Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dress Like a Lady

While I am a staunch feminist, I'm also totally in love with "ladylike" clothes. This has less to do with any proscribed expectations regarding behavior and modesty and more to do with a certain style aesthetic. And happily, it would seem it's a style aesthetic that seems to be on-trend right now.

What sort of friend would I be if I didn't share them with you?

Alice + Olivia 'Ophelia' Dress (styled with the YSL Tribute Sandal)

So, here's a few to consider, ranging across price range as well as occasion - everything from the party dress to the wear-around-the-house dress. I love them all!

1. Kate Spade 'Kimberly' Dress (Adorable! Possibly too twee for a woman in her mid-30s, but who's counting?
2. Kate Spade 'Melanie' Dress (Crazy? Really? Maybe just a little...quirky and creative? ^_-)
3. Kate Spade 'Rainey' Dress (These Garance Dore illustrations are so great - though...I do have just a general aesthetic objection to the woman smoking. I mean, I understand it's very "French" to smoke, but still...)
4. Alice + Olivia 'Reese' Pleated Frock (The print is fantastic and the dress - *swoon*)
5. Alice + Olivia 'Tracey' Peplum Dress (or the 'Adeline' for those who prefer a cap sleeve - last fall the fashion press was all excited about the peplum...and I don't know about you, but I didn't see many of them. There seem to be more this year - and these dresses are just lovely.)
6. Alice + Olivia Jacquard A-line Dress (It's like textured gold, isn't it? In pretty dress form? Anyone having a party to which they'd like me to wear this dress?)
7. J. Crew A-line Ponte Knit Dress (In my shopping cart as I type.)
8. J. Crew Polka Dot Tie-Neck Dress (Argh! Sold out in my size already or it would be in my shopping cart along with the A-line Ponte Knit dress. It may be time to get on the phone with customer service...)
9. J. Crew Collection Italian Wool Dress (Something I can imagine Grace Kelly wearing...just beautiful.)
10. River Island Chelsea Girl Midi Dress (very pretty midi-length version of the lace dress)
11. Modcloth On the Other Line Dress (really so cute)
12. Gap Cherry Print Blouson Dress (simple and pretty - what's not to like?)
13. Old Navy Cap Sleeve Jersey Dress (simple, pretty, and inexpensive - and that solid black makes it a really great basic.)
15. Old Navy Roll-Sleeve Chambray Shirtdress (chambray + shirtdress = classic)

*Sigh* So many little closet (and budget) space...

So to balance out all the more "traditional" expressions of womanliness as shared above, I just thought I'd share this little Nike ad, showcasing a whole other kind of womanliness. You know, just as a reminder that anything a woman does, is by definition, womanly:

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day, being you.


  1. I like a modern, ladylike aesthetic! I just ordered the Gap cherry dress in navy, black blouson dress, and I have all 3 of their nautical shifts. Pretty impressed by their recent turnaround in quality and styles. I also have the ON chambray shirtdress, so we must share similar tastes! Btw, gap is having a 30off sale til Sunday...

  2. Love the Nike video! I remember when I did gymnastics in my youth, there were high-level little eight year-old girls (and boys) running around the gym with six packs. In the coverage of women's gymnastics in the Olympics, you can see that behind the sparkly leotards and pretty faces that the camera adores, those 16 year-old girls are ripped. All the better to do those double backflips with. And really, that's what it should be about - being capable - whether with your body, mind, or spirit. I've started to embrace this outlook in my own athletic and personal goals - I want to be able to do cool stuff. It is easy enough to spend your time in this world sitting on your butt, perhaps with your knees together, ankles crossed, and never running fast enough to rip a seam. But how sad it is, that with all the gifts our species inherits - a capable body, a large brain, and the resources endowed to us by our civilization, that we do not use those gifts to the utmost. This is the lesson I hope we can pass onto the younger generation of girls (but really, all humans) - do not trade your own capabilities in order to sit pretty (or act macho). Being capable is worth so much more. And if a six pack at age 8 or writing your first computer program at age 9 are what get you there, those things should be celebrated.

    1. Oh, and btw, I love pretty things too :).

  3. never too many the classic black ponte. Any chance you could throw in a review?!

  4. I'm also what I regard to be a fairly femme feminist! I love the ad. Nike (and their long-term ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy) has some of the most moving and clever campaigns of my lifetime. The use of women of all ages in the ad made it even more compelling a message. I'm not an athlete but I do love commanding the front of a university classroom in a borderline-fussy dress.

  5. What a fantastic post!!!!

  6. LOVE the ad. Like Jesspgh, I think of myself as a feminine feminist. I became a lot more vocal about it when my daughter was born and continue to be as she grows up. I want her to know that just because we like pretty dresses and frills and makeup DOESN'T mean we can't also be equal to men, socially and in the workplace.

    On a lighter note, I love all of these. If the J Crew Ponte Dress came in a color other than black (like that jade green or "modern red"/orange maybe?), I would have already bought it.

  7. A girl can never have too many dresses. You need to have the perfect dress for each occasion. I adore dresses and it seems that most of my purchases this year were dresses.

  8. I agree, love the print, hate the smoking. I want the coin purse, but not with an image of smokers on it. Yuck!