Can we talk about dresses today? Enough already with the boots, the socks under the boots, the jeans, the belt, the shirt, the sweater, the scarf. Add to that, a heavy coat or jacket—which can be so cumbersome when driving. Right??? Hats, gloves, scarfs.
I feel like Ralphie’s little brother from “A Christmas Story”.
Winter weather’s cold.
Its damp and it depresses.
I want the warmer weather here
So I can wear my dresses!
I love wearing dresses in the warmer weather. Even running errands and when I’m out and about, wearing a dress is so much more comfortable than fussing with shirttails inching their way out of skirt and pant waists. Dresses don’t cause as much sweat—especially in the lady parts areas, if you catch my drift.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love wearing separates, but I love “one-stop” dressing even more. I’m lazy by nature and throwing an easy frock over my head is more convenient. Plus, I like the simplicity of a dress when I’m at a wedding or a party where I’m going to be dancing and enjoying beverages all night!
It is also my belief that as we get older, it’s harder to find a really, really, decent dress. Dresses are either so short that one false move or bending over to low will have some creepy man approaching you with a wink and a $50.00 bill.
Or—they are so long that that you look like you are ready to join a convent—or become a member of some sort of modesty cult.
The Sisters of Mercy in the old-school habit. Wayyyy too much dress! It still surprises me how scary their habits were–and I had to look at that habit every day until the Vatican changed those nun-dress codes!
It’s hard to find that perfect length.
Another pet peeve—the online catalogues from Department stores. Nordstrom, in particular, drives me nuts. Believe me, Nordies is one of my favorite stores, but I despise the fact that their dresses are modeled by 20-somethings—it’s almost as though they are categorizing the dresses as for young women only—they need older women in these ads.
That being said, I took it upon myself to do some dress critiquing on what I feel can befit we “older women”. Listen. I’m an “atypical” woman in a very normal body—I’m not thin nor am I obese. I’ve got a belly; I’ve got hips and thighs that jiggle. My upper arms are flabby, but I still try to keep it simple when I’m in a dress. So here goes:
This dress is perfect. It’s from Nordstrom–notice how young the model is, but this is a great dress for every woman of every age. I’m allowing length because the models are so tall, so on a normal woman add two inches to the length. The cut is great because there is no defined waist–and as we become wider in the middle, this shape is just so flattering. I may head to Nordstrom this weekend to try it and maybe buy it!
This dress is from the J.C. Penney online site. I LOVE this dress. It’s a sheath, but it’s fitted and if you look more closely, the shape is a bit more defined under the bust creating a bit of lift–look at the length too. It really is a flattering dress for women of all mature ages.
Also from the J.C. Penney site. While I love the cut of the dress–again, without a defined waistline, the only thing I am unsure of are the way the armholes are cut. It looks like a very subtle capped sleeve–which I think is the most horrific and unflattering sleeve of all time. If I purchased this dress, I would take it to a tailor to bring the top of the “sleeve” in to look more like the dress in the middle pic.
Two more I really love:
Two more from Nordstrom. I’m usually not a fan of lace, but this dress is so pretty–and it comes in many colors–the lace over the tan is beautiful. It’s a body-hugging dress but not tight–the fit is really pretty but the cut of the dress is so simple and flattering.
The dress on the right is great for we older women. The cut is very forgiving and flattering. The length is perfect and so is the length of the sleeves.
The dresses below are on the fence- I’ll explain:
The dress on the left is from J. Crew. While I love the color and the upper section of the dress, I cannot stand that defined waist. Why? Dresses with defined waists seem to all be made with a high waist. The waist usually falls longer than an empire, but higher than your natural waist. I think if you are short-waisted, it works, but if you have a long torso, dresses like this just look weird. I’m amazed at how these dresses always fit 6-foot tall models perfectly, but on those of us who are 5 feet and change, the waist is always way too high.
Middle dress. For the incredibly toned woman up to 100 years old, this is a great dress. I do like this dress so much, but it is too long. It falls below the knee at an awkward spot. Also, the short sleeves could be a bit longer. From Nordstrom.
Dress on the right. J.C. Penney site. Actually, I really like this dress–but it is only available in gold. It could look “cheap” IRL. This would be a fantastic LBD though. I love the neckline and that deep cut armhole. I’m amazed that this dress is not available in other colors.
This monstrosity is from J. Crew and I think J. Crew is losin’ it! There is absolutely nothing flattering about this dress at all. The fit on the top is so baggy–it’s a mess!
If this dress didn’t have those hideous lace-only capped sleeves it would be as bad as it is. This dress is just too fussy. It may have been better if it was just one color. Looks a bit on the cheap side.
This is a tricky dress. Again, the waist–I don’t think it’s a good dress for women who may be experiencing the typical “middle aged spread”–it can look sloppy. Also, the skirt of the dress can look more like a tent on a woman with hips. Just not crazy about this. Not a fan of that sheer fabric overlay either.
That being said, here’s a few dresses from my closet. I try to dress for my body so here goes:
This is my favorite “work” dress. It’s from J. Crew and I purchased it over a year ago. I love the fit, it isn’t a defined waist and actually has an additional drop waist. I love the true “short” sleeves and the neckline and I love the white trim. There is a good amount of stretch to it so if I gain a few pounds, it still fits.
Here’s another fave from last year. Lilly Pulitzer knit shift. The print is very forgiving so I don’t have to wear shapewear. I love me some knits–they stretch with my body! The 3/4 length sleeve is also a favorite of mine. The length is short but I can still bend over without getting into any trouble. It’s also very versatile. I can wear it to work and out and about!
I. Stinking. LOVE. This. Dress!! Geez–lets’ see, I’ve had it for about 8 years now! Seriously! It’s by Tiana B and I found it at TJ Maxx for $19.99. I’ve worn it to weddings, fancy parties, dinner dates and funerals (with black tights). It travels so well that I’ve taken it with me on several trips to France. It’s fit me on fat years, thin years and normal weight years. It’s a true shift but the fabric lays so well that there is no boxiness. I also wanted to give a view of the hem. It’s satin. There is also satin around the sleeve hem–at 3/4 length the perfect sleeve. Honestly, this is the best dress Tiana B has ever produced. Oh. I’ve also washed this a ton of times and it still looks great. Best. Dress. Ever. I swear it’s so great when you find a dress that you end up having for years and years and years. It’s also seasonless. Isn’t that great???
Last is this sleeveless knit I got a Loft for $40.00. This is another great dress. I wore it to work a lot and wear it on interviews. The length is wonderful because I can sit very comfortably without constantly tugging it down. I love the fit and again, it’s very versatile. I would definitely wear this to a fancy party too!
Well, I hope you liked my dress critique. I’m no pro or expert but we don’t have to dress like a bunch of frumps! However, I DID find a GREAT article about dressing for we women over 50. It’s so good I have to share: Daily Mail Clothing Article Honestly, this article is so great I bookmarked it!
Hey. I had my hair washed and blown out today. I treated myself because I have a “final” interview tomorrow–I want to impress. Adam from Bleu Mousse Salon always does a bang-up job following my natural waves! I also took a “before” pic. My hair was so filthy but I like it dirty because I can make it look all “girl-singer-1960’s” teased and in a pony. Whadya think?
Before–channeling the 1960’s. After–Thanks to Adam, my hair is clean and pretty!
Well, I’ve gotta go and count some points. My Lenten Weight Watchers diet is calling!
Have a great evening! I’ll be hanging with my Mob Wives!! XOXOXOXOXO!
And since we’re talking about dresses–here’s Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels singing “Devil With The Blue Dress”.