K/D: Dress from a friend

A friend of mine offered me this summer dress. It's basically a shift with some fun design details. But I'm not sure whether it works for me due to neckline and cut. Would love your thoughts. This would be a simple, casual, day dress for hot summer days. 

If it doesn't pass YLF muster for me, I will simply pass it along. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Parsley replied 9 years ago

    I love it on you! I would definitely keep it.

  • Thistle replied 9 years ago

    I like it on you!  I like the design detailing in the front, too.

    I personally don't see any issues with the neckline. I think the A-line cut of the dress is flattering.

    I also think it is the kind of dress where you can be cool at home, but it is still quite nice for errands.

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Yes, Thistle, that was my thought about it -- it's the kind of thing you just throw on at home, yet it would look okay if you found you had to rush to the store for something. And it actually fits under the arms, which is a marvel -- you know how they are always cutting armholes on sleeveless tops so low. 

  • Joy replied 9 years ago

    From you reply to Thistle and photos, I vote keep. I hear you on the neckline, but sometimes I feel like I have to compromise to stay cool in hot weather
    The taupe color is fab on you. As an everyday dress, will it be fussy to wash/iron?

  • replied 9 years ago

    Love this on you! I think it is a perfect at home dress that is comfy but is also still good for popping out if you need to!

  • chewyspaghetti replied 9 years ago

    Oh yes, it's a keeper!

  • AJ replied 9 years ago

    What an interesting dress.  What type of fabric?

  • rae replied 9 years ago

    I love it! Keep vote! I find it nice and edgy.

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    I'm not sure what the fabric content is, because it doesn't say. Made in Canada. Fresh. It is wash and dry. I put it in the machine and hung it up -- no wrinkles. So it must be some kind of magic poly -- feels breathable. 

  • Astrid replied 9 years ago

    Yes, keep it! It sounds like a nice casual option for warm weather and I think it looks good on you.

  • cinnamon fern replied 9 years ago

    I like it!  I know you don't like to expose what you describe as your bony chest - but I think this neckline totally works.

  • Diana replied 9 years ago

    Keep!  I see no issues with the neckline and I love the shape and detailing.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 9 years ago

    I love this for a great little day dress you can just pop on and write in and then whip out to the store when need be. It's perfect!

  • texstyle replied 9 years ago

    Keep! It looks like a perfect summer dress and you look great in it.

  • Glory replied 9 years ago

    KEEP. I see no issues with the neck and the arm holes are great!!! it can be worn with a high sandal or a flat making it super versatile. And, if we ever do get summer, I feel it will be perfect for our climate. Keep and try for sure.

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Thanks, all! I am glad this little dress is getting some love. The colour is really nice on me IRL --- doesn't really show as well in the photo. It's a rich grey. So if anything I think it looks a bit better in person. 

    Glory, I hear you. This summer, it may not be necessary at all! I will keep in reserve until next year!

  • replied 9 years ago

    i like it too. As soon as I saw it I liked all the detailing. it should be a useful dress.

  • rachylou replied 9 years ago

    It hangs really well on you. My only thing is, I feel it's awful arty and cute. I'm not sure I think of you as arty and cute.

  • catgirl replied 9 years ago

    I love it!  What's the fabric?

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Yeah, Rachylou, you are right about that, and that is another of my reservations. I think for the purpose, for one season, I can pretend to be arty and cute. Fortunately the colour sort of helps to mitigate against that effect, as well. And if I keep everything else simple and modern, I am hoping I can get away with it. But yeah, you put your finger on it! 

    Una, it doesn't say what the fabric is. Some magic poly that seems to breathe. Like a gear thing. 

  • Karie replied 9 years ago

    It looks like a nice, casual summer dress - I see no issues with the neckline. Is the fabric suedecloth? You could roll that stuff up in a ball and leave it in the corner for a week and it won't wrinkle. 

  • replied 9 years ago

    Wow, what a perfect fit! I'd say keep even thought the neckline isn't quite as high as you'd like it, it looks very flattering to me. How cool to get some arty details in an easy one-piece outfit; no accessories necessary! Great color on you too. 

  • ironkurtin replied 9 years ago

    That dress fits you extremely well.  I don't think of it as arty and cute so much as artfully deconstructed; if that bothers you, I think removing the half-belt is very possible.  Depending on the fabric, it might work well over a long-sleeved tee for cooler days, as well?

  • Ornella replied 9 years ago

    I love it. All-in-one: color, cut, interesting and I think it has a potential of being the workhorse, as it sounds such an easy maintenance. Different footwear and you already have different vibes going on.

    I can see why you question the neckline, but I don't think it's an issue.

    Nit-picking me wonders what it looks like without that belt-looking that that goes 3/4 around you - in some ways it adds extra definition and depth to the dress, making it almost sculptural (thus more arty), but it also looks a bit heavy, because all other geometrical shapes/patterns were achieved by sewing on the fabric directly, while this is actual extra piece of fabric. Without the belt, though, it might a bit juvenile. I'm not sure if I make any sense, but that's what you get when you ask questions :-D

    To draw the line under this rambling - give it a go, it won't hurt, you'll know pretty soon if it works for you or not.

    And, ahem, may I just say you have gorgeous legs!

  • replied 9 years ago

    I really like the fit on toned you!  The neckline and armholes look great.  The color is also nice.

    I am the lone wolf, but I dislike all the stitching and the detailing and the button and half-belt.  For me it crosses the line from arty to trying too hard to be arty while pretending it doesn't care.  Ha, what a horrible sentence I just wrote.  

    I still vote keep.  You make it look great.

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Ali, so interesting. I think I feel the way you do about it. I would never have bought it. Not in a million years. And it's not really true to my style persona -- at least not completely. 

    Ornella, you also make a good point about the belt. 

    Although IK puts it so nicely. "Artfully deconstructed." I do think that's what the designer was probably aiming for. 

    I think that I will keep and wear it if we ever get any hot days. It was free, it's easy care, and it never hurts to have a house dress you can pop on in the heat, right? Right. :-) 

  • Raisin replied 9 years ago

    I love simple, minimalist pieces with a bit of an edgy detail. This fits the bill and looks great on you!

  • unfrumped replied 9 years ago

    It is partly ALGO with the puffier skirt and do-dads, and partly simple with the bodice styling. The color is a great neutral for you and does keep it from being "too much". And I've already concluded you can wear anything, it's just a matter of whether you want to!

    So, free? That means just the psycho investment in styling, if you don't end up buying stuff just to go with it. You may really like it and either way will learn something about what works and why.

  • Lyn D. replied 9 years ago

    I like it Suz, and could you layer underneath in cooler weather?

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 9 years ago

    I vote keep!  You look cute and comfortable.  And I think you could doll this up with a pretty necklace or earrings, and go to lunch somewhere nice in this dress.

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    I tried layering underneath but it looked a bit weird to my eye, probably because I felt like there was too much going on. Heck, I already feel like there is too much going on! LOL. Thanks for all your thoughts. Will keep to wear on those super hot days and probably donate next year. 

  • Caro in Oz replied 9 years ago

    Love the edgy aspect & the fit of the dress keep imo.

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    I know what you mean about the neckline - you need the back neckline in the front!

    Another vote to keep! Sweet on you, Suz. An easy throw on and go in hot weather sans a/c :)

  • donnat replied 9 years ago

    Easy peasy, looks great, it's got a bit of an edge, looks nice. Give it the season.

  • Peri replied 9 years ago

    I love it, and don't even know what you are talking about with the neckline.

    I think we fixate on details no one else would even notice...like me and my shoulders. If you were buying one dress and wanted it to be "the one" maybe you would wait for the neckline you like the best, but if you are turning down an adorable free comfortable free cute free dress because of some perceived body issue...that's just nuts!

  • Jaime replied 9 years ago

    Pros: looks great on you neckline and all. I love how it sort of drapes on your body without being overly tight. Great color!

    Cons: not exactly your style with the extra details and such (actually reminds me of typical Israeli design that often goes overboard with this sort of stuff).

    Conclusion: if it is cool to wear I would totally keep it for a work at home/errands sort of day. Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    Suz, I haven't had a chance to read all the comments yet but I am going to say keep.  It has a bit of an arty vibe and I think with an edgy shoe this outfit could take you out and about. I like.

  • pil replied 9 years ago

    I really like this too, Suz! While it isn't something you would seek out, the fit is really nice and it sounds perfect for what you anticipate using it for. Give it a whirl!

  • Sveta replied 9 years ago

    I like it a lot, it is a fun dress and neckline does not bother me much.
    Have you tried to wear it backwards  a la Angie?

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Not a bad idea, Sveta. I doubt it would work because it has a zipper there and the way the detailing is...would be odd. 

    Peri, you raise an interesting point, one worth a whole thread on its own. 

    In the past, I might have agreed with you. But increasingly, I find I am fussy about these things. Maybe it is advancing age. I am becoming a crotchety lady, LOL! 

    The thing is, it's not based on dislike of a body part or figure "flaw." It feels much more dispassionate and compassionate than that. It's about what looks best and holding out for 10s.

    Now, you're right -- when the item is free, and intended mostly for casual at-home wear (essentially loungewear that might get a public airing very rarely) then it might not be too important, and an 8 might do. That's probably what we're talking about here. But on the whole, I want a closet of 10s. Clothes that don't make me feel that I have compromised. Clothes that don't just look "okay." Clothes that look like a million bucks! 

    I think when you find your own personal style and find the cuts that truly flatter and see the difference, you start to become more picky. Especially if your goal is a small efficient wardrobe. 

    Having said that, I'm keeping this anyhow. So much for my principles! :-) 

  • Nicola replied 9 years ago

    I'm so glad you're keeping it. I've just seen it and I like it very much. It will be interesting to see if your opinion of it changes after wearing it for a bit.

  • Peri replied 9 years ago

    Haha Suz, I am so far from there it is a distant oasis! I have a few 10s but a long way from a closet full. I'm trying, but you have read my shopping woes...at this point 7s and 8s are better than going butt nekkid as we say down here! Maybe someday I will get there.

    But I would never in 100 years look at you and think "wow, she should only wear high necklines". It just wouldn't register.

    I do understand where you are coming from though. Like I was shopping with my friend and didn't like the way something looked and she was laughing her head off. Her comment: " I cannot believe you are complaining about having a little butt and big boobs". But I just feel uncomfortable in things that spotlight my "assets".

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    That's it, exactly, Peri. Your friend is probably thinking, WOW, she looks bombshell, and you are thinking, YUCK, I look bombshell!!! 

    That's a style persona thing and those ones are really important to honour, especially at first. Later on we might try to stretch our comfort zones if we decide that it could be fun to do so. 

    And I'm glad my ...er....clavicles wouldn't register as hideous! In all honesty, I think I'm just at the borderline there. If I felt it was truly un-viewable, I wouldn't wear something like this, full stop. I have just enough meat on the bones to make it passable. Hopefully people will be drawn to my face and not the other areas. 

    Funny, as this was never a concern of mine in the past and I have always been small up top. But the skin and weight distribution changes. 

  • Peri replied 9 years ago

    And wow, that's why you are winning writing awards. You summed up my style anti-goal in four words! Yuck, I look bombshell. Anything that brings up that response does not come home with me!

  • Beth Ann replied 9 years ago

    Love the color and the richness of the fabric.  It reads arty to me, and while it's detailed, I don't think "cute."  A woman has to have a certain "presence" to wear a dress like this, and you have it in spades.

    As for the 10's. I'm struggling to get out of 8 territory with my wardrobe, but I do think we can become enslaved to perfection.  When I teach singers, I caution them against "Gollum" singing.  This is treating the voice as "the precioussssss" and trying to make one perfect sound and keep it.  Vocal beauty is a moving target, and  little imperfections are part of the vibrance of the sound.  I think style is much the same ---- always moving and changing.  Good style is dynamic, not static. 

    Now, I wouldn't go out and purchase items to "go with" this dress, but perhaps something a little out of your groove might open you up to new possibilities!

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Beth Ann, you are so wise. And what you say is absolutely true. Perfection si the enemy of excellence. Strange, but true. And style is a moving target, and it's good to experiment a bit. And when you can do it for free...well...what's the cost? :-) 

  • Gaylene replied 9 years ago

    Exactly what Beth Ann said. Knowing your style and sticking with it is a good thing, but not if it stops you dead in your stylish tracks.

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