Saturday, February 9, 2008

Calypso jersey wrap dress

I thought it was appropriate to have my first entry be about something Mindy Kaling inspired. In May 2007 Mindy wrote about her staples, and one of them was the Julia wrap dress by Calypso, seen to the right. There are about 15 Calypso stores in Manhattan, so last Thursday Danielle and I decided to visit a few. First we went to the outlet on Broome, which had this dress, in several colors, on sale. But here's the thing: it's not at all soft. Sure, the fabric is supposed to be wrinkled so you can wear it even after it's been in a pile on your floor for a week, but you won't want to because it's coarse as hell. And I don't do coarse, which is why I wanted this Calypso dress instead, the Jersey wrap dress. It's super soft, comes in great, rich colors, and is slightly magical! Look at all the ways you can wear it!

Great, right? I mean, if you're going to spend $250 on a dress (those of you who know me well saw that number and knew this story would end with me not buying it), it should be a dress you can wear a bunch of different ways, including as a skirt. And when I went to the regular Calypso store (it wasn't at the outlet, sigh), I tried it on in "sapphire," could easily figure out how to tie it the way seen here and as a tube dress. I asked the salespeople at the register if they had the instruction sheet promised to those who buy it, and instead they sent a salesgirl in the dressing room with me. And she was very nice and tied it one-shouldered so it looked great, but that kind of defeats the purpose since I want to know I'll be able to get dressed myself, without the aid of a handmaiden. When I asked her about the crazy, complicated ways of tying it she said that most people just get creative and mess around with the ties and find their own methods of wearing it. But that would so not work for me; I have a hard enough time figuring out how to layer a cardigan over a tank top, I'm not going to be able to navigate the ten-foot jersey strips of fabric that the top consists of.

Plus, there are the boobs. Since most of the designs are open-backed and it's cut very low in the front, there's no way I'd be able to wear any sort of normal-person bra (there's probably some sort of high-tech bra that only Oscar nominees can buy, but Gap Body doesn't have anything like that so I'm out of luck). But the fabric is pretty thick and if you tie it tight enough there might be enough support and coverage. But picture this: a strap slips off my shoulder, or the top gets caught on some furniture, or the tie around the waist comes undone, and before you know it I'm Tara Reid. Bad!

So I didn't buy it; I might have if it was, say, under a hundred dollars, but I can't drop a quarter-thou on what is just a very long piece of jersey with an elastic band at the waist. Sorry, very nice salesgirl. Maybe I'll come back when I have a job.

Calypso by Christian Celle Jersey Wrap Dress, $250

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