Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Dresses

Happy Easter, everyone! Right now I'm in the airport, waiting for my flight back to New York to board and eating taffy with little bunnies on them that I found in my Easter basket this morning. My family brought me to the airport but barely slowed down to push me out of the car, since they were all heading to church. Hmph. It is undeniably true that I would not have gone to church with them even if I didn't have to go back to school, but it is also undeniably true that dresses to wear to church (or, even better, brunch) on Easter morning are really fun to shop for. Look how much fun Judy Garland and Fred Astaire are having in the movie Easter Parade! I highly recommend you try and track this movie musical down if you want to do have a theme movie night tonight.

If I was really committing to the Easter theme I would post photos of all sorts of giant hats for you to buy and look ridiculous in as your stroll down Fifth Avenue. But in a match between hats and dresses, dresses will win 7 days a week and twice on Sundays (thrice on Easter Sundays!).

I think this Arden B. Floral A-Line Dress, $148, is the quintessential Easter dress. Floral? Pastal? Chiffon? Waist sash? Full skirt? All check. But the pleated cross-top and color block at the bottom hem keeps it young and fun, like "Who wants to celebrate Jesus with some Long Island Ice Teas?"

The Free People Pretty Poppies Dress, $128, is a little less in-your-face, but still, so pretty. But why is it that all the Free People brand stuff on the Urban Outfitters website is really cute, but when I look at the Free People website I'm like, "What hippie shit where they smoking when they designed this shit?" Maybe they tone down the arts-and-craftsy whickawhack look for the UO stuff, but go wild with the crochet and florettes on things that are only by FP. Anyway, I adore the blue and white striped sash and straps on this dress.

On the Gap website they recommend toughing up this Strapless Empire dress, $69.50, with a black leather jacket. I love that idea, but not for Easter, of course. This dress comes with straps that are obviously removable, but I suspect that the boning in the front of the bodice would keep it in place well enough. And pretty print, right? It's a bit like toile, but toned down so it's not overwhelming.

The Marc by Marc Jacobs Wave Print Halter Dress, $198, is a little less girly, I think, with the unconventional color combination. And I like that it's an abstract print, almost simple stripes but with some messiness.

Just to go from end of the designer spectrum to the other, here's the Forever 21 Floral Eyelet Dress, $24.80. It's so feminine and sweet, with the lace trim and the eyelet on the skirt. It also comes in a light yellow that'd be appropriate for Easter, but personally I like the pink.

The AE Garden Sundress, $39.95, is great because it's not so foofy that you couldn't wear it to class or a party or places other than church and your sorority meetings. Plus, it has pockets, which I am hugely in favor of when it comes to dresses.

Speaking of sorority girls, I had a suspicion that Lily Pulitzer would have some great Easter dresses. The first one I liked was this Marlon Embroidered Dress, $198. Orange accents on crisp white fabrics are one of my favorite color combinations; it looks so fresh and fun. You can barely see the embroidery on the dress, but there are oversized pink and orange daisies all over.

What is better for Easter than white linen? The Penelope dress, $298, would make you look both super tan and very skinny (with the vertical stitching) and also pretty busty (with the sweetheart neckline). That's pretty much my big three dress wishes, right there.

I don't know why, since I almost never wear shift dresses like this, and I'm rarely on board for some paisley, but I'm kind of irrationally in love with the Jacqueline Dress Pique, $248. It's cute, right? I don't know, I like the keyhole at the neck and the three flowers... it's just totally working for me.

So I realize that none of these dresses are exactly modest, and unless you want to be like Lyla from Friday Night Lights (who is constantly going to church in these little sundresses and looking unappropriately babely, if you ask me), you need a cardigan. I could write epic odes about the majestic beauty of cardigans, but for now I'll just give you a few options so you don't get any pervy looks from the priest.

For dresses I think a cropped cardigan is best, because if there's too much sweater going on I start to look a little grandma. I covet this cropped ruffle cardigan, $49.50, from the Gap. Assymetrical can be hard to pull off, but I think the pale pink helps soften it. This cardigan also comes in navy blue, white and gray, all exceptional cardigan colors. If you don't like the ruffle, Gap also has a basic cropped cardigan, $39.50 (that little ruffle cost ten extra dollars? Pffph) in good spring colors.

Here's another cardigan with a little more detail, from Free People. The Boho Tie Waist Cardigan, $98, is a little more chunky but has the slightly open weave and cool buttons. Black is a little anti-Easter, but you'll be able to wear it with anything.

I know I said cropped cardigans were the way to go, but sometimes, with a shorter, simple dress, a super long cardigan (almost as long as your dress) can look super hot. The Lux Basic Long Cardigan, $48, would also look great belted, I think.

For a grand finale I was going to scan and upload a picture of me and my sister wearing matching Easter dresses when I was 2 and she was 4, and we're holding little stuffed bunnies and looking way too freaking adorable, but I couldn't find a scanner so: use your imagination.

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