The Directrice Embraces Prints

Some time ago, I wrote about the fatal allure of prints and advised against buying too many print dresses.

I stand by the advice, which is good, but must admit that something snapped inside my mind last summer and I found myself quickly in possession of two printed dresses for fall. You’ll see them soon.
While stuck in an airport in early September, I saw this one on a fashion blog and bought it without even stopping to think.
No thinking

Even I cannot get squarely behind this argument
To be fair, one could argue that polka dots — like pinstripes — aren’t really “a print.”
The difficulty of making that case rises in direct proportion to the size of the polka dots.

What were you thinking?
I wasn’t thinking; I was doing what the Internet has conditioned us to do: Clicking!

I have no regrets. Who could in the face of these luscious, irregular polka dots?
Polka dots are best when they vary in size and spacing.
Irresistible dots

Perhaps I was thinking a little. I was reading WhoWhatWear and felt that this Natalie Off Duty dress would be just the thing to enliven the shoulder weeks of the summer-to-fall and early spring transitions.
So much to love and nothing to dislike
Plump dots + ruffles = joie de vivre

This dress is well-made and reasonably priced at $129. The bodice and skirt are lined, but the sleeves are not, giving them an especially light quality.
Because the dress could read very matronly, I think a slightly off-beat shoe — like the penny-loafer styled mules — works best. A point-toed Mary Jane would work, too. But not a pump.
Rightly or wrongly, I might wear a denim jacket with this

I forgot to mention: The dress was fabricated as a maxi dress but I had Fatima shorten it to an appropriate office length.
Here are a couple of additional details.
I added one of my own belts to the mix
A jabot!

For those wondering whether totally unregulated social media are leading us toward a more perfect democracy or toward fascism, the evidence is mixed. On the positive side of the ledger, we have enough evidence now to conclude that talented bloggers have turned into influencers who are presently morphing into designers through collaborations with large retailers and smaller brands — something that would have been totally unthinkable 20 years ago. Fashion Democracy! In addition to the Natalie-Off-Duty collection at Macy’s, you may want to check out The Atlantic Pacific collection launching at Nordstrom today. I can’t speak to the quality of the pieces (have not laid my own eyes and paws on them), but they look great. Let us know if you buy any of them.**
Dress: INSPR x Natalie Off Duty Polka Dot Maxi Dress from Macy’s; Shoes: JCrew; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (will show more photos of this bag later this week)
* Who wouldn’t be interested in a YOOX x The Directrice undertaking? I recently read this recommendation of my blog on the Internet: “I am fascinated by The Directrice. A lot of her stuff is weird/ugly, but it’s sort of a fun work look.” Surely not a lot is weird/ugly? Only some. Only some.

13 thoughts on “The Directrice Embraces Prints”

  1. I agree with Hope — I would never have envisioned a lovely work dress from the maxi on the Macy’s website. Hats off to the Directrice! As for the wierd/ugly comment — So glad there are corners of the fashion internet universe that don’t conform to conventional standards.

  2. Speaking of prints, the prominent orange floral in the Atlantic Pacific line is a dupe of Marimekko’s Oodi ( ). I’ll pat myself on the back and say I recognize it because I purchased it as a throw pillow and a scarf (in b&w).

    Cutting the dress down to midi was inspired. I appreciate the styling advice for the dress. I have something similar (a more geometric print of this: ) that I haven’t worn enough. I tried more of a corset belt, but there’s probably no point in fighting blouseyness, a simple belt is better.

    • I love the Marimekko print AND the Named Clothing dress — though I was a little disappointed to realize the dress was a pattern and I’d have to make it if I wanted it. Fatima!! I think your instincts re your dress — a simple, possibly narrow, belt would look best.

  3. Oh dear. I must confess to being the person who left that anonymous review of your blog. Weird/ugly was perhaps not the right note. But in my defense, the reason I mentioned you was that the discussion had started about another blogger who was being fairly universally panned for objectively ugly clothes, and commenters were seeking bloggers with unique senses of style. You are NOT one of the many (endless) influencers being paid by Nordstrom to promote the exact same cocoon sweater of the season. (The Nordstrom anniversary sale this summer nearly drove me off fashion bloggers entirely.) Your style is you own. And to be honest it’s not my style. I cannot think of a single item you have featured that I thought would work for me (due to size differences, as well as personal style differences). And yet I plug you often (though usually in more complimentary terms).

    I will maintain, however, that your shoes do pain me. The exception is these mules which are quite chic and do work well with this dress.

    Perhaps a better plug might have been quirky? Hella quirky?

    In any case, no offense was meant and I hope none taken.

    • No offense taken! It made me laugh and I hope-figured that it was a positive recommendation! I am very pleased when people read this blog because they find it entertaining despite aesthetic differences. Thank you for reading and plugging.

  4. Why confine this to fall ? For winter in a mild location, I’d try black boots and tights, a proper coat for outdoors and maybe a puffy vest for indoors (Uniqlo does sleek no-logo versions which work surprisingly well atop professional wear).

    • MC Bontemps, you always have such good ideas! Marques Almeida made beautiful down vests a few years ago that looked like deranged marshmallows. So wonderful. But sleek is probably better. JCrew Crewcuts has really cute girls puffer vests, which might work for small women.

  5. That’s a nice dress that I think is very office worthy. It doesn’t look like it wrinkles easily, it’s modest but a bit dressy. Despite the ruffly business around the sleeves the fabric is light and could easily be stuffed into a jack.

  6. The polka dots are fresh and cheeky. And the dress will make a great layering piece.

    I’d like to see a Directrice line as well…


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