The (Hyphen) Dress

Rachael BilsonI’ve been an avid fan of Rachael Bilson’s style since first seeing her in The Last Kiss. I mean, come on- the girl’s got killer style. Anyway, this post is not going to be about her. (Ha-ha! Fooled you with the picture, didn’t I?) This post is going to be about her outfit, namely: the (hyphen) dress.

In recent times, the fashion industry has been renaming things in a way that would make i-Apple proud. For years I’ve watched as designers attached a hyphen and the word ‘dress’ to the back of everything and well, called it a dress: the t-shirt-dress, the oxford button-up-dress, the polo-dress, the sweater-dress, the hoody-dress (?!-wtf, American Apparel)…

What really ticked me off was that the extra three inches or so of fabric they added to the bottom of the SHIRT always translated to three times the cost. Not cool.

Naturally, I was outraged. But when lower-end chains started picking up on the style (and as a result, dropping the prices to fit my recession friendly budget), my outrage turned into amusement, my amusement into curiosity, my curiosity into desire, and my desire into I-GOTTA-HAVE-IT-RIGHT-NOW!!

So even though I am completely sold by this perfect balance of casual and chic, I get that not everybody is swayed by the “–dress.” Note: First convo with the bf after my shirt-dress purchase…

BF: It’s a shirt

Me: NO, dummy! You obviously don’t know fashion- it’s a shirt-dress.

BF: Like I said… it’s a shirt

Sigh. Can’t win em all. But for those of you who are interested/see the gloriousness that is the “-dress,” here are some super cute options.

The T-Shirt-Dress (My favorite)

The t-shirt dress, when worn properly, has a very relaxed “Oh-I-just-threw-on-whatever-this-morning” feel to it, without making you look bummy. The first option from Forever 21 is only $10.50. At that price, you can test drive the style without breaking the bank. The second one, from American Apparel runs about $30 and the last two, from Urban Outfitters, will set you back $42 (pricey but adorable) and $48 respectively.

F21 t-shirt dress AA shirt dress

Urban Outfitters Urban Outfitters T-shirt

The Oxford-Shirt-Dress

When business meets casual. The Oxford-Shirt-Dress is basically a long dress shirt (which would make it a dress-shirt-dress, no?). The first, from American Apparel, is a little expensive at $62, but the second is on sale now for $20 at Alloy

American App. Oxford Shirt Dress Alloy

The Plaid Shirt-Dress

A fun alternative to the oxford shirt dress: the plaid shirt-dress. The first one is from Wet Seal for $24.50 and the second is from Urban Outfitters for $58. Can you picture this model rocking this with a pair of this season’s fringe boots? I die.

Wet Seal Urban Outfitters

The Sweater-Dress

Sweater dresses are like those wacky days when it’s like 54 degrees outside but there’s still snow on the ground. It offers all the warmth of a sweater and all the girliness of a dress. Perfect. This first dress, from Forever 21 is $28, but look at handy little pockets on the side! How can you not love side pockets? The second, from Urban Outfitters, cost $90 (gasp!!!) but uh.. it comes in such a gorgeous color? Yeah, scratch that. I can’t even justify that one.

Forever 21

When rocking any of the (hyphen) dress options, please remember one very important lesson:

There is a very thin line between a shirt and a shirt-dress­ (Haha! Get it? ‘Thin line’= hyphen?? Wow I have too much time on my hands). If the “dress” is obviously only a few inches shy from exposing your goodies, maybe you should opt for some tights. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t pull a Britney and put on some damn panties.

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