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(Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail)
(Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail)

Add a modern twist to the classic shirt-dress Add to ...

The classic cotton shirt-dress evokes the idea of 1950s perfection. And while there’s nothing less appealing than going to the office dressed as a Stepford wife, the runways showed this spring’s incarnations to be far less restrained than one might expect. In modern, poppy prints, for instance, the shirt-dress is more stylish than starched, making it easy to take the look desk-side without sacrificing your joie de vivre.

1. Put away the prim kitten heels and pointy pumps; their retro references will read far too literally alongside a dress like this. For a fresh spin, try flat shoes or sandals. (Bonus: They’re more comfortable.)

2. As seen at Carven’s spring presentation, the best accessories are almost none at all. Let the print speak for itself (and don’t even think about adding small satin gloves)

3. Another important point when you’re trying not to channel Betty Draper: Keep the hair and makeup modern. Anything too stiff or perfect says lady of leisure instead of go-getter.

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