I still wore the dress I'd planned, I just turned it into a top. This is actually a cunning plan that I highly recommend for a number of reasons. Firstly, you get more wear out of your dress. You can rehash it in a variety of different guises. You also have that "old as new" feeling that you sometimes get from your clothes when you find a different way to wear them.
However some words of caution. Be careful how you wear the dress as a top. You need to be mindful of the shape of the dress and the thing that you put over it. You can end up making yourself look like you have a whole lot more junk in the trunk than you do. And not in a good way.
Today's dress worked as a top for a couple of reasons. It's straight (no fullness in the skirt), has no detail below the waist (no buttons and bows making odd shapes in my skirt), and the material is fairly thin (no bulky knits to make it look like I'm wadding my tights with newspaper to keep warm. Although that might have been practical today). The other half of the dress-as-top equation is, of course, the skirt. You can have a dress that ticks all the boxes above, but if the skirt isn't right, you can go astray. Today's skirt worked because the skirt was longer than the dress (although you could possibly make a cool look from this if you were careful), the skirt was fuller than the dress (so the dress didn't look bulky underneath the skirt), and the waist of the skirt sat well with the natural line (or lack of) of the dress.
Perhaps I'm making it sound unnecessarily complicated. When you put a dress on underneath a skirt, you'll know if it looks crazy or not. I looked, I thought this didn't look crazy, I left the house with the outfit on. Simple.
So the dress. I bought it at this Vintage Fair in Auckland in April. The fair itself was rather interesting. It was organised by a community of people who love to live a 'vintage' lifestyle, not just sell clothes or items. Nearly everyone there was in vintage attire from head to toe. The products were many and varied (make ups, hair products, undergarments, crockery) but all with a vintage feel. Most of the things weren't actually true vintage, but new-as-vintage. They had a best dressed competition, old cars, dancing... it was all quite curious. I wished I'd known the feel of it so I could have gone appropriately attired! Anyway, I picked up this polka-dot smock. I sometimes think it makes me look a spotty checkout chick, but I just love the colour and the buttons so much I don't really care. It's in pretty good nick - a couple of pulls here and there but not very obvious. I really liked the way the tie of the dress hung down across the top of the skirt. It looks much better here than it does when I wear the dress alone - it kind of disappears but against the black it pops.
The skirt I've had for about 10 years. You know how people in the fashion-know spout jargon like 'investment pieces'? Well as pretentious as that sounds, this is definitely an investment piece. It's World (not the Warehouse one, the New Zealand designer label) and it's been one of the most useful items I've owned and hardly looks worse for wear. I love the high waist on it and the deceptive simplicity - the back gathering is actually an insert piece that has a zip on either side which you undo to get the skirt on and off. I've always loved high-waisted things - they have that 'other timeliness' about them.
I bought the shoes at I Love Paris last year and they cost me a pretty penny but I was lured in by their white leather brogue siren song. I figured that they too, could become an investment piece. They better last a good 10 years. But I do love them. They pick out the white buttons and spots on this dress nicely.
Nearly everything else I'm wearing is for warmth's sake - the tights, the black merino underneath. All except the pearl necklace. I own about 5 different pearl necklaces. I love them. Maybe I like playing ladies or something. None of them are real but all are lovely in my eyes. My mum bought this for me a few years ago and it's a good length for the neckline of the dress. I also think it suits the style of the dress and again, picks out the white on the dress.
Today Edie wore a cute knit cotton tunic dress from Frugi but she was rugged up all day so it was hardly on display. I did take a couple of snaps but she just wants to take the photos herself so they're all pictures that look up her nose as she lunges for the camera, or they're of her packing a sad as I tried to move the camera enough of a distance away to get a photo. I'll have to try the outfit again on another day when she's not so grumpy or so cold.
I hope you'll allow me my dress cheat today. I did wear my frock, I just layered it. Hopefully you find some inspiration to give a frock of yours a new identity.
|Is she flipping me the bird??|