Monday, March 9, 2009

Cottage Dress (Outfit for Pool-Going and a Review)!

So it is another one of those two-for-one blog entries. Today's main player is the lovely slub-cotton cottage dress in tea rose. What can I say except, "I (Heart) you, Cottage Dress!" It is so comfy, cozy, and manages to be a decent dressy cover-up. Now I don't expect to go to a Gala in this dress, but for those summer nights when you want to be breezy and cool, but don't want to wear shorts and a tank, this dress may be your answer.

I wore it yesterday to go to Cub Run Rec Center out in Chantilly (review of our awesome day coming). I wanted to test-run it, and since it was beautiful and warm (about 75), I wore it to go swimming! It really is a dual-purpose item. You can use it to cover-up at the beach or pool, or you can use it for those dressier summer nights (which is what I will do).

I wore the dress with a silk sash (J. Crew--summer 2007), a pair of sandals (J. Crew--spring 2008), and toted all my swim gear in the yoga bag from J. Crew this holiday season (2008).

I made a polyvore because all my items were there (or some reasonable facsimile). Here is the polyvore link:

Here I am with the silk sash around my waist. It gives the dress some definition and makes it a slight bit dressier. I think the dress is fine with no belt, but I thought I would show you ladies the options out there. I love those shoes, btw. Took forever to get them (on waitlist till July 2008) but once I got them, I was glad to have waited. I believe they are called the Vachetta sandals.

Isn't Rex cute trying to grab me? I love how two-year olds need attention all the time. ;)

Here the sash is acting as a scarf, which also dresses it up, but in a completely different way.

So why do I (heart) this dress so much? 1. I wear a small, and it fits PERFECTLY. It is a definite size-down, ladies. 2. It is A-line and Empire-waisted, which is the best dress fit for a woman like myself, with a tiny upper body and a bigger lower-half. (Yep, the pear-shape!) 3. Could that color be any prettier? Such a nice, floral, deep pink shade. It is the color of a fruit I want to eat or a flower I want to smell.

You can find it here on J. Crew's website:
Also comes in black, garden green, and slate. I think it is worth full-price.

Here is a close-up of the waistband. It is elastic on the front and back and stitched normally on the sides. This waistband has the double-effect of being super-comfortable and creating lovely pleating. Such a nice way to accent the part of the body that for most women is their smallest measurement!


HeidiG said...

You were right - I love that - it's the exact kind of dress I live in during the summer (bonus for thicker straps that can hide a bra. I will have to check that one out, definitely.

It looks fantastic on you!! Hope you enjoyed your Sunday swim!

Melissa@AllThingsSimplified said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! I think you look absolutely beautiful, Dina! :)

KatyO. said...

Hi Dina,
This is such a pretty outfit on you! :)

Also, saw your post on JCA about the painted tank. I was at the Cambridge, MA store today (Cambridgeside Galleria), and I'm fairly certain they had them there. You might want to give them a call. :)

Patina said...

You look so pretty. The color is perfect on you. I especially love the look were you wore the scarf around your neck.

Anonymous said...

I like it both ways but with the sash around your waist the best:) cheers!

Anonymous said...

cute dress. cute, cute, cute! I have to admit. I was feeling very curious as I scrolled down to see if you were wearing the swimsuit, swim hat, and flippers. (wink) You are just the sweetest thing! Lissa

Joyce said...

You inspired me to wear my tee shirt dress that's in a similar color (Yes, I officially got dressed after 3PM. It's been that kind of day). The dress looks great on you!

AppGal said...

yay! adorable! and now i am certain that i need this dress :)

so is the bottom part of the dress a stiffer fabric than the top? does it wrinkle easy? I can't quite tell from the pic on j.crew's site...

thanks for reviewing!

Slastena said...

The more I see you in coral pinks , the more I think it is your color palette. You look lit within, so flattering with your complexion.

Amy said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE it! So glad to see this review because I was really wanting this dress. :) Did you find it in-store or did you have to order online?

Anonymous said...

The dress is very flattering in both fit and color on you. The sash is best around your waist. It doesn't really look like a scarf but a sash so..well, you get the picture. Those shoes? Well there is A LOT of toe going on there. Maybe that is just a personal thing but those would be in my giveaway bag:(

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog and following the photos of all the fun J Crew things you have purchased. I am a hairdresser and I am going to be so bold as to make a suggestion that I think could be transformational to your look. You need to take your hair down to the darker shade it wants to be. This reddish/bronze tone is not working with your skintone which has a lot of it's own redness. It would be so much more flattering to your complexion.
There needs to be a greater distinction between your skin and hair color. You have beautiful eyes and a fabulous smile but they would pop with a darker hair color. Also, it seems you are probably struggling with doing something quick and easy to your hair and perhaps using a flat iron?? too much. With small kiddos, I do understand;)

I would stop straightening your hair as it is damaged looking and needs more body. Also-you need to have some hair across the forehead where it is very pulled back and flat in appearance. It would serve you well to have a side swept bang and a blunter bob cut. I would suggest finding a trusted stylist that can provide you with a deep conditioner, a fresh new cut and a darker, shiny color. Then she/he can help you learn to style it on your own. Some are happy to offer help with home coloring if there is reason you do not choose to pay salon prices;) That depends on the stylist!
IMO, it would be money far better spent and make all of your looks EXTRA special. I hope you consider it, you would feel like a million MORE bucks:)

dinagideon said...

You all are cracking me up with your comments: :) Big Smiles!

HeidiG: I hope you think about this...I know you would love it! So comfy and perfect for summer nights!

FFM: Such a sweet have made my day!

KatyO.: Thank you on both counts! ;) I ended up ordering the tanks from the CT store. BTW, the lady said when I called back that she had told her staff to listen for the lady with the VA accent. I have never been told I have an accent, but I guess in other parts of the country, I must sound like I do. So funny!

Shopaholicdiva1027: You were the only commenter to really like the scarf look. It is very late 90s, I admit, but I love the late 90s, so there you go!!!

Anon @ 5:25: Thank you for your comment! :) The sash gives the dress a little something, huh?

Lissa: I am not ready to show that much! :) I think I will keep most of me under wraps, for now. However...take a look at FUN's comment...I guess my toes were all full-frontal (bad toes)! LOL.

Joyce: You looked so nice in that dress. I love dresses but only can wear them every once in a while. Not exactly nursing friendly, if you get my drift... ;)

AppGal: The skirt is of a stiffer cotton that the tank part. I suspect it will wrinkle, but since I could care less with a dress that is more casual, it doesn't really bother me too much! I think you should try it on and see what you least the top won't wrinkle (made of that ringspun cotton).

Slastena: I am beginning to think I am a spring color know, light yellows, clear greens, bright pinks, etc. Thank you! BTW, you look amazing in that 120s dress. WOW!

Amy: My big dark secret is out--I rarely shop at the store. I ordered it on-line. I knew that it was an empire waist with an A-line skirt, so I felt comfortable ordering a small. Pants are the only thing I really worry about...J. Crew really makes 8s, 10s, and 12s different in the different styles. Very frustrating!

FUN: Your comment made me laugh out loud! :) I am swim coach, so I hardly ever worry about my "finger-sized" toes. They are really long. :) My daughter has them, too! I can't worry about it because, well, I am not about to wear a close-toe shoe to the pool (and I am at the pool a lot)!

Anon @ 1:59: I am not sure how to put this. You have to believe me when I say I do not dye my hair. I am in the sun A LOT, though, and it does bleach it out significantly. The pool also has its special effect on my hair.

I have only recently started using the flat-iron and I like the straight hair it achieves. But you have to trust me, I only use it once a week, if that, so I think its ill effect may be small.

I will mention one thing, and maybe you have seen this as a hairdresser. After having both kids, I HAVE noticed my hair is getting wavier and redder. It is driving me crazy. And I do think it does make my naturally flushed skin stand out even more!

If it were up to me, I would have perfect, one-shade hair (dark blonde) and it would always be full of life and never need any accessories to make it perfect. But I have two under two (well, the oldest just turned two) like you mentioned, I teach full-time, I write for this blog, I prepare meals for my hubby, I exercise five times a week (at least), and I attempt to watch a little tv everyday. Something has to give, and it is my hair. And, frankly, I don't care! :)

I think when it is summer, I will do some of the things you mention (ESPECIALLY the hair style you recommended--sounds BEAUTIFUL), but I spend 80% of my time outside in the summer and some of that sun and chlorine is going to get in my hair and I can't (because it is a hassle) give my hair-color that much attention.

So instead I will get by on my smile, my eyes, and my freakishly long toes. (I have a sense of humor about myself, but you seemed to want a straight answer, so that is what I have given you!)

Don't worry about offending poor mom and bro have even crazier hair than me and they somehow manage to not let comments bother them, either! ;)

Maybe one day, far in the future, I can reconsider spending more time on my hair...but for now, I will do my best to just get by. (And I may not feel like a million buck now, but 999,999 bucks is okay!)

Oh, and you may love to know this, too! I used to have long blonde hair to my butt...such a headache. I finally donated it to Locks of Love!

Have a great day, you all!!!

Deco Aurora said...

Hi Dina,
For a second I thought you went on a vacation somewhere hot! Then I noticed you had weather in the mid the weather is so different there every week huh? Lucky! I wish I could wear a dress, but will wait a few weeks. You look so cute in your's and the color is a great shade on you!

Anonymous said...

In response, I say I HEAR YA on all of your replies. I get it, really I do. I have been a mother of very young children and do/done all of those wonderful things you do. I appreciate the time it takes:)

You would probably be amazed at the texture and body that coloring your hair gives you and it can even be done very easily at home. I will say no more on that front;)

But if you do not want to color your hair, then you should get a cut that shapes the hair and also cut it more frequently. You would be surprised what a good cut will do to create more time and actually look better with less work. The clip looks rather youthful and the look it creates it severe. You need some hair across your forehead. Food for thought.
You mentioned the texture of your hair changing--this is VERY common during pregnancy and nursing which I know you are doing. Sometimes when the hormones get back to their old selves, your hair will stop mis-behaving or resort to it's old ways. For others, it is a permanent change. Some actually love the change-for ex. curly gets straighter, thicker and those women are happier but often when the nursing stops, it's back to the old wavy hair. It all depends-the body is amazing, isn't it?!I also see mt client's hair get darker and darker with each pregnancy.

There are many great products I would highly recommend you purchase and spray/leave-in for both chlorine and sun (SPF) to protect your hair. When you swim a lot and are in the sun, along with using a flat iron--your hair will undoubtedly need protection. You should also run cold water through your hair before entering the pool-it blocks the chlorine from entering the shaft.

You should make sure to use a thermal protectant before you flat iron as well.

Consider a home deep conditioner that you can even pick up at Target. Do that once a week or maybe bi-weekly as your hair appears on the thinner side so don't want it to weigh down.

So, those are my suggestions. It really isn't that much more work though it sounds like it! Go to your nearest beauty supply or Sephora type store and they will have all of the above mentioned.
Take care:)

dinagideon said...

Mslay: These 70 degree days are so lovely...especially since they come right after cold weather. I love Virginia, you never know what you are going to get in the middle of winter...some days it will be FFFFRRRREEEZZIINNGGG and then the next day it will be so lovely and warm. Summer is a different animal, always hot and muggy!

My relatives are in Southern California, so whenever they come out here to visit, they have a rough time getting used to it! :)

Hair Advice: I will give what you have suggested a try, slowly and surely...I don't think the clips are going anywhere just yet, but maybe soon, with the right style, I will need them a lot less (can I tell you what a pleasure it is never to wear a bun--my long hair was so long that is what I wore every single day). :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the hair advice. Your clothes look very polished, colorful and modern. Your hair is stuck in another time/place. It would make a huge difference to consider a hair color change. Your face *is* often washed out and it's too bad because you have the prettiest eyes. I know changing is a hard thing to do, esp if it's from people giving unsolicited advice. Keep thinking about it. Also an eyebrow wax would be good. Narrowing the width of them would make your eyes even more beautiful.