Hello, friends! My blogging energy has been zapped lately, I must admit, but I think it’s bouncing back. And so today, I have a little story to tell!
It all started with a print. A couple of months ago, I was obsessing over galaxy-themed prints. I managed to track down some galaxy fabric to sew a dress (no I still haven’t sewn it yet!), and also found a ModCloth dress severely on sale. It was the very last one, and in spite of the fact that I was pretty sure it would be above-the-knee even on a shortie like me, I snapped it up. (Like I said, last one, but it was the Day of the Grid Dress in Galaxy.)
When it arrived, the print was fantastic, it was a stretchy knit and comfy as could be, but it was very definitely above the knee. And while that’s never been my thing, I wasn’t exactly put off because I loved that print so much and I wanted to make it work. But I did pause to think about how I’d wear it and still feel “me”. I’m okay baring thighs in the occasional pair of shorts in summer, but I haven’t owned or made a dress that did anything but show knee caps since, well, I have no idea. So this was new.
My taste in fashion obviously leans towards the vintage inspired, and I think I have a pretty good handle on my personal aesthetic these days. I know what I like, I know what I don’t like. I’m happy to add in whatever bits I fancy to help me put together an outfit I enjoy and feel good in, but historically, that hasn’t included above-the-knee dresses.
But even sometimes I surprise myself, and push the boundaries of whatever I think “my style” is, anyway. And hey, isn’t that part of the fun of fashion, pushing your boundaries, sometimes?!
So the rest of summer passed, and then fall came around. I dusted off the black tights and leggings that I’ll likely be wearing for the next several months, and what did I do? I busted out that galaxy dress. And some intergalactic-appropriate silver accessories.
Lookit, knees! And thighs! (And p.s., new vintage specs)
Didn’t I tell you that it’s a great print?! Worth changing my whole dress length paradigm, that one. My middle name is a constellation, I’ve always loved stargazing, and damnit I think I’m totally obsessing over galaxy prints all over again.
But wait, where were we? Oh right, short dresses. So thumbs up for the galaxy dress. Then last month, I found myself ordering a Cath Kidston jersey dress with an adorable clocks print. Hard to tell online, but again, I guessed it might be short. Turns out, it’s even shorter than the galaxy dress. And though I sized down from normal because it looked a bit oversized in photos, the waist was still more relaxed and slightly raised than I cared for, but nothing a wide belt couldn’t fix up.
When we went to New Mexico on vacation last week in part to visit my dad, let me tell you, I wore the hell out of that dress! It saw two plane rides, mountains, and big skies.
It was easy and fun to wear, and I felt very kicky in it. Completely casual, comfortable, still put together, and didn’t totally lose the vintage vibe I enjoy infusing into my daily style. It still felt me, but with a bit of a twist. And I loved it. (I should mention that Mel has also expressed love for this look on me, and has mentioned more than once that I look like I could be traveling with The Doctor. I’m not complaining.)
Now let’s be real, this isn’t much of a new silhouette per se, so perhaps my post title is a bit misleading. Both dresses have a fitted bodice. One has a not-quite-half circle skirt, the other has a gathered skirt (albeit not super full). Hardly uncharted territory for me. It’s just the length that feels a lot different, though it’s interesting just how much length plays into your perception of something. Although the fact that both are knit fabrics is kind of outside my norm too, which makes them more clingy than I’m used to.
Uh yeah, clingy. Did I mention it was windy? May have to get used to that.
Anyway, while these dresses feel pretty different, in many ways, they’re really not so much. But it still feels like fun, new, uncharted territory for me!
Now, I don’t see myself wearing dresses or skirts like this without tights or leggings. But I live somewhere where more than half the year sees my legs covered. So saving shorter hemlines for tights and leggings weather is easy. (Probably more often with boots or brogues but hey, flashy silver clogs are fun sometimes, too.)
Going into this fall and winter, I have some new inspiration to play around with, along with some old, and that’s exciting! I was already planning to conquer sewing with knits (oh oh OH how I have loved how comfy these two dresses are). Now I think there might be a few shorter dresses and skirts in my future, too. And even before I bought the clocks dress, several weeks ago I found myself plotting out a novelty print a-line skirt with a scalloped hem, which I was mentally making above my knee. Interesting how things can infiltrate when you least expect it!
I’m home from our holiday, my sewing machine is back in order, and I’m feeling more inspired than I have in a long time. My sewing and knitting list is a mile long!
How about you? Any styles or silhouettes you never thought you’d fancy or would suit you, but you’re intrigued by? Trying out anything different lately? With the change of seasons things always feel in flux a bit, and surely I can’t be the only one! 🙂