I am overjoyed that dress season is nearly upon us. Trivial to be sure, but I feel at my best — most inspired, most complete, most prepared to take on the day — when I am wearing a dress. It’s just uniform for me. And so after months of begrudgingly wearing pants, I am ready for warmer weather. As a dress expert (ha!), I have come to find a couple of key points make for a perfect “everyday dress”: sleeves (short or long — I think most women, myself included, feel less self conscious when wearing a sleeve; there is less to mess with at the neckline, no straps to fix, no bras to hide, etc), midi or maxi length (comfortable and also demure when sitting on the floor with children), and a loose, smocked, or belted waist that does not feel constricting in any way.
Today, sharing some of my favorite dresses to live in for the season ahead. These are the kinds of dresses that are perfectly appropriate whether taking children to school, attending a meeting (obviously contingent upon where you work), grabbing a cocktail with friends, or running errands.
1 // CARTOLINA NANTUCKET OPHELIA DRESS — As described in the copy, this dress is “next level sophistication.” I love the color, the length, the collarless neckline. This looks like something by Emilia Wickstead or Carolina Herrera.
2 // DAPHNE WILDE STELLA DRESS — I love this exotic Liberty print, a perfect moody spring pattern before we hit full on summer. I have had a crush on this brand for ages and am absolutely in love with the oversized fit and dramatic pattern.
3 // JULIA AMORY SHIRT DRESS — I have been living in these. They are insanely, insanely soft — almost like a brushed cotton. And I love the print she did with my girl Pam Munson!
4 // BODEN TIERED MAXI DRESS — Vibrant colors and happy tiers. How can you have a bad day wearing this dress?
5 // VELVET BY GRAHAM & SPENCER GINGHAM DRESS — Somehow on sale for $108 in a fabulous sage green gingham.
6 // REFORMATION MARIANNE DRESS — A saucier, sexier take on the everyday dress look. This would translate well into date night; the fit is a bit slimmer and more body-conscious. I would wear with espadrilles during the day and switch to mules for cocktails.
7 // MILLE RUFFLE DRESS — OK, I’ll stop blabbing about this dress soon but I simply love it. Something spectacular about the boyish shirting stripe against the ruffle at the elbow and flounce at the hem.
8 // MANGO BELTED LINEN DRESS — Such a great value to serve up some Meryl Streep in Out of Africa vibes. I simply love this dress — the color, the cut, the shape. Pair with simple leather sandals and great shades.
9 // JCREW SMOCKED DRESS — I bought this for myself; the pattern reminded me of SEA and the price was right.
10 // EMERSON FRY FRANCES DRESS — This arrived and I could not love it more. It is super flattering on (I love the drawstring waist) and the colors are wonderful and unlike anything else I own.
12 // VICTORIA DUNN FLOUNCE DRESS — Reminiscent of Sue Sartor and Julia Amory (though I do love both of those brands and in particular own several Julia Amory dresses that I live in — they are just so soft), but at a more accessible pricepoint. I love the oversized belt and the punchy pattern, and the sleeves add interest and dimension.
13 // BANJANAN BAZAAR DRESS — The print alone…! I love this brand. She makes dresses in a really light, breathable cotton.
14 // ZARA BELTED PRINTED DRESS — A great everyday dress in a fantastic print. The green color is superb!
15 // ANTHROPOLOGIE SOMERSET DRESS — This dress just looks like a dream to wear. Light, forgiving in all the right spots, in a fun pattern!
17 // MADEWELL COVERALL DRESS — My one exception to the “long length” rule is this coverall dress. I saw it and had to have it. This will look fantastic with a bold patterned Hermes scarf and flats or with sneakers!
A few accessories I would love to pair with this fleet of dresses: this Marni bag (!), these Celine sunnies, these Rothy flats, these canvas furlanes, Hermes sandals in the whipstitch blue colorway, a pile of gold necklaces featuring this cute Logan Tay style, and these mules.
P.P.S. On valuing presence over productivity.
P.P.P.S. New year’s thoughts.