Monday, September 10, 2012

The "T-Shirt" Dress & Fashion Week Bits

When does a trend become a trend? Is there a rule? Does it have to make its way down a runway at least 5 times before it gets a label? Or does Anna Wintour have to hold a certain trend knighting ceremony and then all is as it is?

I'm not Anna Wintour, but I'm calling a trend here - the t-shirt dress. I'm using the term "t-shirt" in the loosest way possible here because these dresses are far from casual. The great majority of red carpet dresses are strapless or sleeveless, but I've noticed many ladies wearing dresses with a more modest top half. I hate saying modest here because it makes me sound like an old lady, but I'll go with it anyway. I find dresses with more coverage up top to be far more appealing, but that's just a matter of taste. 

Por ejemplo:

Image via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe
This is model/actress Kasia Smutniak at the Venice Film Festival last week in a sweet Valentino "t-shirt" dress. It's perfectly youthful, feminine, and ethereal and there's not a collarbone or bit of cleavage in sight.

Exhibits 2 and 3:

Image via Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images North America
Image via Dave Norton/Bauer Griffin
The gorgeous Keira Knightley in Elie Saab Couture (top photo) at the Toronto International Film Festival Saturday night and at last week's UK premiere of Anna Karenina in Chanel Couture. Two dresses, two t-shirt tops.

Lastly, the 3/4 length t-shirt dress:

Image via Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe
This is Kristin Scott Thomas at the Venice Film Festival last week in one of my favorite dresses in recent memory by Giambattista Valli. This was on my wish list for Anne Hathaway for The Dark Knight Rises tour, but it was not to be. Kristin is a lady of a certain age, so a more modest dress makes sense for her, but I think Anne and her pixie cut would have looked phenomenal in this.

Obviously we girls are not going to be wearing gowns day in and day out (or maybe ever), so how should we take this trend and turn it into something we can wear every day? Luckily there are lots of t-shirt dresses out now to pick from and they're a great transition piece for fall. Wear them with booties and layer over a cardigan, blazer, or chambray shirt and you're all set for chilly temps. Here are some of my favorites:
Also, feel free to layer another skirt over a t-shirt dress. Sounds crazy, I know, but haven't you ever had a perfect dress and thought, "man I wish this was a top because it would go perfectly with such-and-such"? It can work! Trust me. Have a look at how Blair from Atlantic-Pacific does it here.

Fashion Week (Fashion Month, really) kicked off in New York on Thursday where American (mostly) designers will show their collections for Spring 2013 with London, Milan, and Paris to follow in the coming weeks. Collections are shown a season ahead of time - meaning spring collections and shown in September for the following year and fall collections are shown in February for the following fall. I'll be pinning my favorite looks on Pinterest here and I also plan on highlighting my favorite looks, collections, and trends here so stay tuned.

My FNO adventures: Cocktails and dinner at Back Bay Social Club; Madewell sharing the chambray love (ha! I'll just put this in my living room); a festive and fun Newbury St;, and my purchases (Madewell scarf, Zara flats)

Since 2008 the unofficial kick-off to Fashion Week has been Fashion's Night Out. This city-wide shopping event was conceived in NYC to stimulate the economy and to give retailers a boost when said economy was in the tank. It's grown into a global event in the last four years, with Boston coming on board for the last two. Some in the fashion industry argued as early as last year that FNO isn't necessary now in an improved economy and that it doesn't have a place in an already overwhelming Fashion Week schedule. I can understand this in New York, but I definitely still think it has a place in Boston. Boston has a relatively fledgling fashion community and I'm all for anything that helps bring it together. Newbury Street was shut down to traffic and it felt like a great big street party with shopping. Who wouldn't love that? There were people buying, buying, buying in every store I went in, both big chain stores like Madewell and Zara and local boutiques like LIT. As long as it's a benefit to the city and it's retailers, which I sincerely hope it is, then I will be supporting FNO.

SO.. t-shirt dress - do you love or hate? Are you excited to see the spring collections? If you went out for Fashion's Night Out tell me all about it!


  1. I watched people going to FNO as I trudged home very exhausted whilst wearing crocs (the ballet flat ones, in my defense) and probably went to bed before the festivities started. If you told me more about the collections then i would be excited about them. And I like the t-shirt dress though I'm not sure crew neck is very flattering on me? hmmm..

    1. Crew neck is fine on you because you have small boobs. V-neck is flattering on everyone. I will be talking more about the collections!