Sunday, April 8, 2012

What to Wear? Challenge 1: Meet the President

Update on the slipcovers:  I haven't done anything more.  Next week, I hope!

Despite my uniform of jeans, tank tops and hoodies, I really do like fashion.  And while I hate trying clothes on, I do like to shop for them.  Come with me and let's pretend to shop together!  Now that I know (kind of) how to sew I can't help but wonder what I could do myself.  

Challenge One:  Political Mixer
Let's say you are married into a family whose business is highly regulated by the federal government and taxed to the ends of the earth.  What kind of conservative spring outfit do you wear for a late afternoon lobbyist meet & greet in D.C.?  Photos will be taken so color must be considered.

I like the trendy lace look, but don't want be mistaken for wearing lingere which is why I love this dress so much.  Any combo of black and nude or black and pink are out.
These colors would look good on me too.  Just sayin'. 
This is Creatures of the Wind, $1660.  The turquoise and pink is fun!  The dress isn't produced in a size larger then a 8 (which is sold out) so... it's kind of eliminated from our pretend shopping trip anyway.  But I do think it could be made, maybe not in as fine of materials, pretty easily.  Or at least with manageable difficulty by someone who knows how to sew well.  Although it is not a shift-  look how well the waist is defined without  messing up the pattern- they meet and curve gently in a way that screams, "Hey!  She didn't buy this dress at Target!".  Pricey and the neckline isn't the most flattering for a busty woman.

In a similar vein, but a little less dressy are these two Lilly Pulitzer numbers, much more affordable and readily available at Sak's.  Keep in mind neither would be nearly as short on me.

$348.  Fond of the cap sleeves, but would have prefered more of a sleeve and a lower neckline.

$245.  Keyhole back and pockets are a plus, no sleeves means you need a wrap or a sweater of some kind.
I suppose I could buy two each of those Lilly Pulitzer dresses for the same price as the pretty lace one.  They are both cotton though and I'm afraid in person they would read too juvenile.  I imagine with some cotton eyelet and some good dye you could make something similar for half the price anyway.

Sleeves, pockets and knee length with a v-neck?!  It's a miracle!

Jonathan Saunders, $1695.  Same pretty coral color.  It's a little Doris Day, I admit and a full skirt is not a friend of my hips.  But it is so difficult to find this combination I feel like everybody should buy one just to reward the designer for the effort.  The shoulders look very complicated and lining up the pattern with the pleats would be impossible for me to do myself.  Look how nicely the points on the lace print hit right at the pleat.  That's a thousand dollars of the price right there.  The more I stare at this dress the more I like everything about it.

More coral pink.  I'm in a mood.  It also comes in peacock and a silver gray.

Temperly London, $900.  I'll just say it:  Alice Temperly is amazing.  Love a lot of her collections.  Edwardian-Modern is my best description of the stuff I love most. Sometimes there is a mistep (like their biker-ish ugliness) but it is rare. I already own one of her dresses in two colors.  She hasn't abandon the open neck like everyone else with their mod-inspired lameness.  I like this because it could easily be dressed down or up depending on the shoes.  I'd have to tack close the back a touch (because I must wear a bra) which brings the design down from evening a bit as well.  Looks better on a body then not: 

I would not wear heels with this dress and that necklace is hideous.
This is so very pretty and (from the front) perfect for late afternoon. I got married in red shoes so they have a soft spot in my wardrobe. 
Okay, the color here isn't the best and would wash me out in photos, but it is simply lovely.  Lela Rose, $2495.  There is one serious dealbreaker in addition to the ridiculous price:  the back is simply too bare.  Whatsherface on Project Runway All Stars hammered on the designers for their inability to design a dress a woman could wear with a bra and she was totally right.  Who is going to be able to wear this anywhere?  The front is lined so it isn't intended to be worn as a peek a boo either.   On the runway the skirt wasn't lined at all.  That said, the criscross in the front and the drape from the waist are perfection.

No bra, no buy.

There is some knock-off potential here.  A simple sheath (so you could wear a bra) in a light liner fabric with a tulle overlay could happen.  I feel that it would look messy though if it wasn't done right, the seams and edges especially.  The tulle would have to be that really high quality bridal stuff which is not cheap and you would needs yards and yards of it, plus I wound need to master my serger which is still in its box.

Final contender in this round is a dress from Ann Taylor which I'm going to find an excuse to buy at some point I'm sure, but probably not the best choice for a photo op;  even the model looks a little washed out. The shot of Kate Hudson shows her wearing it with a bright pink belt to brighten it up.  Some of the detail is lost on the screen.  In person it is to die for and way more affordable at $248.

It is boring, I can see that.

Ann Taylor makes this in a petite too which I appreciate. 

"Hee, hee!  It is so great to be me and not you!"  This is actually a better shot of the color of the dress, it's kind of a super pale mocha, less of an ivory. If it was a v-neck I would have already bought it.  I imagine finding shoes might be a challenge unless you just went for a bold color. 

I still have an entire bolt of crepe back satin in a really pretty dark teal...  I should probably be shopping for patterns instead of already made dresses.  Next what to wear challenge:  other people's weddings! 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely dresses! I'm totally with you on the sleeves (I don't like sleeveless on me, plus I get cold).


Upcoming Projects: Not Yet Blogged

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