Shoes: Chie Mihara
A month or so ago I was invited by the good folk at West Elm to participate in a crafty paper-petals workshop with blogger extraordinaire Pip Lincolne from Meet Me At Mikes.
I’m a big fan of Pip’s – my company has published her books previously, and I’ve read her blog for years – but I’ve never had the opportunity to meet her before now. She’s just as lovely and stylish in person as you’d expect, and she was wearing an absolutely killer black dress that I fell in love with instantly.
Pip told me it was called the Cordilerra dress, and it had come from Obus, which is one of those Indie-Hipster shops that I’ve always avoided on account of feeling not skinny, cool, or rich enough to venture into. Turns out the stores are actually pretty laid-back, the staff are some of the most helpful and friendly I’ve come across in Melbourne, and interestingly I can just about fit into their size “4”.
I didn’t MEAN to buy the dress… I just wanted to take a look, maybe see how they’d managed to cleverly construct a garment that gave both the illusion of volume but also daintiness, and was both classic, but also totally modern in style. Once I was in the store it seemed silly not to just try it on… see what it looked like… it probably wouldn’t fit, anyway.
Well, obviously I ended up buying it.
The dress cost a ridiculous amount, but I was feeling a bit vulnerable, and it was nearly my birthday, and I’d just been paid, and Obus had a sale on, and anyway; it was a really classic style, and I was sure I’d get lots of wear our of it, and…. Oh hell, I just really wanted it, OK? Besides, it had pockets.
It’s beautifully constructed from a wool blend with a teensy bit of stretch, and the bodice is fully lined. The balloon sleeves are magnificent, and while the skirt’s a little short for my comfort (Eek! Knees!) the brevity of the hemline helps to balance out the volume of material up top.
The dress hugs the pronounced curve of my lower back without any excess fabric, and the waist fits perfectly – it sits a little high at the front, but that’s probably the Rack Of Doom (whose f-cupped glory looks positively petite, despite the high neckline).
I’ve probably worn this dress more than any one item in my wardrobe over the cooler months so far. The classic style just needs different accessories to mix it up: patterned tights, a belt, a long-sleeved top layered underneath. Today I wore it with my modern druzy necklace from Kim Lyon Jewelery, but it looks just as at home with a string of pearls, or a carefully curated collection of brooches.
Good lord, you look ridiculously beautiful in this dress. Seriously! The length is perfect too…actually, I think it’s more flattering than the one you usually wear (and there’s nothing wrong with your knees!).
Eee, thanks Ari! I don’t know what it is about my knees. I’m just a bit shy about them. I definitely need to get over it though!
LOVE THIS SO MUCH!! This looks incredible on you. And yr spot on – it looks chic & timeless, yet totally modern. So happy you splurged on yourself!
Thanks so much, Molly! It’s definitely going to be a staple in my wardrobe for a long time, I think.
awwww 🙂 dark princess! you look absolutely beautiful! 🙂
and of course, because I am living out of internet mostly: Happy Birthday! you know that I wish you all the best and most of all: a lot of joy!
Thanks Lena! So far, so good. 36 is definitely an improvement on 35, so far anyway!
Well, we all have to treat ourselves from time to time and the dress is gorgeous on you so you did very well.
LOL, definitely Dany! That’s MY philosophy, too!
OHMIGOD! It looks so beautiful on you! This is my favourite dress of all time. It taught me that it’s better to buy one fabulous dress than 4 disposable ones. I ALWAYS feel special and nicely turned out in this! SO GLAD you got one too!!! xx
YAY! Thanks Pip! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, etc etc! I’m glad I got to meet you (AND see this gorgeous dress in person!)
Lily you look gorgeous and that dress looks like it is made for you. Good choice.
Ah, thanks Dani 🙂
It made me look! I really love how this dress looks and I WANTED IT… then I saw the price *gulp* Now all I am is envious of you for owning this dress
LOL, I know the feeling, Chloe! It was definitely an indulgence!
Obus, do perfectly gorgeous pieces, their make, their cuts, their clever design is fautless – so beautiful, and you look stunning in this number xx
Thanks Kerry – I was pleasantly surprised. It was wonderful to have such good sales staff, too. I didn’t feel intimidated at all 🙂
The dress is gorgeous on you! I like the length a lot. My legs are quite similiar to yours and I’ve learned, that it could be more flattering to actually show of my knees (in tights of course 😉 ) other than to hide them in under a midi skirt/dress. The dress i amazing (love the fit and the details) and so versatile that the cost per wear is justifying the price. And you feel amazing in it too, which is priceless :).
I wish it would not be summer here and I could buy/wear it for myself.
LOL, after today’s miserable cold weather (sleet and rain) I’d be happy to swap you for some sunshine!
I think I probably do need to experiment some more with shorter length skirts… especially in Winter when I have the safety net of tights, hah! Thanks for the suggestion 🙂
Perfect little dress. Love the shape of it. And the length is great on you. 😉
Thanks Mandy! I haven’t tried it with sheer stockings yet (knees!) but hopefully I’ll get there!
That necklace is to die for! It was such a pleasure to meet you and really hope to see you again soon. Much love,
Thanks so much, Cecylia – it was so lovely to meet you too!
The necklace is a nice one, isn’t it? The woman who made it spun me this whole story about how it represented feminine power (on account of being triangular) and I was just “take my money!”, LOL
Gorgeous! Yes obus has always scared me!! The line of the dress is just lovely!
Isn’t it? I’m so glad I saw it in person on Pip because it doesn’t look like much on the website, but it’s so gorgeous in reality! I never would have known otherwise
i love your dress may i ask how is the sizing?
thank you <3
Hi Artemis, I bought the size 4, which is the largest size. I could actually zip the 3 up, but it was pretty tight. I wear a size 16UK at Asos if that helps!
Gosh, you look beautiful (not that you do in other dresses etc. but this one is just perfect. That dress looks like it was tailor made for you and not off the rack.
Length is great, you know knees look always knobbier than they actually are when you either look down front or watch them in the mirror. It’s a great length for you!!
Both thumbs up for this beautiful classic dress that will give you lots of wear out of it for years to come 🙂
Thanks Una! It’s so weird about the knee thing. I have no excuse to be as shy of them as I am, but I just feel a bit weird about the little pillows of flesh above the kneecap. LOL! For some women it’s arms… for me, knees!
Great dress on you. You are a beautiful woman and don’t you forget it.
But there needs to be something bright in there…perhaps some red lippy?
In fact, all outfits pop with red lippy
(now where is my red lippy?)
Oh, I look so carnivorous with red lippy. My lips are a bit too full, or my skin too white or something. I’m loving coral at the moment though!
PS – I think the dress is a good price esp. on sale. You would pay similar for a mass produced dress at Cue or similar. I feel one is better to have a few expensive things that they love rather than a whole lot of cheap stuff that is Meh.
Thanks Cilla! Here, here… I keep telling myself it’s an INVESTMENT! 🙂
That dress is gorgeous and you look gorgeous in it! Thanks for talking about how intimidating some uber cool boutiques can feel when your shape isn’t the one it feels like they can clothe. But, you’re right, it’s better to just go in and find out because sometimes people are friendlier than you imagine and sometimes the gorgeous dress come sin proportions that match your own. I’m confident you won’t ever regret this purchase. It’s terrific.
Thanks Amy! I’m just glad I got to see it on Pip, otherwise I’d’ve never ventured into Obus. I’m really glad I did – like you say, I don’t think I’ll ever regret getting this dress – it’s a lovely piece to wear!