I Wore Anne Hathaway's Viral Gap Dress Three Different Ways

Your first look at the sold-out shirtdress everyone is talking about.

<p>Getty Images/ InStyle/ Tina DiRosa</p>

Getty Images/ InStyle/ Tina DiRosa

When Anne Hathaway stepped out in a breezy summer shirtdress this past May, I don't think she was planning to go viral. Yes, she was decked out in diamonds, and sure, she was wearing the first (of what I would assume will be many) custom Zac Posen for Gap pieces. But still, getting dressed up for this sort of thing is just another Monday in the life of an A-lister. It was only a humble white dress made of poplin, after all. Who could've predicted the internet would fall so hard for its full skirt and crisp collar? The secret, of course, was in the Erin Walsh-styled details.

First, consider the setting: Hathaway was on her way out from the Bvlgari Hotel, a swanky locale that doesn't exactly scream 100% cotton. The surprising choice to wear a mall-brand-designed shirtdress piqued my interest immediately. Second, the Devil Wears Prada star was fully frosted, wearing a spectacular diamond-and-sapphire necklace, a silver snake wrap bracelet, matching earrings, and a statement-making cocktail ring—all from Bvlgari.

Traditionally, jewels so big they'd make a Windsor blush don't pair well with easy, airy summer dresses, even one as well-crafted as this off-the-shoulder number. But, with some inspired layering (a matching white corset and shorts underneath), tailored-to-the-gods darting, and quite a few undone buttons, the outfit became so much more than the sum of its parts.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

From head to toe, the look was an unexpected delight, making its viral status almost inevitable in hindsight. The first photos of the Gap shirtdress on Instagram inspired a several people are typing... frenzy on the InStyle team Slack channels. Something about the combination of cold sparkle, soft cotton, and Hathaway's movie star smile made everyone (and I mean everyone) want a piece of the Gap by Zac Posen action.

So, it came as no surprise that when the company announced a ready-to-wear version was available on pre-sale, most sizes sold out in minutes. Thankfully, I begged, borrowed, and cajoled my way in, securing one of the Gap's famous shirtdresses to try for myself. Ahead, find my honest review and proof that this dress is surprisingly versatile—with and without diamonds.

I'm always skeptical about translating red carpet trends to real life. Not many of us have a celebrity stylist on hand or a team of beauty pros to ensure not a single hair is out of place. Oscar-worthy gowns are fussy by design—that's why it's so rare to see a super wearable dress hit the red carpet. As such, my goal here was less to recreate Anne's look (although I couldn't resist trying) and more to see if I could wear this dress not just to a fancy event but also at the office, out and about on the weekend, or even on the L train to Brooklyn.

Basically, I gave it the "regular girl" test, and I'm thrilled to report that the Gap passed with flying colors. Scroll on to see how I styled it. And before you ask, yes these are my real clothes.

<p>InStyle/ Tina DiRosa</p>

InStyle/ Tina DiRosa

The office is the spiritual home of any good shirtdress, so this outfit was easy to put together. I cinched the look together with a black belt, added a Carolyn Bessette Kennedy-inspired black headband by Jennifer Behr, some lace-up ballet flats from Tory Burch, and a pink cardigan to protect me from the oppressive office AC.

What's not to love?

<p>InStyle/ Tina DiRosa</p>

InStyle/ Tina DiRosa

Wide-leg jeans are the backbone of my weekend wardrobe, so I wanted to see if I could incorporate them into this shirtdress project. And to be honest, it was easier than expected. If you open up the bottom buttons, you get almost a long cardigan or duster effect from this dress—but without the heavy fabric. I added a chic wrap belt because I am a chronic over-accessorizer, but you could easily wear this dress without one.

Normally, I'm not one for a dress-over-pants moment—especially not in the summer—but this outfit really works for me. 10/10 would wear again.

<p>InStyle/ Tina DiRosa</p>

InStyle/ Tina DiRosa

First things first, I knew I needed some sparkle to take this dress into evening territory. And while I don't have any priceless Bvlgari sapphires in my personal jewelry collection (tragic, I know!), I do have a pair of sparkly blue Monolos in my closet, just begging to be worn (they were originally my wedding shoes and haven't gotten much play since). And with my sparkly pop of color sorted, all I needed was a white corset (I own this one from Miaou), and some off-the-shoulder styling magic (don't be afraid to use fashion tape) to complete my Anne Hathaway-inspired ensemble.

While I'll admit it's not quite black-tie-worthy, I do think I could wear this outfit to a fancy garden party or evening summer soiree. Not bad, considering my nonexistent budget.

Fit first: The tailoring on this piece is impeccable. The darting along the waist and sides creates a gorgeous silhouette that avoids the boxiness I often associate with a stiff shirtdress. In terms of sizing, it did run ever-so-slightly big on me. That said, I like my dresses form-fitting, so if you prefer an oversized look or love a belt moment, order your regular size.

Next, a note on fabric. This shirtdress is a touch see-through, but hear me out: That's what makes it so special. Without a sheer finish, it wouldn't be the perfect piece to layer with reckless abandon. Wear a slip dress underneath it, and you have a more dimensional look than you would with a sturdier poplin. Open a few buttons a la Anne Hathaway, and you can transform a classic piece into a full-on fashion statement. Plus, the 100% cotton poplin fabric holds its shape well (especially at the collar, which I prefer almost starchy) while still delivering that breathable, light-as-air feel.

The final verdict? This dress has all the makings of a wardrobe staple. I even managed to wear it over jeans (a controversial choice) despite my aversion to fashion gimmicks. Consider this your I-don't-know-what-to-wear-and-I'm-late piece. It's versatile, comfortable, and affordable at $158. Above all, you'll feel put together without much thought, which makes the viral Gap shirtdress a rare find indeed.

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