Yesterday afternoon, Julia and my friends came over to go out to lunch. That morning, I had gone out to buy groceries and then immediately jumped back into bed, and feeling uncharacteristically antisocial, I decided the best thing to do was pull the covers over my head and hide. However, when one of them inferred from this behavior that I wasn't going to join them for lunch, my competitive side kicked in, and I jumped out of bed and raced toward the bathroom, shouting, "Give me five minutes!" I changed into a pair of jeans and a tunic, combed my fingers through my hair, dusted on some powder and slicked on some mascara, and strapped on my metallic sandals. I emerged from the bathroom triumphantly, having proved my friend's assumption wrong.
"You do realize we're going out to lunch, right?" he asked.
"Julia's wearing a dress!" I countered defensively.
She shrugged. "I wear dresses to bed."
It's true - I rarely see Julia wearing anything other than a dress - and she looks fantastic. And frankly, after spending months wearing stretchy pants and sports bras almost exclusively - because I go to acting school and because I'm in rehearsals for an avant garde play in which I spend almost the entire time crawling around on my knees - I'm so craving a uniform of dresses.
My favorite dresses are cleanly sophisticated and made from a slinky fabric like silk or jersey - dresses that make women look like women, not girls. Just for fun, I'm going to post some of my favorite dresses with a price scale I invented, from $ (less than a week's worth of lattes) to $$$$$ (desperately seeking sugar daddy).
$ - Forever 21 Pleated Chiffon Dress, $27.80
$$ - Banana Republic Cotton Printed Dress, $110
All vanilla-hued chiffon and playful innocence, and we already know how I feel about drop-waist dresses. The satin trim may cheapen it a bit, but at under 30 bucks, you can wear this one out to a bar and not worry too much about drunken buffoons spilling beer on you.
$$ - Banana Republic Cotton Printed Dress, $110
Banana Republic is usually too preppy for my taste, but I like the bohemian-meets-country-club vibe of this dress. It's sweet enough to be worn with tasteful kitten heels when going wine tasting with the fam, but not so saccharine that you can't pair it with four-inch platforms, an armful of bangles, large hoop earrings, and a turban. And we know how I feel about turbans.
$$ - Holly Stalder Black Silk Puffy Sleeve Dress, $125
This off-the-shoulder dress is not only totally sexy, it's also handmade. I do wish it came in another color besides black - how awesome would it look in fire engine red? Of course, red is my favorite color, to the extent that I sort of want to wear it everyday a la Diana Vreeland and want a red wedding dress. Still, even in black, this is definitely a dress to wear while breaking hearts.
$$$ - Helmut Lang Wrinkled Satin Pocket Dress,
This is minimalism at its best. I love the voluminous pockets, the glossy side panels (which not only create interest but also, I can imagine, make you look longer and leaner), and racer back. It's also marked down at Shopbop.com and available in black and cement (light gray).
$$$ - Diane von Furstenberg Tuvallu Kimono Dress, $325
I've been seeing this shade of blue a lot recently, and I love it - it's so fresh and really makes an impact. The cut of this one skims your curves and highlights your waist without making it look like you tried too hard. It's understated-chic and perfect for summer. There's also some great stitching detail on the trim that you can't really see in this picture.
$$$$ - Emilio Pucci Jersey Camisole Dress, $495
Sexy (thigh-skimming skirt, drop waist) meets sporty (bold print, cotton jersey) in this Pucci confection. This is another one that can go from the poolside to dinner uptown, depending on your choice of footwear and accessories. It's comfortable enough to stomp around Manhattan in. It's both fiercely youthful and timeless. Best paired with giant sunglasses and some attitude (and you know the paps will be all over you when you wear this because they'll mistake you for Nicole Richie).
$$$$ - Kiki De Montparnasse Fatale Siren Slip, $495
Kiki DM, purveyor of luxury adult toys for the rich and lustful, also sells some seriously sexy (and seriously pricey) lingerie and loungewear. In truth, this is a slip, but it's too awesome to be relegated to the bedroom. Besides, when paired with some heels and a vintage clutch purse, who's gonna know? Or rather, who's gonna care?
$$$$$ - Kiki De Montparnasse Sauvage Hooded Dress, $625
Kiki DM, again. Slinky and sporty, with an unexpected open back. If Little Red had worn this instead of an infantilizing velvet cape, I'd have said she asked for it.
$$$$$ - Matthew Williamson Hand Painted Maxi Dress, $3,325
How can the same designer who also responsible for questionable pieces like this one bring such a gorgeous dress into the universe? A simple triangle top balances out a frothy, floaty skirt - this is bohemian-chic done right.