I hope your Monday wasn’t as crazy as mine. I discovered that my doctor’s appointment was an hour earlier than I’d put in my calendar, another appointment was canceled, and on the way home, I missed my subway stop. However, one upside to my strange day was that I took a different path to the subway and passed this mannequin in the Caché store window at 1144 Third Avenue.
I was about to keep walking when these bust-friendly elements registered in my subconscious: stretchy fabric + princess seams. Combined with a great color, V-neck, and the fact that this was a shirt dress and not your typical ruched or wrap dress, I had to try it on.
Here is the size 14 dress on the hanger in the dressing room. The description of this dress on their website states that it has a “faux snap front”, which makes for gap-free fabulousness. Actually, the very first snap fastens, but the others are only there for decoration and happen to create a nice vertical line.
I was walking the dress back out to the rack when I discovered that Caché has created camis in some of the same colors as their dresses. How brilliant! Here I am wearing their blue cami beneath it.
For the sake of full disclosure, in the time I spent deliberating about whether to buy this dress, a small tug showed itself at the top snap. However, this isn’t the reason I’ve decided to wait to buy it. I write about those reasons below.
The main reason I haven’t bought this dress yet: I’m not certain that it fits my current lifestyle. For a GREAT discussion on this subject, check out Imogen Lamport’s recent post, What Every Woman Should Have in Her Wardrobe, which also reminds me of Filling the Gaps in a Large Bust Wardrobe from May. (Your comments to that post were extremely helpful.)
Last May, I wrote that I need more dresses, and this is a dress that fits in a color that looks good on me. If I were still a middle and high school English teacher, I would buy it in a heartbeat because it looks professional and allows for great mobility (do teachers still write on chalk boards?). However, the dress I most need right now is what Imogen calls a sweatsuit alternative that I’d “want to be caught in by an ex-lover”. For me, the belt on this dress tends to remove it from the sweatsuit category, but I may reconsider because of how comfortable it is–and versatile. I like how the necklace and sandals that I wore into the store worked so well with it! The price of $168 may seem high for a sweatsuit alternative, but the cost per wear may make up for it.
Another reason I’m not sure about this dress is the cap sleeves. In the survey I posted yesterday (please complete it if you haven’t already!), I asked if your large bust paired with another feature of your body poses one of your greatest challenges. At the time, I was thinking about my short waist, but I forgot my large upper arms! I’m not like one woman I know who hates her upper arms so much that she will never expose them, but I do wonder if I’ll see myself in photos someday and wonder, “What was I thinking wearing that dress?”
Other than showing off the widest part of my arms, cap sleeves can act like arrows pointing to my bust. For an example of this, see the third top in this post. However, I don’t think that’s happening here. And as I study these photos, I realize that there is one more giant benefit of this dress: It disguises my belly bulge! (I realize that it doesn’t disguise my back bulge, but because of my past posts in which I discovered the limits of shapewear, I’ve started weight training, aerobic exercise and watching what I eat, so I’m doing all I can about that.)
So here’s the dilemma that anyone with a fit issue faces when they find something that fits well but isn’t what they need: Do I buy it or let it pass? I am not foolish enough to think that just because I know the combination of style elements that work for my big bust, I will actually be able to find them when I need or want a dress like this! On the other hand, I have gotten rid of enough items in my closet that I never wore but purchased with an attitude of “I must buy it now or I will never find it again!”
I’d be interested in hearing how you handle this. For this dress, I seem to be weighing the pros and cons, but I also need to finish that list I began writing about in May. It wouldn’t hurt to inject a little more discipline into my wardrobe.