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Meet the ’90s Silhouette Taking Over This Spring

Its beauty lies in its simplicity.

column dress trend
Stacey Toth
Depending on which day you ask, fashion is likely fixated on one prior decade or another. One season it’s the ’70s, the next, we’re on to Y2K staples. At this current moment, however, fashion is head-over-heels obsessed with the ’90s. We’ve already waxed poetic about why we think it’s a great idea to shop like a ’90s minimalist—an era that leaned into simple silhouettes and subtle sensuality—but there is one style in particular which was peppered throughout the spring ’21 runways: column dresses.


column dress trendPhoto: Getty
Adjacent to the tank-style slip dress, the column silhouette is similar in nature minus the bias cut. It hangs straight down in a sheath style, creating a literal column shape. The simple dress or skirt is tailored close to the body without being fitted exactly to it—just the right balance of allure and mystery. Often rendered in some sort of WFH-appropriate stretch fabric, it’s as comfortable as it is chic and was a favorite among the superstars of the 1990s—Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder. Perhaps that’s why the practical style jaunted down the runways at Khaite, Simon Miller, and Peter Do among others this season.

column dress trendMaximilian Davis
Photo: Courtesy of Fashion East
A favorite of those like Proenza Schouler, Bevza, and Gabriela Hearst, who regularly indulge in the richness of ’90s minimalism, the sheath silhouette needs little in the realm of styling. It’s basically like donning a blank slate—the perfect platform for statement jewelry or a killer beauty look. Toeing the line between casual and fancy, the column silhouette can be easily dressed up or down. A bold lip, an interesting necklace, or perhaps a chain belt, and that is all you need.

Shop Our Favorites Below:

Knit Maxi Dress

Jil Sander

Gwyneth Silk Midi Dress

La Collection

Wool Midi Skirt

Jardins des Orangers
$279 $195

Deconstructed Column Dress

Christopher Esber

Turtleneck Dress

Helmut Lang
Top photo (from left to right): Courtesy of Bevza; Alessandro Lucioni /; Courtesy of Proenza Schouler

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