Rhyme and Reason

For reasons I don’t entirely understand, I was issued a credit rather than a refund from MatchesFashion.COM several months ago and my repeated emails to customer service did not yield a proper refund. Because I love MatchesFashion.COM — a love that may not be reciprocated — I let the issue go and have been been trying to expend this large credit for several months. I am finding myself shockingly unsuccessful.

All I wanted was to buy an interesting dress.

Come, re-trace my tortured path with me! Hear the reasoning! Witness the sound and the fury!

M.I.H. Jeans DJ Long-Sleeved Denim Dress
M.I.H. Jeans DJ Long-Sleeved Denim Dress

I began with a denim dress that is not terribly interesting, but awfully cute. It fit perfectly.
The only problem with it is that it was the weight of a denim jacket, which seemed too heavy and stiff to wear comfortably indoors — even in cold weather. It felt oppressive.
So, I returned it.

I bought this beautiful silk print dress, thinking it would be the perfect spring/fall transitional garment. I even set aside my general concern about print dresses (I sacrificed my principles!) for this dress.
Unfortunately, the waist was too tight in a size 6 and if I were to go a size up the dress would be much too big everywhere else. The Italians can be so severe about the waistline.
So, I regretfully returned this dress, too. (And bought it later!)
MSGM Floral Print Silk Dress
MSGM Floral Print Silk Dress

A.W.A.K.E. Contrast-panel Ruched-side Dress
A.W.A.K.E. Contrast-panel Ruched-side Dress
I dipped into the truly avant garde with this pieced creature. Note the use of a third fabric — white eyelet — for the back and the ties of the green apron haplessly crossed. I love this dress, but it was a little snug and a little weird, even for me. So, I returned it. But looking at the photos now, I realize it fit as intended.
Maybe I should have kept it. Maybe I should re-obtain it. (I did!)
Always a good idea, to look at the model to see how it is intended to fit.
The back raises more questions than it answers
The back raises more questions than it answers

Here, a charming maxi dress. I ordered an extra small, thinking that the volume of the skirt would be overwhelming, but as it turned out, the bodice was so tight (weirdly, no zipper) that I couldn’t get the dress on over my shoulders. I was unable to try the dress on.
Good-bye, charming maxi!
Ace & Jig Estate Sleeveless Woven Maxi Dress
Ace & Jig Estate Sleeveless Woven Maxi Dress

Sea Bi-colour Embroidered Dress
Sea Bi-colour Embroidered Dress
This black and ivory dress is also charming and I thought it would be just the thing with platform sandals . . . which I pictured in red for some reason. This dress in size 4 was miles too big for me.
I thought about exchanging it for a size 0, but realized that the fabric — which is embroidered, not printed — would take a beating just through careful wear and dry-cleaning.
So, not for me.

And then this punk sundress. So fun! But here, too, the waist was incredibly small and everything else really big. I estimated that scope of alterations required to make it fit correctly was just not practical.
NB: Sometimes a complex cut with ruching and twisting is not so hard to alter — if you are not concerned with replicating the exact ruching and twisting and are instead with tacking and tucking.
My fantastic and extremely professional tailor will shake her head if she reads this.
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Art Love Punk Monroe Cotton Dress
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Art Love Punk Monroe Cotton Dress

Acne Studios Cabe Contrast-sleeve Crepe Dress
Acne Studios Cabe Contrast-sleeve Crepe Dress
Maybe you’re looking at this one and thinking, Directrice, you make your own trouble. Perhaps, perhaps. But I thought this might be a long, lean look and that the belt might not look so much like a giant, forked tongue in person.
I should have realized that the gathered waist would hit far too low on me.
Also, the fabric was a very heavy crepe — which had a lovely hand, but was much too heavy for warmer weather wear . . . and when else would you wear a casual, sleeveless dress?
But who could resist that little gratuitous orange strap?
Who could resist that little gratuitous orange strap?

Here’s where I landed. With a very traditional summer dress. You may think it looks a little dull, but it’s actually lovely — made of a very light poplin, cut very well. I will wear it with an animal print belt and platform sandals. This is the kind of dress that you can wear — seriously — for 20 years. (I bought this too!)
Weekend Max Mara Ande Dress
Weekend Max Mara Ande Dress

If you missed it in yesterday’s New York Times, here’s a link to a Vanessa Friedman’s essay, The End of the Office Dress Code. She’s combined a few themes into one piece — employment discrimination, gender fluidity, individualism, and the changing symbolism of dress.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Post Script: If you live in Washington, D.C. you should go see the Paul Taylor Dance Company on Saturday night at the Kennedy Center. Promethean Fire is the third work on the program; it will astonish, exhilarate, and delight you.

10 thoughts on “Rhyme and Reason

  1. I think you made a wise choice! When I was a buyer, (80’s) I was always drawn to “blank canvas” dresses like this because I love accessories. But my customers wanted dresses with a little more embellishment because they didn’t want to fuss with accessories. So I really had to rein in my natural instincts! You can do so much with this dress. Can’t wait to see how you style it.

    • It must have been so fun to be a buyer. I see red platform sandals with this dress . . . or coral beads and leopard print sandals. We’ll see soon enough.

  2. I love the AWAKE dress, a shame it didn’t work. Love the shoes shown along with it as well.
    Difficult to dislike the poplin dress you ended up with, so practical…

  3. I’m with GK – that AWAKE dress is sublime and feeds into your penchant for apron-like garments! I think you need to reorder.

    I also like the poplin dress you landed on, although the color/cut may require something sassy in the way of an accessory… which you also do so well. The length is seriously appealing. Can’t wait to see it featured.

  4. Directrice, you make me laugh (as always!). You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing with the Pieced Creature, it is an abomination (in my humble opinion). I love the dress you settled on, very simple and elegant. What is it with the Italians and their weirdly small waists? Wait, I know! It’s all about Sophia Loren! (Check out an old Sophia Loren movie. She had a true hourglass figure.) Anyway — I enjoyed hearing about your saga of returns and purchases. As your attorney, however, I feel obliged to advise you that you may have just publicly confessed to a felony (or misdemeanor, depending on the cost of the dress). When will you learn?

  5. I just have to ask: how much time did you end up spending packing, taping and taking these boxes back and forth to UPS or the post office or whatever else it might be? I can’t imagine!

    • Very little time! I ordered the dresses two at a time, so there were only 4 orders, and they were spaced out over two months. Also, I had them shipped to my office, where UPS/FedEx/DHL come a couple of times each day. So, disposing of each return took less than ten minutes. It actually took longer to try the dresses on than to pack the return boxes.

  6. Directrice – this was a very insightful process – I never realized how much “work” you go through to get the right outfit – you’ve often made it appear quite simple! I wouldn’t have the patience!! Bravo for your willingness to go through all this and then share with us week after week. I for one am very appreciative as your blogs are so informative…and so entertaining!

    • I am so delighted to hear that you find the blog informative AND entertaining, Sheryl. This post is an extreme (and ridiculous) example of one search for a dress. Usually, I have much more luck finding things and guessing my size! One for eight is not so good . . . One for four I feel fine about.

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