A Stroke of Luck

I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of cropped jeans: dark rinse, slight flare at the hem; mid-calf length. This may be an impossible quest for someone of my height. Thinking that I could solve my problem by throwing money at it, I ordered a couple of pairs of Point Sur jeans from JCrew (v. expensive), but they weren’t right.

They weren’t right, but they made things alright. When I stopped by the JCrew store at Friendship Heights to return them, I found this charming dress.
So unassuming on the hanger, it almost evaded notice, but the Directrice is like the Eye of Sauron in certain environments.
All-seeing, all-knowing
All-seeing, all-knowing

Tied up with a bow
The case for this dress is literally tied up with a bow
Maybe you are thinking, “That dress is still unassuming.”
I must protest and catalog its attributes: cotton boucle fabric, the perfect fiber and weight for spring; elegant cap sleeves; self-determination for cinching of waist; belt has enough structure to tie a creditable bow.
The best part, however, is the hem.

Can’t see the forest for the trees?
Do you see what I mean?
Perhaps you need to step back and take it all in.

Face Off
My bad side
My right side is my stronger side; the left is largely cosmetic
My good side

The shirttail hem is split (actually it’s an overlapping split hem) which creates a subtle flare. It’s so subtle, yet so much more interesting than the standard a-line or pencil silhouette.
Do you see it now?
Do you see it now?

And scene!
And scene!
The finishing touches are lighter, vivid colors. Hot pink always seems right in the spring. The azaleas are clearly guiding my subconscious.
Idea: Instead of the self-belt, a skinny belt in a bright color. Think about it.

Dress: JCrew Belted Dress in Black and White Tweed (on sale); Shoes: Tory Burch; Watch: Michele CSX; Bracelet: Dina Mackey; Bag: Coach Gramercy Satchel
Directrice shopping
The Directrice, shopping

14 thoughts on “A Stroke of Luck”

  1. great find! i love when that happens. finding the perfect jeans is like finding a needle in a haystack. i’ve had the best luck going to a department store at an off time and trying on every single color, cut, size, brand, etc. all while trying not to succumb to overwhelming emotions. (love bloomingdale’s friends and family for 20% the higher end denim that is truly worth the splurge)

    • I will make a video! But the secret is really that the fabric sits at the perfect intersection of weight and pliability.

  2. The dress is perfectly unassuming in all the right ways.

    I, too, am searching for the right pair of cropped jeans and am also struggling with length issues given my petite height. However, after much searching I believe I have hit on the answer without spending a dime. For a while now I’ve found myself wondering why I have two pairs of Gap straight jeans. Granted, the washes are different, but I always find myself wearing the indigo wash and never the slightly faded wash. Solution: I’m going to shorten the pair I never wear by hand and wash them to let the edges fray in a fetching manner. That way I get the length I want and I know the jeans will fit well – plus it’s a boon to my wallet. Might this be a solution for you?

  3. I love this dress and am tempted enough to buy it that I clicked on the link and saw … dry clean.

    Dry cleaning is ok for blazers and skirts that I wear multiple times, but I try to avoid it in frequent-wash items like tops and dresses. And I’ve ruined a few dresses by being lazy/cheap enough to throw them in washing machine.

    So the big question: Directrice, are you going to dry clean your lovely new dress?

    • I am, Lynne! I am willing to disregard care labels and wash certain blouses in Woolite at home, but I would never try that with a dress. Too risky, I think. I would however, try a little spot cleaning with cold water and Woolite in the sink — for instance, if my deodorant rubbed off under the arms. I’ll wear the dress twice before taking it to the cleaner, I think.

  4. I have a $1.99 drycleaning place near me, where Hubs takes his shirts, and i have all kinds of things dry cleaned. Since he’s in and out of the place for his shirts I can often get him to cart them over there. If I press a few bucks into his hand he’ll even do it cheerfully.

    I find that things stay looking nice and don’t get as wrinkled if they are dry cleaned. I imagine this dress could be hand washed and line dried, but why not have it dry cleaned, let someone else iron it ?

  5. I adore your thoughtful take on dressing, as well as your sense of style. (And your vocabulary and literary references don’t go amiss either).

    But you are ruinous for my pocket book! When I saw this post weeks ago, I truly coveted this dress. And then today, the JCrew email popped into my mailbox and instead of deleting like I normally do (to restrain my shopping), I clicked on it. Lo and behold, the dress! At a price I can pay! In my size!

    I live in a desert environment far far from the humidity of DC, so hot as Hades summers (but it’s a dry heat!) and cool/cold winters. This dress can be year round for me. Yay! And thank you!

    • A miracle, Blonde! I think this dress would be great year round — the boucle fabric can read heavy or light depending on what you wear it with. Maybe the dress could be layered over a patterned silk blouse (long-sleeved) in the winter? Just a thought.


Leave a Comment