A new dress for spring! That seems fair. That seems right. Doesn’t it?

And also, a re-ignition of my commitment to Marni, made possible by The RealReal.
I have good news and bad news about The RealReal.
The good news is that I continue to find their inventory and customer service extremely pleasing.
The bad news is, they seem to be in the process of discontinuing or removing garment measurements from the listings — which is one of the best features of this site.
Remain calm: I am on the case.
The Directrice is on the case

Let’s not get sidetracked with The Directrice’s cynical views about corporate cost/benefit calculations. Let’s focus on this . . . can I say it? . . . enchanting dress. Take note of its graceful lines.
Such movement!
Look at it float on the breeze!

The colors range from weirdy green to queasy yellow, which I love — but I recognize that others may find these colors a little hard to embrace.
Embrace the off-kilter

I must reveal something about the construction of the dress.
I must confess
It’s not actually floating dreamily on a breeze.
What you are observing is ingenious design. The fabric is a stiff organza and the shape is created through folding and draping.
This dress is frozen on a permanent breeze.*

I have a second confession to make: I added this belt to the dress.
It was intended to be worn like this (flick your eyes to the right):
Unbelted? I would rate the dress 75-90% less attractive.
Agree? Disagree?

I can’t take everything to Fatima! I am not made of money!
A belt is the lazy man’s way of achieving a more streamlined fit.
Some might be asking, “Why not take it to Fatima and ask her to tailor it?”
Although you cannot tell from the photos, this dress pulls on over the head — no zippers or buttons. If we were to take it in through the waist, we would need to add zippers or buttons. I cringe just imagining the cost. That type of alteration is costly, costly. Also, I think this DIY solution fits the nature of the dress. It’s not intended to fit closely to the body. Cinching the waist with a belt just adds a little more folding and draping to the scheme.

I have one more disclosure to make.
The neckline is actually split, but I thought it would look better closed, so I taped it with a piece of electrical tape. Note: Packing tape was not sufficient. I didn’t even try Scotch tape.
Tape is not a permanent solution, so I have asked Fatima to sew a snap in place.
Adding a snap is a very cheap alteration.
Belting = O.K.; taping = not O.K.

I am a busy, lazy man
As you can see here, the belt gives the dress shape, but does not make the dress form-fitting.

For those who want to understand the folding and draping, The Photographer took a few close-up shots.

It’s like a bustle
I do wonder how this dress will look after cleaning; I’ll report back

One final detail. Check out the grey cap sleeves.
I did not notice these in the on-line photos of the dress and was very surprised to see them when the dress arrived. They look and feel like shoulder pads that have slipped out of place. My initial instinct was to remove them — grey? shoulder pads? padded sleeves? what? — but after looking at them for a while, I realized that they added something counter-intuitively appealing to the dress. So they shall stay!
Displaced shoulder pads that I never realized I was lacking

Dress: Marni from The RealReal (a size M is still available); Shoes: Cole Haan; Bag: Sophie Hulme Bolt Bag; Electrical Tape: 3M

14 thoughts on “Verdant!”

  1. You had me at “bustle”. I am a huge fan of draping, ruching, pleating and all manner of origami-like clothing. I must confess that I’m not a fan of yellow, and I suspect weirdy greens would make me look jaundiced. Can we still be friends?

  2. I actually love the dress equally without the belt as with. I do love a flowy dress, figure flattery be damned (at least some of the time). Gorgeous print and drape.

  3. Weirdy green, queasy yellow, what’s not to love? I have many such colored pieces in my wardrobe, but I’m not sure I’ve got one that combines them as well as this dress does.

  4. Ooh, wow! What a fabulous dress on you! It reminds me of when I was very little, long before the internet and nowhere near a library, and I decided to teach myself origami. Lots of interesting folds, and I, too, probably used a little tape to help it along.

    I think the belt is a great addition.

    You should sew on the snap! I once had a boyfriend who took his shirts to the cleaners — not to be cleaned, but to have buttons sewn on. I showed him how easy it was to do, and then we parted ways. I imagine he’s still sewing today, LOL.

    • I hear you, Bette! A button I can do. Also a repair to a hem or seam. But I didn’t have the hardware (big snap) and wanted the closure to be invisible and tidy — and judged that to be beyond my limited skills.

  5. I love that this dress looks like it’s moving when it is really still. The belt is helpful, however the shoulder pads, not so helpful. It DOES bring to mind a light gray unstructured dress you own. I’m digging this look for spring – however I can’t believe that DC is already that warm.

  6. Gorgeous! I love looking at TheRealReal, but that is very sad about the measurements. One of the few terrible things about TRR is the constant reminder that “serious” designers refuse to offer clothing larger than an 8-10, but the measurements were the saving grace for those of us in the 12+ zone trying to weasel our way into garments that happen to come in more generous cuts.

  7. I think the belt is good. I can’t imagine that altering the dress would be good should you decide, sometime in the future, to consign it. Better to do a removable alteration.

    If you were about 5’10” and 100 pounds it would probably look chic without the belt. All others need to remind the viewer that we actually do have a waistline.

  8. I use a double-sided tape made for clothing. It’s called Hollywood Fashion Tape, and it comes in a small pink tin. Each strip is about 3 1/2 inches long and comes with a protective cover somewhat like a Band-Aid has, so it doesn’t stick to your fingers.


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