6.20.2009

Weekday Warrior

My work trip to the middle of nowhere ended up getting scrubbed at the last minute. While I miss the chance to visit places like that, where I would have never gone on my own initiative, I definitely do not miss the 100-degree heat, because it would have kept me from wearing a new dress that I have come to love.

For months, I've heard about a collaboration between GAP and various designers to produce a line of sartorial goodness made aptly of khaki. Ever since I saw pictures of a short-sleeved Vena Cava dress, I was hooked. Lately, I have been wearing a lot of dresses for work because it is easy--I did not have to spend time thinking about what top to match with which bottom. A khaki dress with a lovely tribal-inspired print would be a great addition to my work wardrobe. It is not too short (hits just above the knee); I couldn't go wrong with a conservative khaki color and sleeves; it is easy to throw it into the washer, and the print is just really cool. A dress like this would not need much, if any, accessorizing.

Never (and I mean NEVER) have I ever ran to the store on the first day a collection drops until now. The store near my work had already sold out of my size, and not much else was left. I ended up buying one 2 sizes bigger, which fitted well enough (it was comfortably loose), but if I could find a smaller size with a better fit, I would exchange it. I still can't believe I actually went through the trouble of going to a second Gap that was close to home, but I didn't think that the dresses would remain available for long. There were still dresses in my size. However, my excitement soon dampened as I tried them on. The dresses definitely ran small--while my regular sizing fit to a tee as I was standing, the dress did not pass the sit test. The skirt portion was simply too tight. The fit was great when I went a size up, but there was small stain on it. As I looked for another dress of the same size and in pristine condition, I noticed that there was a bigger problem. Several of the dresses I saw had holes at a particular seam at the armpit. I was beginning to wonder if it was a design defect. While the dress passed my "hug test" (wrapping my arms across my body), the holes were disconcerting, especially because the fabric is stiff and would not have any give in the event of a strong tug. Also, because the fabric was stiff, I was afraid that it would be prone to wrinkling.

I broke another of my own rules: I bought it anyway (a dress without holes, that is). Normally I would not buy anything that I was unsure about, but I really, really liked this dress. Also, sometimes it is hard to gauge how well something fits and feels in the long run during the few minutes in the dressing room; there have been a few occasions where I returned things that did not work quite as well when I put it on again at home, such as shoes. I figured that I would give it a few hours of more extensive testing when I get home, and I am glad I did. After wearing it to do everything I would do in a normal day (walk, sit, reaching over to grab stuff, etc.), all my misgivings melted away. The dress did not get as wrinkled as I feared. My normal range of motion would not have subjected the armpit seams to undue stress. The fabric was comfortable. The dress still looked great after prolonged wear. I don't have the results of the laundry test yet, but everything else gets a "pass" from me.

After wearing it for dinner one night and for work the next day, I know that this dress will be a fine weekday staple. It works with boots, it works with heels, it works with flats, sandals, tights, and bare legs. It's just easy to work with, and given the hassles of dealing with complexities in life, easy is much appreciated.

[Dinner: thrifted coat, Vena Cava for Gap dress, Gap purse, Marc by Marc Jacobs Latin phrase bracelet, Capezio boots. Work: Forever 21 sweater, Vena Cava for Gap dress, Christian Lacroix flats.]



6 comments:

Muttersome said...

Love the new layout--chic, modern, and seems very fitting for your new grown-up life. As for that dress, I adore it. You wear it so well!

I seriously considered going to Gap to see if it would look good on me, but I'm still working on a student budget so such pleasures will simply have to wait. The Gap/designer idea is too good -- I hope they do something awesome in the next few years. I'd love to see something like jean jackets or little black dresses or the perfect cardigan. Gap, if you're listening, I expect full credit for these ideas.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thank you! I love the perfect cardigan idea--we all need a good one.

Hebden said...

I'm glad you decided to keep it...it really looks great on you.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks! I am definitely glad that I did.

Elaine said...

I think it's a great piece! It is versatile as you say. Hopefully you don't get that armpit hole soon!! and....I love Gap. It is so classy and hardly goes out of style.

Kristin said...

LOVE that dress!