Welcome to Refinery29’s So, How Is It Really? where we take a look at all of the topics that have the internet talking. In studying them up close, we answer the question of what it’s really like to try out a puzzling trend, a viral product, or an unexpected TikTok hack.
Update: This story was originally published on August 11, 2021, and updated on September 15, 2023, to reflect current numbers. Skims’ viral TikTok dress, the Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress, has been restocked in a variety of colors and sizes. Shop it on skims.com and below — while you still can.
Amid a sea of frozen honey videos and tales of long-forgotten celebrity feuds (shoutout Tefi) lies a corner of TikTok dedicated to a single dress. Created by Skims, it has left thousands of shoppers in a rare state of shock and awe.
The dress in question is a $78 maxi-length bodycon with the supposed power to woo even the most adamant of Kim Kardashian skeptics. Available in nine sizes, from XXS to 4X, and nine colors — including camel, gray, and various pinks — the curve-hugging best-seller, called the Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress, has garnered over 110 million views on TikTok, according to Skims. (For reference, #SKIMS is currently hovering around 4.5 billion views, according to the brand, and #skimsdress alone has captured over 685.9 million views.) That, and it’s tallied up an impressive 46,000-person waitlist and several sold-out drops. Curious if the internet-breaking dress’ reputation precedes itself? Find out what seven R29 insiders have to say about the viral slip, below.
“Upon first opening up the package and pulling the dress out, it seemed so slim, so I was worried it’d hug my body in a way that made me feel uncomfortable and restricted,” Chichi Offor, R29’s former associate affiliate writer, says. She tried the black version of the dress in the size 3X. “It’s very common for some brands to carry clothing in what seems like extended sizing that doesn’t actually fit plus-size bodies, so I was worried that would be the case with Skims,” she explains. But, just as those on TikTok predicted, her worries were quelled when she slipped the ribbed bodycon over her head.
“It fell on my body beautifully! I feel like I’m a Skims convert,” Offor said in a Slack message following her try-on.
Lifestyle Writer Alexandra Polk likewise fell under the spell: “I’m uncultured in the realm of IG-baddie couture, but this dress has to be one of the best ones,” she says, having tested out the floor-length frock in taupe. Comparing it to “a sexy tube sock,” Polk reveled in the dress’s ability to create curves that, because of her narrow hips, she says don’t actually exist as well as the way it manages to be both abnormally stretchy and completely opaque.
Fashion Director Irina Grechko loved the look and feel of the dress, but she had the opposite reaction when it came to the sheerness. “I think I now truly understand where the term ‘naked dress’ comes from,” she says. (Grechko tested out the same taupe version of the dress.) Despite the fact that her underwear drawer is “bursting with seamless options,” Grechko said that not a single undergarment piece went unseen under her Skims dress. “If you’re not comfortable going commando or your bust size doesn’t allow for that, the taupe color isn’t for you,” she warns.
I, a 32B cup size and proud bra rejecter, didn’t run into the same undergarment-induced issue, though I did find the taupe version to be sheerer than most dresses in the same color. Then again, with the nipple once again being en vogue, a slightly see-through dress isn’t exactly a faux pas. Plus, naked dresses are big right now (just ask Dua Lipa).
What bothered me more was that the dress puddled on the floor despite my taller-than-average stature at 5’8”. Grechko agrees: “The dress required wearing a fairly high heel — I am 5’6” — which instantly made this look only appropriate for nighttime in my book,” she says. Polk echoed her: “Beware, it really is as long as it looks, possibly longer. I’m 5’8″ and usually struggle to find pieces that will hit my ankles, but this one hits the floor.” At 5’2”, Senior Writer Karina Hoshikawa is the same height as Kardashian herself. Her take on the length? “It could probably be half the length it was.” As someone with has a soft spot for mini dresses my high school principal would’ve been happy to give me a citation for, I agree. Good thing then that the mini dress version is also ripe for a restock.
Like many of her colleagues, Hoshikawa was pleasantly surprised to discover that Skims held up. “Right off the bat, the fabric felt amazing — I kinda want all of my clothes to be made of this stuff now,” she says. “Not too tight, but definitely not sagging in places I didn’t want to sag — which is to say, nowhere?” For her, despite its lengthy hem, the style is an easy alternative to her typical WFH uniform, which consists of tank tops and leggings. “I definitely felt more chic — possibly more Kim-like? — wafting around my apartment with it on,” she says. All that’s to say, Hoshikawa is already planning on bribing her sister, a Parsons design student, to hem it for her.
Kate Spencer, senior affiliate partnerships manager, and Frances Solá Santiago, fashion writer, weren’t quite so easily convinced. Though both understood why the dress has been making such waves on TikTok — crediting its soft, stretchy fabric and how versatile it is — neither was persuaded to add it to their usual sartorial repertoire. “I actually like the dress much more than I thought I would, but I likely won’t get much use out of it since I’m not a big dress person,” says Spencer, who plans to save the look, which she tested out in black, for more formal occasions.
Solá Santiago’s biggest protest? The fact that it’s a bodycon dress, which she’s an adamant opposer of. “The fabric is super soft and hugs the body in a way that doesn’t cut off your circulation,” she says, “but it didn’t manage to change my perspective on bodycon dresses.” (Whether the forthcoming bandage dress comeback will change her mind is still TBD.) Still, Solá Santiago says that, with the right styling, she can see the dress making an appearance now and again in the future. For its debut, she paired her dusty blue dress with a white linen button-down, black kitten-heel sandals, and her go-to Mansur Gavriel tote. “I chose to layer a shirt over [my dress] because I usually prefer to have an oversized item layered over bodycon clothing,” she says.
Shop Skims’ most-tagged TikTok dress, the Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress in the limited edition shades — including Slate, Bubble Gum, and Cotton Candy (which is Barbiecore at its finest) — as well as its already beloved colorways. And while you’re at it, maybe make a TikTok, too.
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