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

Monday, 28 January 2008

Asking for the moon

I want a dress.

I don't want a dress that comes above the knee
I don't want a tunic dress
I don't want a wrap dress
I don't want a smock dress
I don't want a sleeveless dress
I don't want a clingy dress
I don't want a shift dress.

In other words I want an A line dress with sleeves, and which hits just below the knee. Preferably not black.

But I think I'll go and look for the formula that turns base metals into gold, a cure for Aids and peace in the Middle East instead. No point chasing impossible dreams

32 comments:

AKA Patti said...

Boden! Check out the Spotty Tea Dress and the Sexy Jersey Dress.

Linda Grant said...

I just had a look, the tea dress is not really my style, and the jersey dress looks like all the other jersey dresses I have ordered from Boden and sent back - cheap, thin jersey that hangs really badly and clings.

miss cavendish said...

Glad to hear your take on the Boden jersey dress. I ordered the hotchpotch dress for fall/winter and it felt and looked sooo dowdy and matronly (like a cheap department-store dress) that I immediately returned it. Boden, from my experience, is best for children, though I have made some happy discoveries there.

DLB said...

Linda, it's time you cultivated a good old-fashioned dress maker. She could make you this elusive frock and you'd have such a good time choosing the fabric etc. Do it - now. Yellow Pages. Local person. Worth a try.

Linda Grant said...

I know that Boden is hugely popular, and in fact one of my best buys was a top I bought from there in 2005 and wear every summer. Wonderful print and a very good shape.

But I have had no success with anything else. I think they're expensive for the quality, and there is something just frumpy about their dresses. Also, they seem to really fit.

Yes, you'll have noticed that I do have Boden ads on this site, that is not a personal endorsement.

The only personal endorsement I will give any advertiser on this site is Pure cashmere because I think the quality is fantastic for the price.

Deja Pseu said...

I'm so with you. Trying to find a dress that isn't too skimpy, too circus tent-y, too clingy or too dowdy has become a search for the Grail.

sheila said...

I bought a Wall dress a few weeks ago which was black (I know) but I think fits the bill. Now not available in black though, more like beige. Deep V neck, small gathers under bust but not too smocky, creates A line effect, long sleeves and divinely soft pima cotton.

Strongly recommend Wall, pricey but good value, beige and black but great styles!

Aiglet said...

You might try Jones New York at whatever your department store of choice is... I have a couple of dresses that fit your description that I got there.

I looked around at various websites, but all I could find was iterations of basic black. (Links included in case anyone else wants to look too. I know that last one is petites, but I'm 5'6" and I fit both.)

Linda Grant said...

The question is why no mainstream designers are making them.

Linda Grant said...

The Wall dress is beige which is not a colour I can wear, and it's like all the other very basic slip-on jersey dresses. Okay, but nothing special.

Jones New York isn't sold outside the US and Canada.

jakjak said...

Linda, it sounds like the hunt for the dress has put you in a very bad mood! Since you are clearly too wise to buy 4 almost right dresses whilst waiting for "the one" I suggest you go out and buy some shoes.
"When the time is right the dress will come"

diane said...

check out dvf - there are some nice non-clingy dresses - maybe not long-sleeved but at least elbow length

Linda Grant said...

On the DvF UK site, she is only showing two dresses that hit below the knee, both are wrap dresses.

AKA Patti said...

How about this site?

http://www.dressbydesign.com

Linda Grant said...

Very interesting concept, but once again, they don't ship outside the US so no use to me personally, but others might take a look.

mq, cb said...

Banana Republic is offering a silk twist dress with an A-line skirt and short sleeves. I don't know how tall you are but it is available in petite, tall and regular so one of those should hit just below the knee. Unfortunately, the dress only comes in black and the model wearing it is annoyingly perky, which puts me off.

See http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse/product.do?cid=39292&pid=547457

Of course, you'd have to send to the US to get it. And then you'd have to pay VAT on it. And then if you didn't like it, returning it would be such a terrible faff that I wonder whether it would be worth the bother.

Linda Grant said...

I'm sorry to be so relentlessly negative, but once again that dress is nothing special, certainly not compared with some other dresses on that site, and as you say, because of their draconian shipping rules (not outside the US) it's not worth bothering with. Though Banana Republic will be opening in the old Dickens and Jones building on Regent Street in March and that will be a different matter.

enc said...

Succinct and superb.


(BTW: I don't have luck with Boden, either. They're not for girls like me, who have orangutan arms.)

Phyllis said...

How about Anne Klein spring '08 RTW? Isabel Toledo (a fashion hero of mine for 15 years now) has numerous lovely dresses in that collection. Few of them are black and I'd wear most of them. Style.com has the whole collection.

Linda Grant said...

Thank you Phyllis, I have had a look and you are quite right. There's a small Ann Klein collection at Harvey Nichols, tucked away in a corner by the toilets and always packed with shoppers who get drawn in in their way to the loo and I shall get down there as the sale stuff is out of the way.

Linda Grant said...

Though looking at the collection again, there are overwhelming numbers of neutrals which I can't wear (dark hair, pale skin) some black, some blue which doesn't work for me, and not much else. I'm looking for greens, browns, reds, yellows. There's a lot of colour about this spring, but generally in short tunic dresses.

mrs. Jo said...

How about this one:
http://www.ladress.com/cms/index.php ?
It's based in Amsterdam and you can pay in Euro's, Pounds and Dollars so I don't think shipping will be a problem.

Anonymous said...

I've just been reading your article in the Guardian. I hate poorly made clothes and now limit myself to buying designers whose clothes are made of high quality fabric and display proper workmanship. (Incidentally, while I like Vanessa Bruno designs, I find her stuff very badly made). Have you looked in J&M Davidson recently? They always have dresses for grown-ups. Or at the shop aimé near J&M, there's usually something from one of the French designers that is appealing. APC is maybe a bit 'young' but at least its clothes are classic shapes, made from good quality fabric and sturdily made.

Linda Grant said...

That is a very interesting site. Lovely dresses, good concept, but at £275 quite expensive and only one dress comes in a colour I would order, and it's not in the fabric I want. Again, too much blue.

The dress I'm looking for has to fit and flatter, that is it has to be the right shape, in a colour that suits me, and be within my price range. That's why I'm so picky.

Linda Grant said...

I'm not usually in West London, so don't know J&M Davidson. They may stock appealing French designers, but French designers are still pushing out dresses that come well above the knee. You only have to look at style.com to see that the new season's dresses are exactly the same as the last. Too short for me.

Fiona said...

Love your blog!

Have you tried Anthropologie? It now ships to the UK.
http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1&_dynSessConf=2185955298302097198&id=73632&parentid=APP_DRESS_SOLID&pushId=APP_DRESS_SOLID&popId=APP_DRESSES&sortProperties=%2BmarketingPriority%2C-saleDate&navCount=9&navAction=poppushpush&fromCategoryPage=true&selectedProductSize=&selectedProductSize1=&color=spi

Fiona said...

Oops. The link didn't fully display. The dress I spotted was the "Warp & Weft Dress" in red.

Linda Grant said...

Nice shape, but falls down on the must have sleeves rule. By which I mean not just a little flap over the shoulders.

Anastasia said...

You might like http://shop.annafuchs.de/index.php?language=de
(Miss Moneypenny) Anna Fuchs is a German designer, some parts of her page are English, price usually is Euro and she does ship to England. Usually she uses great fabrics.

But I do know the quest for what to wear when searching the Holy Grail - that's why I will be meeting with a dress maker soon, who will make the perfect dress for me.

Anastasia said...

And she does have a completely english site, too:
http://shop.annafuchs.de/index.php?sort=5a&language=en&osCsid=ccf893c2a0f3112dc1031bf9b014520b

dana said...

The pleats on the Anna Fuchs are to die for.

I understand wanting a waist, but I'm loving the shift these days. (I still have my twins tummy.) And I find if I get it in the right heavy-ish jersey, it drapes well enough to suggest some shape underneath. And they're quite comfy.

Tracy said...

I've never had bad luck with http://www.gatheringguide.com/ec/bridal_shops_dresses.html. They have a nice balance of internet and local stores, so you can try them on if you need.