More Malandrino

And so the love affair with the designs of Catherine Malandrino continues.

Convinced that a woman can never have too many LBDs, I recently purchased this one on sale at Neiman Marcus. It’s the Aimee Crocodile-Jacquard dress, and the unique pattern sets it apart from all other little black dresses. Longer on me than on the model (so what else is new?), it looks great paired with black textured tights and sky-high pumps, and will be the perfect dress for holiday parties.

Malandrino dress

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The Little (Not) Black Dress

I am clearly in the throes of a dress phase. I’ve rarely worn them for day, because I’ve always thought of them as special-occasion garb. That’s completely wrong, of course, and I’m happy to have come around. There are so many fabulous day dresses just ripe for the plucking…and pluck I do.

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This drop-waist dress from Banana Republic is a perfect example. For starters, let me say that it is not nearly as short as it appears in the photo. I left behind thigh-revealers in the ’70s, and I’m not about to revisit them at my…ahem…age. This hits just above the knee, and with a pair of black opaque tights, it’s perfectly suitable for a woman of a certain age. Add heels to dress it up…flats to dress it down…tall boots or booties…and you’re set.

Even though it’s a black-and-white tweed (with a hint of silvery thread), it serves as the ideal basic. It looks great paired with a blazer or cardigan in ever-reliable black, or in a bright color, such as red or royal. I teamed it with the orangey-red Anna cardigan, which I bought in petite so it hits just a few inches below the waist and enhances the line of the dress. Also, the silver buttons play off the lurex quite nicely.

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Back to Basics

Those of you who follow my blog may have seen the photos of the two little black dresses I posted on February 19. I have never in my life owned a proper LBD, so finding just the right one was a big deal to me.

I ordered two styles, each in two sizes, from Nordstrom, and this one was the winner hands down:

Alas, I do not look quite like the model. I look like this:

My head isn’t cropped off to maintain any sense of anonymity. The truth is that the flash gave me devil eyes that could not be remedied by the red-eye setting in iPhoto, and I look downright terrifying.

The Little Black Dress

I will be attending an authors’ event in two weeks, and, as is my habit, I’ve been obsessing over what to wear. Business attire is encouraged, although event organizers have made it clear that attendees of this annual fundraiser often show up in cocktail dresses. The dilemma: do I risk getting too dressed up and possibly look like I’m trying too hard? Because I’m one of the authors—not a paying guests—is it better for me to knock it down a notch or two? The answers I’ve finally landed on are “no” and “yes”…in that order.

And so began my quest for the perfect little black dress. A woman can rarely go wrong with the LBD, since it has the advantage of being dressed up or down as an event dictates. Change the jewelry and shoes, and the look can go from meeting appropriate to night on the town.

I found these two on the Nordstrom Web site…both very similar and classic in design.

Donna Ricco Ruched Matte Jersey Sheath Dress

Adrianna Papell Pleated Jersey Sheath Dress

Since they’re not available in the store, I ordered them both.

Um…

Well…

That’s a little misleading. What I actually did was order them both in each of two sizes. (Thank you, Nordstrom, for having a don’t ask/don’t tell return policy.)

Before you dismiss me as a dimwit, I do have a rationale for purchasing four dresses with the intention of keeping only one.

Clearly, the dress needs to fit close to the body on the top half, yet shouldn’t be too terribly clingy on the bottom half if hips are an issue. Translation: there’s a very good possibility that the top of one size and the bottom of another may actually be just right, which is a common occurrence with a sheath and the primary reason why God made tailors.

If you care, I promise to report back. The dresses are due to arrive in about a week, at which time I will hold my own private little fashion show for my profoundly tolerant husband.