After years of doing myself up to go out – sparkly tanks, miniskirts, stilettos, and skinny jeans (on alternate evenings), I recently attended a costume party dressed as a member of the Cult of June Cleaver. I was completely taken aback: I’ve never gotten so many compliments on an outfit. It seems that in this age of overexposure (must I make a pantyless Britney allusion?) a well-tailored, tasteful, covered-up party dress is a welcome sight.
Below, find our five favorite ’50s-inspired frocks. These structured, full-skirted pieces look great with flats or heels, and for a more modern look – and to make sure you stay warm until spring – try them with footless tights underneath.
Plenty by Tracy Reese’s Tessellated Shirtdress ($268) has a casual cut but gets dressed up with details like glitzy buttons and an intricate brocade pattern.
This Isaac Mizrahi for Target dress ($69.99) comes in a rich brown that is understated enough to actually stand out among louder look-at-me colors.
This boldly patterned silk dress ($158) boasts sweet accents like a grosgrain bow and ribbon-like overlay on the front, but rendered in black and bright yellow it’s sophisticated, not over the top.
With a slightly more revealing cut, Moschino Cheap and Chic’s Brocade Corset Halter Dress ($950) is perfect for a fancy springtime event.
J. Crew’s Silk Faille Mirabelle Dress ($395) is reminiscent of the impossibly chic Jackie O. Wear it with or without the removable belt.