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A Wonderful, Awful Idea

 
Whenever I get an idea — and I get lots of ideas every day — I hear Boris Karloff’s voice saying, “Then he got an idea. An awful idea. The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea.”

 
 
So here’s my latest wonderful, awful idea.
 
I love this dress and I love the way this model looks wearing it.
 
But even I accept that you can only push the envelope so far.
It has a certain something

It has a certain something

What is the most disqualifying element of this ensemble?

What is the most disqualifying element of this ensemble? Do not say the open-toe

 
 
I cannot show up for work, or even a work party, wearing a dress undone over shorts and go-go boots.
 
It’s simply isn’t done.
 
Or in the words of Sillerton Jackson, “I didn’t think the Mingotts would have tried it on.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But what if we were to marry this inappropriate robe with another equally inappropriate garment . . .

 
 
Marry it to a garment that I didn’t expect to see resurrected in my working years . . .
 
 
the sLiP DrEss???
Tibi Bella Floral Handkerchief Dress; I would shorten this to knee length

Tibi Bella Floral Handkerchief Dress; I would shorten this to knee length


And now I must share my strongly held views about the slip dress.
 
Metallic Slip Dress from Topshop

Metallic Slip Dress from Topshop

Jill Stuart Lika Slip Dress from Shopbop

Jill Stuart Lika Slip Dress from Shopbop


 
 
 
The slip dress is just everyone being lazy — designers and wearers.

I am totally enamored of this idea. Two wrongs shall make a right!

Dress: 3.1 Phillip Lim Long-Sleeve Cotton Twist-Front Shirtdress

If you haven’t heard about the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Gotthard Base tunnel in Switzerland, please accept this gift from me to you: click here now.

20 thoughts on “A Wonderful, Awful Idea

  1. I like the white dress.
    For a non-work venue I might like the lazy pink dress under the white one. At work I’m afraid it will look like your slip is showing.
    If the black doesn’t show through the white I might like that.

    Would you consider light silk pants instead? That gets you away from “your slip is showing” into the “I’m channeling the Mideast” vibe.

    • A good idea, Ginger, except that several sharp-eyed commenters noticed the most disqualifying feature of the dress, the slash of midriff — which is what sent me down the slip dress road. There is no reason that one couldn’t wear a camisole and silk pants, but I think they would need to be the same color.

  2. Please note that the white shirt dress also appears to have a gap which shows the side of one’s midriff, surprisingly turned away from the photographer in both views shown here. I think that would probably be even more unsuitable in the office than the shorts or the toeless boots? Which might make the slip-dress appear more intentional, but should certainly be taken in to consideration.

    • You win the contest, Jessica! You are also correct to point out that the retailer should make that detail a little more noticeable to the less observant shopper. But maybe the retailer figures the woman who is up for the shorts and the go-go boots is ready for anything.

  3. I think you would have to be careful not to have a mad scientist vibe because the open front plus white strikes me as potentially lab coat esque. Then again Stylish Mad Scientist could be an interesting look if intended.

  4. Ah, how I enjoy and appreciate this blog. Thank you, Directrice, for never failing to make my day. I agree the dress is stunning, midriff-baring side slice and odd elbow-revealing elements notwithstanding. And, I love GingerR’s suggestion of pairing it with pants.

    Five words in mild defense of the slip dress – though I personally could not pull it off: Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, wedding gown. Ravishing.

    But perhaps this is just the exception that proves the rule?

    • I agree that her dress was stunning, Melissa! I read that that dress didn’t have a zipper (or other fastenings) and was incredibly difficult to put on. Custom-made by Narciso Rodriguez and you have to wrestle into it? That seems wrong.

  5. I sometimes wear a kimono over leggings or a slip dress and it’s almost the same premise.
    It’s sort of a version of a shalwar kameez, or ao dai.
    I think you can wear the dress over shorts, but then again, I’m fond of throwing caution to the wind. (and I am much older than you)

    • Oh, I don’t want to dispute with a fellow Edith Wharton fan, but was it not THE AGE OF INNOCENCE? (Did I even spell that correctly?)

      • Ah, so you are right, Violiniste, another wonderful Wharton novel(but they are ALL wonderful and the short stories too). But House of Mirth is my favorite still.

        • The Age of Innocence is my favorite, but I really loved them all. House of Mirth is beautifully written, but so tragic (although compared to Ethan Frome, it’s a comedy). Age of Innocence is more bittersweet. I loved The Buccaneers, even though some may think my enthusiasm is misplaced.

  6. This white garment could be used as a layering piece in lots of ways- like as a dress/jacket like you suggest, or the under layer for your Hunger Games sweater… plus the slip dress. I’m diggin’ it.

  7. White dress: looks like a stylish lab coat. Too much “Maidenform Moment” vibe going on.
    Slip dresses: but. . .but. . .what about the brassiere?

    • I know. Odious strapless bra. But only if the slip dress were worn alone . . . which I don’t think I would do. (Too skimpy for me.) If I wore the slip dress under the labcoat, I would wear a regular bra in a taupe color.

  8. The white dress is wonderful, but dear lord, you totally derailed me with the Gotthard Base tunnel in Switzerland. The human hay ricks and bottle brush people cracked me up. Thank you!

But what do you think?