The Dress That Started It All

Perhaps some of you have, at one time or another, taken a step back from your surroundings and asked, “How did I come to be here?” Admittedly, one is most likely to ask this question when something significant has gone completely sideways, but self-reflection should not be undertaken exclusively during dark moments!
This post may be the closest I will offer to a Directrice origin-story.
This is the dress that started it all.

Started what "all"
Started what “all”
Perhaps she will explain?
Perhaps she will explain

Roughly a decade ago, when I had been at my law firm for a few years, it occurred to me (bing!) that I could wear more interesting clothes and wear them more interestingly. Up until that time, I had been well-dressed (well-enough dressed), but my clothes were definitely traditional and perhaps a little dull and they seemed to be getting duller and more traditional.
And then one day I went shopping for a dress (in. a. store.) and instead of looking through the Dress department that I had generally gravitated toward (Kay Unger, Kate Spade, Lafayette 148, David Meister), I went to the Contemporary section and found this Rebecca Taylor mixed-fabric dress.
This dress is now almost ten years old, but at the time, it was cutting-edge: a silk crepe-de-chine bodice combined with a heavy cotton knit skirt the weight of a Champion sweatshirt, deconstructed construction featuring an exposed back zipper.
Something different
At last, something different

From the first season of exposed zippers
Something fresh
The first time I wore it to work, one of my male colleagues (a peer) asked, “You make that dress?”
He could always make me laugh.
But ten years later, I still get compliments when I wear this dress . . . so who’s laughing now?

And why shouldn’t I wear a sweatshirt dress to work? Particularly if I take the time to dress it up with pearls?
The human life span, compared to the history of Earth, is very short
Yeah, Jamie, I made this dress

Pearls can legitimize almost anything; never forget that
It’s worth keeping in mind that if your jewelry, shoes, and bag are impeccable, you can get away with a lot.
A lot.
I leave you to decide whether I mean bending the dress code or breaking the law when I say you can get away with “a lot.”

I bought this bag on a whim several years ago: iridescent patent leather that shimmers from eggplant purple to racing green.
It was a surprisingly practical selection. It enlivens grey and black suits and dresses.
Blank-off bag, for good measure
A blank-off bag — iridescent patent leather — for good measure

The human life span, compared to the history of Earth, is very short
Life: nasty, brutish and short
So what’s the lesson here?
First, you can decide to change your style. No need to evolve or wait for an organic change.
Second, life is too short, and too difficult, not to take pleasure from the little things — like dressing to please yourself.

The Directrice has seen a surge of new readers from Thailand in the last few weeks — very exciting to have you here! Please feel free to leave a comment telling me a little about yourselves: where you live, what you do, and what you’d like to see in future posts.
Everyone have a fantastic weekend!
Dress: Rebecca Taylor: Shoes: Tory Burch; Bag: Car Shoe; Necklace: David Yurman; Watch: Michele

10 thoughts on “The Dress That Started It All”

  1. Beautiful — and I love the oil-slick bag. I can’t believe we haven’t seen that one yet. Perhaps it has a much stronger personality in person than in photographs. Racing green sounds very exciting.

  2. The dress is a hit out of the park then and now. It is fabulous on you and with pearls perfect as with so many unnamed accessories. Your edition on block heels was timely and relevant. I wore them and liked them in the 60’s and 70’s and embrace them totally now in an effort to cut stress on my hips. Strange how once introduced to something so user friendly you cannot contemplate giving it up. Today’s dress was actually before its time. Kate

    • The block heels are really useful, aren’t they? Really, only a little heel is needed to create the polished effect of heels. Thanks, Kate!

  3. It’s nice to hear The Directice origin story! The dress looks fresh and stylish today. As an aside, one of my cousins, formerly CEO of a large well known company, says all she needs to feel well dressed is a good haircut and nice pair of shoes. This is how I will explain the boxes of low block heels due to arrive shortly.

  4. That dress still looks fresh! And I am a lover of what I call “disguise sweatpants,” those hard-to-find pieces that manage to look tailored and professional without feeling restrictive in the slightest. A Milly sweater-weight wrap dress is just the thing for winter days when I would prefer nothing more than wearing my bathrobe to work.

    • Ha! Some years it’s looked better than others. There may even have been a couple of years when a weight fluctuation resulted in a season-long holiday for the dress.


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