If you look around at the current eveningwear options, see all the knickers and nipples on show and think, ‘I guess I’ll just stay in,’ all is not lost.
When it comes to after-dark dressing, you don’t need to possess the sheer nerve required to bare (almost) all. There is another option for those who want something daring, but also like to keep their underwear hidden: the hooded dress.
Deeply, seriously glamorous, these are not the tired hoodies of your loungewear wardrobe. Arriving to the Saint Laurent fall '23 menswear show, Jenna Ortega, of course in Saint Laurent, proved the hooded dress remains a firm fashion favourite. Then there was Laura Harrier in another chocolate Saint Laurent gown at the LACMA Art+Film Gala, Olivia Wilde in a midriff-flashing style, and Simone Ashley in shimmering 16Arlington at last year's Fashion Awards. Michaela Coel wore a softly sparkling hooded gown to the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere, custom-made by new Salvatore Ferragamo creative director Maximilian Davis. Katie Holmes was simultaneously directional and demure in a fluid black take at Tom Ford’s show in September 2022. Bella Hadid loves these haute hoodies so much, she’s worn both vintage Alaïa and new Schiaparelli.
And they aren’t going anywhere for 2023. Supriya Lele’s v v hot S/S ’23 collection includes a little purple dress with fabric twisting its way up to the head. See also Alaïa, Versace, Valentino, Alberta Ferretti and Ferragamo. Michael Halpern – whose S/S ’23 show opened with a tribute to the Queen – introduced a fluid, luxurious inky velvet dress with a voluminous hood. Speaking of the Queen, there is something regal, something imperious about the hooded dress. It delivers just the right amount of drama: a statement but, despite the burgeoning ubiquity, still a bit unexpected. A woman in a hooded dress is a bit of an enigma (she is also warm and unbothered by the prospect of a bad hair day).
And suppose you also want to try the knicker-flashing trend? Leave it to Kate Moss to show that you can do both. Wearing semi-sheer olive Saint Laurent (truly the brand championing the hood revival) back in November 2022, her hair was covered but her pants were out. Befitting her new wellness guru status, it was a look all about balance.
Want in immediately? Coperni’s mini dress has a habit-style hood; also find them at Tom Ford, Nili Lotan and, on the high street, Karen Millen.