The Enhanced Asymmetrical Dress

We’re moving back into the season of transition and I am ready.
I think I am ready. But I am going to take things one day at a time.

Two rules of thumb when facing a disconnect between the season, the date on the calendar, and the weather outside are: bare arms with heavier fabrics or long-sleeves in lighter fabrics. Does that sound right?
Here, I am wearing a heavier fabric — a light colored wool flannel — with bare arms.
I’ve previously questioned the wisdom of manufacturing garments like this, because they seem to require exotic personal micro-climates: cold body, hot arms. But when you think about it there is a perfect logic to wearing an unwearable garment during an impossible season.
New dress
To every thing, there is a season

lovely drape, right?
Lovely drape
I found this dress on The Outnet several months ago. It struck several chords: grey! asymmetrical! structure! drape!
The color and asymmetry require no explanation. But let’s note the drape. It’s a bit alluring, no?

More remarkable is the structure of the neckline, which may not be obvious in the front view. For your convenience, I will stand in profile.
I will do anything for you

Come closer and marvel further.
up close
Oooh; aaahhh

This dress fit like a glove when it arrived, which felt a bit snug around my hip bones. I prefer my clothes to fit like a glove with an inch of ease. So I took it to Fatima and asked her to open the lining so that we could determine whether the seam could be let out a little.
You aren't surprised are you?
Are you surprised that The Directrice took the bait?
Fatima’s response was — paraphrasing — Set aside the seam allowance. Dream Big! Let’s add a wedge of silk chiffon to the skirt. You’ll have plenty of room and it will be interesting.
She was pushing an open door.

Here is my remodeled dress.
starting to turn
Directrice 360 technology makes this possible
Check out the liing
Poised to Fret: the short side shows more leg than I generally show

Continuing to turn, silk chiffon insert creeping into view
And *zounds* the silk chiffon insert in full

For those who need Fatima, you will find her at Bespoke Tailoring, 1100 New York Avenue NW, WDC 20005. Always call (202/547-0000) and make an appointment.
For those puzzling over the early weeks of spring, I published a post last March on transitional dressing that offered a number of tricks to get you from March to May. But let’s open the floor to a broader exchange of ideas! How do you move into spring when the temperatures are bouncing around in March and early April?
Dress: Carven; Shoes: Cole Haan; Bag: Car Shoe; Bracelets: John Hardy; Watch: Michele Serein 16

16 thoughts on “The Enhanced Asymmetrical Dress”

  1. I was yearning to see a wedge of Fortuny pleats! But chiffon is nice… (coloured chiffon would be interesting in a future remodel…) Bodice and neckline are both very flattering. Goosebumps on arms not so much! My personal microclimate is not in this league – kudos to your metabolism.

    • Interesting that you should say Fortuny, Other Victoria, because that was my initial thought — I pictured a crinkly or pleated silk. But I left the matter to Fatima’s discretion and she picked this dreamy organza-like chiffon which is somehow filmy and crisp at the same time. Very nice to play with while fidgeting at my desk.

  2. I love that neckline, for artistic as well as personal reasons. I am self-conscious about a protruberant lumpish thing on the back of my neck (it is not a growth, I have had it checked, it is simply me with a large neck vertebrae or something) and this dress would hide it well.

    • Form following function, Hope! This neckline would also accommodate a neckbrace for days when my head feels especially heavy. This neckline might also look pretty with a small scarf knotted around my neck like a choker.

  3. What a marvelous dress. It has the really interesting and appealing asymmetry that I had yet to see in any other asymmetric garments.It is very becoming.

  4. A brilliant idea! Though I confess I thought PINK chiffon against the gray would be striking. But the ease of that wedge insert makes it possible to change the color if it strikes your fancy some day. Very, very sharp.

  5. The dress looks so beautiful on you with the raised neckline framing your pretty face and hair. The insert would work if you are uncomfortable without one. The color even enhances your skin. Great investment. Kate

  6. I complain. A lot. Sometimes I sulk. Inside. In an environment I can control.

    I love this dress so much. It looks fantastic on you. High marks to Fatima for her excellent suggestion. Though I was so hoping for pear colored silk chiffon.

    • OO! Pear-coloured – well imagined!! With lots of neutrals in her wardrobe, this would work for nôtre chère Directrice.

    • My first thought, Kate Tyndall, was: Does she mean D’Anjou or Bartlett? And then I realized, “Who cares? All the pears are beautiful!” Perhaps Bosc is an exception. Setting aside my internal yammering, what a beautiful idea — I do love fresh and acidic greens.

  7. Your seamstress is a find; as was the dress. However, my findings seem to show the opposite of your own research. To whit: heavy fabric needs colder weather, ergo, sleeves are required (and vice versa). Cue extra effort in finding the right neckline for an underlayer, or over layer. This, I admit, from a climate without either decent heating or freezing air-conditioning.

    • It is a paradox, Ursula! I’ve worn this dress with a lightweight crew neck sweater (black) and was not that impressed with myself. I think a better choice might be a fitted white linen blouse with short or elbow length sleeves — but right now this combination only exists in my head.

  8. I’m thinking your arms may rival Michelle Obama’s. I would never consider the bare arms for myself – so I will just sit and admire from afar. That neckline is so appealing. Excellent post!

  9. Oh rats! Damned iPhone filled in my full name and I missed it in my eagerness to toss in my two cents. Oh well. I suppose I will have to be Kate T… from now on. Best anyway, since we have a prior Kate. Anyway, I had no particular pear in mind. It was simply that that luscious yellow-green color seemed the perfect complement for the gray of that beautiful dress. Plus, I love the acidic yellow-greens, but sadly, they do not love me. You, however, they favor splendidly, and I have lived vicariously through the acid greens in your wardrobe. Many thanks!


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