Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Finally, Fall Fashion.

In my view, it's almost impossible to think about fall fashion in July. It's hot, it's sticky, and the idea of fabrics that I love (tweed, merino) send me into itchy paroxysms just thinking about them. So, it's early, even for me, to start thinking about fall. But I had to go to this weekend retreat of fellow writers, right? I've met with these people before--two years ago. At that time, we were meeting to decide on a project and to celebrate the retirement of our teacher and mentor. It was a weekend of discussions and much drinking and dining. And I suppose I should have known that it would require something a bit dressy, but in my defense: April. Southern California. Hippie school. I spent four years there in cut off jean shorts and bare feet. Nine years later, I'd upgraded to shoes--how much further did I need to go?

Apparently much further. Almost everyone else managed that SoCal hipster cool, and I was a shlub. Hate that!! So this time, I was determined to be prepared. I didn't need an entire wardrobe of cute, because: July. Southern California. But I figured I'd need one--one dressy casual to redeem me from the underdressed debacle of '05. After some hunting with Mumsy (who, while very patient, gets a bit antsy during the day-long shopping trips now), I found this:

See how even the model is wearing flip flops? You throw some exciting necklace onto this puppy, and you're good to go. [I hope it's not the influence of HomeTown, which has a serious history of fashion faux pas of the video vixen sort, but I think I can forego the cami underneath. You know, for a party and all?] Cute with sandals AND heels? Wrap it up!

The irony, of course, is that this time, the entire group was ridiculously casual. It may be attributed to the 95 degree weather, or the less celebratory atmosphere. Regardless, the dress sat in tissue paper for the entire weekend. When I returned to HomeTown, Mumsy and I (why am I calling her that, all of a sudden?) scheduled my annual pilgrimage to the Anthropologie store. I left an offering or two, circled round to the east and then the west, and came upon this:

It's far less impressive in chocolate brown, in my opinion. I saw it in navy, and got all excited. A bit more of a modest neckline here than above, and a bit shorter, kimono sleeves instead of three-quarter ones. But how many cotton jersey, empire-waist dresses can one girl own?

At least two, and here's why: I'm betting that these are easy to accessorize for multiple seasons. Sling-backs or peep-toed pumps in the late-summer, early fall, with either a big chunky necklace or a couple of long ones. Boots and tights in the fall/winter, with scarves and cardigans or jackets. And did I mention the comfy? Sooooo comfy. Thank you, empire waists!

I have long neglected the dress as a fashion option. I've got the world's longest torso, which means that the waist of any dress is always on my ribs. Yay--both uncomfortable and unflattering: the dessert topping/floor wax of couture. Enter empire waist dresses--fixes the torso problem right quick. And if it drapes right, it doesn't even make you look pregnant! (I say that now, but if you see me and I do, it's your ethical duty to tell a sister. Got that?)

So, that's my first fall fashion strategy. It gives my shoe shopping raison d'etre.



Blogger Ashley said...

I walked into Old Navy yesterday (I know, I know) and the ENTIRE STORE was empire waist! Can I tell you how happy I was? Love means never having to suck in your gut again. In short: I heartily approve of Strategy #1, and have the dress on order to prove it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 3:37:00 PM  
Blogger kfluff said...

You know the problem with this: it means that someday, empire waists are going to be OUT, and then it will be all "welcome to the suck" belly all over again. I suppose we should live it up while we can!

A related question: how pretentious is it to say "ahm-PEER" instead of "em-PIRE"?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 9:42:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I love the empire waist dresses! I've been wearing them all summer with lovely flat sandals and big earrings. In this heat, they're liberating since the fabric touches very little skin.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sisyphus said...

Meh. My torso is super _short_ and the belly pooch is a little higher on me than on most people, so I'm not at all happy about the empire waists .... they make me look preggers.

Low-rise jeans, though, are a great option for the short people, as it means the button hits right at your bellybutton rather than coming up just under your rib cage.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 4:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Oh, clearly it's ahm-PEER. The more pretentious the better, especially if you're dressing in ahm-PEER dresses from tar-ZHAY. Because then it's just funny, and you can get away with pretending that you're making a joke about being all pretentious, when secretly you wish that everyone would just acknowledge that it is a French term and should be pronounced thusly, and seriously, doesn't anyone know anything about eighteenth century fashion?

Or maybe that's just me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:50:00 PM  

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