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HomeFashion & BeautyNot nude, just looks like it: the naked dress trend from its...

Not nude, just looks like it: the naked dress trend from its roots to today

LifestyleFashion & Beauty

How to wear the naked dress trend and who popularised the ‘nude’ look, from Marilyn Monroe to Sarah Jessica Parker to Zendaya

When Marilyn Monroe sang a birthday song in a sparkling, skin-coloured evening dress to then-US President John F. Kennedy, she sparked a trend for years to comeThe naked dress – generally a figure-hugging, semi-transparent – has gone from strength to strength, worn by the likes of Zendaya and even regular partygoersFashiondpaPublished: 12:15pm, 3 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Stars worldwide have long been walking the red carpets in opulent gowns, but one less-is-more approach in particular has been making waves: the “naked dress”, a figure-hugging, sometimes semi-transparent dress often chosen for the shock factor.

The trend is not new: fans of the late ’90s American television show Sex and the City will remember Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw in a mini skin-coloured dress by DKNY, prompting her friend Charlotte (Kristin Davis) to remark: “Well, let’s just say it – it’s ‘the little naked dress’.”

Her quip proved an iconic fashion moment and a term for the fashionable “touch of nothing”.

Carrie, however, was not the first style icon to wow with this look. The history of the naked dress dates back to 1962, when American actress Marilyn Monroe – wearing a sparkling, skin-coloured evening dress – sang a birthday song to then-US President John F. Kennedy.

The naked dress has even filtered down to the masses, and they can be worn at a casual party – not just a celebrity-studded gala or film festival – or on a warm day, as long as you keep a few things in mind.

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