Tie-Dye for Work

In addition to bringing white Doc Martens and bustiers to the office, did you know that Your Directrice injected tie-dye into the firm environment in the early oughts? C’est vrai!


Granted, it was a summertime undertaking — when the rules are relaxed — and the tee-shirt I wore was both expensive and worn under a jacket. But still. A good friend (herself, a consultant in the world of museums and other cultural attractions) was equal parts astonished and disgusted by my derring-do (which she may have called “lack of respect for self and others”).

You think you pioneered tie-dye in the office environment?

I know I did ; I was there


In the intervening years, I have continued to occasionally wear a tie-dyed sweater or jersey. And now I have this delightful caramel colored dress, allowing for a full-press challenge.


I think this is a tie-dye? Not an animal print?

When this Ulla Johnson dress first appeared in the spring of 2021 or 2022, I didn’t want to pay full-price for it, and when it went on sale, I didn’t feel confident enough about sizing (which I find is very inconsistent with Ulla Johnson) to risk a final sale purchase.

When it appeared on The RealReal (posted with measurements) last summer, I pounced. 

Even with the benefit of measurements, the dress is too big in ways I did not anticipate; I have a cheap fix

Side note: because we’re going to work, we need a briefcase
An orange, patent leather briefcase


The dress is really big through shoulders and the bodice.

Given that the fabric is incredibly lightweight and pliable, and the dress itself is casual, I fixed the fit m’self with four safety pins.

I simply pulled the sleeves two inches in, along the shoulder seam, and pinned them on the inside. Between the gathering and volume of the sleeves, who can tell?

No one can tell; I also cinched the waist with a belt

Finishing things off, a belt full of character: two heads are better than one.

You may remember I have this Maison Margiela belt in black, too, previously seen here and here. These belts were purchased from YOOX during an explosive (and successful) bid to Up My Belt Game.

YOOX has great belts

Belt’s face(s)

Come closer and see what’s going on here.

Don’t be shy, you can get right in the belt’s face. Faces. We’re all friends here.

Dress: Ulla Johnson from The RealReal (there are several in various sizes available right now); Belt: Maison Margiela 11 from YOOX; Sandals: Donald J. Pliner (old); Bag: Sonia Rykiel (also old)


6 thoughts on “Tie-Dye for Work”

  1. Unfortunate that your museum consultant friend didn’t appreciate the ‘voices’ behind the bright, bold colors of tie-dye! As a product of the sixties most of us were well aware of the thousands of years of tie-dye that preceded our fascination with it! 🙂
    Love the dress but I’d vote animal print.

  2. This is my kind of tie-dye – like Batik. It’s neutral enough for summer office wear, for sure! That briefcase is just pure whimsy. I’m a fan.

  3. The sturdy/strappy black shoes and belt, plus the briefcase handle, keep the dress from reading as boho—though I’d also love to see how you’d wear it on vacay. Hat? Bracelet(s)? Topper?


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