28 April 2011 – Stretched

April 28th, 2011 § 8 comments



  • Dress: J. Crew (thrifted)
  • Sweater: Zen via Filene’s Basement
  • Belt: Anthropologie
  • Shoes: Tahari via endless.com
  • Necklace: gift

I’ve worn this dress a lot since I bought it at a consignment shop this winter (same place that A. picked up her fab new blouse!), and I’ve consistently struggled with what to do about the ruffle around the neckline.

Ruffles and Pearls

Well, genius that I am, I decided at 7:00am yesterday morning that the back part of the ruffle had got to go, so I took out my trusty scissors and happily took out the stitching holding on the back half. Why I hadn’t done this earlier, I’m not sure. Why I chose to do it at 7:00am in the morning while still a little delirious, I’m also not sure about. Regardless of the mysterious ways my addled morning-brain works, I’m happy with the results.


I’ve also had this sweater for a while and it was just about to go in the “swap-heap” before it was rescued for this outfit. It seemed good in theory to have a lightweight, cashmere, mushroom-brown cropped sweater, but in practice it has proven less practical. I’m not sure that this one outfit will totally redeem it, but it will at least survive until next fall because (drum roll) I’m packing up my winter clothes this weekend! I’m doing this in preparation both for spring (to finally arrive) and for a clothing swap I’m organizing next week. No better time than a season shift to clean out the old closet! A. and E. are hosting a swap soon as well, so keep your eyes out for some upcoming weekend workshops on the topic!

Stretch Stretch Belt

Finally, getting to the title of my post – I know I wear belts a lot, and I completely blame A. for this habit. I told you during belt week that belting is the gateway drug to becoming style obsessed (in a non-self destructive, good kind of way). However, my waist is not always happy being squished, and depending on how much I’ve consumed, my belts can get a little bit tight — until I found this belt on clearance at Anthropologie when A. and I were shopping in Boston. I know that plastic is generally not good for the environment, but stretchy, forgiving materials are very good for my post-winter but pre-spring training body, and this belt is plenty stretchy and very comfy.

Does your body noticeably change over the course of some seasons?

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§ 8 Responses to 28 April 2011 – Stretched"

  1. If I made a permanent change to a piece of clothing before I had my coffee, it would NOT turn out well, so kudos to you! And if you’re putting cashmere items in your swap pile, I wish I was invited to your swap!

    I don’t mean to suggest that this hemline is in any way indecent, but it’s shorter than I would have worn when I was teaching high school students. I wonder if you would be willing to do a post about how you decide how long is long enough? Do tights/flats/heels make a difference? I’m also curious about whether you teach with bare shoulders, because this is something I always tried to avoid, but sometimes when the a/c wasn’t working it was up to 80 degrees in my classroom, so I was always tempted.

    • admin says:

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for bringing up the hem-line issue. Yes, I also feel that this dress is on the line of being too short. I love it though, so I’m torn about what to do. I wore it this winter with tights, which mitigates the length factor a little but not completely. This is something I’ve been struggling with all year – the hemlines my students wear are shorter than I would be comfortable wearing to teach in, but that is a lot of what’s being sold in stores. I have a hard time finding “short” skirts (not pencil or full) that aren’t 5 inches above my knees. Even 3 inches makes me a little uncomfortable. While I have no problem wearing these styles in my personal life, I feel like it’s not appropriate for school – teaching has a definitely made me more prude on a lot of levels! I do feel like heels vs. flats make a difference as well. As for bare shoulders, I’m in the same boat that you are. I try to avoid it, but when the weather is sweltering (or the heat is turned up to 80) I will some times remove my sweater or blazer even if I’m wearing something sleeveless. I, however, avoid wearing spaghetti straps or tank with adjustable bra-style straps. I’d love to hear what other people think about skirt length!


  2. Jen says:

    I really like that dress! I am moving to Boston this summer…can you tell which consignment store you bought it from? Thanks.

    • admin says:

      Hi Jen,

      There is a chain of consignment shops in NE and the east coast in general called Second Time Around and there are a few stores on Newbury and one on Charles. There are some outside the city as well: Chestnut Hill, Harvard Square, and Wellesley. I’ve always found great things there and am actually about to consign some things myself!


  3. scn says:

    I didn’t even notice the length! LOL I guess it is a bit short, but it’s not scandalous. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Nice mix of neutrals!” I really like this outfit. The sweater looks great with the belt and dress.

  4. Amelie says:

    I love this mixture of neutrals! I think a lack of nice neutral basics makes me scared to try it, even though I like the look.

  5. [...] this dress without anything over it, but for right now a little more coverage is needed. Like the dress I was wearing last week, this one is almost too short, but at this point in the year I’m so tired of my wardrobe that [...]

  6. [...] and turned more and more to thrifted items, clothing swaps, and consignment stores (like my grey dress). For the staples though, especially fitted items – pencil skirts, sheath dresses, a cropped [...]

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