The Third and Final Part of The Utility Dress: Is This Is It?*

Unlike previous summer series — The Woman in White (2015) and Navy Blue Is The Warmest Color (2016) — I am bringing the Utility Dress series of 2017 to a quick close. No need to string this out indefinitely and perhaps the lessons are more meaningful when delivered in rapid succession. We’ll see. There is no time like summer to tinker with pedagogical methods.

You may remember the Strapless Utility Dress I introduced you to just two weeks ago?
SO MUCH has transpired since then. I have worn this dress twice. As promised, here it is with a camp blouse underneath. Very safari, SO Mogambo.**
In urban setting
In urban setting

In jungle
In jungle
There isn’t a drop of originality in what I am about to say, but I’ll say it anyway.
I really like chocolate brown and white with this shade of khaki.

This dress would look very nice with a sleeveless blouse underneath, too. Picture a crisp, white, sleeveless cotton blouse with a spread or even open collar. Wouldn’t that be sharp?
This dress would also be effective with a black shell underneath.
Back in city
Back in city

You didn't really think I was in a jungle, did you? I did, however, risk questing ticks by standing in foliage
You didn’t really think I was in a jungle, did you? I did, however, risk questing ticks by standing in foliage
Indeed, I feel like this dress has many more possibilities than I can see — not unlike Wurdle, when I am told that there are 113 words in the puzzle but I can only think of 25. “I have a large vocabulary,” she cried plaintively.
So many of you offered such wonderful suggestions about how the chartreuse jacket could be worn — I feel certain that more ideas about the Strapless Utility Dress are percolating in your minds . . . So please chime in!

Now, a few details!
The cuff around the bodice; favorite wood beads; a mock-alligator bag.
Cuff, bodice

Favorite bracelets
Favorite bracelets, bought in Paris, at a price that made The Photographer hyperventilate
Alligators: as frightening in their own way as ticks
Alligators: as frightening in their own way as ticks;
Crocodiles: more frightening than alligators

Dress: Banana Republic; Blouse: Theory; Bag: Furla; Sandals: Timberland
* Is This Is It? is a cautionary tale from a friend’s days as the student editor of her high school newspaper. The graduating seniors were trying to convey their jaded, cynical feelings following college admissions, prom, and Pomp and Circumstance, with one last precocious headline: “Is This It?” Then someone thought “This Is It?” would be better. So it went back and forth among the editorial team, and in the end, no one proofed the final copy. The result was “Is This Is It?” which utterly failed to convey their worldly ennui.
** In case you are asking yourself, “What is it with Her and Mogambo? What is Mogambo?” While Mogambo is not one of Grace Kelly’s good films (and if I were to see it today, I have a feeling I would find it disturbing and offensive in numerous ways), it was a good movie for clothes.

7 thoughts on “The Third and Final Part of The Utility Dress: Is This Is It?*”

  1. What would the lovely dress look like with a thin denim shirt underneath? You could also wear the denim shirt over the dress tied at the waist, unbuttoned. This would be a casual weekend look. So many possibilities with a simple dress.

  2. i feel that this dress offers the perfect opportunity to revel in the current maximalism trend (strange that my spell check doesn’t thing maximalism is a word, but it is comfortable with minimalism as a word). so along those lines, i think exploring some bold patterns and colors would be possible with this dress. you already did that a bit with the narrow orange and white striped t-shirt. but i am thinking things like Polka Dots, and Graphic Florals. with another complementary pattern going on in the shoulder bag. strong jewelry.

    it wouldn’t be an easy look. it would be a dramatic look. but i believe the khaki dress would rein any excess enthusiasm that the patterns/colors would be prone to.

  3. Ok, but an engineering question (I’m confident that the multi-talented and resourceful Directrice will capably field a cross-departmental inquiry): how do you keep the blouse, (or any top, for that matter) secured under the dress so that it doesn’t creep out and make for a mid-afternoon escape from under the cute bodice cuff?

    Enquiring minds…..

    • A fair question, Chris, particularly when failure is not an option. The blouse stays put tolerably well, perhaps because of the belt/fitted waist. And I fix it whenever I am in the ladies’ room. I have in the past tucked a blouse like this into underwear/shapewear. Note: I don’t wear the tight shapewear because I can’t bear feeling constricted about the waist.


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