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you’re not going out in that young lady!

Fashion Police, Wear or Die

Wear or Die: Mesh Dress Edition

Attention fashion lovers! For this week’s Wear or Die, we’re giving you the opportunity to be “bang on trend” in a mesh, bodycon dress of your choice! Well, not quite of your choice: you have to choose from one of the two options above. Oh, and if you DON’T choose one of them to wear (in public, exactly as shown in the image), you die. On the plus side, you get to show everyone your “banging” body! Awesome, no?

Which dress will you choose, though? Boohoo’s ‘Cindy’ mesh dress (left) hides the crotch area, but looks like it could cause a nip-slip or two if you’re not careful. Then there’s all of that thigh action going on. River Island’s cobweb dress, meanwhile, keeps the girls under wraps, but puts the crotch area out on display for all the world to see.

Which do you prefer? Which would you wear if it was a choice between wearing one, or DEATH?

Tell us in the comments…

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Underwear as Outerwear: ASOS BLACK Lace Overlay Crini Dress

This ASOS dress reminds us of those nightmares we sometimes have where it’s our wedding day and we’re just about to start walking down the aisle when we glance down and realise we forgot to put our dress on, and are standing there in our bridal underwear instead.

And don’t get us wrong: it’s NICE underwear. It’s just… it’s underwear. Some will want to insist it’s “sexy” to go out dressed like this. When we see the back view, though, we just want to giggle:

Seriously, if we saw someone out in public like this, we’d want to run up to her, throw our coats around her and say, “OMG, how embarrassing! Your skirt’s tucked into your knickers!” But of course, then WE’D be the ones to be embarrassed, for this is, in fact, a dress, and as every self-respecting fashionista knows right now, if it doesn’t look like Madonna might have worn it during her “Like a Virgin” era, it’s just not fashionable.

Luckily we don’t care about that, so we won’t feel obliged to go out wearing this, or anything remotely similar. We’ll also save ourselves £150.

Would you wear it?

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Henry Holland’s unique solution to the see-through dress

We’ve actually shown you this House of Holland dress before, on the catwalk last year, but it was one of those things we looked at and thought, “Yeah, what happens on the runway stays on the runway – there’s just no way that’ll actually go into production.”

Just goes to show what WE know, eh?

This is now available to buy at Colette, where it will set you back $644 / £418. We’d like to think that those who DO decide to buy it will at least wear something underneath it, to stop it looking quite so much like a chopped-up shress, but of course, there’s a big difference between what we’d LIKE to happen and what actually DOES happen in the world of fashion, so feel free to place your bets on which celebrity will be the first to wear it exactly as it is…

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

You’ll catch your death in that! Aqua Couture’s Bustier Tulip Dress

This dress makes us want to hit the gym. Hard.  Mind you, we say “dress”: it’s not really a “dress”, as such, is it? It’s more like a bra, with an over-sized skirt dangling from it. In fact… Oh God, it’s happened again, hasn’t it? It’s yet another example of STUCK TOGETHER CLOTHES, trying to sneak in under our radar by calling themselves a “dress”. We’re not fooled, Aqua Couture, and we’re not impressed by the ongoing “abdomen-as-accessory” trend, either.

If you are, however, this is £90, and you can buy it at

[Thanks to Charlotte for the report!]
Crimes of Fashion, Shirts & Tops

Worrying Fashion Trends: the lace body suit


At first we were confused by this item (which, by the way, comes with long sleeves, too. You know, to keep you warm?), wondering what on earth could be its purpose. And then we realised: it’s to allow you to show off your black bra, whilst still claiming to be wearing “clothes”. Genius! And also: classy!

We had hoped this was an isolated incident, but our policing of the retail world this week suggests that we are, in fact, dealing with an outbreak of the lace bodysuits, probably as part of the larger “must show your underwear at all times” movement. If you want to be part of it, this is £11.99 at Ark Clothing, and apparently best worn with acid wash jeggings.

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Shress Spotting: Dolce & Gabbana full-length fishnet dress


Lately The Fashion Police have been disturbed to notice a resurgence in the number of Shress Crimes we’ve been called out to. We had hoped that the bad joke that is the sheer dress was starting to die out now, but nope, with the approach of the party season, we’ve started to see even more of them than before. Well, Christmas is coming after all: what more could you ask for than a dress that exposes your almost-naked body in all its glory (or lack thereof). No Mince Pies for the shress-wearers this year!

This one is by Dolce & Gabbana, and it’s floor-length design suggests that what we’re looking at here is their take on the “evening shress” – a Dress Shress, if you will. Perfect for all of those black-tie occasions at the end of the year, no?

Currently only available in UK sizes 10 and 12, this is £278 at Yoox.

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Arnsdorf jersey bra dress: just what it sounds like


Yes, the cult of the trashy dress has taken a firm hold on the world of fashion, people. A dress just isn’t a dress any more unless it reveals at least one item of underwear, and preferably two. We’re just left wondering what on earth strippers and Katie Price are going to wear in the future, if the rest of us are all prancing around more or less in our underwear all the time? How will we be able to distinguish between hookers and fashionistas? Won’t someone please think of the strippers?!

Arsdorf Jersey bra dress, £214,

Celebrity Fashion

Rihanna leaves little to the imagination at Paris Fashion Week



The Fashion Police contend that even when you have a body as hot as Rihanna’s, it’s still a good idea to keep some of it covered in public. And by “keep it covered” we don’t mean “with just a couple of strips of fabric”.

This is why Rihanna will soon be finding herself wearing a different kind of stripey outfit altogether: the traditional stripes of the prison uniform, as she takes up residence in the Fashion Police jail.

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Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Please Make It Stop: Trashy, sheer dresses posing as “fashion”


OK, that’s it: we’re calling time on the “shress” – or “sheer dress” to those of you who don’t care so much for made-up words. It’s time for this madness to end.

The dress shown above is the one that pushed us over the edge. Look at it. At first we thought it was a “layering piece” – that the model shown was wearing it over her underwear, but the rest of us would probably just wear it over… well, actually, we can’t really imagine it adding much to anything, but if it was layered correctly, at least it wouldn’t be a crime of fashion.

Readers, this is not a layering piece. What we thought was “underwear” is, in fact, the dress itself. So you’re looking at it worn exactly as intended. Yes.

Tell us, though: if the model and pose didn’t make it reasonably obvious, where would you think we found this dress? American Apparel? One of those sites selling trashy looking clubwear? Maybe a site for “intimate” apparel?

Nah, we found it on Because the fashion world is now so deeply entrenched in the “a shress is a totally viable article of clothing and everyone should walk around essentially naked!” mentality that they’d like to convince us that this is NOT the kind of thing a low-class hooker would wear, and is, in fact, “high fashion”.

We beg to differ. The shress must die. It’s trashy, tacky, and no matter how young, firm-bodied and beautiful you are, dressing like this is going to get you mistaken for a member of the oldest profession. Oh, and it costs £80, so you’ll also be mistaken for the Emperor: you know, the one with the new clothes?

Enough. No more shresses, please, oh fashion world. Who’s with us on this?

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Return of the Shress: Seamless lace dress from Bebe


Oh, Bebe!

We'd REALLY like to think this "dress" is supposed to be used as a layering piece, even although that's not how you've shown it in the product shot.

Sadly, though, years of arresting fashion criminals have taught us to be cynical, and we just know SOMEONE is going to try wearing it exactly as it is.

That someone will have to pay $89 for the privilege, and if that someone is you, you can buy Bebe's seamless lace dress here.

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Shress Spotting: Armand Basi Cut Work Tulip Dress With Slip


  Here’s a rare opportunity to see a see-through dress actually being worn in “real life”, readers: if you click here, you’ll see this poor model parade up and down the catwalk in Armand Basis’s see-through tulip dress. The description says it comes “with slip”, but unless it’s an incredibly realistic looking slip, we don’t see it here, making this a real “emperor’s new clothes” moment, as far as we’re concerned.

Also: we’re not sure whether to be most surprised by the £530 price tag or the fact that it’s sold out. This must mean the shresses are out there: on our streets, in our restaurants, bars and shops. WHO IS BUYING THEM? Is it you? Tell us!

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses, Fashion Police Glossary

Fashion Police Glossary: “Shress”

Shress Definition: In the language we like to think of as “fashion-speak”, a “shress” is simply a sheer dress. Sheer dress = “shress”. See what they did there?

(See also: “Shants“)

The “shress” first came to the notice of the Fashion Police in the 2007/2008 season, when various designers (Dior, Christopher Kane, etc)  began parading them down their runways. Clearly these designers were (mostly) just having a laugh, but some retailers decided to take the so-called “trend” seriously, and tried to flog the “shresses” to unsuspecting buyers, thus creating an “Emperor’s New Clothes” type scenario in which people would be expected to pay a small fortune for… well, nothing really.

And still it goes on. The Fashion Police have yet to hear of anyone other than Agyness Deyn (who doesn’t really count) actually wearing a “shress” in real life, but some retailers continue to offer them for sale. The one on this page is a particularly good example of the breed, allowing its wearer to essentially walk around naked, having paid £180 for the privilege. We wouldn’t really class it as “not safe for work” because we think the model’s wearing a flesh-coloured thong, but we’re putting it behind a cut, just to be on the safe side.

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Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Shress Spotting: Rick Owens ribbed tank dress

Shress_rick_owens Well, lookie here, folks: looks like the Emperor has been ordering some new clothes, again!

Actually, we could almost have let this Rick Owens dress off with a warning, were it not for the way Browns have styled it here. They really do seem to be suggesting that it be worn with nothing but a unitard, a pair of ankle boots and a handbag, you see, which is not only a great example of Fashion for the Very, Very Brave (well, would you go out in public in a unitard with nothing more than a see-through dress over the top?) it also makes it a good example of what £135 of useless looks like, as far as we’re concerned.

That sounded a little harsh, didn’t it? OK, let’s give Browns their say, too. They say: “This stylish Rick Owen’s dress works perfectly in the layering trend, wear with soft knits, tights and ankle boots.”

It’s totally up to you who you want to side with. If it’s Browns, though, you can buy the dress in question here for the aforementioned £135.

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Shress Spotting: Knotted dress by Friedrich Gray


"Probably best suited as a layering piece," says, the winners of the "understatement of the week" award. Er, we think you’re probably right there, MyCatwalk, but we see you’ve gone ahead and shown it worn with absolutely nothing underneath it anyway…

Would you pay £212 for a "layering piece" such as this, though, readers? If you would, you can buy it here – but don’t blame us if you catch your death in it!

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Reem: Finalists in the Scariest Dress Ever Award 2009


We’ve arrested many a sheer dress (or “shress”, if you will) in our time at The Fashion Police, but we think this may be the scariest one ever, not just because a few scraps of lace are all that stand between you and the elements in it, but because of the strange ruffles framing your almost-naked body.

From the picture it’s kinda hard to tell, but we’re pretty sure there’s actually a flesh-coloured panel underneath the bodice, and we’re grateful for that small mercy, but still feel that a dress that appears to leave you naked is almost as bad as one that actually does. If you disagree, however, this is by Reem, is £1,488 and you can buy it here.

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Emperor’s New Clothes: Stefano Mortari sheer dress


Looks like the Emperor has been "shress" shopping again, folks, and spending £325 on this Stefano Mortari number, by the looks of things.  That’s around $530, which, even assuming you bought it to wear over the top of something else, and not to use as part of this "buck nekkid" look, is just… just wow.

We particularly like the way the label stands out like a sore thumb, because, of course, there’s nowhere to hide it when you’re essentially wearing nothing, is there?

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Shress Spotting: Jean Paul Gaultier knit dress


The Fashion Police love Jean Paul Gaultier. Seriously – love him. If that’s to continue, though, we think we’re just going to have to pretend we didn’t see this knit "shress" of his, because really, even if the designer didn’t intend for this to be worn with nothing but a flesh-coloured thong underneath, we still don’t think we’d have much love for it. As it is, all we can think is that hey, really like showing off their model’s bare butts, don’t they?

Would you wear this, readers? Even with something more, um, substantial underneath it? If so, be ready to hand over £620 for it…