It’s true. This dress is older than what I was when I bought it. It’s the oldest thing in my wardrobe, bought over twenty-three years ago. It’s a dress that has so many memories attached to it, from my first steady boyfriend (bought for his sister’s wedding) to the weddings of close friends and relatives. It’s been to many a formal dinner, nights out, and a long list of special occasions I no longer remember.
It’s a great example of something that was not ‘in fashion’ when I purchased it, thus it transcended the fickly fashions of two decades. There are lots of other things about it that have kept it in circulation too. It’s a 4-season dress that works during the day and some evening occasions, it’s good quality and it flatters my figure. Mostly it has the X-factor, that undefinable attribute that’s helped it get past every wardrobe edit, personal style overhaul and life-changing milestone since 1996.
Sadly, and somewhat poetically, it breathed its last breath on the day I wore it for these photos! I blew out the armpit (!) which while possibly repairable, I will not fix. It is time to lay it to rest…
If I ever get around to teaching a workshop on outfit styling, there will be sections on principles of styling with ‘colour’, ‘texture’, ‘detail’ and ‘creating a look’. In this outfit, the first three themes are well covered.
The dress is the hero, and from it everything else flows. Colours represented in the print repeat, from the cardigan and shoes to earrings and handbag. The floral print itself is repeated too in the patterned hosiery detail and earrings. Textures of the cardigan knit and patterned hosiery provide a depth and character in a way that ‘flat’ textures would not.
This outfit is simply a collection of items that work well together. There’s no ‘look’ or theme, just harmony of elements…
About ‘creating a look’, this outfit is not a good example of one. It’s simply an outfit, which while working well, doesn’t try to emulate a fashion theme or character. It does not have its roots in any icon, theme or period. It’s just a collection of items that work well together.
My dress was bought from a Hamilton fashion boutique in late summer of 1996, and the label is David Pond. My cardigan is one by Elk from Shine, and my shoes were purchase a few seasons back from Tango’s shoes. My bag is my trusty favourite from Trouble & Fox, my hosiery and earrings were red dot sale items from Farmers.