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The dress we are endorsing this month is the smock. What do we see in it? We see a dress that dresses us without making us look as if we made any effort to. We also see how we’re going to wear it to bits.

 

Photo: Vika Gazinskaya

 

Part nightie-inspired, part lazy dress, it could be loungewear, weekend wear, holiday wear, evening wear, and if you work in a creative environment (aren’t we supposed to these days?), work wear too. When we are finally ready to retire it, it’s going to be our best sleepwear.

 

Photo: Martin Grant

 

Here's a styling tip: The smock is a laid-back dress. This means no overstyling. Labels Martin Grant (above) and Vika Gazinskaya (below) show that the barest shoes are all you need.

 

 

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The more you know:

In medieval times, a smock was a loose, knee- or calf-length cotton or linen undergarment for women. It was also known as a chemise. In the 18th or 19th centuries, it became more shirt-like and was worn by agricultural workers. By the mid-1880s, it was known as the Aesthetic Dress and favoured by artists. In the late 19th century, women began wearing fine-cotton smock dresses as an alternative to the rigid corseted shapes of that period. Source: The Encyclopaedia of Fashion by Georgina O’Hara Callan.

 

This story first appeared in the January 2018 issue of Her World magazine.