Summer is arriving in earnest.
Wait – no, nope, never mind, the forecast says it’s going to rain all of next week. Let’s try something else.
Summer is theoretically arriving any day now for another temporary stay before reverting to Pacific Northwest defaults.
What has arrived in lieu of sunny weather is a plethora – nay, a horde – of summery dresses, tops, and shoes. Everywhere you look it’s floral prints, colorblocks, vaguely ethnic embroidery, and strappy leather. It’s going completely to my head. After spending a winter in cardigans, slacks, and practical leather shoes, I’m aching to get into floaty fabrics, sundresses, drapey t-shirts, and my new peeptoe espadrilles.
I’m also interested in trying a new style or two. Winter season was a great time for me to try out new boots, new tights, and new skirts. I tucked my shirts into skirts and found a silhouette I now love wearing. I finally got myself a pair of pirate chic boots. I wore colorful tights to work and the world didn’t end. I discovered the magical properties of the twist-front jersey dress.
Unfortunately, not many of these discoveries can carry into summer. I did wear the peeptoe shoes with tights once, and that was pretty sweet, but the boots need to go into seasonal storage along with a few of my heavier skirts and the sweater dress. In the meantime, I’m testing the waters of a few new styles that may not be excellent choices.
Maxi Dresses. According to the gods of fashion, I should be wary of them (or not wear them at all) because they are long and I am short, and because they have loud crazy prints that completely obliterate the more petite wearer. They’re also too casual for work (at least I think they are), which has deterred me from seriously looking for one. However, I’d get to wear it with a bolero jacket and pretend to be 21st-century Elizabeth Bennet, which, as Katie has demonstrated, is totally awesome. Plus, not all of them come in retina-searing prints.
This one seems pretty harmless – classic black, a funky but not-too-trendy beaded neckline, and a flattering shape instead of the straight A-line drape most maxis seem to have. The racerback is weird, though, and $40 is a bit high for something that could turn out to be a one-season wonder. I didn’t expect maxis to come back at all this summer, but then again, I thought skinny jeans would die a short and painless death. A good fashion barometer I am not. That said, if someone forced me at gunpoint to wear a maxi dress, I’d probably pick this one.
I have no business even being interested in this one. It’s Forever 21, home of cheaper-than-dirt trendy duds and teenagers who dress more creatively than me. It’s strapless. It’s, well, a maxi dress. But it’s SO CHEAP. And look at that cute rope belt, and the ruffly hem, and the smocked top, and that gorgeous teal color! I could even make it un-strapless by wearing that bolero with it. And SO CHEAP. Ack! I might actually pick this one over the Maurices one. Then I can wear it with a big floppy straw hat and gigantic sunglasses and pretend I’m someone famous. Yes. We’ll do this.
Okay, other than being completely see-through, this one is pretty cute. I love the smocking details – it’s a bit more elegant than most maxis. But…it’s see-through, and I wouldn’t spend $30 at Forever 21 unless it was on twenty-eight pieces of jewelry.
Nude lace tights. Sal at Already Pretty suggested using sheer tights as a way to add warmth in cool springy/summery weather without having the thickness and stodgy solid colors of tights. I can’t remember if she was also the one to suggest skin-tone lace tights, but I thought it was a cute idea. It’s like your legs are still leg-colored, but now they’re ever-so-slightly more exciting! However, the one pair of sheer patterned tights I own has a tightly-knit, linear pattern, not uber-feminine lace. This means mine are slightly more appropriate for my workplace. I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing them in a more formal office, and I definitely wouldn’t be comfortable wearing any large amounts of genuine lace. So no lacy tights. This also rules out that look from earlier this year involving lace tops worn as layers over regular tank tops – at least I think that’s how it worked, I never really figured it out. My sister did (of course), but every time I spotted those shirts in Target, I thought of Moulin Rouge and walked away.
Gladiator sandals. I don’t like flats, I don’t like strappy leather cutting into my feet, and I don’t like shoes that are complicated to put on. Basically, I shouldn’t like gladiator sandals.
Short Floaty Floral Dresses. My sister has a bazillion of these. I want them, and I consider stealing them from her, but then I remember she’s a college
freshman sophomore and I have a job. Well, I’m about to not have a job, thanks to the move, but I’m guessing that my professional life generally will not allow for floaty floral minidresses, whereas college life is more accepting of SFFDs.
Still, I pine.
Mmm, look at that. Subtle pleating, a delicate print, and a cute belt tie. Kind of a low neckline, though, and it looks like the top could get poochy. It looks so lovely on the mannequin, though.
Short enough? I love the dainty print and the scoop neckline, but the last thing my shoulders need is big fluffy ruffles to emphasize them. At least the ruffles on the other dress were a little more subtle. It might be longer on regular people than it is on the 5’8″ model…maybe it’s worth trying on the next time I’m in the vicinity of a Forever 21. Assuming I can even find it.
I thought this one might be a good substitute for a SFFD since it has a more classic print and a longer skirt length, but with the same floaty fabric and belted waist. I actually tried it on but they didn’t have the right size, so I remain floaty-dress-less.