By Allison Daniels
No matter the decade, the trend climate, or the actual climate, ladylike dresses are always in style. Sometimes they appear as a reaction to body-con overload; sometimes the public’s infatuation with a new public figure (pun intended – we’re looking at you, Kate Middleton) results in a revival of demure dressing sensibilities, and sometimes television shows (e.g. “Mad Men”) deliver the desire. No matter the impetus for its renaissance, this is one of the few trends that works for everybody (and every body).
With hallmarks including A-line skirts, waist-defining silhouettes, and modest hemlines, the ladylike trend is flattering to any figure, and so classic that it deserves your investment.
The looks I’m going to show you today are equally timeless and au courante.
Here are a few beautiful examples of this trend on this season’s red carpet stars!
The ladies in the image above rock very different versions of the ladylike frock. Jessica Alba goes mod in color-blocked, metallic Thakoon; Miranda Kerr adds some sensuality with low-cut Louis Vuitton; Taylor Swift shines in a high-octane Oscar de la Renta confection. Commonalities of note? A-line, below-the-knee skirts, demure heels, and defined waists.
Another wonderful aspect of the ladylike dress is its versatility. Equally appropriate for a lunch date or cocktails, this dress is a chic way to go from day to night with little to no effort.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual “Power 100: Women in Entertainment” event was full of ladylike dresses, demonstrating that even the most powerful of women can rock a retro-chic look.
Here again we have three unique twists on the ladylike look. Kirsten Dunst rocks a soft Burberry trench dress, for a mysterious take on the classic silhouette; Shailene Woodley shows depth in a multi-textured Prabal Gurung frock; Kate Bosworth opts for structured neutrals, courtesy of Mulberry.
My hope is that this varied and distinct array of Stepford-worthy dresses will convince you that there’s a ladylike look to suit every style, shape, and occasion!
Now, here are some incredible pieces to consider adding to your own wardrobe. Whether you’re looking for an of-the-moment trend piece, or hoping to find a true investment piece, there’s something for you here.
Marc New York by Andrew Marc Cutout-Back Satin Dress ($119, lastcall.com)
Milly Lourdes Tank Dress ($350, saks.com); Kate Spade Snapshot Bailey Dress ($395,katespade.com)