Thursday, July 21, 2011

Best Dress-ed

Sometimes newspapers can state the obvious.  Take today's Styles section of the NYT, for instance.

Its above-the-fold photo (and story) focuses on the dress as an appropriate summer uniform.

To which I can only respond, "Duuuude" (with the proper inflection, of course).

I realize that a few days ago I posted on the potential beauty of light layers.  And indeed, I do think that the layering of colors is lovely, but my summer wardrobe consists almost entirely of dresses.

Why?  I love their ease, their floatiness, their completeness.  All I need for summer (when I'm not in the ocean) is a cotton dress, a light pair of sandals, and some glamourous sunglasses (and a topknot).

But I have some serious dress requirements.
  • It must be cotton or linen and, ideally, lined in cotton as well.
  • It *must* have a discernible waist.  No smock or sheath dresses.
  • No gathered drawstrings beneath the bustline.
  • Preferably an A-line skirt that floats over the body.
  • Sleeveless.
  • V-neck or surplice neckline.  Possibly a scoop on a case-by-case basis.
  • No collars.
  • Nooooo buttons.  Side zip is best.
  • Knee-length or just-ever-so-slightly longer. 
  • Print or plain, however, the print cannot be cute.  "Cute" is an adjective that I avoid like the plague.
So, fellow gentle summer-dress wearers: do you have any demands that you make of your dresses?


Katherine said...

Covering the knees but only just (is this knee length? Below the knee?). Empire line, gentle A line skirt (absolutely no tucks/flounces). I always wear mine with fitted cardigan (but then, I live in England, so this is as much necessity as sartorial preference). I too am fond of print but anything too self-consciously vintage looks frumpy rather than charming on me (41 & 5'8).

Miss Cavendish said...

I'd call that knee-length. Anything above the knee now looks dangerously out of proportion for me unless the sandals are absolutely spot on (and footwear for this length is also vetted on a case-by-case basis). So simple, yet . . .

Katherine said...

I'm not sure when above the knee dresses became problematic - I have good legs - but you are quite right about the proportions, it just looks wrong now. I am drawn increasingly to fitted three quarter length trousers & long, narrow tunic tops (subject to the same criteria as dresses for the neckline and bodice).

An inch too long or short and the entire ensemble is wrong.

Sarah said...

I agree on all counts. Question though: where do you find dresses like this? I struggle immensely to find dresses that are long enough without looking frumpy.

coffeeaddict said...

1. If it's a sun dress than a cotton or linen, lined in cotton. Evening, cocktail dress can be made of silk or viscose. Maxi dresses in a poly viscose Lycra.
2. not really a stickler for a waist defined dress, can be empire or princess cut or sheath, although the latter is my least favourite option.
3. again yes, if it is a sun dress
4. no, and no, I like cap sleeves or butterfly sleeves or something gathered to cover my upper arms
5. & &. yes to v neck or even surplice and yes to collars, I like the notched lapels, vintagey shirt dresses
7. buttons, zippers, hook and eye, just no elastic please!
8. knee length works best, or maxi, no minis
9. solid colour, abstract prints, metallic linen and certain very limited floral prints appeal to me. Wouldn't say no to cute, but that would be reserved for informal occasions only.

thatdamngreendress said...

I can't think- all I want right now is to be one of these pictured ladies!! I must read this article- gee, I remember how hard it was to find any kind of dress 10 years ago- I love the range of options these days!