How I Lower Cost Per Wear With A Black Slip Dress

by: Rosie Dalton | 1 year ago | Features

Image: our Fashion Editor, Rosie Dalton, layers a simple white T-shirt under a classic black slip dress. 

When I first bought the Helena Slip by Miss Crabb, it was because I needed a simple, elegant option for fancy summer events. Think Christmas parties, weddings and friends’ special birthdays. Little did I know then, that this would go on to become one of the few wardrobe items I truly couldn’t live without. It is the item that gives me the best cost per wear and – although its strappy design and fine silk fabric make it seem like a straight up summer piece – its versatility actually makes it essential for all seasons of the year.

To be fair, I do live in Sydney, which enjoys a fairly temperate climate year-round. But with that in mind, the timeless black slip dress is the kind of piece that you can wear from day to night and summer to winter. It is effortlessly trans-seasonal, because it can be worn on its own, or with a lightweight turtleneck sweater underneath. It is also very ‘evening’ when dressed up with a pair of heels, some gold jewellery or a bold red lip. But can be dressed down for daytime as well, with a simple white tee and a pair of sandals

Black may be boring to some, but it is perfect to me, given that it represents a sort of blank canvas, if you will. This allows me to layer the dress in question effortlessly over and under all different shades, to suit my particular mood on the day, or the occasion at hand. That said, a colourful slip dress would work just as well here too. So what is it that makes the humble slip dress so trans-seasonally appropriate and, critically, so enduring in its appeal?

For me, this style of dress is emblematic of nineties minimalism – and that’s a trend I never seem to get sick of. As a child of the early nineties, I grew up on images of Kate Moss and Winona Ryder wearing simple slip dresses literally everywhere – from the Portobello Road markets, to red carpet events as fancy as The Oscars. The lesson in this is that, no matter how diverse your calendar of events, there is a single dress that can see you through anything.

Okay, so why this particular black slip dress, then? Well because I am really passionate about supporting local fashion. And Miss Crabb is a local New Zealand label, which also happens to share very similar values on this front. My version of the Helena style is – like most of their pieces – made using 100% silk, which means that it is ritzy enough for evening events and also breathes incredibly well, like only a natural fibre can. Admittedly, Miss Crabb pieces (and silk garments in general) aren’t the cheapest, but they are some of the most well-made – which ultimately represents good cost per wear over time.

Cost per wear is calculated by dividing the total price by the amount of times you wore the piece in question. So I will always choose a more expensive, good quality item over a cheaper, but lower quality version. Because it is quality that guarantees longevity and, therefore, the best value for money – in my humble opinion. And I would rather spend the extra pennies now, to secure myself an item that I know I will be able to wear for many seasons to come. Especially if said item is one that can also transcend seasonality and see me through from summer to winter. So, for all of those reasons and more, the Little Black Slip Dress by Miss Crabb is the item that has given me the greatest cost per wear over the past few years. And it’s the piece that I will continue to wear over and over again; come rain, hail or shine.


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