Ode to the Perfect Day Dress

Summer 2015
In the Costume Closet
Credits to Zach Iniguez

There are pieces in a girls' closet that she can't let go of. It could be your favorite dinosaur print sweater or a pair of skinny jeans that have been too small for you for a few years but you still squeeze into them because... If you think you can, you can, right?

Summer 2015
For the life of me, I can't seem to get rid of my two favorite day dresses. Why would I get rid of them besides the fact the fabric is insanely worn? The dresses are so versatile! I wear them constantly... at least I used to before I became conscious of their quality. The two dresses featured in this post, are my go to dresses. One of them, seen with the red rain coat, is the lace dress. This cream lace dress has been with me for as long as the other dress, the tribal print dress. The tribal print dress, seen above with the yellow flower, has been my favorite dress for years. I've worn it a million different ways for a million different occasions. It's a fan favorite. I bought it at Forever 21 years and years ago and found the neckline and cut to be flattering (& versatile). For years, I've been looking for a dress to replace this amazing frock. Recently, I bought a dress that was supposed to replace my favorite dress... but it didn't meet the requirements. As a girl who would be labeled as tall, I have the jurisdiction to rant about how hard it is to find dresses that are longer than crotch level. If you buy it a size too big, the chest is too large. If you buy it to fit your chest, the skirt is too short. That's why I love ModCloth. Sure, I'm an affiliate & am compensated for purchases made with the links included in this post, but I'm actually a huge fan of ModCloth. ModCloth is one of the few places I can find dresses that were designed to be longer. ModCloth embraces retro silhouettes, which is something a 1940's lover like me loves. (Don't get me started on The New Look or I'm going to be here all day)! 
Summer 2015 ft. Lace dress under all those accessories
Back tracking to my favorite dresses, my go-to dresses have... gotten shorter and shorter as the years have gone by. Now my only resort to wearing these dresses (in any season) is when they're paired with a pair of black leggings. I've been aware for months, even years, that a replacement needs to come in soon so I can finally retire these worn out frocks. After searching for years and years, I've become a mini expert on dresses. Past trial and error has taught me a lot about what I look for in a day dress. What should you be looking for when looking for your own perfect day dress?

Can we please talk about FABRIC?

The fabric used to make a dress is an important detail to pay mind to. The tribal print dress is 95% polyester and 5% spandex. The spandex, of course, provides stretch. I have never, in my lifetime, encountered such thick but light fabric such as the tribal print dress's fabric. 

The lace dress of course has a lace overlay and a thin... is it called an "underlay"? I have no opinion on the lace dress having two layers. I have many dresses that have two layers. Sometimes it's really nice, other times it's a pain in the butt. The tribal print dress is one layer, and I couldn't imagine it with two... 

But seriously, a frock's fabric is super important. I've been well versed in what wrinkles and what doesn't by my mother. Never buy a 100% cotton dress. It will shrink and it will wrinkle. Rayon is a material that requires hand washing, it also tears easily when wet. Checking fabric is a lot easier to do online than in a store. I mean really, in a store you aren't worried about the fabric. I prefer online shopping (though I'm usually not always satisfied unless I'm ordering from ModCloth). In an interview with People StyleWatch, Jamie Chung said, "I tend to shop online, because when I go into stores, I walk out with a bunch of stuff I don't need. Everything in my closet has a purpose." I take my time and over analyze every item of clothing. I also go through the whole stock of dresses. I kid you not. I recently bought a jumpsuit and dress from Forever 21 and I went through ALL OF THE STOCK. 

And What About Prints?

The monochromatic print on my beloved tribal print dress gives the dress character. I am not personally in love with tribal print... other than that dress, I don't think I own any more tribal print items. The fact the black and white dress's print has given countless outfits a tablespoon of added character, is a huge plus to this already perfect dress. The lace overlay on the lace dress gives any outfit using the dress sweet and girly traits. I like to spice it up with my Marsala leather jacket, adding an unexpected twist to a classic dress. Lace dresses are a great place to start when looking for the Perfect Day Dress. The lace gives the dress personality and texture while adding a solid base to add accessories. 

When you are shopping for dresses there are so many beautiful patterns. It can be hard to check out of the store with a basic black or white dress. I have problems with that too. Every time I get enough money to buy some new clothes I go into the process telling myself I'm going to buy some basics to relieve the over wearing that my favorite basic pieces go through. I end up being entranced by the beautiful prints on ModCloth's website or the trendy styles I see on Forever 21's website.

The dresses I'm including in the next segment of this post are a mixture of novelty prints and classics. You can never go wrong with a black and white print... or any other neutral colored print for that matter. My khaki dress is just as versatile as my cream lace dress when it comes to color. I'm not saying to ban all color from your clothes and leave all the bright hues to your accessories (though I tend to do that constantly). Buying clothes is a serious event and a lot of thought should be put into your purchases so you don't end up wasting money, time, and possibly end up looking like a fashion disaster. I'm not perfect. Just this week I wore a very difficult (in the sense it was a pain in the butt to actually live life in) skirt. (See photo below). I still buy dresses with fun prints, I have a dress with lemons all over it. I haven't been able to wear it because it needs to be altered, but it's still a great print. But, when your closet is filled with novelty prints, outfits become difficult. Though mixing prints is a runway approved trend right now, it's a tricky trend to navigate. When your whole closet is filled with prints, mixing prints might be your only option. When you buy clothes, remember to buy at least one solid colored item or a neutral print. You (and your closet) will thank you later!