Slinky silk robes have long been a go-to for sexy nights in and glam getting-ready sessions, but suddenly, they’ve escaped the confines of the boudoir to appear on the runway, on fashion bloggers, and even on the racks at trend-conscious stores like Zara and H&M. But lingerie-inspired styles can be troublesome when it comes to styling. Lean in too much to the sexy vibe and it looks like you’re trying too hard, but go too far in the opposite direction, and it looks like maybe you just forgot to take your bathrobe off before leaving the house. But fear not: We combed our favorite street style shots for inspiration and then enlisted the help of Krystle Kotara, the woman behind Anya Lust, a destination for lingerie, loungewear, swim, and some of the most movie star-worthy robes we’ve ever seen (like this ostrich feather-trimmed number, for example). Read on for a few tips for transforming your robe into a fashion statement.
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Pair with something sturdy
A common theme among the women making us want to ditch our fall jackets in favor of billowy silk dusters? Nine times out of ten, they’re pairing them with denim. Whether it’s the high-waisted styles that are everywhere right now or a pair of artfully-distressed boyfriends, nothing grounds the light, feminine robe like a sturdy pair of jeans. If denim isn’t your thing or you’re looking for a more office-friendly look, grab a wool or silk trouser with a high waist and a wide, ground-skimming leg.
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Turn it into a dress
While jeans are trusty, sometimes you just want to embrace the romance of it all. If full-on feminine is more your jam, Kotara suggests you “pair a silk or lace robe with a figure-hugging dress, sheer stockings and velvet heels.” Of course, there’s always the option to ditch the dress altogether and rock the robe on its own as a wrap dress. “Just be sure to tie the sash securely to avoid a wardrobe malfunction,” Kotara wisely advises. If you add high enough heels and sparkly enough jewels, you just may be able to pull off a black-tie bathrobe moment.
Speaking of which, if you’re going to ditch the layers and let the robe speak for itself, a good belt can provide the same kind of visual anchor that denim does. Wear it at your natural waist to emphasize curves, and don’t be afraid to employ something weird like a fanny pack or the studded belt you bought 15 years ago from Hot Topic but that’s also very Carrie Bradshaw-esque. If you’re opting for the duster-over-denim look, consider fastening a single closure or using the sash to secure it loosely around your waist, which will make your robe more flattering and prevent it from flapping around too much.
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Embrace the luxe look
No matter how you style it, a robe creates a rich look that’s reminiscent of bohemians, the Studio 54 set, and bored housewives sitting around drinking cocktails. Why not embrace the insouciant glamour of it all and pair yours with a fabric that’s equally luxe, like velvet, metallic brocade, or yet more buttery silk. “Velvet is so on-trend this fall, and has an incredible allure to it,” Kotara says. “Look for jewel tones to achieve luxurious holiday style.”