How to wear a tube dress (aka Mrs Woog dials a stylist)

There I was driving home from an appointment, thinking about what I’d like to make for lunch when the phone rings.

Oh goody, I thought. I’m in Mr Styling You’s car and he has that fancy schmancy bluetooth thing, I can actually answer the call and feel all super exec like.

In the background I can hear a bit of noise. The beep of the register scanner. The kind of noise that sounds like therapy. Retail therapy. Music to my ears, really.

Then I hear the dulcet tones of Mrs Woog. She’s talking to me in the animated style that I clearly recognise. It’s the animated voice that comes off the back of a solid retail fix. The discovery of a piece of clothing that you didn’t realise you had to have until you had it.

For Mrs Woog it was this dress from Seed. Seed calls it the Tube Maxi Dress. Mrs Woog wasn’t having a bar of such mundane labelling, promptly christening it The Condom Dress and going into a mild panic as to what to actually wear with said Condom Dress she had to have. And buy for her sister and her mum.

As I pondered her dilemma and wondered whether owning a Condom Dress makes you the ultimate Safety Girl, I arrived home to this email in my inbox:

Here is the Condom Dress.  I cannot wear with with just a jacket because of my g*nt. I tried it on with drapey t-shirts etc so you could see the layering. It is pretty tight around my ass as well, but comfy as and smooths out the lumps. Could you tell me how to wear it for these three occasions: out getting sozzled with my mates at a wine bar; having a sensible lunch with the in-laws; the casual pick it up off the floor for the school run? (You can read her interpretation of the morning’s events here)

Before I get down to the nitty gritty and prettiness of these three outfits, let’s touch briefly on the wonderment of this piece as a wardrobe staple.

1. It’s black. It goes with everything.

2. It’s trans-seasonal. Read, cost-per-wear it will be down to about 50cents by the time winter arrives.

3. It’s a key layering piece. Layering is the secret to a happy and diverse wardrobe that you love and one that loves you back.

4. It’s a tube – and you want it to be a tube. You want to create a tube or a column in yourself with this piece, so that you are stretched and elongated. A look I’m particularly fond of at all times.

5. It will not require any association with an iron. No more to say here really.

6. Think of it as a fun alternative to leggings or skinny jeans and style for yourself accordingly.

Without further ado, let’s unveil the looks.


Out getting sozzled with your mates

tube dress outfit - dressed up

1. Seed tube maxi dress $49.95 | 2. Seed tank $89.95 | 3. Seed jacket $159.95 | 4. Peter Lang ring $80 | 5. Samantha Wills earrings $110 | 6. Nine West ballets $149


Having a sensible lunch with the in-laws

outfit: out to lunch with the inlaws

1. Seed tube maxi dress $49.95 | 2. Virtu blouse $79.95 | 3. Mimco Snake Charmer ring $79.95 | 4. Witchery cardi $139.95 | 5. Sambag ballets $175


Pick off the floor for the school run

outfit: school drop off

 1. Seed tube maxi dress $49.95 | 2. Sara Tunic $59.95 | 3. Seed cardi $149.95 | 4. Uberkate Ubercircles $625 | 5. Seed loafer $69.95

Bet you never knew you needed a tube dress in your wardrobe did you? Which of these outfits do you like best? Can you tell I’m a BIG fan of the draped cardi or jacket?

UPDATE: It seems you’re all going bananas for this dress from Seed. If you do buy one (and I know some of you already have) could you please post a photo of yourself wearing it on the Styling You Facebook page or Mrs Woog’s Facebook page? You can find more details about this here.

FURTHER UPDATE: The gallery of photos showing more than 30 different looks on so many different women is now up. Check it out and email me ( if you have a photo to add.

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  • Tamsin Howse

    I am so slow on the uptake on this! I’ve just found it. And I am IN LOVE!!

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  • Shelly P

    Nikki, this is really inspirational!!! Can you do more pick off the floor for the school run fashions! I love these outfits! 

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Great idea – will do!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Also, check out some of my Keeping It Real posts – this does apply to many of them!

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  • Kelly

    Great post Nikki!  I just bought THE dress and a Sara tunic top to go with it because of you!   I bought a similar  (slightly shorter) dress over Summer and wore it with a drapey metalicus cardi- it was my favourite outfit.  I love the idea of a longer one for Autumn/Winter.
    Good luck finding another essential we can all get on board with.  I think Seed need to hire you!!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hahah, thanks Kelly, I’ll put you down as a referee – it’s not too late to email me a photo for the gallery too!

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  • Amanda Styles

    Wonderful….love this post!

    I’ve bitten the bullet and bought one.

    Me?  in a maxi dress?

    You sold me on the idea with seeing it as a layering piece, rather than a stand alone number (God forbid if I do that to the world!)

    So…here goes…waiting for the post to arrive!

    Such a brilliant idea for a post, BTW!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Amanda … don’t worry, I’m with you … this dress will never me a stand alone number for me either!! Hope you checked out the gallery as well!

  • Krishna Everson

    I am loving this post Nikki! Encore….more looks please xx

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Krishna … I’ll be adding more to the gallery as they are sent to me … and this is definitely something I’d like to do in the future with another fashion piece!

  • mmmmm

    If I had one of those I’d be calling it my Morticia Dress!  I think I’d prefer a shorter version for my own body type.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      They do a shorter version!

  • Melanie_2474

    Clearly I’m going to have to pop off to Seed to try one on – I’m still a little scared of the concept, and despite their size guide measurements I don’t think I’m going to get one to fit… my measurements are close but in ‘standard sizing’ (is there such a thing anymore?) I’m a 16-18 so I don’t think it’s going to work. 

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Melanie … it will work. It’s what you wear with it. I won’t wear mine by itself but I’m putting anything with it that I would normally wear with leggings or jeans.

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  • Donna @ NappyDaze

    I wonder if I’ll be too late to get in on the condom dress action? But before I take the plunge I need some serious advice, considering I am vertically challenged. How does someone who is only 5 foot get away with wearing a maxi??? (A whole other challenge in itself is finding one that will fit!)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      It’s a myth that you have to be tall to wear a maxi, Donna. As long as it’s streamlined and you create shape you’ll be fine. You will need to have it hemmed though.

  • Louise

    Darn it black is no longer available online as its not in the colour choice. Therefore what colour would you recommend next? Thinking Charcaol Marle

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Sorry, Louise – yes, the power of two bloggers sold it out! I’d got the Charcoal Marle – will work with everything black would.

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  • http://http@// Maid In Australia

    I was thinking the same: great outfit ideas, but half of DPCON attendees will be wearing them. Your next challenge, Nikki, may be to come up with a few options for the rest of us. (I will still be getting a condom dress for other things, but bearing in mind that I think most people will have one already over the DPCON weekend and will wear it better than me – being a shortarse – , I need a few choices for DPCON). Thanks in advance, lovely stylist.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hopefully you’ll get inspiration from the other readers who will be posting their photos up next week, Bron. And the styling ideas would be similar to how we did your maxi skirt outfit from Sussan – it just has a dress underneath.

  • Polka Dot Bride

    Okay you did it. I bought one. Dang it.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh Dot … don’t suppose you’ll share a photo 😉

      • Polka Dot Bride

        Only if you come and personally style it for me?

        • Nikki Parkinson

          Now there’s an invitation I couldn’t resist!

  • Valerie Style into Action

    Surely there are more flattering styles that this? Something that glides over the body rather than clinging to it? Where the complementing pieces work with it – not where the complementing pieces work to hide what the dress doesnt seem to be able to disguise….please restore my faith in LBD….Val aggghhhhh

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Val, not sure you get the point of this dress – it’s a basic layering piece – not meant to be a stand-alone dress. It’s a base layer for a relaxed autumn outfit. The complementing pieces can work brilliantly – much like they do for me when wearing skinny leg jeans or leggings.

  • Julie

    Thanks Nikki, have just ordered one, I already have a lot of the accessories that y,ou have put with the dress, have just never really know how to wear them all!! Can’t wait for it to arrive :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, Julie … that’s awesome – it WILL be a great purchase when you already have things to work with it.

  • Sammyw

    I’m wondering how long is the Seed Tube dress… I am 180cms tall and would be a M, would it be long enough?
    I love maxi dresses/skirts but I have this issue with a lot of them being too short…….


    • Nikki Parkinson

      I don’t have one yet, Sammy, sorry so can’t measure for you. Will do when it arrives.

    • Lou

      I have one and it is plenty long and I am 176cm tall.

      • Nikki Parkinson

        Great, thanks Lou!

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  • Feryxlim

    is it heinous if I tell you I have about 5 black condom dresses of varying sleeve lengths and I just wear them on their own? Everytime Kookai has a winter sale, they sell tube dresses made of merino wool, thick enough to withstand shivery winds and hide a multitude of sins but not thick enough to wear on it’s own in winter. Condom dresses, I DO LOVE! I have a dove grey one too :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Not heinous at all – and if I could I would just wear them on their own!

  • Karen

    Sorry Nikki I have another question, I am guessing this is something where you have to let go of creating a waistline if you’re going to be layering to hide the bumpage? I’m a shorty and an hourglass and I like my waist but I like comfort too.

    • Traci

      Oh Karen, I was just about to post something VERY similar!…..will await Nikki’s response to your post. (I’m a 5.1″ and an hourglass too)…..

      • Nikki Parkinson

        Hi Traci – it’s still possible to create a waistline and layer. You can have your longer top over the dress but then create a waist shape using a fitted jacket. The jacket doesn’t have to be done up – just the way it is designed to tuck in at your waist will work. The other alternative is to wear a cardi done up and belt it at your waist. This look doesn’t work for me as I have a short waist but it might work for you.

        • Louise

          I would pop on a long cardigan and belt it at waist to create and emphasis your waist too.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Karen – it’s still possible to create a waistline and layer. You can have your longer top over the dress but then create a waist shape using a fitted jacket. The jacket doesn’t have to be done up – just the way it is designed to tuck in at your waist will work. The other alternative is to wear a cardi done up and belt it at your waist. This look doesn’t work for me as I have a short waist but it might work for you.

      • Karen

        Aha got it – the points on the jacket or cardi create that waist illusion. You’re a gem Nikki, thinking about getting the charcoal marle version, will go a treat with my coral scarf.

  • Lee

    Have purchased. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. And I managed to get a black large online!! Thanks!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Lee … yes, they re-stocked! Which is great. Don’t forget to post a photo when you get it and wear it!

  • Emily

    Thanks for the tips! Now: what underwear do I pair with this dress?

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Anything seamless – and if like me, you’re covering your lumps with layering, then that’s all you’ll need. If you’re revealing more of the dress, then some shapewear would probably be a good idea.

  • Silly Mummy

    Great tips… I never thought of pairing the dress with a long cardi like that. I hope I can pull this off!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      I’m sure you can Silly Mummy!

  • Seana Smith

    LOVE these cardis especially… but holding firm against all things condom related!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      LOL – abstaining then?!

      • Seana Smith

        Do you know the wee expression: ‘The earth didn’t move but the condom broke.’ My intro to motherhood LOL… never used again… dress would just slip off like last condom did!!

        • Nikki Parkinson

          Hahahaa! You crack me up!

  • Fions Duffin

    These dresses are great whatever your size
    Bumpage get some good old gut busting undies or the whole suck in slip get creative with scarves / cardis / over tops and heels
    I have 2 tube dresses and I can be anything anytime !

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Great to hear Fions! Love a bit of gut busting!

  • Megan Kay

    Oh you too ladies are so funny! I bought two of these last week, the black one and the 3/4 length one with the slight sparkle through it. I was going to sport one at DPCON12, but now I fear that half the room will be wearing them!! Oh what to do! Quick Nikki find something else even better to send out to the masses before the end of the month! :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      I’m one who doesn’t mind everyone wearing the same. I’ll actually be wearing my sponsor – NYDJ jeans (shameless plug!)

  • ali

    oh crap! I had (have?) one of these dresses (i got it from a warehouse sale for like $15)… but then I moved to Darwin and had a HUGE chuck out and I think I threw it out – oh bugger! :( Now I might just have to purchase one – how versatile!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh Ali – SORRY! But yes, I think this is a really versatile piece!

      • ali

        Actually Nikki – I have a question on dressing for particular climates (either hot or cold). As i’ve just moved to Darwin from Melbourne/Geelong, I’ve had to adjust my wardrobe significantly…

        Any tips on dressing for work in particularly warm/cool climates – I’d love to see a post on that if you haven’t already!

  • Samantha

    Won’t this emphasise my wide hip area? It looks really comfy and a great price too!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Samantha, I have wide hips but my legs are ok, so just like my jeggings/skinnies/leggings outfits, I make sure what’s on top skims over this bit.

    • Mrs Woog

      Samantha…. trust me. If it works for my Irish Potato Farming hips, then you will be fine x

  • Linda

    Wow Nikki you have done it again. I just got home from carindale — need to go back ASAP. Thank you so much for your inspiring blog. So far this month I have bought brushes to do my make up (a first) using makeup (for everyday another first) and bb cream is my new best friend. Love your style. Thank you, thank you

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, thanks so much Linda. I love helping people find their style – this dress has proved very popular – I’ve even bought my own!

  • Vicki

    Thanks Nikki! I have been looking everywhere for a dress like this, only haven’t been able to find one that I loved. Pray for me that there will be at least one left in my size when I venture out to get it!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Run don’t walk – the L size has sold out online in black. Lots of other colours too. I nabbed a black one. If you do get one, please post a photo of you wearing it!

  • Paula

    I have this dress!! Love it. Awesome for plane trips with a slouchey top :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Of course you do! I have ordered one this morning too!

      • Paula

        I be a Seed about 20 metres from my supermarket – too convenient…

  • Miss Pink

    Ok so now I have the condom dress, in the pink colour because I clearly don’t have enough pink (although maybe I should order the black?), how do I wear it with the pink. Which colours should I be looking to team it with?

    • Nikki Parkinson

      You will look awesome in the persimmon! I’d work it back with neutrals – camel, white or black – so that it’s the statement feature of your outfit. Navy would also work a treat!

      • Miss Pink

        Thank you! I was thinking whites and creams and tans etc. Idea is to keep it simple yes?

  • Kelly exetr

    Enablers indeed. Not the first timei have bought something on your recommendation Nikki and I am sure it won’t be the last :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hee, hee … just helping save people time. So you can keep doing the important stuff and I can browse online shopping sites 😉

  • Jackwafabwa

    I’d like to see Mrs Woog model some of these outfits. Maybe a guest “Keep it Real” or “Model & Me” post. I’ve seen those Pantene shots, I know she would rock it!!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Yes, she would – here she is on Instagram this morning: I’ve just bought one so will definitely be doing a post – and I’m going to encourage all those who have bought one to email me photos of them in it.

  • Stacy

    I am immediately going to Seed and purchasing all three items in look 1 – and possibly the cardi in look 3. LOVE these looks – and am pleased to see clothes for those of us with wobbly bits!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      I LOVE Seed – wish I had a store closer but online is good. Bought the tube dress myself this morning!

  • Deb

    I wouldn’t normally DREAM of wearing a tube dress (or even a condom dress) but I can see that it’d be flattering with the right ‘top layers’ to cover my (many) lumpy bits!

    Love the Nine West Ballet Flats and am gonna check them out. I have lumpy things on the back of my heels (told you I had ‘many’) and rarely wear closed-in shoes for that reason, but the elasticised back would be good if they aren’t too firm!)


    • Nikki Parkinson

      Deb – you can so wear this – it’s all in the layering – and will be comfortable too. Good luck with the shoes – it’s a try-on thing with how comfy that heel elastic is. If these aren’t comfortable, try Bloch.

  • edenland

    LOVE THIS SO MUCH. What a thoughtful, mindful, creative, interesting way for bloggers to interact with a brand. You girls rock.

    Buying mine right now. XX

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Yours will look awesome with your red boots, some skull accessories and a denim jacket or vest!

  • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot

    I need to see a real person in this dress!! Maybe YOU? :)

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Better – Mrs Woog! She instagramed her outfit today:

      • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot

        Ah thank you! I am relieved, it looks great on her. Right, think I might be able to get on with some work now;)

  • Tracey

    I love the tube dress. Agreeing with your comment that it is like skinny jeans – it is my skinny jean look for summer! The ones I have fall from my tummy and don’t cling too much to said * area, so I wear them with a blouse with a bit of shape or a semi fitted T shirt. Did the Seed website really crash…I might have to toddle over to my nearest DJs before they all disappear!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      You’re on to it Tracey – perfect alternative jeans look. And yes the site did crash – it’s back up now.

  • Sam-O

    I love the condom dress. I discovered the joy of this little number last year when I was given a similar dress by my Besty as a gift.

    I also love that you and Mrs Woog have the power to crash the seed website!!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh, Sam … it’s blogging power that’s for sure!! And a great wardrobe basic at a great price!

  • JoJo

    Planning a trip to Seed today, but not sure how I’ll get out of there without the dress + the tank + the jacket + the loafers + one of their lovely scarves (they do the accessories so well)…must remain focused!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh JoJo, Seed do relaxed, effortless chic SO well. I feel your concern!! Let me know how it goes!!

      • JoJo

        Juts got back from a lunchtime shop at Seed.

        I tried on and purchased the condom dress, a white foil print tee, a charcoal lurex stripe top and a black knit collar cardi/jacket. I’m already for layering up, which should make the weather in Sydney warm for the next few weeks!

        The dress is like a VERY long tank top, such that the fabric is like heavy t-shirt material, and thankfully has not too much of the sticking to your lumps and bumps as a finer weave.

        Sorry to say I had to walk away from the sequin tank because of the dry-clean only tag ;(

        • Nikki Parkinson

          Wow JoJo, that is some haul! Well done. Would love you to share a photo of yourself wearing it on my Facebook page!

  • Stacie

    Love your pairings here! Particularly the sequin top combo.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Stacie!

  • MadamBipolar


    • Nikki Parkinson

      I think you could work this look!

  • Cindy

    Oh oh – looks like you have caused Seed’s site to crash!!!

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Oh dear!

  • Dana

    Hi Nikki,
    Your blog is spamming my Google Reader! I keep getting loads of post headings repeating in my reeder (but without content). It did it again this morning. Cheers

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Hi Dana
      I’m really sorry, I can assure you I’m not doing this on purpose. It’s been randomly doing this for about a month now – not every day – but randomly. I’m continuing to work on finding out what’s causing it so I can stop it. Please bear with me. I can assure you I’m not spamming you.

  • Mandy

    Oh I love a drapped cardi too. But then I think I just love cardi’s in general.

    • Nikki Parkinson

      There’s something about a cardi … comfort and style in one?!

  • Melinda

    Adding to cart as we speak!

    And trying to convince myself I DON’T need that Witchery cardi – so cute.


    • Nikki Parkinson

      I will make no comment then 😉

  • Rachel from Redcliffe Style

    Oh, I looove the combinations you have put together. I need to go an buy a massive black condom today, STAT. Rachel xx

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Thanks Rachel – I do enjoy a bit of online browsing and styling! Let me know how you go with your dress.

  • Karen

    Oh no now I NEED one of those, man you’re an enabler Nikki! I would be worried about being too bumpage revealing, what do you think about going up a size to skim rather than cling?

    • Nikki Parkinson

      Sorry about being an enabler 😉 Do try on on up a size – it’s meant to be a clingy garment so it still may be bumpage revealing – which is why what I’ve teamed it with above contrasts that to skim over the lumps and bumps.

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