Comfy is the new business casual.
We’re all at home trying to live our best Netflix lives and showing up to a virtual workplace with business on the top, pyjamas on the bottom—it’s time we start thinking comfy clothing.
A vaccine might be here, but it still seems like we’ll be stuck in our towers for a bit longer. There’s no sense in not making the best out of it.
I’m talking cozy slippers, bottoms that could be dressy or yoga pants—you really can’t tell by looking at them, and introducing yourself to the plus size house dress. A throwback to less sophisticated days when women stayed home and corralled the children while men went out and brought home the bacon as they say.
Now, don’t let the sexist culture of decades past turn you off, these old fashioned house dresses absolutely deserve to be in this year’s wardrobe.
What is a house dress?
Back in the day, the lady of the house would throw on a casual house dress to perform chores in the morning or evening, like vacuuming or in the later years simply to watch a show in the evening.
Truthfully, a house dress is the 1950s (and earlier) equivalent of us throwing on a pair of sweat pants when we get home after a long day’s work to cozy up on the couch with a throw and binge watch our current Netflix favourite.
It’s just that fashion a few decades ago usually involved being somewhat dressed up even when we were casual. Now it’s all free-flowing breasts under a racerback tank and pair of pilling sweatpants. But in the early 1900s, it was a plain cotton dress or in the later years a pair of elastic-waist pants.
I always equate the idea of vintage house dresses to those that you’d find Betty Draper wearing around the house when no one’s home in Mad Men. But a simple modern equivalent of the house dress can be found in the Kiwi rayon slip-on t-shirt dress. It’s simple but slightly dressier than throwing on last week’s sweats.
Why add a vintage house dress to my wardrobe?
The real question is why not.
A plus size house dress is the pinnacle of at-home style. Mixing comfort and fashion together into a one-piece outfit that you’ll absolutely love to hang out in. For those looking for an easy slip-on-and-start-your-day routine, this is the outfit for you.
You can spend a whole lot on something fancy and particularly stylish, like a Little House on the Prairie dress. Or you can go cheap and easy with one or two basic t-shirt style house dress dusters.
The best part about these house duster dresses is that they don’t all have to be plain and super casual. You can find fun patterns and styles that would work wonder in the virtual boardroom.
Something like the ModCloth Elephant Day casual home dress is a perfect mixture of eclectic style and comfort that will wow in your next Zoom meeting. It’s plain and simple in style but bursting with flavour in the pattern design.
How to pick a plus size house dress
You’re convinced—you absolutely need to add one of these house duster dresses to your closet right now. But how do you choose?
There are a ton of great choices out there right now for casual, at-home style. Whether you want something classic and plain for a night on the couch or you want to feel like a real 1950s house wife with a snap front house dress there is a ton of choice out there for you.
So, what should you look for in the newest casual dress addition to your wardrobe?
Decide the occasion
First and foremost, occasion means something.
Sure, all house dresses are built for comfort and at-home style to some capacity. But there’s a difference between a fancier housedress that you’d want to show off at your next Zoom meeting or an online date than there is something that’s perfect for binge-watching TV.
For something with old-fashioned house dress style but modern colour and comfort, I like the Anthropologie Wendy dress. It’s perfect for a virtual business meeting or a virtual first date. But it also works for curling up on the couch with a good read.
If more casual is your style, the Kiwi t-shirt dress we talked about earlier is great. Especially if it’s a weekend in with no virtual visitors!
Focus on style
Style is also incredibly important.
You don’t simply want to pick a house dress because it’s one. You want something that fits your personality and personal style code.
Whether that means a floor-length Maxi dress, a house dress with pockets or something that snaps in the front and has a few additional frills.
Plus size house dresses come in all shapes and sizes, so do some shopping around and see what’s out there for you. Fashion is really about personal style, not what’s hot right now.
So go with colours, patterns and shapes that work for you. Not anyone else.
Adhere to your budget
Lastly, but most importantly, you need to stick with your budget.
Something like the Anthropologie style can run you $100 or more, but there are plenty of Amazon house dresses that will cost you much less. These are an especially good choice if you’re on the fence about whether or not this is a good fit for your wardrobe.
I’m always a big fan of paying a little extra for quality because, in the long run, it’ll save you money when it comes to getting full wear out of a piece. But when you’re trying a piece or style you don’t normally wear for the first time, it’s OK to go cheap to test it out. You’re looking for style and comfort, but not everything is going to work for you.
So, decide on your budget before you commit to anything. Then take a look around and see what you can find that will work for you!
What to wear with a plus size house dress
What I love most about the old lady house dress is that it’s really a grab-and-go style. You could, theoretically, wear it simply with a pair of slippers at home and call it a day.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t dress it up and take it out (or stay in for that matter).
Comfortable, casual shoes
If you’re going for cute and comfortable with your 1950s house dress, then you must follow suit with your shoes as well. Something like the Emmie flat will feel amazing on your feet and look super cute.
When it comes to keeping yourself warm, especially if you’ve opted for a sleeveless house dress my favourite pairing is a good ol’ fashioned cardigan. I like a long duster cardigan because for me it looks way more classy.
Make sure that whatever you go with doesn’t overshadow your super cute dress. If you have a plain plus size house dress, go all-out with your cardigan. But if the dress is your main piece, keep your accessory plain and simple.
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