A fluffy post on dresses

IMG_0204I got my second Nordstrom Trunk the other day, and have been pondering which of the items to keep. The trunk included a nice pair of black skinny jeans, but I have realized that I just do not wear skinny jeans that often. They do not spark joy for me! There was also an ombre-orange-sherbet-colored sweater, which I liked, but probably not to the tune of $300-plus.

I have narrowed the potential haul down to the three dresses pictured in these rather amateur-ish selfies. (I really need to get better at this — how can I be a modern iPhone owner and not have mastered the selfie?) This black and white one at the top of the post (Halogen) is a nice, weighty-but-stretchy material, and is also reasonably priced (well, for Nordstrom).

IMG_0206The maroon neoprene dress from Tadashi Shoji is pretty and practical, with a nice embroidery detail. (While it looks like it has a peplum shape in this photo, those are actually the price tags hanging off hip level — it is a straight-up shift dress with a small belt). I have a maroon shift dress from Banana Republic, but I feel like this one is nicer (and higher priced, natch). I would definitely wear this speaking. Downside: price, plus I already have a maroon dress.

Finally, I am weighing this black lacy one from Fuzzi. The fabric is stretchy but very, very form-fitting. IMG_0218On some level this is kind of fun as it does not scream mommy-of-four. There are times in my life when I do not like to look like a mommy-of-four. Downside: Most of the places I go involve being a mommy-of-four. I do not know where I would wear it. Plus it is on the pricey side.

So that is my big decision for the weekend. Also, I need to buy about 3 dozen wine glasses. I welcome suggestions of sturdy, reasonably-priced options.

28 thoughts on “A fluffy post on dresses

  1. I subscribe to the Wardrobe Oxygen lady’s philosophy of buying for the life you have, so I would go with 1 & 2. No. 1 is too flattering not to buy (!), and you mention no downsides to this dress. No. 2 sounds like an upgrade on a wardrobe staple that you would sport on some “big ticket” occasions, probably for years to come. Good luck deciding!

    Now I see that you did not explicitly solicit feedback on the dresses, only the wine glasses, but I have already typed this!

  2. If you love all three, buy them and consider yourself done “dress shopping” for a while. The lacy “not mommy” would be fun for a date night with your husband. I find that I often default to snappy casual for date night, but if I had a dress I felt good in, it would be fun to wear a dress, especially as spring comes along. Simon Pearce, makes amazing wineglasses, though not cheap, they are worth it!

  3. You look fantastic in all of the dresses!
    I do not use wine glasses because I break them all. I use sturdy juice glasses for the few times I actually do have wine in the house. Speaking of which, I do have wine in the house, drink wine is going on my to do list for this evening.

  4. I just got my Trunk #2 too! There is SO MUCH I want to keep. I need to sit on it a few days so that I can be reasonable. Funny about the black jeans b/c I wear mine (from Trunk Club – AG Cigarette? IS that what yours are?) constantly. I am wearing them right now 🙂 But my work “uniform” Is often skinny black pants & some kind of top and I often sneak these in and feel like a total rebel. Love them.

    1. @Shu – They may be Paige Denim. I had a pair of AGs once – boot cut, of course. I loved them. I will go for slim boot or straight leg, but I just feel a wee bit too pear shaped for skinnies. But the dresses are fun. I just need more places to wear dresses!!

  5. You will never look better in the future than you do today, so if you find something fun that you like and can afford it, buy it! (It was on the basis of this advice from two much younger colleagues that I bought leather trousers and have not stopped wearing – and receiving compliments about – them.) The maroon dress is an absolute winner so keep that. If you think you won’t wear the lace one then return it but if you feel it is a “special” wear that will have a special place in your wardrobe for several years, then worth investing the money and enjoying it. Those are the dresses that I end up wearing constantly! I have a go to list of designers who do machine washable dresses (Ralph Lauren/Gerard Darel/DVF if you ignore the label which you can do safely) which totally removes the guilt as you don’t have the dry cleaning costs. Alas I suspect the lace option doesn’t have this.
    On wine glasses, I have Reidel (wedding gifts) and put them in the dishwasher a lot and none has broken yet whereas my cheaper ones have all broken and feel less elegant.

    1. @Amy – I totally agree with you, though it is a sobering thought that this is the best I’ll ever look. I have high hopes that when my sleep is more regular and less interrupted and I can work out a bit more that I’ll look better but…maybe not. 🙂

  6. My friends bought IKEA wineglasses for their yearly Wine & Cheese parties and said they were very sturdy. They’re not super fancy, but unless the quality has changed in the last 7 years (which it might have), it may be a decent option.

    Re: the dresses, I really like the patterned one and the black one looks like fun – it seems like it DOES spark joy for you 🙂

    I am debating (still) whether to sign up for Trunk. I am SO casual that I’m afraid they’ll send me stuff I love but never really have occasion to wear. If I wore anything as nice as those dresses to work, I’d get some serious side-eye.

    1. @ARC- you can request more casual stuff. Just say you work in a casual industry. They did send me sweaters and dark skinny jeans, I just didn’t like them enough to keep them.

      I have been pondering a trip to Ikea. It does seem like a sensible cheap option since I need to buy a LOT of glasses.

  7. I like dress number 1, it’s fun, you look great and the pattern makes it kind of unique. Some great “juice-like” wine glasses can be purchased at crate & barrel. They have sizes for both white and red wines.

  8. I vote for all three dresses. They look fabulous and one the lace one, sometimes it is good to have a non-mommy dress to remind you of who you are beyond the kids (or it will encourage you to find a place to wear it).

    We have an annual Christmas party that requires dozens of wine glasses. We have bought several boxes of 12 from Bed Bath and Beyond and have been pleased with them. They look nice and hold up well in the dishwasher and they are cheap enough that if one breaks it is not a big deal. We now use these for everyday rather than our lovely crystal ones which break constantly.

  9. We have Ikea wine glasses. They are perfectly nice, traditional-looking glasses. They are pretty light weight, though. We bought a ton back when he had parties, I much prefer cheaper glassware to plastic cups!
    I have a somewhat dissenting opinion on the clothes.
    I disagree with Amy—I definitely look better today than I did 2 years ago! Sleep, more careful attention to my diet, exercise—it all made a difference. I DO however agree with buying clothes for the life you currently have—if your life changes, you can always change your wardrobe later!
    You already have a ton of shift dresses, I assume? Of course they fit and flatter, but don’t keep them just for that! I would only keep the dress if its unique, which #1 seems to be.
    Dress # 3 is gorgeous—but if you can’t think of where you’re going to wear it, you probably won’t. I have a few beautiful, flattering fancy dresses in my closet that have not been worn. I now try to buy something like that only if I have at least one specific occasion to wear it to. I also try not to spend too much on those items and to save my money for upgrading my everyday clothes. Why would I spend $100 on a dress I’d wear once, and yet balk at spending $50 on something I’d wear 1-2 times a week for 2 years?
    On that note, I’ll put in a vote for the skinny jeans. You are NOT pear-shaped—we can see that in your pictures above! Skinny black jeans can be worn for working at home, taking the kids to dance class or the zoo, meeting friends for lunch or coffee—i.e. your life! A skinny pant works well to balance proportions with chunky sweaters or oversized tops (my favorite winter weekend look). And the stretch makes them insanely comfortable for lounging/running around/traveling.
    ummm. i guess I have strong opinions on this post, of all things.

    1. @Ana – Fascinating! You did encourage me to give the skinny jeans another look. They are very, very comfortable. I am not 100% sure I would wear them, but maybe I would. I have a few drapey sweaters that I think presume a pair of leggings or skinny jeans. Hmmm…

      1. also, you can pull boots over them and they look great. really really useful for winter! With a long-ish sweater and boots, you only really see mid-leg (for the self-conscious)
        Thus ends my ode to skinny pants as winter casual wear.

    2. As someone who will NEVER be able to wear skinny jeans (even at the healthiest weight for my height I am ridiculously pear-shaped), I think you should go for it!

      I think they are such a great casual but pulled together winter look. Wear them proudly, because I can’t 😉

  10. I third the IKEA wine glasses and am with you on the skinny jeans, getting sick and tired of patching all my old, comfy jeans while waiting for boot cut to come back in, as peg-legged jeans were not a good look for me the last time they were in style either, and don’t look any better now just because their name has changed to skinny jeans. For me, it seems to have less to do with shape than proportion (of leg length, perhaps?), as mini-skirts with leggings, or skin-tight pedal pushers or capris look fine on me, but not so skinny jeans. Plus who has time to peel jeans on and off anyway?!?

  11. I think you look fabulous in all of the dresses. If you LOVE them, keep them. If you decide to only keep 1, I vote for #2, the maroon one. #1 one is is nice and looks great …. but…isn’t there always a “but”???….its distinct enough people will remember when you wear it which means you prob. will not wear it often. Also with # 2 you can mix it up with jackets, cardigans, go sleeveless, so many options. Do you have a “go to” dressy black dress that you feel fabulous in? If not and this dress does make you feel that way, keep because I guarantee at some point you will need such a dress, will not be able to find one and will settle for a less fabulous dress at a higher price (does it sound like I have some first hand knowledge of this ?) Also agree that you should keep the skinny black pants. I am sure they look fabulous and you said they are comfy too? A winning combination

    1. @Nancy- thanks! I’m trying them all on again tonight and making a final decision. Yes, the black dress is nice but I do have a black dress, so not urgent. I am leaning toward no on that one. Maybe I just need a fabulous pair of black boots to make the skinny jeans work…

  12. I don’t think you look like a mom of four in any of the dresses! I vote to just keep#1 though, or #1 and #2, if you like this maroon one substantially more than the one you already own. #3 looks fabulous on you body-wise, but if you’re going for a wow factor anyway, I think a color would flatter you more- maybe a great red (or even another royal blue- Having a signature color is cool!). I’m with you on the skinny jeans, even though I like them a lot on other people. I think my issue is that I don’t love flowy tops (too much like maternity wear to me), and I just feel more put together in bootcut or trouser style denim. It sounds like you do have some things that would look great with them though, so you may as well give them a try!

  13. Absolutely the maroon dress! Whenever you do clothing posts I wish you wore more jewel toned colors (maroon, emerald, royal blue) because they look so much better on you than black. My whole winter wardrobe is based on maroon and is my signature, so I vouch that you cannot have too many maroon dresses. It reminded me that I have to pull out my own BR maroon dress I haven’t worn in a while.
    You are not pear shaped, you are female shaped. I’m the same height but have 15 Lbs on you, with a lot of hips, and wear skinny pants all the time with a lot of compliments. The trick is to find the right pants (skinny but not super tight), pair with slouchy (not baggy) top and a long sweater, and either boots for for a dressier look some high heels.
    On the glasses, I’ll second the idea of tumblers. It’s a very European way of serving wine and they are so versatile. I spent last summer in Europe being served wine, and the only thing served out of traditional glasses was champagne. CB2 has great glasses, they are thin but very sturdy and can go into dishwasher. I just renewed my supply over the holidays. They also have a pretty “wine glass” tumblers, which at least would be easier to store than the stemmed kind. I’m not a big fan of IKEA glasses, it’s a scale thing, they just seem too big.

  14. I like no. 2 (the maroon one). It’s very flattering! Pier 1 and Bed Bath and Beyond are my go tos for reasonably priced, quality wind glasses.

  15. I say keep them all – and get rid of the similar maroon dress you already have but don’t like as much! I’m against cluttering up your closet with duplicates, but in this case the one you prefer should be the one you keep 🙂

  16. I have two dozen wine glasses from Costco. They are “shatter resistant” and look nice too. (They come in boxes of 12 which makes it easy to store the extras)

  17. For the wine glasses, I am a huge fan of the Crate and Barrel Eddy 11 oz everday stacking glass. Not a traditional wine glass, but it won’t take over two cabinets because they stack AND they fit in the dishwasher– nice after a party. We have other wine glasses but these are the ones we ACTUALLY USE.

  18. You look lovely in all the dresses of course. They all flatter and look nice. I am not one to wear synthetics, tight clothes or high heels. These clothes look uncomfortable to me. But if it is what you like and enjoy that is all you need to know. You are dressing very conservatively but perhaps it suits you and where you are. It is not for everyone.

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