WIW (and outfit lab): Vince dress!

So, we had warmer than usual weather today and I decided to wear the Vince dress to work. I teach, and walk about 2 miles to get to the site, and then walk back. . 

Guess what? It was very comfortable and pleasant to wear this way with tights or skinnies, a cashmere cardigan, and scarf. (And a puffer for outside, obviously!) Who knew? 

But comfort is one thing. Flattery's another. I did not feel flattered. I'm not even sure it was JFE. 

For whatever reason I do not feel that tunics look good on me. At all. I keep trying and trying them and then dismiss. Is it because my legs and especially my calves are relatively short? Because my rise is long? Because my legs overall are relatively muscular in comparison to my overall frame? I don't know. All I know is that ordinary tunics never, ever feel flattering. The only kind of tunics I can wear are asymmetrical -- and those, magically and mysteriously, do seem to work, proportionately. Oh-- and sometimes -- a trapeze style sleeveless with a short skirt and flats can work in summer. If proportions are right. 

A short dress is a slightly better look on me, I think, than a tunic -- but only slightly.  This AM I wore the Vince dress with merino tights and flat boots and it felt awfully short -- shorter than it feels with no tights! But I wasn't indecent, and the tights were super comfy and cozy.

This afternoon, I tried it with skinnies. Normally, I don't like wearing pants under dresses due to the bunching at the waist, but this was surprisingly okay. I also have side zip ponte pants that I could wear with it. 

I could also try kick crops. But it has to be a bit warmer for me to wear those. 

Anyway, I still think the proportions are a bit "off". I tried it with booties that have a small heel as well. Not that I could have worn those today, given the slush and ice I was combatting. Mid-calf or moto style boots might be better. But I don't happen to have any right now. 

So...I don't know. I am wondering if I should alter the dress. Make is shorter, or asymmetrical. I'm unlikely to wear it as dress but did enjoy the feel of it as a blouse/ top. And anybody who understands my aversion to regular tunics, help me understand....

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63 Comments

  • unfrumped replied 10 months ago

    Great outfit lab!
    I always thought this dress was made too short. An inch or 2 longer would be so elegant and not at all dowdy. But.

    The color is gorgeous. I like long tops that are NOT tunics if the have high- Los or curved gems. Do you need a top in this fabric or would it still be seasonally confused? Because I might have it hemmed to wear with jeans and pants, but it’d cost, and maybe you could buy a better silk blouse.

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    I think my seamstress could do it for little money, especially if I am just having it made shorter all round...and it would be worth it if it worked, as I would probably wear it quite frequently in winter as a shirt/ blouse. The quality is exceptional; I won't find better for the cost of alteration, that's for sure. And it is quite warm (with a sweater over top). 

  • Firecracker replied 10 months ago

    I like all the versions, here, Suz, but my preference is for the two with the tall boots. You look super duper fab in these outfits!
    I'm puzzled about your aversion to tunics, and I think it may have something to do with your suggestion about leg length in proportion to your body. Looking at the photos, it seems as if the front hem of the dress divides you about in half; perhaps that's why I like the tall-boot versions best. I think you could wear this look without covering up the dress as much, too, in warmer weather. Perhaps your feeling that the dress looks longer without tights has to do with the footwear you put with it. Maybe sandals extend the leg line more than jeans and short booties do.
    I would vote to keep the dress and wear it as is, rather than altering it. Although, perhaps you'd wear it more as a blouse?

  • Sal replied 10 months ago

    Okay...

    I suspect the beauty of this dress is in movement - and the fabric - and we don't get that in the photo - looser looks don't photograph as well as more tailored looks.   

    However, I can see what you mean - I think the proportions are not quite hitting you in the best way (maybe it is too 50/50 whereas a long top or midi skirt is more like 66/33 or 33/66 or closer...

    I could see this as a shirt worn tucked or semi tucked or loose over slim jeans - but I wonder about the width....not sure.

    I do like the colour on you but you have been tending towards cooler and clearer colours and more tailored looks so I guess I wonder if this fits in with your style direction?

  • Vildy replied 10 months ago

    This garment confuses me.  In the product pic, it looks as though it shows much more of her thigh plus perhaps she is wearing it thrown back a bit so that it shows the inner side of the back, as though hi-lo.  Maybe that element is there in your photos and I'm not seeing it.

  • Isabel replied 10 months ago

    I think shortening it a little is a great idea. It's not quite defined enough as a tunic at this length and it seems a little short as a dress. I like it with the both boot styles but with tall boots it's the most polished.

    The color is gorgeous, it will always be gorgeous and I can't imagine why you would tire of it any time soon so an alteration would be completely practical.

  • Vix replied 10 months ago

    Hi Suz --

    I thought you had the blue version of this so this has thrown me, ha!

    Interesting proportion Q since we are the same height and have similar builds/calves. 

    I think this is part proportion (as noted, it's giving a 50/50 look) and part leg shape...everyone has "their" great hem length(s).

    I know for me, I look best with hems that hit just above the kneecap, mid-cap, or WAY higher...like mid-thigh. [Hence my love of tunics over slim skirts/dresses cause ain't no way I'm going out in a floaty tunic that's mid-thigh!] I feel like mid-thigh might be great on you, too.

    Also, I'd love you to try this over a skirt or (if possible) worn backward -- it's longer in the back, right?) so you can see if you like the effect just for your own knowledge.

    If you like enough about it and think you'd wear it as a shorter tunic or even shorter as a blouse then I'd try chopping it. 

  • rachylou replied 10 months ago

    Well, IRL, I think these are good outfits. They draw attention to your face, which is where the attention should be.

    But should I choose to drop my gaze and zoom in on your knees for some reason, then I see what you mean. Then I get a stocky feeling. A belt to show your waist would change that, but I don’t know that I’d do that. One too many gee gaws maybe...

  • Vildy replied 10 months ago

    It looks like they've designed it to be ethereal and once you add layers for warmth, it constricts it. I know that seasonally confused is a thing but I have a poison eye for things that go against common sense.  As for tunics, I'm 5 feet tall and have short calves. For some reason I'm not as bugged as most people about this situation.  I wear some tunics and oversize sweaters and mini dresses as tunics.  What really works for me and is not a wintertime solution is to go counter to most advice and wear shoes that show the tops of my foot and as much skin as possible considering the type of bottom: ankles, inches of lower leg.  If I had to allow for freezing weather, perhaps there exists a nude slim or stocking boot but with a dark shoe portion.

  • Greyscale replied 10 months ago

    Our proportions, including legs, are quite similar and I have mixed luck with tunics but I do wear them a lot. It comes down to the exact length and structure, I guess. I think this outfit is quite good but maybe not perfect (but kudos for trying to wear the orphaned statement items). Maybe you're right that shortening it would be better - or maybe a longer cardigan would have the same effect? I also agree with folks who wonder if wearing it in the summer, without heavy layers, would work better.

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Vix, I think you are much slimmer legged than I am...and wear heels more, too. For dresses, I look best, I think, with hems just above the kneecap, or better, just below the kneecap, but with a heel. I need the heel for a below the knee length, because my calves are relatively short compared to my thighs, and my legs overall are relatively muscular and short. Sadly, my knees are not an attractive feature of my anatomy, (I tend to collect fat there and maybe the bones are also a bit wide) so hiding them is better for pure flattery; I just have to adjust for it with that heel if I can. 

    The top is absolutely longer in the back, yes. Or at least part of it is. It is 2 layers of silk. Hits me at my inner back knee. But it can't be worn backwards due to the cut/ neckline/ armholes... (It would shift around and feel uncomfortable). And I won't wear it with a skirt because that wouldn't fit my lifestyle unless super casual. I did try it with a midi tube skirt but 1). proportions were wrong, and 2). I can't wear those skirts in winter because they don't work with hose. 

    Mid-thigh tunics are the absolute worst on me. At least if I am understanding mid-thigh correctly, LOL. I might not be measuring right. 

    Sal, the colour is surprisingly okay for me. The burgundy is a bit on the muddy side but it's still pretty flattering IRL. I might not purchase again but I do enjoy it, especially underneath another layer. It has to be layered in my winter climate anyway -- it would never work without something over top. (The sleeves are sheer). Being silk, I could tuck it as is and blouse it and it would possibly work! It's not bulky at all. 

    Vildy, it shows more of her thigh because she has more thigh, LOL! I'm short; she's tall. :) And it is a high-lo hem. 

    Sharan, you're not alone in your puzzlement about me and tunics. All I can say is, they just don't feel right proportionately, much as I like the idea. It's the same reason I never wear leggings. They just feel awful on me. 

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    So, it's meant to be a summer dress...I guess? But it is far too warm/ heavy for my summer weather. It is best for fall here. The fall that lasts for precisely 2 weeks, maybe, if you are lucky, and you still need to layer part of the time then. 

    Thanks, Greyscale -- it's true -- we have similar issues with this yet you manage to do it well. Possibly also because you mostly wear black on black. So it's a column. 

    Vildy, I hear you on seasonal confusion. But in my climate, bare legs (or even sheer hose) and open vamps would be the height of confusion, way beyond an ethereal layer of silk for craziness! I could get frostbite and die out there. ;) 

    Rachy, that's it, exactly -- and my eye inevitably zeros in on my troublesome knees....

  • Vildy replied 10 months ago

    I know she's tall and probably long-legged. Partly it's the angle they're shooting her from, to make it show her thighs. I think the dress makes *her* look short-legged!

  • jussie replied 10 months ago

    Well, just to completely confuse you- I like it in pic 3, without the tall boots. I think that elongated the leg line. I love the colour, and I think it’s jfe. But you have to have happiness factor :)

  • Vildy replied 10 months ago

    Okay, since it's really warm, what happens if you hike up the layering and wear it with a crop jacket (under a coat of course) and then matching or toned in fleece tights or leggings and same color continued through footwear?

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    I think that would elongate the leg line, Vildy, for sure. But not doable in my weather. First, to find the right colour of leggings/ tights would be a PITA, and secondly, boots in that colour that I can wear in this weather? I doubt it....

  • Vix replied 10 months ago

    Suz I wouldn't have made you wear it backwards for the day -- just thought you might be able to try it and do a quick mirror check to see if it won you over so you'd know what to look for should a tunic every try to grab you!

    A little tape to mock up a shorter length or lengths (no need for pics)?

    I love altering to give a piece a new life, but it should make you excited to think about it. If you don't feel that way....

  • shevia replied 10 months ago

    Suz I give you permission to sell this dress if you can at a local consignment or ebay or the style exchange or whatever. Or give it away to a family member who might love it. I totally understand what you are saying about how an asymmetrical tunic works magically better - the combination of the narrowing diagonal, the sharp line and the eye confusion with the proportions make a huge difference. Just like a curved hem is very different than a straight hem on a blouse  (Angie blogged about this). Not that you don't look good, but it is not worth the trouble imho.

  • Vildy replied 10 months ago

    Apologies because I don't know your situation but I was wondering if you have to walk that two miles. Our son works about the same distance away as you do and he takes an Uber for five dollars.

  • Vildy replied 10 months ago

    Yeah, I reign myself in when I start to feel I am buying clothes for my clothes!

  • lisa p replied 10 months ago

    I’m purposely not reading the comments above before I add my own . I’ll be completely honest here : this isn’t you . The colour is not clear and pretty enough for you , and the whole look seems to require too much work , and for what ? A dress that essentially is hidden . The length isn’t great with the pants underneath and I’ve seen you look so beautiful so often that this is not worth your while . Disclaimer: I had it too , and ditched mine last fall . Trying to be objective though and only looking at and thinking of you here .

  • Christina F. replied 10 months ago

    I guess I wasn’t around here when this dress was first purchased. It’s neither fish nor fowl. What’s the intended occasion for it? Who is the intended wearer? What’s the right time of year - seems like a narrow range of time in any four season climate. It’s confusing.

    If you have to work so hard and you’re still not 100% thrilled with how it looks on you, then it’s time to let it go or turn it into a shirt. I think the outfits you’ve created here look quite nice... I’m not super attuned to proportion anyway, so take it with a grain of salt. But even if you pass on the dress you still have all those other nice outfit components.

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Ah, Vildy...I could take a bus. Perhaps. But I walk for exercise, fresh air, pleasure, and -- frankly -- for my sanity. As well as on principle. So I guess I have to get real with my climate -- even more than I've already tried to be. Lesson learned. :)  

    Christina, yeah, the window for wearing the dress is a bit short, perhaps, in my climate. It's a sort of dressed down elegant item. I like loose shirt dresses, so in theory it made sense. When I got it, I tried it a few different ways....

    Lisa, Shevia -- thank you for your honesty! What's done is done, is the message, I think. Okay. I have to admit it felt awfully nice today -- I'm a sucker for silk. But maybe a blouse instead of a dress...and if the colour doesn't seem to work, well, then...

  • lisa p replied 10 months ago

    Now I’m totally confused . It looks fantastic in that last photo!

  • Christina F. replied 10 months ago

    I understand why you bought it. It’s beautiful! I just wonder what the designers were thinking of when they designed it.

    Maybe you should host a dinner or party and wear it so people are coming to you. I like the styling with the plaid pants....

  • Vildy replied 10 months ago

    Me too, confused. That's the same troublesome dress in those last 3 photos? If it is, you look gorgeous and wear it like that and stop putting yourself and the dress through so many contortions just to prove something. :D

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Well, it is partly lighting, camera angle, etc. right? It does affect things. The selfie with terrible light does not help matters, for sure. My old camera set up was so much better but is hard for me to manage these days.

    And also, those shoes and booties have a heel. And the booties are a bit "chunkier" so maybe change the proportion a bit. So there you go. (Booties are long gone, alas). Vildy, you see that I had the toned hose then. Sadly no more. Nor the ink sock booties. 

    Oh, and I'm up a few pounds from 3 years ago...but not so much that it would make that big a difference, I don't think. 

    But I do still feel weird in outfits with these proportions, though better than if if were a true tunic. 

    Maybe a dinner party is the right place for it Christina! 

  • Gigi replied 10 months ago

    I wonder if part of the issue has to do with the cardi you are pairing this with. The cardi extends the width of your shoulders, which changes you into more of an IT as opposed to your usual rectangle. This dress seems like it's best for a rectangle shape with narrow shoulders. 

    I also think that the slimming and streamlined effect of the design (a very straight cut) is undone by the heavy cardigan.

    I was going to ask you to post a pic of you wearing the dress just as a dress, and I see you've already done that...and you look amazing. So it has something to do with the support act.

    I think Lisa p made some good points about the dress being hidden in this ensemble. My own two cents would be to wear this dress as it was meant to be worn, even though you have a very small window to do so. If you don't like the idea of having to shelve it for most of the year, maybe it would be better to sell it. It really looks like a dress that is tricky to wear if the weather isn't cooperative.

  • rachylou replied 10 months ago

    Hmm. The second set - outta the park. And what they all have in common, which the OP outfits don’t, is above ankle emphasis. And heel height.

    Hmm.

  • Deborah replied 10 months ago

    This fun Suz!   I have to say that I love it worn as a dress with bare legs in the additional photos you posted later in the thread but I also think it's a very short dress and that would create some comfort issues for me.  

    It really says tunic to me!  And I agree that the length is maybe not your perfect length. I feel that the dress is creating a lot of work for you.  I'm not sure an asymmetric hemline is the way to go.  If anything I might have i shortened to a hi lo blouse.... what do you think?

  • bella replied 10 months ago

    Suz, for what it's worth, I like the dress as a tunic - both the way you styled it here and with plaid pants in the last picture are great. 
    That said, I love this dress best as a dress with bare legs. I know you said that it doesn't get worn much that way. But don't you have any need for such a FFB option for warmer times? Cocktails, book readings, weddings, engagement parties, etc.? Since you've already paid for it, maybe don't tinker with it and just put it in your formal wear capsule. Would that make you feel better about the dress? 
    I have personally already given up on tunics. My problem is that tunics skip over the smallest part of my body, my waist, and then emphasize the widest part, hips, making me look larger than I'd like. I don't have a solution to this, except for wearing a belt, which defeats the purpose of wearing a tunic in the first place imo. So unfortunately, I have no advice for you. Oh, I never wear leggings either, pretty much for similar reasons. So there you go.  

  • Jenni NZ replied 10 months ago

    Hi Suz. I'm not with you on disliking tunics, they're my fallback. And I'm shorter than you ( either 5 foot 1 or 2, I'm never quite sure) and definitely chunkier than you. In these pics, the first pics hide the dress too much, we can hardly see it. But it is such a perfect colour match with the long cardi, I love it. I'm with Jussie in actually preferring it with the ankle booties as your legs look longer than with the tall boots, to me. With the tall boots, I prefer the merino tights to the jeans. And my total fave look is with the matching tights in the older pics. Can you get more? That's stunning!
    Of course I have a much better climate than you to wear such an item. I like the colour on you too x

  • Style Fan replied 10 months ago

    Lots of interesting looks with this dress, Suz.  My favourite look is the last pictures when the dress is worn with tonal tights and heels or bare legs and heels.  To me, this dress looks best on its own so that the design is featured.  

  • Mainelady replied 10 months ago

    The dress, or tunic is beautiful! I like it best with the bare legs, or with the plaid leggings. If the the length were shorter, would you wear it more often? The proportions would change, of course, but I think you have plenty of bottoms you could wear that would give you flattering proportions. Let us know what you decided to do!

  • Cee replied 10 months ago

    I wike !

  • Bijou replied 10 months ago

    Suz I like it best in the second set of photos, but in these photos, the booties and matching tights are gorgeous. I don't wear tunics for the reasons that you mention as I just don't feel great in them. If you think you will get more wear out of it as a shirt, then you should try it out. You have had this dress / tunic for over a year and barely worn it this way, so it is probably worth altering it to see if as a top it will be more useful. It is a beautiful colour on you and even in the photos where you visibly don't look so happy with it, you still look as lovely as ever.

  • lyn67 replied 10 months ago

    I totaly love the dress in initial pictie nr 3 and the  later uploaded nr 3, too! Think they are even KILLER looks! Then I would advice more on d a coing a column of color on legs, so thights, leggings or pants  same color with the shoes.
    BUT, I can totally relate with you about not loving tunics on me "For whatever reason"..."I keep trying and trying them and then dismiss". And yes, I think  it is because of my legs

    (but not yours, SUZ!')

    relatively short &muscular & my longer  rise. But, like you," I really don't know. All I know is that ordinary tunics never, ever feel flattering".Sobbing:-(

  • RobinF replied 10 months ago

    I am short and can't usually wear tunics. I feel like they look like they are just too long on me. Like they are meant to be a "normal" length but on me are too long, if that makes sense. Anyway, I say cut it off to a blouse length and wear it that way. I don't think it works with the jeans. I do like it as a dress in your second set of photos. It sounds like you like it enough to try to make it work.

  • Janet replied 10 months ago

    Suz, I think you've done a great job of exploring the options with this piece. It looks great with the jeans and long cardigan. However, I am with Bella and like this dress best on you in the photos where you've worn it as a dress. It's not *that* short at all, but I completely understand your reservations about that length, and about tunics, because I relate 100%.

    Even though I'm taller with longer legs, I find tunics and above-the-knee length dresses very difficult. I also do not like the shape of my knees -- I don't know how much is bone and how much is fat, but there is a definite spot just above my knee that makes my legs look like upside down tree trunks when it is emphasized. That's why I sold my SW OTK boots (which were barely OTK and stopped right at that problematic spot, making it look like my legs were squeezing out of the top of the boot, yuck). Oddly enough, there is a spot about mid-thigh that looks relatively thinner on me and is a better "stopping point", i.e., when I wear mid-length shorts. But I have trouble with tunics too, and suspect a lot of this is about where hems hit our leg shapes, along with how they visually divide our bodies. 

    However, I really have to say that in these photos you posted, I think your legs look fab and don't see any of the issues I have! But I know you have some of the same sensitivities I do. It's OK to move along and either wear a difficult item in a limited way that makes you less self-conscious, or to make the decision to let it go in favor of something that is easier to work with. 

  • Joy replied 10 months ago

    I like the dress best with the jeans. No knees showing. Have you considered having the sides opened up more. Then, without the cardigan, more of your body would show from the side and in motion.
    if it is making your head spin, Shevia may have the best solution.

  • La Pedestrienne replied 10 months ago

    So, my two cents,without reading all the comments:

    Based on the second set of pictures, any structure this dress has is in its shoulders and neckline, which you lose underneath the scarf and cardi. I like the idea of a tonal look with the cardi, but they appear to be the exact same length, which for me is a bit of a poison-eye; I feel like one layer or the other needs to be longer or shorter, otherwise the layers just blob together. I also get the sense from the first batch of photos that you're trying to hide the dress, like you don't really want to showcase it. But, it's a statement dress! So if you don't like the statement it's making and are trying to quiet it down, maybe that's a sign that it's time to let it go. Plus, if the fabric is too heavy for summer, I'm not sure how much of a window you gave to wear this piece. I've found I have no desire for floaty layers in the fall/winter -- a loose shirtdress is definitely a summer silhouette for me, and even then it's a challenging style.

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    The variety of opinions is fascinating! I really appreciate the input and ideas. And it helps to know how others see a situation, right? 

    Joy, opening it up at the sides is an interesting thought, but honestly, I don't think it would make it more wearable. Less wearable, if anything.


    Janet, you understand - thank you. I have exactly the same feeling about shorts...if I wear them mid-thigh it seems a better stopping point for the eye...that made me imagine a mid-thigh skirted legging or mini with tights could work, but alas (and weirdly) -- no. It could just be self-consciousness at play, though.

    I like the dress best as dress, too. It's too long for a tunic on me, I think, and that is that! I could shorten it, except I don't love tunics. Then again, maybe if I shortened it by 2 inches, as Mainelady suggests, it would be a long tunic, giving a different proportion to the ones that make me uncomfortable? It's a thought. 

    Lyn, it's funny, isn't it -- I'm sure others would like how you looked in a tunic but if it doesn't feel right...we have to go with our feelings in the end. 

    Robin, you and I may have a similar problem. It could be that if we purchase tunics in regular sizes they are too long. A petite version might hit at the actual right spot. I should try a few petite tunics on and see. 

    Bijou, it is so interesting to me that I am not alone re tunics! I can't imagine they wouldn't look good on you. Though I do think they tend to work best on rectangle and ITS and those with sloping shoulders or hourglass shapes tend to struggle more. My own shoulder line is square so theoretically, they should be fine on that score. The problem for me is the legs. 

    Style Fan, I agree. The heels help, too! 

    Bella, I do (normallly) consider it "special occasion" or formal wear but it didn't even get worn for any special occasions this year. And last year I think I wore it once? Or maybe not at all. The window of suitable weather to wear it as a dress is so very, very small -- maybe two weeks. And if you don't have an occasion in those two weeks, or it is pouring rain on the occasion... 

    Jenni -- I am convinced it is a matter of proportion. Even if you are shorter, you might have proportionately longer legs, or your legs might be shaped differently. So tunics can flatter and feel good. Thank you for the kind words. I can definitely to a hunt for toned tights -- it might help. 

    Deborah, yes -- it's just on the edge of "way too short" for me without tights, ha! It's okay, because longer in the back...but it does make me a tad self-conscious. 

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    LaPed -- the lengths are actually not exactly the same, plus the dress is layered, so it has different lengths itself. And the cardi sort of "fans out" as I move, so I think the effect is different in motion. I wasn't trying to hide the dress -- not at all -- but I need the cardi for warmth since the dress has sheer sleeves. Its underlayer is suprisingly warm and insulating, but it is short (so you need bottoms of some kind except in summer) and its sleeves are sheer, so you need something over top (at least where I live!). Also I was trying to casualize it a bit, for my teaching role. 

    It's really the window of opportunity for wearing it being short...the story of my (buying mistake) life! 

  • bonnie replied 10 months ago

    I have a similar style dress which I cannot wear as a dress because it doesn't work. I solved the problem by layering a sweater from COS over it and now I love it.

  • smittie replied 10 months ago

    It seems like a good cocktail dress. Do you have anything like it? 1/2 casual, 1/2 dressy? It might be worth keeping just for such occasions. You might have a Christmas party or winter wedding to attend. Or the theatre.

  • viva replied 10 months ago

    I LOVE it on you when you don't layer anything on top of it. The neckline is gorgeous on you and the sleeves too. I really think it's worth keeping and wearing as in the the third pic of the second set. that is how it shines. I wouldn't try to turn it into a sweater underlayer. To me, it's really best as a dressy topper to skinnies. Good for cocktail party, dinner in, or dinner out with friends (take the coat off when you get to the warm dining location).

  • lisa p replied 10 months ago

    I have become irrationally obsessed with this.  Rachy noted some valid differences between your current photos and the set of older ones, and I have another : your hair colour as it relates to the dress (warmer, vs cool now...and the dress is a warmer shade). I think your blonde hair brought out something grey doesn't with this shade of burgundy...and I had the same issue with my ash blonde hair. Wrong mix.  ok- I'll stop now, I promise.

  • Cardiff girl replied 10 months ago

    You look really nice as always but I understand where you are coming from if something doesn’t feel quite right it ends up not getting worn.I m not a tunic wearer never really thought why until you brought it up.I think for me it’s what to wear underneath,leggings and a tunic feel too”young”for me now.I too hate the bunch feeling of trousers under dresses etc.I also think that proportions have something to do with it and that I prefer to show my waist whereas a lot of tunics are empire line which doesn’t suit.Oh ,and as usual they are usually too short!

  • Angie replied 10 months ago

    YAY, Suz. Sooo glad you tried the dress over skinnies. I desperately wanted you to. That's my favourite look here - #3 in both sets of pics. AND worn alone with the Okalas. Looks KILLER actually.

    FWIW, this would be a Summer look for me on its own with flats, and maybe with cropped straights or flares if its cool. It would have to be a warm Spring day too. I enjoyed wearing a similar look last year - see below:

  • JAileen replied 10 months ago

    In the second set of pics, I think you look great! I personally like the middle one best. I remember when people were buying this dress. I regretted that I missed the boat and had no idea that no one was wearing it.

    BTW, it snowed here yesterday. Do you feel better? :)

  • texstyle replied 10 months ago

    Personally I LOVE this as a dress on you Suz and I think it looks fantastic - and with the jeans and tall boots or as you have it in that last set pic #3 is also fantastic.

    But of course it is ultimately how you feel wearing it I realize. You could of course alter it and it would be really nice as a top too but then you wouldn't have that killer dress. Does DH like you in that dress?

  • Suz replied 10 months ago

    Okay. Well, I think am going to keep the dress for a year or two and remind myself not to feel too bad if I don't wear it -- and maybe try it again with crops at some point when the weather improves.

    I like wearing it when the weather cooperates although it does feel a touch short as a dress for my preferred taste. 

    JAileen, you made me laugh. Your poor crocuses...

    Angie, a summer look? HA. Not in my wildest dreams with our summers. This confirms for me that I bought an item that's not right for my real climate. I would roast in this dress in our summers. No, I'd BROIL. It would look good on you with flats, but no way would it look good on me that way. Oh well...

    Cardiff Girl, yes, there is the "too young" aspect, too -- of both tunics/ leggings and a too short dress. Hmmm. 

    Lisa, I agree with you on the colour. It's a bit warm -- and a bit muddy. Especially with silver hair.  But...it's better than you might think, in person. Typically when I wear it, I get compliments. I think the green walls skew the look a bit in the wrong way... it's not my best burgundy, but it's not the worst, either. I wouldn't buy it again, but since I have it...

    Viva, I like the sleeves, neckline too (she said, contradicting herself, after telling Shevia I did not like the neckline!). 

    Smittie, the trouble with it is that for winter, you need hose, right? Or pants. But yes. It does have that sort of half-casual/ half-dressy vibe. It's possible that if I had just the right sort of crops for underneath I would like it more... hmmm. 

    Bonnie, that looks beautiful on you! I have noticed, though -- for whatever reason -- you wear the short dress / tunic over crops look better than anybody I know. Again, I suspect it is a matter of proportion combined with leg shape. It just looks brilliant on you somehow, but when I try to replicate that look, it is not anywhere near the same! 

     

  • Elizabeth P replied 10 months ago

    I'm glad you are going to keep this Suz, I really like it on you.  I like it best worn on it's own, as a dress.  Knees and all :)  I do think you should keep an eye out for burgundy tights again too, as that look is also fantastic.

    When I came to terms with our 6 seasons, I also came to terms with not wearing things a ton, in each season.   This is a great dressy piece for spring or fall.  I've worn mine in April, May and Sept.  Sometimes with a cardigan over, sometimes not.  With Okalas, chunky bootie sandals, and with booties.  I do still want to wear it with my navy knee high boots.

    Think dinner party, date night, cocktail reception...  I think I mentioned on another post, mine has gone to a funeral, and a late Sept outdoor wedding.  Seldom worn, but perfect when it was.

  • Tina replied 10 months ago

    Would it work to wear a long sleeved layer under the dress? A black or grey thin tee, perhaps? I do this with some of my more delicate tops in winter. I understand the need for warmth! We have had a very cold winter in northern Alberta.
    It’s such a beautiful dress. I don’t think proportions are off from looking at the pictures. It is a bit difficult to see the dress under the cardigan and scarf. Have you tried pictures without the layers this time?
    Good for you for taking the time and effort to wear it in the dead of winter. It’s hard when a person is constantly fighting the cold. Being cold just makes things less enjoyable, it’s irritating when you know you’d have been more comfortable if only you had dressed right:-/

  • Sara L. replied 10 months ago

    I actually like all the iterations.  I think your proportions look fine but I'll admit I'm not as sensitive to proportions as others.  I like to winterize summer looks by layering under or over them, so I really like the look with the cardigan.  

    I've recently figured out the tunic and leggings look, but I had problems with it for a long time. I had a hard time finding tunics that were the right length, not too wide through the body, but not super body conscious either.  Tunics are a harder fit than you would think.

  • La Pedestrienne replied 10 months ago

    Hah, I ran out of time this morning and the result was that my previous comment came off pretty harsh! I managed to list all the cons and none of the pros, sorry about that. I absolutely agree with you that the main issue is the seasonal trickiness. A multi-layered dress with gauzy sleeves -- sheesh! But the sheer sleeves are part of what makes it so neat looking. I vote holding zone and give it another go in May! 

    Also -- I always, always feel weird about myself in skirts in the winter, because my legs are so often in pants (plus long johns) that I just forget what my legs look like without all that fabric encasing them. Somehow it's always a shock. :)

  • tulle replied 10 months ago

    I  get it that this burgundy is too brown for you (It was too brown for me, too--that's why I bought the dark blue one!) but must say that in these pictures, it works.  I've noticed that burgundy, unlike many other colors, can be nudged toward a more flattering effect by adding more burgundy in deeper, richer tones. Your cardigan, with its more interesting texture and richer color, 'lifts' the matte, muted dress, and the leopard patterned scarf adds even more interest.  So this is a winner in my eyes.  I would probably wear it with black pants rather than denim, to sharpen the edges a bit, but that's no big deal.  Why keep this dress?  Because it's silk lined in silk, that's why!  SO rare. I wore my blue version of the dress in every season, and always felt secure knowing that it was in my closet.  I'm a couple of inches shorter than you, so the length was that much longer on me, but it was still above the knee in front.  I wore it to the theater, to cocktail parties, with tights & boots and without, and felt dressed up, but comfortable and appropriate everywhere. It did shrink a bit with each cleaning, but I figured I could eventually wear it with pants as you've styled it, or cut it off to shirt length.  I was set to wear it to my daughter's college graduation when I discovered some mysterious and ruinous oil stains on it.  So sad!   Now, should you shorten it?  Maybe, if you can find that perfect hem length. (It would look nice a little shorter under the cardigan, I think.) Make it asymmetrical?  Not unless you have a seamstress with a very good eye and a very steady hand; lightweight silks like that are so hard to control. 

  • Sal replied 10 months ago

    I am pleased you are keeping it too - it really does suit you but just has a few tricks about it.

    I have a couple of tricky pieces too that hang around not being worn but every now and then it is just fun to pull out something different.  And a good reason to host a dinner party:)

  • Angie replied 10 months ago

    Suz, you don't give your lovely legs enough credit. You'd look great wearing flats with the dress - provided the flats were an inch high and comfy.  

  • shevia replied 10 months ago

    Hmm, your third look, second set is smashing. Still might not work for your weather/lifestyle but very inspiring.

  • Jane replied 10 months ago

    I wondered if OTK boots might also work? I think that it looks great with the jeans. But all looks work for me. Great scarf!

  • Lynn replied 10 months ago

    I haven't read through all the replies yet but here is my two cents. I think the proportions are off- it seems to cut you in half and that is even more emphasized by the sweater that is about the same length. 

    If you still want to try to make it work I would play with different lengths. I find for me even an half inch in length can make a big difference.  You probably know this but to start you can measure from your shoulder to the floor (typical shoes included) and divide this in thirds or fifths. Ratios of 1:2 or 3:5 tend to be the most flattering on a lot of people. 

  • viva replied 10 months ago

    I just want to commend you for listening so closely to everyone and then responding so carefully to all the input, Suz. I would have thrown in the towel (and probably consigned the dress!) much, much earlier. You're a better person than I.

    xxxxx

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