Blogging Besties :: the Shirtdress

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Blogging Besties is a weekly series featuring Whitney of Whitney à la mode, Alex of Undergraduate Style, Maricel of ::My Closet Catalogue:: and Selah of A Bibliophile’s Style.  Each week, one of the bloggers will choose one component from the previous week’s outfit to pass on in a brand new look.  This “take one, pass it on” challenge is an inspiration to stretch your closet and your imagination!


Last week, Alex made me drool with envy double time: first, for the snow so prominently displayed in her background and second, for her fabulously crisp and classy ensemble. She thoroughly winter-ized a summery anchor piece with the perfect addition of cozy accessories.


So this week is brought to you by: “a shirtdress, layers, a statement belt, wedges, or a hat”.

For your viewing pleasure, I give you: the shirtdress.

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According to Wikipedia, the shirtdress is “a style of dress that borrows details from a man’s shirt. These can include a collar, a button front, or cuffed sleeves. Often, these dresses are made up in crisp fabrics including cotton or silk, much like a men’s dress shirt would be.”

I do own a frock that matches the aforementioned description exactly, but that would’ve just been too easy. Instead, then, I offer up an outfit that takes elements of the shirtdress out to play.

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Collar? Check. Button front? Yeppers. Cuffed sleeves? How adorable are those “cuffs”, I ask you. (The description never specified that they needed to be long sleeves, right?) And I can certify that this top is a decidedly crisp cotton fabric.

But it’s still not a dress, you say? I submit that the pairing of a high-waisted skirt, whose hue almost perfectly matches the blue stripes of the top, creates the illusion that this entire ensemble is, in fact, a single piece rather than separates. After all, in fashion, deception and visual sleight-of-hand is almost par for the course.

Of course, I have to point out that my outfit is in keeping with my still-running-strong 40s obsession. Not only are those cunning eight buttons on the skirt a true take on the iconic sailor trend so prevalent during that era, can we take a moment to squee over those shoes?

They’re my first pair of Hotter heels, and I don’t care if this brand is supposedly geared toward the over 45 crowd. Wearing these babies is like giving gentle hugs for my tired tootsies. They can get pretty pricey, but I got mine on super clearance, and I can totally support a company that prides itself on its excellent quality.

Also, Hotter gets bonus points for not outsourcing any aspect of their business. I had to return three of the four pairs I purchased, and I was helped over the telephone by Paul, a lovely customer service rep with the most delicious British accent. Swoon!

For Selah’s turn next week, I challenge her to the following: stripes, nautical, navy blue, sensible shoes, or a dog.

Vive le vendredi!

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:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Express
Skirt – Chadwick’s
Heels – Hotter

:: Scream it from the top of your lungs ::
Moonglow by Artie Shaw


11 thoughts on “Blogging Besties :: the Shirtdress

  1. sandypatti says:

    So fabulous 40’s – I love, love the high waist and buttons. xox


    • mtsedwards says:

      I’ve been looking for high-waisted things forever and a day. I remember reading that they are most flattering to people with short torsos like me but sadly, I think they are out of fashion, and to acquire pieces now seems a monumental endeavor. If you know of any place for me to begin a Mad Hunt, shoot me an email? 🙂

  2. Kezzie says:

    You make that look very hot!!! I love your take on it- the high-waisted look suits you amazingly!!!! How is school life? Hope things are less mad. We had our school inspection 2 or 3 weeks ago which is always traumatic, but luckily went ok!x

    • mtsedwards says:

      I’m assuming you mean “hot” as in “visually appealing” and not “warm enough to sweat”, yes? ;p School life is madness and I don’t foresee a break until summer. No inspections, but loads of irrational expectations and personality conflicts. Sigh. I’m glad to hear your school experiences went well. Miss you loads!

  3. Val S says:

    This style suits you so well! I agree with Anne that it doesn’t look like a dress, but so what? It makes a gorgeous outfit anyway. I can imagine a cute little jacket with it, too. I’ve never heard of Hotter shoes. I’ll keep them in mind when I get to the UK.

    • mtsedwards says:

      Yes, do! I’d love to know whether they have a larger selection in their brick and mortar, if they’ve got one, that is. I’m so thrilled for you and your sojourn to the Promised Land. And if I remember correctly, you’re planning to be there to stay, yes? So jealous…

  4. Anne M Bray says:

    I saw the 40s immediately! You wear it well!
    You didn’t “trick” me into thinking it was a “shirtdress” however — on a shirtdress, the center front button placket would go through the skirt portion of the “dress”. (Oop — geeking out on technicalities!) Anyhow, adore the details on the skirt.

    Both the shirtdress concept and the nautical button placement on the skirt bring to mind two memories from my high school days. 1) Our Spring uniform was gingham shirtdresses. I only had to wear them freshman year, uniforms were abolished my sophomore year.
    2) An old boyfriend gave me a pair of authentic wool sailor pants in 71(?). All those buttons!!!

    Must add Agent Carter to my viewing queue!

    • mtsedwards says:

      Ah, there’s no pulling the wool over your eyes, fashion maven! Thanks for the technical fact check – I can always count on you to school me on stuff like that. 🙂

      Okay, is it bad if I admit that those uniforms are totally adorable?

      I’m finding that when I try dressing to specific eras, certain recurring clothing themes keep popping up. Especially when I peruse eBay for era-inspired items. (Need to do “inspired” rather than true vintage to save my pocketbook.) Would you say that the strong shoulders, peplum and power suits of the 40s found their way into the 80s? Or are the bold collars, flared leg trousers and nautical details more reminiscent of the 70s?

      • Anne M Bray says:

        Yes, in retrospect the unis are cute now (ESPECIALLY on Elizabeth), but they were torture to this 14 year old wannabe hippie who abhorred polyester.
        You are definitely correct in your call of 40s/80s. There were wide leg pants in the 40s as well. (Think Katherine Hepburn). Chanel started out inspired by French sailors. [Falls down google rabbit hole looking for a link and finds this:
        I’ll need to ponder where the boho 70s hippie look originated. 40s seems too “uptight” to me, but maybe you’re right. I’ll get back to you on that!

  5. chessakat says:

    So loving your 40’s obsession! Peggy Carter would be lucky to have you as a fashionable crime fighting partner! And shoes!!!! Going to have to check those out. 😀

    • mtsedwards says:

      I know, right? Hotter shoes ftw! And I think my 40s thang has transcended obsession and is now officially my new fashion niche. It harmonizes quite nicely with my aging body – managing to make me look polished and put together even in low heels and longer skirt lengths. ;p

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