variations on a theme

Here’s what I wore on Tuesday:


I bought this a few years ago in a Staunton thrift shop. It’s electric blue and POLYESTER, so I had no idea it would be such a wardrobe staple, but once it’s cold enough to wear POLYESTER without dying (the lack of breathability is NOT A JOKE), I wear this constantly.

What rocks about this dress?
-The length! It’s barely above knee-length, which means I can wear it with boots or shoes. (On this day, I wore it with black tights and black ankle boots.)
-The elastic waist! It has an inset elastic waist, which means it  emphasizes my hourglass figure while allowing plenty of room to breathe (or to eat all the things).
-The sleeves! This dress opened my eyes to the beauty of NOT layering in the winter. I also love that the sleeves are a simple 3/4 length, which means I never have to push them up.
-The high neck! See above: no need to layer.
-The fabric! Even though it’s POLYESTER (I don’t know why, but I can’t say that word without an emphasis), or perhaps because it is, the fabric has this amazing combination of heavy weight and soft drape (usually, heavyweight fabrics are stiffer, while lightweight fabrics have a nicer drape). It also doesn’t wrinkle! I love non-wrinkly things!

What could be better?
-The fabric! It does not breathe, and that can be seriously dangerous if I wear it on a warmer day. Also, it’s starting to pill in a few places, which is sad but also somewhat exciting, because I’m hoping to rip it apart and use it as a pattern once it’s unwearable. My only fear is that I’ll never find a replacement fabric that has the same weight and drape.
-It doesn’t NEED lining (or a longer slip), but it could be a slight improvement.

And here’s what I wore on Wednesday:


Uncanny, right?

This black dress is a mash-up of the blue dress above and another blue dress that I adore. I’m afraid to admit to you how easy this dress was to assemble, especially given how much I love it. If I were to ever make clothes for other people, I would probably start with this dress.

It’s also vaguely textured, which was inspired by something I saw and wouldn’t buy from Anthropologie (this, and now that I think about it, my black cheetah-ish print is so much more appropriate than a navy daisy-ish print).

What do I love?
-The neckline! It’s a slight boatneck, which is always going to be more flattering for me than a crewneck.
-The sleeves! 3/4 like the dress above, but slightly looser so that more air can circulate because…
-The fabric! It’s more POLYESTER (gasp!), which was the best (non-wool, since I’m allergic) option for the weight and pattern I wanted.
-The length! Since it’s black and waistless (I cinched it here with a belt, but it’s a straight silhouette), I wanted something a bit longer than knee-length. I can only wear it with shorter shoes, but I have some cute black booties that are totally on-trend.

What would I change?
-The waistline? Maybe? I don’t know that I’ll ever wear this belt-less, so I’m considering an inset elastic waist like the above dress. Also…
-The skirt angle? When I belt this, it has a vaguely droopy butt. I suspect there’s some alteration magic I can apply to this – and every dress I’ve made – to remedy this situation.

And here’s the point where I admit to already slacking on the Wear Every Dress challenge, because these are two of the dresses that I was attempting to AVOID wearing every day. At least now know you the standard to which I’m holding everything else. That’s useful, right?

One thought on “variations on a theme

  1. Pingback: I made a shirt! | these are the thoughts that fall out of my head

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