bluedressThe little blue dress. I could easily get poetic about them. I feel my sartorial best when I wear one. My little black dress has always been blue. They can be worn everyday without screaming ‘lbd’. And I currently have seven of them, that I rotate through the year.  It has been a back-to-school ritual of mine, during my PhD days, to buy one at the start of every semester. I have vintage, ones that date back to 2010 ( second hand ) and my oldest was purchased in 2013. Oversized shirt dresses and shift dresses have been immune to my weight fluctuations. Chambray / lining makes them durable. Avoiding the dryer is anti-aging for the dresses. I never tire of the silhouette and they work well with my lifestyle. As I go, I am getting pickier about the shade of blue. Navy is my prefered blue. Presenting my collection :manyBlueDresses

Some notes :

  • A dress is like a t-shirt, but simpler. You put one on. And don’t worry about pairing / matching. Its my basic + staple + classic + must-have.
  • When I read articles on signature style, I think of my blue dresses.
  • To me, a uniform is about simplifying choice. Not wearing the exact same thing. All these dresses are very similar. I could technically only own one. But then, I can’t wear it every day of the week. I have seven.
  • I read someplace that The Parisian women doesn’t own 5 black dresses but that one perfect black dress. I obviously don’t subscribe to that school of thought.
  • Fit : “Your dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady”, said Edith Head. I agree. But I size up so that they may be immune to my weight fluctuations.
  • Shift dresses are very bike friendly. You can eat a big meal or drink liters of water without spilling out of your clothing. Not having a waist band is the most liberating way to dress, in my opinion. I don’t have a different size top and bottom (anatomically). So it’s easy to find ones that fit me well.
  • I used to be adamant on making them less girly by wearing oxfords/loafers with my dresses. Lately, I don’t care. I wear them with ballet flats during summer. I am currently comfortable with how ever feminine, I look in them.
  • Every shoe/accessory I own pairs well with my blue dresses. I wear black, khaki, brown or pink with them. My acid test before every purchase : does it pair with navy blue.
  • Someone once told me : black and navy don’t pair well. It made me angry. I started wearing them together everyday in a rebellion of sorts. How dare they insult my favourite combination ?
  • Dusty pale pink pairs well with navy blue. I sometimes need to break the navy and black rut that is easy to fall into.
  • Red shoes may look a little too colorful but I wear them anyways. A splash of bad taste from time to time is necessary.
  • Blue dresses and brown satchels are the perfect match.
  • Linen dresses are usually not opaque enough. I like mine lined. I try to avoid poplin cotton. I don’t like jersey. Oxford cotton is my favourite kind for dresses.
  • The silks I see in the market ( Equipment/Everlane/Theory) are too thin for a dress. They are prone to being too clingy, catch static and need a slip. An exception is 25-32mm silk, which is rather expensive. 32mm silk feels like cotton canvas while having the drape and sheen of silk. They are hard to find and usually not affordable. Cuyana, APC and Celine do them.
  • Dresses are disappearing from the modern society. We have embraced masculine clothing ( which I love, ) as the new norm. Women often need to dress a certain way, to be taken more seriously at work.The biases and prejudices run deep. And dresses are loosing.
  •  I, on the other hand, think the men don’t know what they are missing out on. There is nothing more ventilating or easy to wear than a shift dress. There is no waistband ! which makes all the difference.
  • My notion of an ideal garment : Well made, created by someone who understands technique, a design that will not look like costume 5 years from now, pairs well with what already exists in my wardrobe, perhaps will work with something I may buy in accordance to my personal style in the future,  …
  • “Simplicity survives the changes of fashion. Fit the century, forget the year”, Valentina. I think of my shift and shirt dresses this way. They have been around for the last century and have been evolving with time.
  • I like how navy dyed clothing linen and cotton ages. The older my dresses get, the more I am attached to them. I have a (Madewell) dress that used to be navy but is currently deep royal blue after two years of wear. It was a welcome surprise. The vintage denim dress is gathering the washed effect at certain areas, which looks interesting.
  • I stop and stare if I see someone on the street wear one. Its less rude to stare at women online. My pinterest board : Link.
  • “All women should have a good fairy. That is the couturier’s role”, said Monsieur Dior. I look up to Phoebe Philo. I purchased the blue dress by Celine when I found it (for 220$) on Vestiaire Collective. “You have values in a couture outfit that you cannot find anywhere else: it’s the maximum of perfection”, said Gianfranco Ferre. The dress is rather … perfect. I actually think the same of my dress from Madewell.
  • “Dresses stand quite simply for femininity, as well as a kind of simplicity that is both old-fashioned and totally contemporary”, said Christian Lacroix. I agree.

.

If anyone is reading these posts for inspiration to build a minimal wardrobe, I have to confess : I am not the one to give such advice. I can only talk about my love of clothes and my wardrobe building experiences. Going by that thought, this should have been my first blog post. I do try to not shop the planet away by taming my shopping impulses and by buying for longevity. I would like to catalog my entire wardrobe through these posts. This is my summer capsule.  Everything I own should appear on the blog in the next year. Do I need 7 of the almost same thing ? I did, because we had a 7 months of ( 100 degree ) summer in Arizona. This is all that I wore. Collecting these dresses felt justified. I have since moved out of the desert. We have a 5 month mild summer in California. If I stop buying more, I should be okay for a while. 


Question : I am trying to write a blog that doesn’t instigate a desire to shop, while talking about beautiful clothes and personal style. Don’t know if it’s possible but I would like to test the theory. Did this post make you want to go shopping ?