THE AGELESS SMOCK DRESS
– and celebrating my 29th birthday –
It seemed an apt time to write a post about age appropriate styling, seeing as today is my birthday. As 30 edges closer and closer (only 365 days left of my twenties now, eek), my style most definitely has evolved, adapted and in some cases changed entirely. I regularly thank the gods I didn’t start my style blog at university, because one things for sure, my outfits 13 years ago were certainly not blog worthy.
But one thing that has remained true to my style and one thing I hope will stay, is my willingness to play a little.
Yes of course most the time i’m looking dapper for the office, but that doesn’t mean when the weekends and holidays call i’m not throwing on my favourite (and festival ready) smock dresses, denim cut offs & rompers for a more relaxed, playful and chilled out kind of look.
And in fact, no matter what age you are, with subtle styling tricks, accessorising and clever tailoring almost any trend can be made to look chic and on point for any generation. Take this smock dress for example, my inner 5 year old would have lived in this, but at 29 I adore it as a flirty summer / festival look teamed with converse, but equally for my mum this would look fab with a pair of denim skinny jeans & sandals.
SMOCK DRESS STYLING. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.
LENGTH IS KEY
Now first things first, this particular smock dress is definitely mini in length, but this new smock dress aside as I have gotten older i’ve certainly opted for longer lengths than my younger self would have. And when it comes to smock dresses there is a whole variety of lengths at your disposal, from the mini’s or blouses like this, to knee length & midi smock dresses and even maxi numbers which are super on point this season. Don’t worry if you’re not 18 and size 6, there’s a smock top or dress for everyone.
UNDER LAYERS ARE OKAY
And even if you’re a fan of the uber mini, fear not, if theres one style trick I have my mum to thank for, it’s the art of under layers (and not just thermal vests, lols aside, they’re a god send). No, under layering is a very clever trick when styling, and over the age of 28 it’s something you start to play with more and more as those bear legs become ever more frightful to see & modesty becomes a slightly higher priority. For a smock dress like this, skinny or straight leg denim jeans (raw hems & rips ideally) make the perfect partner in crime. Or for a plain white smock dress in the summer, try a straight leg leather trouser, you’ll look super sophisticated & it’s a far more subtle way of styling the smock dress.
ACCESSORISING IS EVERYTHING
It goes without saying the finishing touches can make or break a look entirely, and the accessories you choose to style with your ensemble have the power to tailor it for a whole variety of occasions. If you’re looking for something a little more modest, a tailored leather jacket & gladiator sandal looks effortlessly cool. If you’re styling for something like coachella a boyfriend denim jacket and pair of worn converse could look cooler. Equally, a chic wedge (lets imagine last seasons Chloe) & cross body bag, with your cut hem denim jeans would make the perfect Sunday brunch ensemble. The point is, with a simple shoe, bag & outer jacket you can change a look entirely … so pick carefully.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
The smock dress you’d pop on your toddler, versus the smock dress your 19 year old daughter / inner self would wear, versus the smock dress you want to wear today at 25, 30, 40, 50 are quite obviously going to look quite different. This season gingham and embroidery are huge (I hear your inner child squealing in horror), but you don’t have to go full hog on the trend factor, when it comes to smock dresses two things are important to note, firstly quality over quantity is essential, and secondly tailoring and print can make a huge difference.
When investing in the perfect smock dress this season, don’t just think about length, think about material, pattern, fit, cut etc, as these can all make a significant impact on your personal look and style. If in doubt, opt for something simple, classic and versatile, Net A Porter and Matches have some beautiful Dodo Bar Or & Isabel Marant have a beautiful collection of chic smock garments (tops and dresses).
SHOP SMOCK DRESSES
. ZARA EMBROIDERED SMOCK DRESS . CHLOE FAYE BACKPACK .
This smock dress was a birthday present today from my family and a little summer number i’ve been eying up on Zara since it came in stock a week or so ago. I just adore the very subtle nod to gingham and the beautiful embroidery details, whilst I’m not at Coachella this year, I have spent the weekend at Soho Farmhouse and this made the perfect dress to throw on for a day hanging out in the sunshine.
Are you a fan of the smock dress? What style is your go to?