Dress-less

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Top: Forcast

Skirt: DIY

Shoes: Mel (similar here)

Belt: I Will Fly

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a dress, but it’s actually a skirt and top combined. The two blacks are just slightly different (different fabrics: The top is a stretchy jersey, the skirt a suiting fabric) so to soften the difference between the two I’ve added a feature belt.

This is a great way of getting around the issue of two items that almost but don’t quite work together, and I use it regularly. Not just to match blacks, but to marry two pieces – like two different colours, or two different patterns – together.

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The belt’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s an elastic belt with two fabric hearts that snap together, and I spotted it on Etsy a few years ago. I contacted the buyer about getting one custom-made to my measurements (don’t you LOVE Etsy? Clothes made to fit YOU, not YOU trying to fit clothes)

I bought the top at the end of last year, and its been one of my favourite recent purchases. I hadn’t heard of the brand Forcast before, as their Victorian stores are all in malls I’m not familiar with. I stumbled across them on a work trip, and I’m glad I did because this top is just lovely.

It has a wide flattering boatneck that adds length to my short torso, but miraculously doesn’t make me look ridiculously top-heavy. There’s a built-in shelf bra which is obviously useless for me in regards to bust support but does mean the top doesn’t ride up, and it also provides a double layer of coverage so the fabric doesn’t become sheer.

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The half-length sleeves are a new trend that I’m really starting to appreciate: very elegant and retro, with a vaguely balletic style, but the real killer feature for me is the deep scooped back:

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Lovely.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Then & Now

Dress (remixed): Hera Couture

Shoes: Mel (similar here)

I’m not one of those people who thinks that your wedding day is the Most Important Day Of Your Life ™, but even I have to admit that your wedding gown probably is the Most Important Dress Of Your Life.

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 I still remember how I felt the first time I saw the dress I would be married in (Obviously. It wasn’t that long ago). I remember the excitement of being fussed over and fitted, the deliberations over colour (bone), train (yes), and whether to wear a red sash or not (not). I remember stepping into the dress on my wedding day, my best friend and sister zipping me up, and how beautiful it made me feel.

Since that day The Dress has been sitting in a garment bag in my wardrobe. It doesn’t take up much space; there’s no petticoats, no tulle, no boning. Without a body to fill it out it’s the limp promise of a gown, the matte sheen of silk and a hint of gossamer chiffon.

I un-zipped the bag once or twice this past year to run my hand over the beautiful fabric, and try and recapture how magical that day in January felt. There’s still the hint of my “something borrowed” perfume in the cloth.

I moved into a new apartment last weekend, and when I excavated my wedding gown from the bottom of one of my suitcases I tried to think about what I should do with the dress. Keeping it was ridiculous. I wasn’t exactly going to wear it again. But selling it seemed unthinkable; too many happy memories were bound up in its seams.

It’s a deceptively simple dress, my wedding gown. Unfussy in its construction, the only adornment comes from the elegant drapery of chiffon that is tacked to the bodice. It was short work to strip this layer off and reveal the bare bones of the dress itself: A simple bodice with a wide v-neckline, an a-line skirt that becomes full circle at the back, a matching waistband in the same, sumptuous matte silk.

It was easy too, to take inches off the bottom and convert the floor length hem to tea length. Dry-cleaning removed the creases from long storage, the last whisper of perfume and the inevitable smudges leftover from a long and joyous day as a bride..

I toyed with the idea of dyeing it, but I think I like the colour. It’s fresh, and full of promise.