Some smart ways to re-wear old dresses
The blessing of a dress is also the curse. On one side of the coin, it is a great solution when you don’t want to think about getting dressed but want to know you look good. You find a one-and-done garment that will hug you in all the right places, in all the right ways and that will hit all the notes you want to sing and that’s it, you’re done. You’re up, you’re out, as they used to say at ye olde cycling classes.
On the other hand though, when you’re writhing but don’t quite know why — when you’re confused and moody and it’s all kind of murky, when to project clarity feels like its own kind of lie, a one-and-done dress, straightforward with its point of view and exacting in its way of sheathing doesn’t quite capture the guts of what’s within.
You know or no?
Alternatively, you might just be bored of wearing your dresses the way you always have, so here are three dresses — one cotton and tea-length, one bustiered and puffy and one mini and metallic — styled into new dimensions.
You’ll notice I didn’t just slap a different kind of necklace onto my chest or change my shoes from sandals to loafers or the reverse — sometimes these solutions are absolutely enough (in particular for the bustiered dress, which is such a statement in its own right), but for this go, I’ve tried to lean on otherwise garments in my closet to reimagine their wear-cases. So:
The bustier dress
Before (last summer):
Not actually sure what shoes I was wearing but if I had to guess, probably a pair of loafers.
After (last week):
You might be thinking, why ruin the top of that magically beautiful dress with a stupid t-shirt and my answer to that is, maybe you have recently converted to modern orthodox Judaism and have been trying to figure out what to do with all those spaghetti straps! Or maybe you run cold and hate air conditioning — like it sends a literal shiver down your spine, or you want to wear fancy shoes but not look super dressed up, or maybe you just got a boob job or gained some weight and that motherfucker won’t zip — here’s an answer to that.
You take any color long or short sleeve t-shirt that is loose enough to knot at the waist and after you place it over your dress, you create the knot. Add necklaces if you want to evoke a bit of playfulness/contrast whatever shoes you’re wearing, or don’t. I’ve been having a grand old time mixing beads lately. These ones are from Gimaguas (here’s a comp from Etsy; and I like this one too) and Carm.n; the shoes are Gucci (yum!); these are my recommended comp. The t-shirt is Kule and the dress is Cecilie Bahnsen. There’s a top version which will prob hit sale soon. Could be cool to try this with something like that (top) w a white t-shirt and a pair of cotton cargo pants.
The cotton dress
Before (kind of):
This is not actually a cotton dress. On the contrary, it is silver and flaky, like a geriatric playboy. But I’m using it as a placeholder because over the winter, I wore the cotton dress in quesiton exactly as shown above, but never captured it in a photo. So imagine the above styling, but with this dress:
What an amazing thing my upper lip is doing.
For this iteration, I kept dress as main event and layered under as opposed to over. T-shirt dresses are kind of tricky on flip sides of a coin too. They on one hand make for the best pant companions and on the other feel boring when worn solo and don’t make sense with jackets when it’s hot out.
The trick with the leggings is to aim for a lightweight pair (mine are from Manola, on sale rn for $42) so that you don’t shvitz too much in the thigh area, and to that point, by the way, this is a great chafing solve! For the shoes I’d recommend either a slingback (like these) or open-toe mules (the pictured are Bettina Vermillon x Emili Sindlev; these are from Asos) so that your ankles can display their sex appeal.
The mini dress
Before (last Spring)
Worn last spring to a Passover seder on the way to which I pondered what is more important: your freedom or what you do with it. My least popular opinion is that I hate the (beginning of) Spring. It is still so cold but it’s also bright, so you’re ready to get out there, making any feelings of isolation or loneliness even more palpable.
After (as in, a few hours ago)
This dress used to be knee-length, but it was shortened and now needs to be worn with bike shorts or briefs under, which I am totally okay with on the account that it was inspired by pairing it with these capris from LVIR for the after. To the left, you have a fancy version and to the right, you have a less fancy version. Next week I make a much stronger case for capris and in the meantime, on a totally unrelated note, here is a great pair of fisherman shoes on sale from J. Crew.
That concludes today’s episode.
Signing off yours,