-cut neckline is traditional, but a unique neckline will help separate your slip dress from similar-looking nightgowns. A halter neck or racerback are unexpected but still gives you the same look.
6. When it doubt, go longer.
Whether you want a slip dress for day or evening or both, a maxi version tends to look less nightgown-y than a shorter dress. If you want to go shorter, a knee-length style or midi length are easier to pull off than a mid-thigh one.
7. Be wary of slits.
If you choose a longer slip dress, you can get away with a slit, provided it doesn’t go up to your thigh. If you choose a midi or mini length, be careful the slit isn’t too revealing; otherwise, it’ll look like you’re wearing a sexy lingerie set with matching underwear out in public.