The Fifty Cent Dress That Wasn’t There

A couple of months ago, I bought a Fifty Cent Dress for spring.
It will keep until fall. Or spring 2021.

I think I saw this dress on a style blog — some other person’s style blog — and thought “I moose have that dress.”*
I also think I bought it on my phone, while in a taxi. I have purchased a surprising number of things from the back seat of a taxi.
Fifty Cent Dress, socially distanced from The Photographer

We’re members of the same household; we are allowed to stand within 6 feet of one another
No more taxi-shopping for me! At least, not for awhile.
That’s probably a good thing. Although there was a certain efficiency in combining ground transportation with shopping.

I am not sure why this dress captured my fancy so fixedly, but it did: stripes, an oversized collar, giant puffed sleeves.
Perhaps each feature alone is not a justification, but somehow they combine very charmingly.
The Photographer comes in close so you don’t have to

Out of alignment
The sleeves are the size of cantaloupe melons. The shoulder seams were an inch or two too long, so I “shortened” those seams with safety pins. Because the sleeves are voluminous and the fabric is stiff, the safety pins are totally hidden.
See how charmingly the stripes on the yoke are not aligned with the rest of the dress? It’s a great graphic detail. Unless it is shoddy manufacturing. I think it must be intentional because it’s interesting.

This dress with these shoes reminds me of the Robe and Slippers I showed you a few years ago.
The fabric of this dress is a bit of a mystery to me. It’s heavy, stiff, and slippery. This means that it will hold its shape. But the weight and heat of the fabric seem at odds with short sleeves. I think this dress was made for April and October.
Robe and slippers = permissible when WFHing, though I’ve tried to do better

Come closer and take a look at the details.
Since we are separated by miles, you can come as close as you’d like.
You are safe; I can’t hurt you

I am including these next two photos because they capture a micro expression that I think is funny.
Here, everything is ok
Seconds later, I seem to have caught sight of something I do not like

All Hail the The Melon Sleeve!
Look at that sleeve

It could be that by spring 2021, giant sleeves will be out of fashion. Or that I will have come back into myself and realized that these sleeves are ridiculous. If that is the case, I can always have the sleeves slimmed down.
The rest of the dress is classic.
I couldn’t help m’self; I rushed The Photographer

In an effort to avoid congested sidewalks, I’ve been walking on the side streets of my neighborhood. As a result, I have taken a keen, personal interest in the color combinations of every house on my regular route. Forest Hills Homeowners: I have notes for you. One thing I have observed is that although there are many stone houses in D.C., few are trimmed in shades of blue. But they could be, as is the case in Old Montreal. I was impressed and delighted by the range of blues — palest aqua to deep marine — that were paired with stone in Montreal. Tell me: Of the places you’ve visited, which had the prettiest vernacular (in terms of color) for residential architecture?
Dress: Self-Portrait; Shoes: JCrew
* Years ago, I gave my friends a ride to the airport when they were headed to Maine for a photography workshop. When they returned, they were laden with small gifts of appreciation including a notepad decorated with a moose and the words, “Things I Moose Do.” One of them said, “I don’t know why we bought you this” — but I loved it and although the paper has been gone at least 25 years, I still use the phrase (in my head). Things I moose do . . .

12 thoughts on “The Fifty Cent Dress That Wasn’t There”

  1. I love folkloric architecture in pretty colours as much as the next traveller but tend to mistrust it a little, or rather think : regulations ? subsidies ? both ? Present-day Basque country for example, straddles France and Spain, so a visitor sees the same traditional farmhouses on both sides of the border, boxy structures with a stone base, half-timbered upper storeys, sturdy wooden shutters. On the French side, the timber and shutters are pretty much always painted in a handsome brick red gloss. On the Spanish side, which generally feels much less affluent and less precious (more farmers, fewer second homes), they are a dowdier mix of unpainted, fading and peeling.

    This dress evokes the civilian dames of the 1940s shouldering their way through bomb raids, nursing duties and code-cracking. I like it !

  2. DIRECTRESS! You MUST KEEP THIS DRESS!!!!!! It is so beautiful and stunning. The beautiful tea-length which at 5’2 I cannot pull off. This dress is amazing. You MOOSE keep it!

  3. This dress is everything. Modest, hip, semi-period, buttons, tie belt, beautiful collar, pocket flaps (!) – this is incredible. I’m a tad envious.

  4. You moose listen to your poor mother and ditch those shoes. It’s almost Mother’s Day! You simply moose. But the dress is very cool. In other news, it’s a miracle we made it home from the photography trip, with the moose notepad, because we stayed in a B&B with a slanted floor and had vertigo the next day!

  5. It’s interesting to see the craft behind many of those houses in DC.

    I might like that black belt you had on the other day with this dress.

  6. I am not typically one for posting comments, but I stumbled upon this page looking up vintage dresses and using the google image search feature, and I feel compelled to chime in. I love everything about this: the dress, the photos, the words – very nearly outdone by your fabulous coiffure – and the shoes, a lovely touch of modernity. Well done! Thinking you found this gem for two quarters, I also read up on the 50 Cent Dress. I do hope there has been a 50 Cent Dress soirée – what a perfect idea! (For a period free from pandemic, of course.)

    • I am so glad, Rachel, that you found the blog and commented. I always love reading comments (you will see lots of smart and funny comments on this blog) and to learn that this blog can be found despite my dismal efforts to promote it. D.C. readers did meet at my house in 2019, but we did not wear our incomplete finery! When the pandemic is safely over, I will throw an All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go Party!


Leave a Comment