Shirtdress bonanza!


“Murder, She Wrote” Series 1 – Episode 4

“Hooray for Homicide”
(Post 2 of 2)

There are many things I never really considered having in my closet before starting this blog: bow neck blouses, silk scarves, pearl necklaces… just to mention a few!
Now I have another item to add to my list: shirtdresses.

According to Wikipedia, a shirtdress is “a style of dress which borrows details from a man’s shirt. These can include a collar, a button front or cuffed sleeves. Often made up in crisp fabrics like cotton or silk, much like a men’s dress shirt would be. Button fronts and a forgiving fit make this a flattering look for most body types.

Shirtdresses became popular in the 1950s, launched as part of Christian Dior’s post-World War II “New Look” couture designs.
They virtually never vanished from the radar, as you can still quite easily find them on the high street, however for some reason I never really considered them a staple to my wardrobe. No surprise there, as I am learning as the days go by, but I needed a place where to start, and once again Jessica proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration.

In this episode, Jessica wears three different shirtdresses, accessorizing them with a pretty hat, peeptoes and pearls.

I really like how these dresses are casual enough to go out and about during the day but have the potential to become elegant with the addition of the right accessories .

At the beginning of the episode, Jessica is seen wearing a pastel dress with a pretty print.

shirtdress1 copy

The shirtdresses I found have different patterns, but I chose them because I think they have the same simple and yet very girly vibe.

I find particularly pretty this cream dress with multicolour triangles available at Fashion Union and this short-sleeved flowery dress by People Tree, whilst Uniqlo goes for clean cut with its version of the flower shirtdress, available also in green and pink.

If you would rather go for a more whimsical print, I like this sleeveless clocks-and-atoms-patterned dress  available at House of Fraser, this sleeveless horse-patterned dress available at Zalando, and this geometrical dress by Zara.

Jessica accessorizes with her usual long pearl necklace (see this post) and with her Coach leather bag (see this post or check out this vintage chestnut bag by Etsy seller Cafarellajen).

She is also carrying a small briefcase-looking luggage, similar to this beautiful vintage brown briefcase by Etsy seller Cubecone.

Later in the episode, to sneak into the film studios without being noticed, Jessica blends in with a group of tourists, hiding behind a floppy hat.

06 blue shirt dress copy

There are so many pretty blue shirtdresses out there that I actually had a hard time to pick just a few.

Uniqlo chooses simplicity as their usual for their one, New Look prefers to go sleeveless and to add a bit more flare to the skirt, Asos adds a pretty white detailing on the shoulders, and ModCloth uses a very cute cat-pattern.

Of course there are also plenty of lovely vintage options, as for instance this 1970 picnic dress by Etsy seller adVintagous, and this blue dress by Etsy seller Midcoastfun.

Jessica’s straw hat is similar to this pretty one available at Wet Seal or this vintage 1960s one by Etsy seller Sweetie2Sweetie.

As a final touch to blend in with the tourist crowd, Jessica carries a beach bag, like this one available at Asos.
EDIT: Thanks to Michelle, here is Jessica’s original tote bag in all her glory!
tote bag
Made by L.L.Bean, “They’re made in Maine, where the show was set and they’re a staple on the east coast.”. Thank you so much Michelle! :) :)

And what about this pink shirtdress…  did we not see it somewhere else already?

pink dress2

Yes, this is the dress that Jessica wore in the last episode at her niece’s wedding!
This proves my point: shirtdresses are great because they can be as casual or elegant as you wish, according to the accessories you match them with.

For all the beautiful vintage pink striped dresses please see the previous post, otherwise you might want to go for the high street with this bright pink dress by Top Shop or this simple one available at Uniqlo.

This time Jessica chose to accessorize with her usual Coach leather bag, regular pearls only (instead than pairing them with red pearls as she did for the wedding) and a pretty pair of peeptoes shoes, like these adorable vintage Bruno Magli by Etsy seller MinxouriVintage, these nude heels available at New Look or these slingback by Wallis.

Jessica uses the same peeptoe shoes for this other summery outfit.

08 white skirt set2b copy

It’s not a shirtdress, this time, but it still looks really lovely on her.
The white pencil skirt is quite easy to find, but I personally like this vintage one available at Rokit, this one available at John Lewis and this one by Kohl’s.

Her blue and white striped shirt is similar to this pretty vintage one by Etsy seller Undisclothed or this oversized one by Zara.

The outfit is completed by a lovely white and golden belt. I found a few nice ones, like this skinny belt by New Look, this studded one by Oasis, or this lovely vintage one by Etsy seller MadHouseVT.

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9 responses to “Shirtdress bonanza!

  1. Very pretty as always. I was curious if you are going to take your blog all through the years of Jessica. Her fashion really evolved over the years of the show especially when she went to other locations and to teach in New York. Your blog is so much fun. I look forward to seeing in my email that you have posted something each time!

    • Thank you so much Stephanie for such lovely comment!! I am having fun in writing this blog and hopefully I will get through the 12 series (at least, that’s the plan) but considering the fact that it took me two months for 4 episodes… it might be a while! : D Thank you so much again for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it!! X

  2. Love a good shirtdress! Jessica carries it off so well, and you found some lovely examples! Thanks for sharing x

    • Thank you for reading! x And you are right, I am a shirtdress convert! Now, if only spring would come this way…

  3. Thank You for liking mt painting!!!! *Cynthia

  4. I just love this blog! I’m having so much fun going through it! Jessica was a favorite of mine and how I pictured myself as I got older, though hopefully with less murders around me! Thought you might like to know that her beach tote was most likely a LLBean boat and tote bag.

    http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/33381?feat=677-GN1&page=boat-and-tote-bag-open-top

    They’re made in Maine, where the show was set and they’re a staple on the east coast. I’ve used them for years – they last forever. Keep up the fantastic work! :)

    • Thank you so much Michelle, this is great!! I will edit the post to include your finding! I am so very happy you like the blog, thank you so much for reading! X

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