Directorate, given the way we dress now, I still have pre-pandemic inventory to share. That means my commentary will be heavy on theory and light on shopping links because the pre-pandemic inventory is three or four years old and no longer in stores.
I did, however, just see this Rokh dress on The RealReal — where I have had excellent luck finding all the things that slipped away from me on Matches Fashion and Nordstrom in years long past. So, bear that resource in mind.
I found this beautiful dress in late 2019 or early 2020, but I think it was a spring/summer dress from 2019. I loved the floral print, in its vivid and bleached-out color schemes. Combining the vibrant and faded versions reads lively and poignant at the same time. Cue the Bartok Quartets!
The vivid print combines International Klein Blue, cornflower blue, black, white, green, and yellow. The bleached-out variation is celadon, taupe, pale blue, gold. This variety creates lots of options for shoes. Possibly too many options. But since most of my shoes are black, a lighter black (black with some gold detailing) seemed like the best bet in my closet.
The cut of this dress is very demure: a simple sheath with a slightly flared skirt that falls fairly straight because the fabric is light and fluid. But one feature of the dress is a little different from the common run.
Big, circular cut-outs on the sides.
Interestingly, this dress was styled by one retailer with a chartreuse jersey underneath and taupe suede booties (a very good look, but too bold for me) and by another with nothing underneath (bare torso! much too bold for me!).
I am wearing it with a navy camisole layered over a full-length slip in a color somewhere between ecru and coffee. I am wearing the slip to provide coverage under the skirt, which is very thin.
I must confess that when I saw a turtleneck in this same print on The RealReal, I bought it, thinking I could turn it into a camisole (snip, snip, snip) that would camouflage the cut-outs entirely. That project is currently on a list.
The circular cut-outs are elasticized, creating a little ruching at the waist. And for reasons I don’t fully understand, the cutouts make my waist look smaller than it actually is, even though no color contrast (creating a silhouette of positive and negative space) is involved. It’s a flattering illusion.
Equally charming is the neckline, which is elasticized to create a high round shape. Very pretty, I think.
Come closer and inspect the fabric.
This is another Rokh pattern “stamped” with the seasons.
Dress: Rokh (several years past season); Shoes: Tory Burch (old); Bag: Coach (ancient)
So what’s the lesson in this post of old things? Don’t be put-off by cut-outs! I have a couple of summer dresses that have a back vent (slit) at the waist and I have big layering plans for them. Big Layering Plans, so stay tuned.