According to Webster’s dictionary, the first mention of the term “shirtdress” dates to exactly 1943. But it was Mr. Christian Dior who launched the style into permanent fashion fame when he included it in a 1947 collection that spearheaded the seminal New Look.
Both contemporary and late-great designers have taken their stab at the dress, from Halston’s versions in ultrasuede to Marc Jacob’s shiny, silk version that came down the fall runway. The shirtdress is a tried-and-true classic, looking as good with tights and ankle boots this season as it does with bare legs and sandals the next. If you’re not a convert yet, we’re certain you will be after perusing some of our favorite riffs on the trend.
The European duo behind Ostwald Helgason were the darlings of the most recent London Fashion Week. Their fall collection included a charming pleated shirtdress with intricacies such as an embroidered flower and roomy pockets. $685. Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street; 212-219-2688; openingceremony.us
The equestrian motif gets a luxury update on Gucci’s exquisite crêpe de Chine shirtdress. Pair the dress with tall, deep brown leather boots and you’ll be equally set for the city or country. $2,400. Gucci, 725 Fifth Avenue; 212-826-2600; gucci.com
Marc Jacobs’s silk lamé houndstooth shirtdress was a showstopper on the New York runway, and will surely be one on the Manhattan streets as well. We especially adore the raspberry-hued piping and slim leather belt. $1,500. 163 Mercer Street; 212-343-1490; marcjacobs.com
Every detail on J.Crew’s purple jewel-hued shirtdress is perfection. We love the drop-waist silhouette and twirl-worthy pleated skirt. $198. 1035 Madison Avenue; 212-249-3869; jcrew.com
London-based designer Stella McCartney has made the ideal shirtdress for cold winter days. Made of a wool-twill blend, this style has a floaty skirt and long sleeves to keep out the chill. $1,400. 112 Greene Street; 212-255-1556; stellamccartney.com
At first glance, Rag & Bone’s Catalina dress may seem deceptively simple, but the beaded collar adds an elegant touch. The side pleats also provide the lucky wearer of the frock with a guaranteed flattering fit. $595. 182 Columbus Avenue; 212-362-7138; rag-bone.com
The Prita shirtdress offers a wonderfully feminine interpretation of the shirtdress. Diane von Furstenberg uses an ultra-lightweight silk as the base, and adds such features as a sash and button at the sleeves. $325. 874 Washington Street; 646-486-4800; dvf.com
Leave it to Michael Kors to get us dreaming of sunnier climes any time of the year. His poplin shirtdress is crafted in Italy and includes front flap pockets and a matching belt. $995. 101 Prince Street; 212-965-0401; michaelkors.com
Made of a weighty, cotton gingham, this shirtdress from Steven Alan offers a new take on the style’s conventional cinched-waist. Here, the dress is oversized, and can be easily worn in a myriad of ways: from rolling up the sleeves to adding a low-slung belt at the hips. $215. 465 Amsterdam Avenue; 212-595-8451; stevenalan.com
Ever since Humberto Leon and Carol Lim took the reigns of Kenzo, the label has been successfully turning out must-haves for the fashion flock. Their drawstring shirtdress is safari-inspired and has delightful gold, snap button closures. $530. Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue; 212-826-8900; barneys.com