Party Dresses Just In Case

Hello Directorate! I’ve had some difficulty over the last two weekends aligning my schedule, The Photographer’s schedule, a presentable appearance, and the golden hour. I have a list of ideas for posts, but no photos. And thus, I am showing you some seasonally inappropriate dresses that we photographed last fall.

I bought these dresses during the pandemic when I was literally going nowhere because: (1) I believe that special occasion dresses should be bought when you find them because you can’t find them when you need them and (2) I believed that I would someday, again, go to a party.

Behold the first seasonally inappropriate dress, which I did wear to a party last summer (in season).

A party dress with a full skirt

You know how ruching can be very slimming?
This is not that kind of ruching

I saw this dress in the window at Hu’s Wear in Georgetown in 2021 (I think it was 2021) and the image stayed with me. Eventually the dress appeared on YOOX in 2022 and I was waiting for it just like a spider.

There is a lot of fabric in this dress. The entire bodice is heavily ruched and lined. The overall effect is bulky, but so pretty regardless. The skirt featured high slits, front and back, which I had Fatima close.

Clearly meant to be mine

The fabric is beautiful — and hard to explain. It’s a nylon technical fabric with some structure in it, but the flowers have a velvet texture. The overall effect is that of a velvet devore, but that can’t be the technique used.

Importantly, it rustles.

Weird greens combine with on-the-level greens

Behold the second Pandemic Party Dress.

I told you that I was getting strange during the pandemic. If you thought I was exaggerating, now you can re-assess.

To be fair, the dress features several things that you know I like: texture, the color grey, a shot of bright color, asymmetry, ability to double as a potholder. But perhaps the combination of all these things is . . . a lot.

Then again, maybe it’s just right

A racing stripe

One thing is certain. I doubt I will ever run into someone wearing the exact same thing.

I found this dress on The RealReal and it cost nearly nothing, tempting me to roll the dice and text Fatima. Interestingly the only alteration it needed was easy and fairly inexpensive. It was too big through the bust, waist, and hips. See that yellow stripe running down the back? It used to be 8 inches wide. Rather than take the dress in at the sides and add darts in the bodice, we simply got rid of roughly 3 inches on either side of the zipper.

A charming surprise was revealed when the dress arrived at my apartment. There is a cobalt blue stripe running down the inside of a fold in the skirt. It appears when the dress is in motion or seated, but cannot be seen when standing still.

If you know to look, perhaps you can see it
A touch of blue

I am not sure what time of year or occasion is right for a sleeveless, thermally-insulated potholder dress. Nothing says “cookout” like a potholder — but I think it ultimately reads symphony, ballet, or cocktail fundraiser in the spring?

Perhaps I need to get myself down to the Kennedy Center this month and give the other patrons something to think about. It’s a form of public service. Remember this dress?

Just doing my part

Green floral dress: Victoria Victoria Beckham from YOOX; Silver dress: Roksanda from The RealReal

Your Directrice, a blur of public-spirited activity

11 thoughts on “Party Dresses Just In Case”

  1. I have the perfect occasion for your ‘potholder’ dress – NMWA (The National Museum of Women in the Arts) will reopen in October after a top-to-bottom renovation! This sleeveless dress with a beautiful Fall wrap would be perfect – the artful Directrice in an artful setting!

  2. So much love for these dresses! And I’m so impressed the pot holder dress only needed altering in the back to make it work! The designer must have known somehow… And Fatima is a wonder.

  3. Both dresses are very attractive. The second one takes the prize. It is delightfully unique with lovely surprises.

    • And it is also worth noting that Roksanda is one of the few interesting, higher end fashion brands that offers sizes above a 10 or 12 as a matter of course. So the potholder dress is extra deserving of being shown off and raved about


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