Friday, March 30, 2007


Noticeably absent or in short supply for the past few seasons, dresses have finally made a major comeback. No longer tucked away unobtrusively among the sportswear they have once again claimed a department of their own. From sundresses to shirt dresses (a style you should purchase with caution) there is plenty to chose from and for quick and stylish dressing nothing beats a dress.

In their eagerness to assure the dress a place in every woman's wardrobe the designers have pulled out all the stops. You'll find them in styles both long and short and narrow or full. What ever your favorite, it's out there. However proceed carefully because there are some potential pitfalls.
For us more seasoned gals, short and full is not generally a good option unless you're wearing the dress as a tunic over narrow slacks and even the it can be tricky. However if your legs are good, short and narrow is a winner. In fact the shift, of which you'll find many, is almost universally flattering. Just make sure it skims the hips, shows a hint of butt and is no longer than just below the knee. If you're proud of your waist, you can belt it and adjust the length accordingly.
The wrap dress, first made famous by Diane Von Furstenberg is also flattering and easy to wear. Not so the shirt dress with a full skirt belted at the natural waistline. This style just ends up looking dowdy unless you are very tall and very thin. Banana Republic showed one in early spring that is now cluttering the sale racks, a sure sign that it didn't flatter many.

If,when appraising a dress, the first adjective that comes to mind is "cute", just walk on by. We're looking for elegant or sexy. Some manufacturers have an affinity for small dark prints, the kind you may remember your grandmother wearing. Although they may look stylish on a twenty year old, they are NOT for us.

During last summer's heat wave I found my self envying my friend Pat, an artist with a good eye for what flatters. While I tried to beat the heat in shorts and tank tops she looked cool and elegant in sundresses. She had snapped up a few at H&M in early spring. I rushed out to get some in July but they were nowhere to be found. Now I've seen them in stores from Old Navy to Anthropology and Bloomingdales and I'm stocking up!

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