Monday, June 17, 2013

OOTD/Review: Father's Day and a Snapdragon.

Hello, all!  Happy belated Father's Day!

First up is the ootd portion of the post, followed by the review of the Shabby Apple Snapdragon dress.

Day: Sunday, June 16, 2013.

Where:  Father's Day at Mount Vernon, then to dinner.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  Shabby Apple asked me if I would be willing to try one of their dresses from their vintage inspired line, and of course I was more than willing to give one of them a try!  :-)  (I had seen their dresses over the years, but since their presence isn't as big amongst us J. Crew/Boden/preppy personal style bloggers, I never really went over and checked out the items on a regular basis.) 

Anyhow, long story short, they were happy to send me a dress of my choice (from a list of contenders), and though I was enamored with many of my choices, I knew that the pretty Snapdragon dress had to come to me.  Its vintage style reminds me of clothing my grandmother wore in the mid-50s, but its happy, colorful print seemed to be very "me."  And since I am clearly a fan of shirtdresses (hello, blog header!), I was sure I could make this one work for me.

I had the dress for less than three days before I knew I would wear it, yesterday, for Father's Day.  It was really muggy and warm yesterday, and I knew the only thing I wanted next to my skin was a lightweight cotton.  And since I wanted to dress up for Mr. Dina, but still would need to nurse Angus, this dress was exactly right for the day.

The sunglasses (Kirkland Signature--yep, Costco), the belt, and the Cole Haan shoes nicely rounded out the outfit without making me feel too wilted by the end of the day, and considering I had to spend half the day running after Angus and/or holding him while he tried to escape me (and climb the stairs, natch), I know that outside of a track suit and trainers, I chose best for the occasion.

Cool Factor: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest.)  I added the belt and the sunglasses to up the cool factor.  But considering I was going for the retro/vintage vibe, I didn't want to style this beauty too much, since the darling print (birds frolicking amongst leaves, oranges, and apples) shines on its own.

Anecdote from the day:  Since it was Father's Day, I forgave Mr. Dina when he assured me he would be done with the learning center part of Mount Vernon in no time flat, while I went on ahead with Angus, who was definitely done with enjoying it.  Some TWENTY minutes later, Mr. Dina finally ambles on out and is all, "what, why are you upset?"  Humph.  ;-P

(I will take this opportunity to let you all know that we have annual passes to George Washington's home, since it is a mere ten or so miles from our home.  We can go there anytime we like, it's not like we're from Kansas and this is our one trip to our nation's capital.)

Snapdragon Dress.  Size Small.  So some of you may have ordered from this purveyor of fine, conservative clothing in the past, but for me, it was a first (as mentioned above).  I took a gamble that the website's sizing chart was accurate, and that this skirt would be full enough for me *not* to worry about the hip measurement.

The gamble was spot on, since the bust is only a touch too full, the waist is exactly right, and the hips are free.  Surprisingly the only part that was tight on me was the sleeves, which were not uncomfortable, but more fitted than I am used to.  If you have more ample upper arms (my upper arms are actually considered kind of skinny), you may want to bear that in mind if you like this dress.

The dress is made from what seems to be a stretch cotton poplin.  This means that by the end of the day, the dress fit better than it did when I first put it on, since it was able to stretch and conform to my shape.  It will be washed and hung to dry, and will return to its shape, and upon wearing it again, it will then again stretch and conform to my shape. 

From a sewing perspective, I love working with cotton poplin, since they take dyes very well, are very breathable, and are very easy to sew.

This fabric was a bit stiff before wearing it, but after a few trips to the washing machine, it will just keep getting softer and softer.

The dress is made with women in mind who want to be fashionable, fun, but still a bit conservative in their dressing.  I clearly am more conservative than not when it comes to my choices, and like having a wardrobe full of pretty, unique, vintage-inspired frocks for my daily life.  The arm length is lovely on this, but I often wear sleeveless items, but for those of you who do need to wear dresses with sleeves, this one has nice, ample coverage (just remember they are a bit tight).  The skirt comes right to my knee, which is nice, since I am very tall through my legs, and most dresses that are not in a tall length end up well above my knee.

I actually think the dress looks prettiest from the back!

I like it without the belt, a lot, but wanted to do something special yesterday, so I added the belt, sunglasses, and bag.  That said, I could definitely see wearing this as above out with the kids to a playdate or to their school.

There were only two small issues that I had with the dress (beyond the tighter sleeves), and that would be the extraneous two upper buttons, and the kind of odd collar.  In the photos, it actually looks really lovely, so I suspect that is all on me, and as I am looking at it while writing this post, the bodice is growing on me.  ;-)  The zipper isn't the most awesome, either, but I am never a big fan of a side zip. 

Okay, that's it for today.  I am planning on hosting a giveaway tomorrow for a Shabby Apple item of your own.  The giveaway will be tomorrow, so be on the lookout for it!  Hope all of you will enter!  (BTW, this dress is one of the ones you can choose from if you win.)

P.S. Since this post is about Father's Day, and I had mentioned my Grandma's 50s style, I thought I would share the above photo of the members of my dad's family from the day my aunt was baptized, in 1959.  Doesn't everyone look so put together and beautiful?  My grandma looks amazing, and my dad and uncle are beyond adorable in their little suits and fedoras.  Love!