Closet Staples: The House Dress

If you grew up anything like me, then you’d know the house dress was a staple in your mom/auntie/grandma’s closet. I remember the days when my mom would be so eager to get back home to get into her pambahay wear. These dresses were shapeless, colorful with a floral print and delicate embroidery.  It was always nice to look at, and it brought my mom a lot of joy.

The Year of the House Dress

With over a year into the pandemic, the house dress took over the fashion world. And for good reason. We’ve been living in a time of restrictions and unknowns. The house dress gave us freedom, color, a sense of normalcy. We wanted comfort, but we wanted style. 

For me, I was tired of wearing sweats. I express myself through my clothes. I needed to feel good even if it was just spending my days at home. The house dress was a simple switch to change my mood. I feel happier in them. I feel more like myself. 

Now let’s look into shopping for houses dresses while keeping sustainability in mind. 

Go Vintage

Don’t know where to start? Pro-tip: Raid those closets y’all. The perfect house dress is always worn in and well loved. When you go vintage shopping for house dresses, you’ll find different styles based on the decade and location. From bold jewel-toned caftans to billowy white linen pieces to wild tie dyed wonders, you’ll find a dress that suits you and your personality. Even better, it will be at a cost that is easy on the wallet and environmentally friendly. Here are a few of my favorite vintage shops that carry a good collection: 86’d Vintage, Happy Dance Vintage, Wovenfolk, and Louella Basil

Other Ways to Shop

Some folks are interested in supporting newer designers and their interpretation of the house dress. Dresses from Et Tigre are always a head turner. The Jayme dress is still a favorite in my closet and I’ve been wearing it for a few years now. I’ve also been into Batsheva and how their house dresses are reminiscent of my mom’s: easy to do anything in.  

How to Style

No matter how you choose to shop, the house dress is an easy piece to style.  Now that things are making a turn for the better, I’m ready to style my house dress for an outing.  I were to go out, I’d style my house dress with my vans, a funky hat ala Samantha Pleet, some fun socks as usual, and a contrasting sweater.

How about you? Have you been wearing house dresses? How do you style it? Let me know in the comments below!

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