A highly versatile blank canvas, a shirtdress can take you from day to night and back. First gaining popularity in the '40s, this is a piece that should exist, in some incarnation, in the wardrobes of every style-conscious woman in 2011. I recommend the shirtdress to a lot of my Haute Closet clients, be it a specimen by The Row, as shown here, or something from American Apparel, DVF, vintage, or better. It can be forgiving, always feminine, and tough enough to stand up in a boardroom. Buying a well-made, high-quality basic like this one will prove its worth in no time. When I walked into Chalk and saw this piece from The Row’s Pre-Fall 2011 Collection, it was a gift for our collective all-season wardrobe and a god-send in the realm of basics. With its slightly flared skirt and exquisite tailoring, the garment has a delicious bit of stretch and a barely there sheen allowing it to transform seamlessly into the closets and onto the bodies of very different women.
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