Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Right White, pt. 2

And now, without further ado, some of the more wonderful of the white dresses I stumbled across on the interwebs.


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Actually ivory rather than white, but who am I to quibble with Christian Dior?



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Cute little linen dress with raw edges. Unlined, but still sweet.



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Versace Cotton Dress with Crisscross Straps

Yummy. Even better from the back.



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Killer classic shift from Ferre. Purrrrrrr...


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This is wool, so it's really not a summer dress, but it's Jil Sander and it's stunning and it's crazy on sale and if you get it now you'll have it for the fall, when you can wear it with a snappy black jacket and a beautiful pair of boots.



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Sweet little knit with tie shoulders. Very apr├ęs-beach.



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Very wonderful Fendi with perfed yoke. Just love this.



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So-perfect Marni cotton sateen. Doesn't that look cool and fresh? I want to wear that every day this summer.icon



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Amazing deal on this dress from Armani Jeans. Unlined white linen, but I think you wouldn't have any trouble with a slip under there.


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More Jil Sander. Ohhhhhh, this is so dreamy.


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Asymmetric wizadry from Yohji.



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Still more gorgeous Jil Sander. Raf Simons, you are killing me!!


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Now. What do I want to wear with my white dress? Well, I'll tell ya. This summer I am all about the white dress with the big chunky shoe, preferably black patent. I'm just really digging the contrast right now.

Women's shoes: Bandolino Jolisa - Black patent


Fantastic. These will go with everything, and the price is amazing.


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Opening Ceremony Gladiator Sandal

Some will find these unreasonably funky. I find them delightful.



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Women's shoes: Naturalizer Redefine - Black

These are not patent, but they're cute. They're also Naturalizer, which means they're affordable and very comfy.




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Fendi Juicy Heel Peep Toe Sandal

Fierce, fabulous Fendi. I've been having a little bit of a thing for Fendi lately, I'm not sure why.

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Women's shoes: Charles David Guru - Black patent


These shoes? Are badass. Love 'em.


And one more thing I'd like to wear with my white dress:
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Fendi Forever Cuff

I do love a cuff, and here's that Fendi thing again. I'm really not a logo/label person, but I have always liked the Fendi logo for its symmetrical geometry. And it's not so obvious as, say, the Louis Vuitton pattern or the Chanel double Cs. I just find it cool. At any rate, this cuff comes in several different colors, including a really fabulous gold, and I want all of 'em.

So which of these lovely items will Style Spy be purchasing? you might be asking. The answer is a whopping great big none of them. I have taken a good look through my closet and decided that I have more than enough to keep me busy through the summer, so I am officially on a No Buy. I'm going to cut myself some slack for things like underduds and some running clothes, and there is a wedding coming up in October that I'm going to need a really fabulous dress for, but (with those exceptions) as of Monday -- No. More. Shopping. The Luxury Tithe is becoming a travel fund, and I am getting my backside to Paris in the fall if I have to go hungry three nights a week to do it. I'm relying on my friends and readers to keep me honest -- if you think I might be starting to crack, that temptation may be proving too much for me, remind me that much more than I need a new dress I need to stand on the Pont Neuf and breathe in the smell of the wind coming off the Seine.

But that doesn't mean you can't shop. So, go!! Do it!!



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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Right White, pt. 1

Spring is here. Consequently, I'm doing my yearly white-dress thing.

I love white dresses. I have owned many over my lifetime, some of which have been among my very favorite garments in a long and mostly unbroken line of pretty good wardrobe choices. Last weekend I spent a couple of hours going through my closets and pulling out the summer stuff and putting away the cool-weather stuff, and there is a definite dearth of white dresses at present, which I am jonesing to rectify. The thing that makes a good white summer dress is not just that it be white. It needs to be easy to wear, easy to care for, fuss-free. Breezy. Sunny.

I've tried on a few in the last few weeks, and seen a lot that I liked. But I haven't bought one -- I think I'm probably going to wind up making one, and I'm thinking white seersucker is going to be my fabric of choice. But my forays into the dressing rooms with white dresses have brought up a few points I'd like to discuss.

First of all -- when did manufacturers stop lining their clothes? There was a time when most any dress you bought had a sewn-in lining. (Check a local vintage store.) Then there came a time when you could at least depend on something bought in a high- or higher-end store having a lining. Those days are apparently over. I have tried on many (many, many) designer garments that retailed for hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars, and were unlined. Is anyone besides me really chapped about this? Call me crazy, but for $1500, I think a person is entitled to another measly yard or two of inexpensive fabric to provide a little camouflage/modesty/support under her dress. I recently slid into a really beautiful sage-green Christian Dior number at the Neiman Marcus outlet, just to see if it fit.

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(Not this, but along these lines.)

It did, and it fit me well, but the thing was two layers of silk chiffon, cut on the bias, and unlined. (Unlined AND cut in such a way, with trickiness at shoulder and thigh, that no slip in my wardrobe of slips, full- or half- or somewhere in between, would have gone under it without showing.) Now, bias-cut stuff is notoriously unforgiving and I am here to tell you that the only person who could have worn just herself (and a spritz of very elegant perfume, something classic like Mitsouko) under that dress would have been a runway model or Jamie Lee Curtis in her "Perfect" days.

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Yoiks.

I am willing to don the smoothers and supporters in certain circs, but I do not want to become beholden to a pair of Spanx for every single garment in my wardrobe. Sometimes a gal just wants to breathe, ya know? And what about modesty? Perhaps I am not willing to indulge in the Festival of Oversharing™ (© Plumcake) that we cannot seem to escape these days.

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(Especially disappointing because Ms. Hathaway gets it right so very often. She knows better -- claiming "wardrobe malfunction" in this instance is simply disingenuous.)



My other big quibble with white clothes is pockets. Whyohwhy cannot they get the pockets right? This weekend I tried on an absolutely adorable white cotton dress at Saks -- very simple, straight up & down with a ballet neck & short sleeves.

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Not this one, but shaped much like it. So cute. It was even long enough, which is also becoming a rarity these days (and the subject for yet another rant on another day). So easy it didn't even have a zipper, I just pulled it over my head. And it was on sale. And, it was lined. Things were looking pretty promising. But instead of the patch pockets shown above, this one had slash pockets. So as I stood there looking in the mirror, I saw me looking cute in a sweet white dress that fit and had enormous white semicircles plastered over the widest part of my thighs. Because the pockets, you see, were made of the same white fabric as the lining of the dress and so created three layers of fabric which showed through the dress. This is not a good look, the giant white semicircle thigh indicator. Sometimes when this occurs, you can just cut the pockets out & sew them shut, but this dress wasn't one of those times. So it went back on the hanger and I left dressless. What would have solved that problem? Pockets made out of nude-colored lining. But that is far, far to much to hope for. And I know it would add to the expense of the dress, but ya know what? I think I might be willing to pony up an extra ten bucks for that. Another solution -- and I know this is completely over the hedge, but here goes -- no pockets at all!! It's a dress, people. Most likely worn by a woman. Who mostly likely has a (carefully-chosen) handbag in which to carry her keys, her lipstick, and whatever else she needs to keep close at hand. (And even if said dress is not worn by a woman, I'm going to bet there's still a handbag involved. Along with some really fierce shoes.)

I did, however, make a point of telling the SA why I wasn't buying the dress. I didn't berate her or anything, because it certainly wasn't her fault, but I did say, cheerfully and matter-of-factly, "That dress is absolutely adorable, but those pockets look awful." I've decided that I'm going to start registering my complaints, when they're of the sort that are near-universal. I don't know what good it might do, but possibly if enough people in enough stores say to enough SAs, "I would buy that dress if it were three inches longer/had a lining/were possible to wear a bra underneath it," word might eventually trickle up to the Powers That Be and maybe things will change. I think we should all do this. Next time you try something on and it's yet another example of This Would Be Perfect If It Weren't For (insert Common Problem Such as Length or Lack of Lining here), mention it (politely) to the SA. Couch it in terms of a lost sale -- people respond to that, believe me. Perhaps if we all do this we can reach some sort of Shopping Complaint Critical Mass.

At any rate, to scratch my White Dress Itch I've done some web surfing, but I'm going to wait and show you what I found tomorrow. Stay tuned!



Photos: Style.com, tampabay.com, easydoesituniversity.com, Saks.com

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Pretty for Friday -- April 25

After that World of No I battered you with the other day, I figured I'd bring on some definite yesses to send you into your weekend. Enjoy!


Giuseppe Zanotti Tri-Color Pumps

YES!

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Oh, veryvery yes. I want this dress so badly that it is taking an act of sheer, supreme, teeth-gritting willpower not to order it. It's even in my size. ::sigh:: (Although my birthday is coming in a mere 4 months, in case anyone is looking for gift ideas...)


Giles & Brother Crystal Applique Cuff


It's a big gold cuff emblazoned with sparkly bits. It's like they designed it specifically for me! Okay. I have to walk away from the computer now, before money gets spent.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!



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