The slip dress is the wardrobe equivalent of a best friend: you’ve known it for years, you can take it anywhere and it always makes you feel good. And even if you don’t see one another for a while, you’re magnetically drawn together again and again, picking up right where you left off. 

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Sarah Ellen in a Manning Cartell slip ensemble outside the SS17 shows in New York 
Credit: Getty Images

As seen at Saint Laurent, Burberry, Givenchy, Marques’ Almeida and Altuzarra at the Spring/Summer 2017 shows, the silhouette channels boudoir sensibilities alongside ’90s minimalism. As dainty and slight as this style is, it sends a clear message of confidence and strength of its wearer.

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Marques Almedia SS17
Credit: NOWFASHION 

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Altuzarra SS17
Credit: NOWFASHION

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Burberry SS17
Credit: NOWFASHION

Traditionally fashioned from a slinky fabric with spaghetti straps and lace trims the style has been re-imagined over the years in paillettes, prints and punkish iterations. Think: Kate Moss circa 1994 in her silver, barely-there cami dress or the runways of Helmut Lang and Calvin Klein at the same time. From there, Courtney Love made the look her own in skimpy, romantic styles that offset her powerful rock ballads on stage with band Hole.

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Kate Moss happy to free the nipple in that infamous slip dress, September 1993
Credit: Getty Images

Moving with the season’s underwear-as-outerwear sensibility, the best way to wear in any era is by choosing your fabric wisely. Shiny, satin-finish fabrics work best with layers to dial down the nightgown associations. Secondly: cut is key. Opt for bias-cut styles that hug the body or panels a la Rosie H-W below.

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at the Galvan for Opening Ceremony dinner hosted by Swarovski in 2016
Credit: Getty Images

But here’s the 2017 twist: an inherently sexy look by nature, the key here is to deconstruct the risqué factor by adding edge. Try a neutral shade over a basic white tee, jeans or a long-sleeve flared blouse. Add a floral print or patterned edge as a distraction. For sturdier, more matte fabrics in darker shades simply add grungy, masculine accessories to balance out the slip’s femininity – a denim jacket and moto boots or a flannel shirt tied around the waist with sneakers or statement slides.

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Gigi Hadid wears an off-duty slip spin-off in New York, June 2016
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A perfect stand-alone against the high summer heat, though equally as chic in warm layers for the winter months, it’s a style that continues to endure in the most elegant way possible, but there plenty of ways to make it sharply current for the new year too.

Cover image credit (Sarah Ellen): Getty Images

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