2 piece dress for winter -- instant workhorse

Happy New Year, everyone! 

As we've discussed, it can be difficult to predict our workhorses. But now and again, we get lucky and can identify our winners ahead of time. Here's my latest -- a two piece dress.

Purchased with a gift card and on substantial sale, it's from Canadian company Comrags, known for their timeless and original styles and their excellent working conditions for employees. 

I could predict this would be a workhorse for a couple of reasons:

First, a two piece dress! My summer two piece Liberty print dress from J. Crew gets constant wear in the season. I love that I can mix and match the items. Here is one with long sleeves (yay!!) and a midi length skirt (yay again). 

Second, it's blue on blue (ink on navy) and navy is my core neutral, so it works seamlessly into the closet. 

Third, it is easy to wear yet has some interesting design details. Made of a tech fabric, it won't wrinkle and will pack like a dream. The skirt is gored so that it flips out a bit, trumpet style. The top has a keyhole neckline that can be worn open or shut in a variety of ways. It is not binding or constrictive in any way -- as comfy as pajamas! 

Fourth, I own a few more items from Comrags and they never go out of style and rarely wear out -- even with frequent wear. 

Showing it with the new earrings as well. I'm going to wear it out to dinner with friends and theatre. 

Trying it with my longer navy blazer, a moto, a shorter tartan blazer (subtle pattern mix) and grey sweater. Just playing around with what is in the closet. 

Yesterday I wore the skirt more casually, with a turtleneck and opaque tights. It was snowing then raining like mad so I needed coverage. Anyway, it gives an idea of other options. 

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40 Comments

  • delurked replied 6 months ago

    Love it for you. And all the supporting pieces are nice too. Good colors. What design are the earrings?

    I’ve got a summer two piece skirt and top that was my top purchase for last summer. I would love to find another for this spring/summer. I find the two pieces helps the fit at the waist for me. So many dresses are made for those shorter in torso, and I like that the two pieces lets the waist fit me more appropriately.

  • Molly Mac replied 6 months ago

    This is so pretty and looks wonderful on you. I bet the top would look great with white jeans and the skirt worn with the turtleneck looks great. When worn together-perfection!

  • kellygirl replied 6 months ago

    Gosh, I love it for you. It’s perfect!!

  • slim cat replied 6 months ago

    Looks very polished - love combo with moto jacket! Earrings are great. Are they on a heavy side? 

  • anne replied 6 months ago

    I really like this Suz! So flexible. Intrigued by delurked's mention of two piece dresses fitting long torsos better.

  • rachylou replied 6 months ago

    I need your dress. Need! Wow! So fantastic!

  • MsMaven replied 6 months ago

    Perfect! By coincidence, as I examined my closet and buys for the last couple of years, I concluded that the best item I could buy would be a good quality 2-piece dress. Something like yours would be perfect.

  • nemosmom replied 6 months ago

    What a magical two-piece dress, Suz!  I love the low-contrast of the print, and they way you've styled it is really smart - I especially like the long cardigan with it. So fab!

  • Janet replied 6 months ago

    Oh how cool! I love it and wish I could find an equivalent for myself! All versions look fantastic. Can you see wearing the top with other pants or jeans too?

  • Sal replied 6 months ago

    That is stunning on you and such a good design - interesting and modern but also classic. I agree it won’t date.

    I love my my two piece dress too - and hadn’t really considered a winter version but I can see it being a good option!!

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    Thank you, all! And YES -- many of us should keep our eyes open for the two piece dress option. I know we've talked before on the forum about how useful these can be for many of us. Why don't manufacturers make more, I wonder? 

    Nemosmom, I also like the low contrast pattern -- it's a very smooth fabric but almost looks textural because there is a herringbone pattern with abstract splotches overlaid. 

    Ms. Maven, I don't think it is coincidence at all. There are so many reasons why a two piece could be useful. Joy's recent post offering just one example -- it can be more adaptive for many! Plus, delurked is right -- it can be easier to fit on those with a long torso -- or a short torso -- than a typical dress. I'm short waisted but long in the rise. I can usually manage with regular dresses and coats but sometimes the back length is in the wrong place for me and I get bunching, or the waist isn't where it should be (with set in waists). With a two piece, it rarely matters. 

    Molly -- yes! I'll wear the top with white denim and also blue denim as well as plain blue trousers and maybe even my plaid trousers (I pattern mix). 

    The earrings are extremely light -- they are made of acrylic. Not angels -- this is a Coast Salish design by an Indigenous artist. 

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    Sal, I have been thinking of you all morning as I played around with this. I know you get as much wear from your own 2 piece summer dress as I get from mine. I suspect something like this would be killer useful for you as well. 

    Janet, yes, I'll absolutely wear the top with other bottoms. It layers well under sweaters as well as jackets, too. And the neckline can be worn fully open, with a keyhole like this, with a bow (not really my thing but ok), and tightened up some. 

  • torontogirl replied 6 months ago

    Looks amazing Suz! I especially love 5 & 6 but these are all lovely; I can see why it will be a workhorse, very versatile.

  • The Cat replied 6 months ago

    Very nice dress and great styling. My favourite is #5.

  • Karie replied 6 months ago

    So versatile! Can be dressed up or down, I love items like that. I can see you getting a lot of wear out of both pieces. Super cool earrings too.

  • Joy replied 6 months ago

    I love two piece dresses but they can be hard to find. I like all the toppers you have pictured. The blue is gorgeous on you. Any length seems to work with this dress. My “ holy grail” would be a two piece midi length sweater dress. Look for a puffer vest or jacket that you can wear with this dress while they are on clearance.

  • notsaf replied 6 months ago

    Perfect! That is such a flattering skirt shape for you. Love it in the last look especially.

    I have a ton of trouble fitting skirts, so have never even thought about this kind of set. Any tips on having skirts stay put?

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    notsaf, do skirts twist around on you? 

    That can happen to me. Especially if there is not a fitted waistband or the skirt is designed to sit on the hips. For me, the "twistiest" skirts are made of a slippery polyester or silk, with no waistband (just a zip) and intended to fit on the hip. They always want to crawl around or up on me (to my waist). 

    Skirts that fit at the natural waist twist much less. This one is knit (technical fabric like a yoga pant but not as constricting) and it has a wide waistband. The top of the waistband is at the top of the natural waist. 

    The gored panels also help it stay in place. That can be another feature to look for. Set in waist bands tend to help as well. 

    Skirts will stay put a bit more if you tuck your tops (at least in my experience). But I'm wearing this one with untucked tops and it is fine. 

    Joy a puffer would be fun with this! :) I can try my short red one. 

    Karie, TG, Slim Cat -- thank you! 

  • Windchime replied 6 months ago

    That is so cute, Suz!  I love the color on you, and the texture of the fabric.  You are going to get a lot of use out of both pieces, I’m sure.

  • Angie replied 6 months ago

    KILLER to the POWER of KILLER two-piece, and love the way you've styled it! Go you, for accurately predicting a workhorse :)

    It's sooooo fun to see you in something so tailored and dressy again, Suz. And you can dress it down effectively too.

    The new dark streaks in your hair work BEAUTIFULLY with the black. 

    Snow here soon too.....

  • shevia replied 6 months ago

     I have never seen Comrags in person but am now officially putting it out to my thrifting guardian angel (that wise and generous imp) that I want to find something even half as great as this! Also Hair! Feeling inspired to rework some clothes right now!

  • Bijou replied 6 months ago

    Wow - this is beautiful on you. Perfect fit, colour, interesting style and from a local and ethical company - it ticks every box. I have never really thought of having a 2 piece dress as I usually just by the version that is a dress. Definitely a way I could expand my style without it being too much of a dramatic change.

  • Liesbeth replied 6 months ago

    What a find! I love all your styling options. Navy is a core neutral for me too but I'm moving away from it because I always seem to buy mismatched shades and then the pieces don't mix & match together like they do in your wonderful wardrobe.

  • Column replied 6 months ago

    Gorgeous. You.

  • notsaf replied 6 months ago

    Thanks so much for the skirt-talk. Yes: I have a smaller waist and full rear end so skirts ride up and spin around all the time! I hate the feeling of elastic cinches, but a nice knit with a wide waistband might work to keep things in place comfortably. You have several knit skirts, don't you? Something to look out for!

  • Synne replied 6 months ago

    Gorgeous. I just realized that two pieces may be just it for my body type too. I seldom fit good in dresses (always misplaced waist).

  • Roxanna replied 6 months ago

    Suz - I have to credit you for introducing me to the genus of the two piece dress! As a pear, I have a substantial size difference between my too and my bottom, as well as a short waist. I adore dresses, but because of my figure, they rarely fit me well. This solves all those problems, and is more versatile to boot!

    And I agree about Comrags - I have two pieces in my closet and both are is exceptional quality, have distinctive design details and are somehow ageless. I'll have to check this one out!

  • kkards replied 6 months ago

    oh i really like this. a "dress" that has the easy of seperates and mixes and matches so well it other items from your closet. perfection

  • Cardiff girl replied 6 months ago

    As has been said,what a find!You already know it’s going to work as it has done so for you before in the guise of your summer version.l love the shape of the skirt particularly,it’s so elegant.I too wonder why there aren’t more of these “twosesis”to buy as they are such a good idea ,versatile and a lot easier to fit as you could buy different top and bottom sizes if necessary.

  • karen13 replied 6 months ago

    Gorgeous! And versatile. I discovered the joy of the piece dress here and now have my eye out for this exact set of attributes - long sleeve, midi, packable (and technical and ethical for the bonus), but in a petite/short torso friendly version.

  • lyn67 replied 6 months ago

    Your color, style and how versatile!!! I want it, tooo!:-))

  • rachylou replied 6 months ago

    Speaking of disability access clothing, two piece dresses are insulin friendly!

  • Suz replied 6 months ago

    Rachylou, that's what I was thinking re Joy's recent post. They really are a great option. But not always widely available. 

    Thanks for so-kind comments everyone. It was so cold and miserable out last night that I ended up switching things up a bit with layers, but more on that in another post! 

  • JAileen replied 6 months ago

    How lucky to find something like this - your color, nice fit, goes with everything!  I hope you enjoy many years with this instant workhorse.

  • unfrumped replied 6 months ago

    Oh- super-like!
    Washable- packable and still has those interesting style elements is a real win.

  • Laura replied 6 months ago

    What a huge win! The colors are perfect, the neckline is interesting and works wonderfully with your hair, the shape of the skirt is uber flattering ...  I could go on and on! And now you're successfully mixing and matching to your heart's content. Queen of the Two-Piece Dress, thanks for showing us how it's done!

  • Beth Ann replied 6 months ago

    Oh, I do love this!  It has an excellent silhouette, and I particularly love tone on tone prints (jacquard, etc).  You look terrific, and I can see that this dress would be great for travel!  

    Thanks for sharing!

  • FashIntern replied 6 months ago

    Wow I love the shape of that skirt! And the ruching on the top and the colors and oh, did I mention the shape of the skirt yet? You look awesome and so at home!

  • suntiger replied 6 months ago

    Love it, and looks so versatile! Hopefully the retail powers that be will gift us with 2 piece dresses this year :)

  • Sara L. replied 6 months ago

    Wow, what a great find!  I love the blue on blue pattern.  

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