Wednesday, 8 September 2010

another dress in waiting

On Monday, our area Goodwills had a 50% off sale. Yes. Our Goodwills have sales. This fashion blog largely brought to you by the Ridiculously Fantastic Goodwills Of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Anyway, I snatched up a dress that my thirteen-year-old self would have craved heartily, in those heady days of Tolkien first love, and while I quite like it -- especially the buttons -- I feel I can't really wear it as is without it coming off as sort of a weird costume -- the nineties trying mediaeval, or something. I'm no seamstress, but I can sew a little, so suggestions on how to edit or wear this would be welcome! It fits quite nicely, and there's a cross-laced tie-back in the back that shapes it for my figure, but otherwise it's just -- there. And the buttons make my usual interest-adding method of belts and waistcoats awkward.


  1. Ooh a challenge!

    I love a challenge.

    The crushed velvet does date it and provide a real challenge in pairing it with other fabrics...I think that you shouldn't let the buttons on the dress prevent you from wearing a belt with it--fairly wide, and especially a red one--and that you might also wear a bright shirt underneath and unbutton partway down the front to change the neckline. For that matter you could try unbuttoning it all the way down and wearing it like a duster over a brighter shirt and skirt...might work brilliantly, might look ridiculous, it's hard to say.
    It's a very Autumn dress, so I keep imagining it with textured tights and granny boots or high-heeled Oxfords, and plenty of knitwear (fingerless gloves! hat! scarf!), the chunkier the knit the better, I think.

    Another option would me to embrace its pseudo-medieval cotehardie pre-Raphaelite-esque potential...for that I would wear a long-sleeved shirt in a brighter color (brain is still defaulting to red) underneath it, and push the sleeves of the dress up so that the sleeves of the undershirt show, something like this (although a few inches I think would be sufficient, no need to colorblock the whole forearm...but here is another example), wear a belt low on the hips like so, so, and so, and solid color tights.

  2. I do in fact have a wide red belt! Excellent! Hopefully the leather on the front will prevent the buttons from making obvious lumps.

    Unfortunately the buttons do not actually unbutton. *facepalm* Oh, the '90s. I'm considering pinning/sewing the neckline, though, as Emily Martin does here: She had more to work with, but. I also like the idea of wearing it with weird chunky knits! Grrr, I need more knit hats. Or a knit hat. I have an awesomely ridiculous earflap hat, but it's very much an outside-in-the-cold thing. Still, berets will work.

    I also found some lace scraps which I am considering sewing onto the ends of the sleeves -- I think part of its too-heavy look is the immense blandness of those long dark sleeves. Although I also have a couple of lacy blouses that would fit neatly underneath. Also WATERHOUSE INSPIRATION PICTURES. You are the shiniest.

    I also feel like it would work better if the skirt were shorter? But unlike a cotton skirt I can't hack at it and have it come out nicely. I guess I could experiment with pins.