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I Found the Perfect Slip Dress, and It Doesn’t Look Anything Like Lingerie

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Photo: Aritzia

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When it comes to embracing fashion trends, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl. If a look doesn’t jive with my super-specific, feminine-to-a-fault style, I tend to sit it out entirely — which is why you won’t find a Birkenstock nor a Vetements hoodie in my closet. But when I do choose to partake in a particular trend, I do so with all the unbridled enthusiasm of Leonardo DiCaprio heading into a water gun fight.

When I embraced the matching set back in 2014 (thanks to one Taylor Swift, of course), I quickly acquired a double-digit number of top-and-skirt combos to call my own. When button-front miniskirts became a thing again last year, I didn’t stop at one — I purchased four. And when slip dresses started trickling back into style a couple of seasons ago as part of fashion’s ‘90s revival, I bought into it, big time — both figuratively and literally.

Here’s the tricky thing about slip dresses, though: Choose the wrong version of the look (or style it incorrectly), and you’ll look like you left home in your underwear. Anything bias-cut, sheer, plunging, flimsy, or trimmed with lace tends to look like straight-up lingerie — meaning you can only really wear it (1) as a layering piece, (2) for very specific evening occasions, or (3) if you're Kate Moss. And as I started shopping around for some slips that could pass as daywear rather than sleepwear, I quickly found that the vast majority of styles on offer fell into one of the above categories.

Anything bias-cut, sheer, plunging, flimsy, or trimmed with lace tends to look like straight-up lingerie.

That is, until I wandered into Aritzia’s Soho flagship one weekend and stumbled upon the Templeton dress from the brand’s Babaton line. With its straight-up-and-down silhouette, loose fit, and modest hem (it hits just below the knee), the dress was substantial enough that I could wear it solo without feeling overexposed, yet simple enough that I could play around with various layering combinations.

I bought it, obviously, in addition to a similar style with racerback straps and a shorter, A-line cut — and since then, not a week has gone by without me reaching for one (or both) of these dresses. I wear them with stacked-heel sandals and dainty necklaces in the summer, over thin turtlenecks and tights in the fall, and with chunky knits and ankle boots in the winter. By now, I’ve gotten their costs per wear down to pennies — if not fractions of pennies.

Sadly, both of those styles are no longer shoppable — Aritzia’s merch moves fast! — but thankfully the brand now introduces several new slip dresses each season, all priced under $100. I added the Casimir dress to my closet last week, and am happy to report it's every bit as flattering and versatile as its predecessors. Scroll down to shop a few of my favorite, still-available slips from the store, and get ready to channel your inner Kate Moss — without saying goodbye to your modesty or your entire summer clothing budget.

Babaton Casimir dress, $68

Wilfred Free Vivienne dress, $80

Wilfred Grenadier dress, $83

Watch:Journelle Lingerie Haul