A dress needs to work overtime.
Yes, how wonderful to gaze out the window or in the mirror and reflect on our frills and flounces. Sadly, that’s not my everyday life and when it comes to my “best’ dresses, they need to be multi-functional.
The dress in my wardrobe holding my attention is the one I put on at 8 am and I walk out the door in at 8 pm. I might swap my shoes (most likely) add a bracelet or two or even some dingle dangle earrings, give my hair the once over and add a dash of vibrant lipstick. This will take me about 3 minutes and to me, this is a major bonus. Spending precious time deliberating about “what to wear” is no longer my idea of a good time; I want my pieces to work and work easily.
So, I search for the day-to-evening dress on a regular basis.
Last weekend I went shopping with my daughter who is planning a wedding. We were looking for one of the many outfits she has on her list; her idea is the opposite of mine and I have a feeling she will be changing often. I love that. She is totally gorgeous, it will be her moment and I want her to wear as many fabulous options as she can. I’m more about a finding a couple of winners.
What I did find was the perfect day-to-evening dress. I wasn’t looking for this style of dress – we were in wedding mode for her – but when we saw this beauty she made me try it on. All my arguments about not needing, not what we are looking for were dismissed and she made me buy it. In her mind when a dress works well it’s not a good idea to leave it behind. She was right.
When I unpacked the dress and re-tried it I was grateful for her push. It is one I will wear often and one to allow me all the freedom I mentioned above.
What is my definition of the perfect day-to-evening dress?
It must be classic with a twist. Simple enough to manage daylight but sophisticated enough to feel comfortable on a night out.
This dress must work with heels and flats – usually, my day runs in flats and swaps to heels in the evening.
A mid-calf or on/under the knee length. I feel more dressed with a longer length.
I like a longer sleeve length for the evening. The arms are ok but somehow it feels dressier.
Plain fabrics with simple embellishment transition well. This makes the possibility of accessorising so much easier.
Another wardrobe essential I can’t live without.
Too practical in these “better, not younger” years? It’s working for me. xv
Straight Through: Day To Night
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image, louise dahl wolfe, 1959