Saturday 6th June 2020
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Dresses with grown-up hemlines, spring edition

good one for kicking around on summer weekends.

DKNY dress—Dresses with grown-up hemlines

This dress is a little tricky, but not intimidatingly so, and the lines are really sophisticated.

Maje dress—Dresses with grown-up hemlines

I am actually really tempted to go to Maje on Prince Street this afternoon to try this  floral  midi dress on, because they’ve got it in the window and it’s been tempting me for days.

& Other Stories dress—Dresses with grown-up hemlines

A pleasingly simple shirtdress with a nice, subtle print.

James Perse dress—Dresses with grown-up hemlines

Sexy, but also really easy-looking.

Rachel Comey dress—Dresses with grown-up hemlines

I think the ruching business at the shoulder is quite cool.

Frame Denim dress—Dresses with grown-up hemlines

Lacing like this almost always looks cheesy to me for some reason, but here, I really like it.

I can’t resist a star print.


Posted on May 8th, 2017 24 Comments

24 Responses

  1. Helen says:

    Love the first dress, but it’s sold out–similar alternatives? Thanks!

  2. y.k. says:

    i love midi dresses &skirts . the only thing -i feel obliged to wear them with heels to get the proper silhouette . so then i end up not reaching for my midi skirts very often.

    • rebecca says:

      Me too (on both). Kim: any suggestions for chic but comfortable shoes to wear with these?

  3. DeDe says:

    I have that Rachel Comey one and it is super flattering, even on my shorter-than-average bod. I sized down and the fit is perfect.

  4. Lisa says:

    Please, would you be willing to entertain expanding your entries on this topic to include (i) a better range of sizes (many here top out well below size 14), and (ii) a better range of price points, as the majority of these offerings are very expensive?

    Along these lines, if it is in fact not possible to find such offerings to include along with what you provided above (for example, if they don’t fit your style requirements or your aesthetic, etc.), would you be willing to acknowledge that attempts were made, and describe what were the problems encountered?

    Thank you for your consideration.

    • Judy says:

      I was just going to say—it’s so depressing that only one of these even goes up to a 12, and it’s sold out. Most stop at 8 or 10.

    • KimFrance says:

      I could do better with the size range thing and include plus-size options in posts more often.It’s hard: there aren’t a lot of plus size brands I like, and if you’re shopping in that range, I feel your frustration.

      As for the price issue, I always try to include affordable options in every post. Dresses with grown-up hemlines always skew expensive, for some reason. And there was a $115 dress in the post, which isn’t dirt cheap, I realize, but in today’s landscape isn’t bad. And if I link to retailers like Zara and Topshop—who offer clothes that truly are cheap—I get comments criticizing me for promoting Fast Fashion. So it’s hard to win.

      • DeDe says:

        And that’s problem with the fashion industry in a nutshell: It’s extremely difficult to find fashionable, sustainably- and ethically-made clothes in a truly inclusive range of sizes and shapes at an affordable price point. Everlane is probably the closest to making that sartorial utopia happen, but their range is limited (and not universally flattering, in my experience). I love this community, but if there’s one thing I wish were different, it’s that people would try to be more understanding that the nature of the industry puts you in a bind – because it’s not inclusive, it makes it harder for you to be, as well. You do try, and your willingness to listen to critical comments makes a difference, imho.

        • Dana D says:

          I agree with DeDe…

          I also think its hard for you to win.

          I always harp on about fair trade, because it is ever more important to me. But I am not criticizing you, Kim, for posting lower-priced options, because you try really hard to make all of your readers happy.

          And I need to work harder to have empathy for those who need a different size range.

          Ugh, can’t win…

      • Lisa says:

        Thank you very much for considering my comment and for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate it very much.

        As one commenter mentioned below, the fashion industry doesn’t make the task of inclusivity a simple one. However, as I particularly resonate with the issue of too-short hemlines on most dresses, I wanted to bring this up to say that any attention to these details that you are able to provide on a post like this one, even if it is to voice frustration at the lack of reasonable options, would be greatly valued and appreciated.

        Thank you once again.

  5. joannawnyc says:

    Love the James Perse!

    • Comic Sansa says:

      I have that James Perse dress, and it is indeed fantastic. Kind of slinky, but incredibly easy. It hides bits I’m not so confident about. The fit is forgiving, too, so will fit a range of sizes. It’s maybe a modernized version of 70s Halston? Anyway, I can highly recommend. It’s gone to a fancy museum opening and several dinners already since I got it.

      • Emily says:

        Ooooh, I’m glad to read this – I ordered it yesterday. How tall are you? I’m thinking I may have to get shortened a bit.

        • Comic Sansa says:

          I’m 5’8, and Kim is right, it falls to a grown-up length. That said, I can’t remember where exactly it falls on me, but it’s long enough not to cause me to pull or tug when seated at dinner (which is a problem with shorter skirts sometimes). Hope it serves you as well as it has me!

  6. M.A. says:

    Not sure what people are seeing – I checked out the first dress and it seems to be available.

    Kim, as a buxom size 12 I get what these ladies are feeling, but I do not think it is possible for you to be all things to all people. I read your blog faithfully for the thought-provoking links, the wonderful community who comment, and, yes, the fashion – sure, sometimes it’s too small/expensive, whatever -but I get great ideas and more importantly a guideline to looking stylish, hip and appropriate in my 50’s and beyond.

    Keep up the great work.

  7. Lori says:

    Absolutely LOVE the first one, but holy smokes, that’s expensive for what it is! (Estimating something like $2.95 for materials, plus two hours of labor by an eight-year-old Indian kid at 35 cents per hour, plus transport …)

    Marimekko and Tucker NYC both offer grown-up hemlines in widely varying styles. Also, this Black Crane dress from Need Supply, in Medium, fits extremely capaciously (I’m 5’11”, 158 lbs., 39-27-41):

    Have also had decent luck finding *inexpensive*, over-the-knee hemlines at Uniqlo (which has a socially responsible business model); Zara; H&M; occasionally at Boden, if your taste skews pretty classic; and on Etsy. (There’s a young woman in Latvia operating on Etsy under the name Linen Wonder line; she makes beautiful custom linen pieces to your measurements and color preferences for well under $100 each. I recently ordered her cap-sleeve linen dress, requesting it in blue — and that it be made *without* waist elastic, and to a length of 43 inches. Just took it on a trip to Maui, and it was *perfect*.) Banana, J. Crew, and Gap also sometimes offer decent lengths, especially lately.

    As far as shoes go, I may be fairly tall, but have short legs, and find that as long as a dress isn’t much below the knee, it works with flats, slides, oxfords, sandals, short block-heels, or Tretorn tennies. No need for heels unless intentionally “dressing up.” (-:

    • Comic Sansa says:

      I tried on that Black Crane dress in the color Paprika, a bright coral-y orange, which would have been a fantastic summery color except for it being completely see through. I was– and apparently remain– very annoyed by this. Line things, people. Easy linen dresses become much less easy if I need to worry about a slip. All that said, perhaps the black is sufficiently opaque?

      • Lori says:

        The black is fairly opaque, but I do still wear a black half-slip under it. (I dislike visible jiggly-ness, and refuse to wear Spanx in hot weather. (-; )

  8. sarahpdx says:

    That star dress lead me right to the shirt version and right into my cart. Did you see the embroidered star shirts, also? So good! I always forget how much I love All Saints.

  9. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    I’m conflicted about the whole sizing/cost issue. I guess, on the one side, I’d say it’s Kim’s blog, so she can post what she wants. On the other side, a blog needs readers to be successful, and alienating a segment of loyal readers doesn’t seem OK, either. The 3rd option is to realize that a size 14 is average in America, that many of us GOACA’ers have gained some weight post-menopause, that not all of us can swing a $400+ dress and to search for at least one option that meets the “includes a size 14” and “not over $100″…does that sound fair?

  10. Lee says:

    I just ordered this one and I’m excited about it… I tried the black version on in the store, and I think chambray will be perfect for summer:

  11. Mary Alice says:

    I tried on the first dress today, and while it’s super cute, the upper sleeves have a seam that is weirdly tight around the upper arm.