Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Velvet Dress

This dress has been in my swap pile since August. No one seems to want it. I put it there because I was told it was unflattering on me. And yet, I’ve pulled it back out of the pile twice this fall/winter to wear again. Maybe I’m not ready to let it go.

Waistcoat, Forever 21. Lace cardigan, Rodarte for Target. The velvet dress that no one likes, NY & Co (shortened). Slip (visible at neckline), thrifted. Tights, Target. Shoes, Isaac Mizrahi for Target. Earrings, Jana’s Designs.


This page from the December 2009 issue of InStyle inspired me to try this dress again. (It’s hard to tell from the scan, but the InStyle dress is a dark burgundy, like my own.) I took elements from all three looks: the sheer lace cardigan from Party, the tights and shoes from Work, and the military topper (a waistcoat, though, instead of an anorak) from Weekend.

Should I return this dress back to the swap pile? You be the judge. Here is the evidence:

The verdict is...
Keep it
Swap it (if someone will take it!)
Give it to charity
Other - I'll tell you in the comments
pollcode.com free polls

44 comments:

Kendra said...

I think you should keep it, but I think the difference is the hair color. I am not a fan of the burgandy with your red hair. It seems to wash you out. But with the bleach blonde hair the contrast is edgy and flattering

Carolyn said...

I think its adorable w/the vests, leather belts, and waistcoat. The only way I find it slightly unflattering is WITH the velvet belt. Keep it. :)

Heather said...

I like it when you have worn something buttoned over it, like today. I don't like the velvet belt with it though. It somehow makes it seem ill fitting.

ANA said...

I like it with a top over it, but I like it less with the belt. I don't think it's ever really unflattering though!

http://www.toiltroublestyle.com

Kiki said...

Keep it and wear it as a skirt. That's the most flattering. I really like today's outfit. Very nice balance of hard and soft.

Brande said...

I vote keep it, but wear it primarily as a skirt like in the first and last looks. I think the color is beautiful, and it's luxe and versatile. I can't place what it is about the top that I don't like... maybe it's a bit bulky? Either way, keep it!

ShyGirl said...

I think you should keep it - it works great as a skirt!

Rosie Unknown said...

I love the outfit!

I would say keep the dress. It isn't amazing without something on top, but the addition of a vest or blazer and it looks wonderful.

Ecc3ntricCynic said...

Keep it and wear as a layering piece. The waist tie is unflattering but the actual belted/vested looks are adorable. And the color does go much better with your current hair color.

AndySun87 said...

I think this is a beautiful piece, and you shouldn't let it get away from you! There is just something so CLASSY about velvet!

C Lo said...

I like the skirt, I think it's got great lines, but the top portion kind of stinks. I like the color and if you kept it to wear under things, like you did today, I think it's bad ass.

Healthy and Homemade said...

What beeyotch said it didn't look good?! They probably said that because of the hair color, when my hair is natural and very reddish people say I look funny in red. How nice. Anyway, it looks awesome on you and your body, and especially with the hair and you should definitely keep it! =D

spezzella said...

I agree with those who have said you should keep it and wear it as a skirt. I really like the way you wore it today--looks great!

Liane said...

I said swap it, but mostly just because I only like it when it's worn as a skirt. I agree with the others: it's the belt that's awkward.

Although I also agree that it's the hair color that makes a difference. The second to last photo is still just as flattering as the skirt ones.

skapamusik said...

Keep it and layer away! I LOVE the first picture, with the vest - so polished! I don't really think the red hair is a problem with this shade of burgundy - the only little issue this dress has is that with some items (or maybe it's the sash, as some previous comments have pointed out) it looks a bit baggy on top - but not when you're wearing a cardigan, vest of jacket with it - then it just looks stunning! Keep, keep!

The Magpie's Daughter said...

If you love it, keep it! ;)

Tita Mama said...

Keep it, but alter the top of the dress so that it fits more to the shape of your body, or remove the top and turn it into a skirt. I really like the color and when you wear something form-fitting with it, like the waistcoat, it is very flattering.

Lesa said...

I think it looks gorgeous with your hair, keep, keep, keep!

shybiker said...

Keep it! Its shape and length are good for you, even if the color is iffy; you can fix that by what you combine it with. And velvet! Can't beat the luxurious feel of velvet.

evanadine said...

i agree with some other commenters that it works much better with this hair color and that i like it best with something layered over it. theres something about the velvet that makes you look wider than usual at the top when worn on its own (of course, none of the outfits looked terrible).
maybe alter it into a skirt?

SHOEGAL said...

I really like this as a skirt - I'm not sure about the top. So keep it and either have it altered into a skirt or continue wearing it with something over the top as you have done several times before.

Josh Stevens said...

I say keep it. I really am liking the ribbon tied around the waist.

Also, I just wanted to let you know I was interviewing Amy from Cincy Chic yesterday and she had some kind words to say. Here's the link to our interview:

http://joshstevensnyc.blogspot.com/2010/01/interview-with-amy-scalia-of-cincy-chic.html

Diana said...

I think this dress looks great on you, and I love how you styled it here. It was clever to take elements from all three InStyle outfits and merge them into your own.

maryeb said...

It's a lovely, versatile piece so I voted 'Keep It'.
Do you still love wearing it? That's the important question.

Sal said...

Huh. Well, I think it looks marvelous here!

laura elizabeth said...

I'm not sure. I really like how it looks today but I'm not a fan of the times when you can see the top part of the dress. I love how you've styled it with the waistcoat, this time and last, though.

I guess the main thing is how you feel in it.

Lorena said...

KEEP THAT DRESS!!!!
I do like it best worn as a dress :o)

Andie said...

keep it and wear it layered like in the vest/white shirt combo. love that look!!! :)

Kasmira said...

Wow! I think I will be keeping this after all. I can find more ways to "hide" the top. Thanks for your input!

Jennifer le Roux said...

Great with your bleached hair! Edgy and flattering for sure. My favorite is how you wore it today, but I also like "Call me Joanie" and "Vamp" cheers!

j.p. said...

Oh, I'm a little late...oh well. What a versatile piece that lends interesting texture. Besides, you seem to be devoted to it. If it's a bit skinny on the top, so what? I think you've found 101 ways to deal with that already. (And I love it with your coloring, whatever hair you choose!)

Work With What You've Got said...

I think that's a hard dress to wear well, and you wear it well, so I think you should keep it!~

Britt said...

I am gonna agree with many others.
1) I like it better with the blond color.
2) The criss-cross and tie part of the top are the part that make you think "EH"...but when it's covered (like you did yesterday) it looks awesome!

A said...

For what it's worth, I really like the dress on it's own! Some of the older posts didn't look all that flattering with things layered underneath, but when you go with a lower neckline (like picure #4-love this one) it looks great. I really like the 2 ways you have styled it since going blonde too. And just my 2 cents, but I think this is a piece that would almost look better with less layering, more simple (elegant) styling.

Tina said...

I agree with Kendra - the hair color makes a big difference. I say keep it!

Sara Darling said...

Same as so many other people -- it looks great as a skirt but the top half seems poorly designed. It looks fantastic as a layering piece with another item on top.

Poster Girl said...

Keep it, it's obviously very versatile. I also like how you layered the Rodarte for Target cardigan - very creative!
http://fashiontrendguide.blogspot.com

JD said...

I think you should keep anything you have worn twice in the last 6 months. Obviously you like wearing it! I have stuff that I haven't worn ONCE in that last 6 years. Maybe I should start a swap pile...

Una said...

I voted other because I think you should consign it. I am all about consigning stuff... it's a gorgeous dress, and you know how to style anything that can be put on a human body, but I'm just not feeling it. Maybe my own similar dress issue today made me grumpy. I can't figure out how to manage the neckline. Whatever you decide, you are always inspiring!

YankeeClipper64 said...

I'm diggin' it...please keep this very FLATTERING dress! Just look at it this way; you're reluctant to get rid of it for a reason (or several reasons:) --- It really works for you (waistcoat, hair color, tights, cute shoes and all).

gina said...

I think it looks great when worn primarily as a skirt. Such a beautiful color and great lines on the bottom half.

Mel.J said...

I like it best when you have something layered over the top of it. I think you should seriously consider altering it into a skirt.

Cal said...

Can the skirt be taken in at all so that it become a straight/pencil shape. Maybe not too tight - you need some movement - but I think it would look more flattering on you with less material.

- tessa said...

I think you should keep it, but only wear it with something over it. The top appears to be baggy on you? When you use it as an under-layer, it's really cute!