Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fruit Dresses

It's finally the time of year again when you can go to the grocery store and buy strawberries that don't cost like 7 dollars for a little carton. So in celebration of all the tasty, cheap fruit that are about to start springing up all over your local market, I found some dresses in the colors of my favorite produce.

First, the lemon Calvin Klein Illusion Bodice Dress, $178. This could be kind of a fussy dress, with the silk chiffon overlay and pintucking and silk ribbon. But the bright, fun color gives it the sort of effortlessness you want to project in the spring, and the attached slip means you can just throw it on over anything and go on your way. I have a pair of espadrilles, with a simple pink straps, that I think would go great with this for a Shake Shack run, or I could wear strappy heeled sandals at night for a classier vibe.

This dress would be perfect, with a dark belt and cardigan, to wear to your summer internship. The "pomegranate seed" Polka-dot summer dress, $130, is perfectly ladylike in the cut with the full skirt and square neckline. Combined with the bright print, it says, "I am a dedicated career woman, yet am open to being cast as the female lead in a romantic comedy opposite Hugh Dancy." I also think there's some sort of dirty analogy to be made with having to work hard to get at the good parts of a pomegranate, but since this is Banana Republic I'll resist trying to find the low joke.

Here's a less restrained take on the brightly colored polka dots. This orange Theory Yumi Magali dress, $355, is definitely too short for any office, but would be perfect for picnics in the park or free daytime concerts. I love the product description, too: "Sunny circles play hopscotch on a full-skirted frock of cotton and silk." Yes, I love a personified pattern! And while I know Danielle is totally anti-babydoll, but I think the wide waistband and gathered bodice on this dress makes it seem youthful, not infantilizing. I also like how the pattern on the waistband doesn't line up with the pattern on the skirt or bodice, so the potential busyness of all those circles is broken up.

My grandma used to always make rhubarb pie from the fruit in her garden, and, well, I actually don't like rhubarb pie but it's an idyllic memory nonetheless. I do love this J.Crew rhubarb tie-front dress, $88, though. The crossover v-neck and waist tie make it look like a wrap dress, but the skirt is one solid piece so you don't have to worry about showing too much skin when one of those lovely warm breezes comes along and tries to expose you in front of the pizza deliveryman. This is the sort of dress you'd wear all summer long, in the color that'd make you feel as young and tan as you did at sleepaway camp.

You know, I don't really like papaya either, although I'll eat it if its part of a big fruit salad and the restaurant it too dark to pick everything apart. The J.Crew papaya Olivia dress, $175, is completely adorable and, I'm betting, amazingly soft. The row of buttons up the front make it easily convertible from "I'm the sweet kindergarten teacher all the 6 year old boys have a crush on" to "I'm your sweet girlfriend who's going to let you undo the rest of these buttons later tonight." I'm a bit in love with the necklace the model is wearing in this photo, too; I think one long/big piece of jewelry, with hair, makeup and everything else very simple, is the perfect choice.

The last J.Crew dress is the "Bright Berry" Swiss-dot Fontana dress, $140. This is a real wrap dress, but it comes with a detachable slip-- very practical. The details are really what make this dress special, like the ruffle that goes all the way around the collar (I would be sure to wear my hair up to show it off) and the little raised swiss dots on the fabric. With the sleeves and the double layer, I think this dress would be ideal for a spring day with that last hint of chilliness in the air, when you've already shoved all your sweaters into the back of your closet and but need to cover-up a little more.

I really wanted to find a dress in the shade "grape," but spring is not a good time for dark purple. We'll have to settle for this plum Lux Double Flutter dress, $48, which is more of a lilac shade but whatever. The front makes it look like an overgrown t-shirt: comfy, no doubt, but pretty simple. But check out the v in the back! When you make eye contact while passing a cute boy in a grocery store aisle and then he turns to further check you out after you've passed, he is going to be so psyched to see that hint of shoulder blades. And think about how awesome it's going to feel when you get really hot one summer day and then get to rub an ice cube on the back of your neck, without having to worry about getting your clothes wet.

This final dress is what inspired this whole post to begin with. From Lord and Taylor, the lime Calvin Klein cotton pintuck dress, $148, is simplicity at its most genius. That vibrant shade of green with the black straps and bow? I love it. No one else in the room is going to be wearing this color, I can almost guarantee it. Yes, it's not the easiest shade for all skin colors to pull off, but if you can, the rewards will be great. Within two hours of leaving your house in this dress, you'll be doing this:

Well, I can't exactly guarantee this promise. But this photo, which is from the Lord and Taylor magazine ads, pretty much hits every single point on my Biggest Dreams List: frolicking barefoot on a beach, wearing a hot baby-doll dress, with hot young boys in speedos carrying my catamaran. If there was a plate of bacon somewhere in this photo, it would perfectly depict what I imagine heaven to be like.


Ryan said...

Actually, I really like the lime with black. It's pretty awesome. I am also surprised I think the Theory Yumi Magali dress is good; normally I'd consider a pattern like that a horrible idea. But for some reason, here, I think it works.

I like the papaya dress (and papayas in general) but have to disagree with the long necklace. A little too hippy-dippy for me. or something.

The bright berry one is good too. It's a nice color and the details add a touch of intricacy that makes you keep looking it over.

Also as soon as you say berries, I think of fruit and yogurt concoctions and also smoothies. Both of which are so summer-y that doing schoolwork now seems so lame.

I don't think rhubarb is really that color but it's nice none the less.

Lemon and plum, I think, fall into that category of "fine but will be passed up for something awesome" though I think the jewelery in the plum photo could be cool if I could see a bigger picture of it.

lena said...

I LOVE the grape one for everyday wear! It's a total me style. Loosey and fun. (That is not meant to be read as "I am loose.")

I also really enjoy ze papaya, but I don't think I could pull it off. I think the bust would be too tight in the front and the detail of the buttons would be lost. I disagree with Ryan. I like the long necklace with it. But then again, I'm borderline hippie, so his argument may be true.

And I've never had rhubarb pie, but my grandmother used to grow rhubarbs in the back yard and make jelly out of it and it was AMAZING. I want some right now. But she's too old to make it and the rhubarb jelly is no more.