Friday, June 29, 2012

Open Your Mind

You know you're an Unfashionista when you go out to pick up some lunch and come back with a new dress! This happened to me last week—when a coworker and I went out for some lunchtime ice cream and found the store wouldn't open for another 10 minutes, I made the most of the time available to me and stopped by Rugged Wearhouse, where I found this dress for 5 dollars.

Photo taken in the bathroom at work, which for some
fortuitous reason, has a full-length mirror.
It was low quality to begin with (you can tell by the way the elastic that gives it its shape peeks out from under the ruffles covering it, and also by its base price of 7.99$) and probably won't survive more than a few washings, but for 5 dollars, you can wear it just once and consider your money well spent!

And I wore it once today. I wasn't going to bother documenting it, since it was just another example of my singular monochromatic style (you can almost see the blue headband in the picture, which goes perfectly with the blue dress and shoes), but then I noticed while at work how it embodies two of the traits I usually try to steer clear of—and still looks good!

1-Integrated sleeves

It is a trend that has been distressing me--I call it the pillowcase look, because the sleeves, rather than being separate pieces of fabric, are really just holes in the body of the (extra-baggy, because how else are the "sleeves" going to be long enough?) garment. I feel this lends a blocky appearance to an outfit and makes one's upper body seem huge. Yet the sleeves in this dress start right at the top of the neckline, and I think they flutter out in a most graceful manner. To be fair, the lower portion of the sleeve is set in (at a rather unconventional location just above the bust), which may give it a little more contour and save it aesthetically. It may also be the length of the sleeve, which is fairly short, or the weight of the fabric, which is extremely flexible, giving it less awkward structure and more flow.

2-Crossover neckline

For years, I have been avoiding this bodice style, where one piece of fabric overlaps another at an angle, forming a V-neckline. Even worse is when the crossover neckline is paired with an empire waist, with another band of fabric just below the bust. I have always considered this a style only flattering to those with small breasts. For us more well-endowed ladies, it creates bulges and makes us look fat. However, this dress comes very close to having that style of bodice, and still succeeds. Some things that might save it are the fact that the crossover occurs almost immediately above the empire waist, and the fact that every piece of this dress is highly elastic, causing it to conform to curves rather than bulge around them.

The point of all this discourse is that one should not dismiss even one's most hated syles flat-out, because they may have redeeming features that make them wearable.

And in case you were wondering why I ever let a dress with such despised features get past my defenses, it must have been because I was making rash decisions while speed shopping. Also may have had something to do with the price tag.

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