square-red-print-dress-1

The Law of Unintended Consequences

 
A few weeks ago, I showed you a beautiful 3.1 Phillip Lim dress and suggested that it might be suitable for office wear in the summer if it were worn over a slip dress.

 
 
 
For those who have not committed my every post to memory, here is the dress we discussed.
What is the most disqualifying element of this ensemble?

So very very


I didn’t just stop after throwing the suggestion out there. I went on to make fun of slip dresses. This was a mistake and the universe has taken the time since to kindly show me my error.

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Street Sleeveless Midi Dress Flamenco

Derek Lam 10 Crosby Street Sleeveless Midi Dress Flamenco

 
 
I went looking for a suitable slip dress and ordered a couple for this very limited purpose . . . and then fell in love with both when they arrived.
 
 
 
 
So now I own two slip dresses of marginal utility.

 
 
The marginal utility is an affront to my principles.
 
 
This one isn’t just a slip dress, it’s a print dress to boot!
 
 
But pretty, right?

Irony, the spice of life!

Irony, the spice of life!


Dress

Dress, like so


 
 
I have two ideas about boosting the utility of these slip dresses.
 
First, these slip dresses can be worn with a fitted sweater (a cardigan or a sleeveless shell) or simple blouse on top, like so.
 
(Turn your head just slightly to the left to the see the so.)

 
 
Perhaps you already know this, but for those who do not . . .
 
Jacqueline Kennedy worked with Bergdorf Goodman to design her clothes for the presidential inauguration in 1961. The gown designed for balls on the night of the inauguration had an elaborately beaded bodice, which Mrs. Kennedy decided was too obvious and so she had a silk chiffon overblouse incorporated into the design. And thusly, the beading was veiled and became muted, mysterious, and ethereal.
 
Genius!
Flap

This is why we study history


top

Note that I have unwittingly struck the unnatural pose of a mannequin

 
 
I bought this little blouse at Ann Taylor more than a decade ago. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure about how it would be worn, because, as you can see, it’s very short — but I liked the gentle ruffling of the neckline and hem and the pleats.
 
 
I’ve worn it over other blouses for years, so this is just the next logical step.
 
bow

Drawstring gathers hem at natural waist



 
 
I thought these lace-up sandals would look right with the romantic sweep of the dress. They are the right call.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But perhaps I should try these platform gladiators, too.
shoes

Rebecca Minkoff Greyson Sandal


Donald J. Pliner Fritz Sandal

Donald J. Pliner Fritz Sandal


 
I said I had two ideas. Here is the second: I am going to wear these slip dresses as slips. When I was in law school, I used to wear miniskirts with bright printed slips underneath (the same length or shorter than my miniskirt) all the time. I’d forgotten that trick until now. What could be prettier than a glimpse of either of these slip dresses under a black dress? This may, however, require shortening one or both of the slip dresses, so I’ll have to evaluate this idea in the fall, when I can look over my black dresses and the Phillip Lim shirtdress at the same time and decide what the optimal usage (and therefore length) for each dress is.
 
If you have other ideas for me and these slip dresses, do share.
 
Have a fantastic weekend!
 
P.S So many thanks to those of you who answered the call for descriptions of this blog last Thursday (you gave me loads of great ideas that I will use) and to those of you who offered such sweet appreciation for the work of The Photographer last weekend. Your interest and comments make this project rewarding.

9 thoughts on “The Law of Unintended Consequences

  1. Excellent call on the sandals – I’d stay with those. I see no straps for a bra… which is most preferable… are you going strapless? This look is so romantic and ethereal.

    I pose a brash idea to you… why not let the “slip” be longer than the top layer of a dress? I think the length on this print slip dress is perfection and should not be tampered with. And you are constantly nudging boundaries…

    • Sharla, you make an excellent suggestion. I had been thinking conventional black dress needs a slip of the same length, but that may not be true. I’ll have to experiment in the fall.

  2. I like them both too! I think the solid one would be interesting under things with a pattern of their own.
    The top over dress model is comfortable to wear as you don’t have a pesky waistband.

    The Pliners with the spongy sole look like they might be more comfortable, but they’re heavier looking. You’ve already got the tan wedges, how many thick soled sandals does a wardrobe need?

    • You raise an excellent point, Ginger! But the thick soled sandals do make me tall . . . I’ll think about these sandals further. I’m playing a long game here.

  3. I like the outfit and the waist bow is great at drawing it in just that essential bit. Very clever blouse to have in a wardrobe . I can see so many uses for that piece. It works its magic on that beautiful dress. The shoes are a winner, making the eye see those perfect black straps on the dress when worn without the over top. Like it! Kate

  4. I like Sharla’s idea above! Can’t wait to see what you come up with on that. I agree with Kate about the black sandals highlighting those sweet black straps. And how very prescient of you with the sheer top. I picture you like an alert fashion squirrel, stashing away little goodies for the future . . .

But what do you think?