I absolutely adore dresses, but I really go for the vintage look. I like sleeves, and I like narrow waists, and I like skirts that hit the knee. I know that’s what looks best on me, since I’m short, so skirts that are too long or hit a weird spot on my thigh make me look stumpy and weird. Plus, dresses with sleeves and knee-length skirts are entirely work-appropriate.
Luckily for those of us that love slightly more demure dresses, they’re showing up on runways all over the place. The sleek, ladylike silhouette is back in! To celebrate, I picked a bunch of dresses that create that effortlessly feminine and polished look, with full, long skirts, sleek bodices, and sleeves or delicate details (like collars or buttons – you’ll see what I mean). Here are some of the ones I like, with occasional commentary, because I just wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t flapping my gums.
A little too sexy? A little too…lingerie-inspired? What do we think? Maybe it is. But it’s still a really pretty dress, so it stays! Take that, establishment!
Fancy! I love the cerulean one the best.
I love this dress so much – the skirt is just perfect! How awesome would this look with a pair of sleek black pumps? Effortlessly chic. Just about fool-proof, really.
(I’d probably wear it with purple pumps or something. Purple is such a great color for a shoe, but so under-rated. Blue and green would look great, too! As would red, if that’s more your thing.)
So simple. You really can’t go wrong with a dress like this. That’s the huge draw. I have so many pieces like this in my closet – tops or dresses or whatever that are just polished and sophisticated on their own and look great even if I don’t have the time to dress them up with accessories and all that.
…I like to sleep in the mornings. Bill Waterson captured my attitude best in this strip from 1986.
(I personally subscribe to the theory set forth in this article, that Calvin grows up to be Jack and Hobbes is Tyler Durden. Discuss.)
Stripes, long sleeves, long skirt, and a fitted look. I might wear this with black boots and a white sweater or something. It’s one of those blank slate kind of dresses – you can style it so many different ways, with so many different colors.
I included this mainly to show you the ruffled placket. Crazy!
(That being said, I’m not wild about this dress.)
Whoa, look at this one. Right out of Mad Men! I love the rounded little puff sleeves and the boat neck. I absolutely love boat or square necks. At least, I do right now. I bet in a year I’ll be back into v-necks again.
I wanted to include a printed dress. Just because.
Every woman needs a red dress, right?
I used this dress last time, but it works here, too.
Plaid! With purple! I like purple.
There are plenty more that I would have liked to share, but then you’d all need finger braces for scrolling-induced injuries, and healthcare is enough of a mess in this country right now, so let’s just take it easy.
And I’d love to hear from my lovely readers – what dresses have you been coveting? Link us to them in the comments!