Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Ths search for the perfect party dress


Whenever I talk to men, they tell me that they hate shopping. That they just walk with a determined long stride into the shop, see what they want and buy it. Often without even trying it on.

And then there is us. Here is an account of a woman's search for a dress for the party season:

Once in a while – usually around Christmas – a girl’s thoughts turn to party dresses, then, almost immediately, descend into despair. I’m not talking about the ultimate price-on-request dress. I’m talking about a dress that is a few rungs above the high street, but not in the big-price league; one that is sexy and glamorous, rather than a box-ticking fashion statement or a festive confection.

Nobody could deny they are out there – rails of gorgeous little frocks by Alice + Olivia and Willow and Sass & Bide and Antik Batik and D&G and you name it. But they might as well be lederhosen for all the use they are to me. Because, besides looking good enough to eat, they all finish above the knee or quite a bit higher.

I could fill lever-arch files with the things I can’t tolerate in a dress – starting with short – and most of these I think I share with other women. I want a dress that isn’t the length of your boyfriend’s shirt, that doesn’t itch (a wool party dress? Please), that couldn’t easily disguise a pregnancy, that has some sort of shoulder coverage, as opposed to cheese-cutter straps – and it would be really nice if it wasn’t black and sort of apologetic-looking. Did I mention that it has to cost somewhere south of £400-£500, if it is the absolute dress of my dreams?


the picture is a Christmas window at Selfridges.

3 comments:

Toby Wollin said...

Funny, yes. Infuriating also. She ends up with a black dress.

Anonymous said...

Amen! I'm young and thin and unfrumpy and yet I look at half the dresses available and think, "seriously, is that a shirt?" Nobody can SIT in a super-short dress, and I like sitting, and being able to wear a brassiere (nixing a lot of those skinny straps), and not freezing or looking cadaverous in black...exhausting, I tell you.

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