I enjoy a well-designed print on a skirt or blouse but when I'm looking for a dress, I'll usually choose a neutral backdrop for accessories, in a style that I can wear again and again. I'd have to see them in person, but these are options for a passe-partout dress, where colour or pattern are not the star of the show. They look austere in the photos, but there are no accessories shown.
Many who comment here are young 'uns under 50. Perhaps you'd choose something like the Black Halo dress, top. But this post isn't for you, cutie pie. It's for those of you like me, who need more cover, who know the cruelty of the cap sleeve crimping a looser arm and the reality of hip spread.
1. Marks and Spencer 3/4 sleeve belted shirt dress, £39.50, in black or navy.
Part of their Portfolio line for women 45+ that The Thoughtful Dresser, Linda Grant, skewered, and I agree- most pieces are matronly. The length is good, there are sleeves, and what if one changed the buttons? But it looks irredeemably boxy.
2. Talbot's double-knit dress, $149, is a drapey rayon-nylon blend that you can hand wash, which gives it travel potential.
Could showcase killer shoes or luscious scarf, or just look sad- really will depend on fabric and cut. In navy, black and blonde.
3. White+Warren's black cotton caftan from
Neiman Marcus' site, $155, would show off chunky necklaces and since I'm tall, I'm relieved to see some length. But why is she standing like that? Because her shoes are so dull?
Fasten your seatbelt, our price point is moving way up.
4. A dress that makes me sigh with pleasure: Rue du Mail by Martine Sitbon's black and white organza and silk embellished dress, $1, 265 from Net-a-porter. The sleeves are minimal, but I'm loving the dress and would sacrifice coverage for charm. Besides, this demi-sleeve is more flattering than a tight cap.
5. The numero uno, a smokin' L'Wren Scott Headmistress Dress, $2,895 (also from Net-a-porter). Heel, boy.
For your three grand you will enjoy fine details like precise white stitching (the back of this dress is as perfect as the front), tiny velvet-covered buttons, lace-trimmed hem.
Dream dress; I'll be looking for this effect no matter what I end up with.