Thursday 1st October 2020
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An embarrassment of floral dresses, part 1

alc dress

My favorite floral dress ever came into my life at a San Francisco vintage store in 1988. It was silk, and midnight blue with tiny red roses, and it fit me perfectly. I wore it literally into the ground, and then just kept wearing it, even as it wore through in some spots and sprouted a tiny rip at the shoulder, because I was in my twenties and shopped in vintage stores, and all my clothes were trashed, to varying degrees. Eventually, the dress started falling apart in meaningful ways that even I couldn’t ignore, and I had to no choice but to retire it. But it has lived on in my mind for all these years—no doubt growing more magnificent through the haze of memory—and I’ve never found a worthy successor. Some of the following come close, though. First up: of course I love the bold, poppy green here.

equipment dress

A slightly longer silk option.

minkoff dress

Such a flattering waistline on this one.

baum dress

I dig how clean and simple this is, and the green and blue print is quite winning.

sophie dress

The flounces on the skirt make this a particularly feminine choice.

rixo dress

I always like florals on a dark background.

caftan dress

This caftan dress looks hugely comfortable.


hinge dress

A quite well-priced choice, in an easy shape.

& other dress

I love a peony.

beard dress

A gorgeous, curve-hugging option from Veronica Beard that is nicely marked down.

lupfer dress

The print here is so fun and retroish.

faithfull dress

I like the deep neckline here (check out this plunge bra that makes it wearable) but if it’s too much for you, or you’re a busty lady, there’s always the option of wearing a slip underneath.

sea dress

I like the juxtaposition here between the hippie girl print and the clean silhouette.

yellow dress

Such a good weekend option.

mango dress

This is so effortless, but it makes a big statement. I’d throw it on with some Chuck Taylors.

Posted on June 7th, 2018 13 Comments

13 Responses

  1. c.w. says:

    I had a similar vintage dress experience. Mine was from the Goodwill in Seattle bought in the 80’s for $2.49. Even when I retired it I didn’t give it up, but put it in storage. The best dress EVER.

    After swearing off florals I bought a floral dress this spring from LACAUSA:
    And I love it.

    So now you tempt me with these glorious choices!! The blue green print, the hippie girl and the pale yellow dresses are now all on my shopping list. Oy and Egad.

    • Eloise says:

      On the off chance you see this, how voluminous is the LACAUSA dress? It looks great but can’t tell if it will end up wearing me.

  2. Candy says:

    Love the Hinge dress and the pale yellow & Other Stories one is the epitome of a summery dress. I bought the last one in the post from Mango when you included it in March. You’re right – effortless, great colors, but not many sizes left.

  3. jenny says:

    I love a small floral, but the large ones overwhelm me visually. I want people to notice my face and not my floral. Thanks!!

  4. LisaC says:

    Such great choices and colors. Wish I had a life that goes with these dresses.

  5. moi says:

    I really like quite a few of these!

    I also mourn the loss of a perfect vintage dress, this one from the 1940s, with that great 40s-era cut, in a wonderful, fluid rayon. Dusky purple with floral print. My next love was a yellow rayon floral Norma Kamali with a similar vibe.

    Although I don’t wear dresses much these days, I am always alert to dresses that remind me of those dresses. I have that Sea dress in the green color way from last year and it has served me well. Can be worn beachside with sandals or out to dinner with heels. I love that Veronica Beard, but that’s definitely a dress up dress.

    Faithful the Brand has put out a couple cute dresses this year, and they’re all pretty reasonably priced. I might buy that red one, and just wear a bandeau underneath.

  6. Mimi says:

    Love the Veronica Beard, but don’t need it/nowhere to wear it. I’m surprised you didn’t make the connection, Kim – isn’t the Markus Lupfer print vaguely Libertyish? So pretty. I have one Marcus Lupfer dress and it’s beautifully made and cut, TTS. No offense to anyone who would wear the Hinge number as a dress, but I might order it to sleep in. It has the requisite neckline buttons for husband easy access. TMI?

  7. Katrina says:

    I’ve seen that last dress in Mango and decided against it, and now I might be regretting that decision.

  8. Mindy! says:

    I’d love to see a picture of you in your favourite dress. Do you think you could find one?

    • Viajera says:

      Ditto. Or just of the dress too. I am very nosy. I like to see the things people talk about. Even a napkin sketch.

      These are interesting. I haven’t worn a dress or skirt in forever. Not sure what that means. One thing is … I like how silk crepe? looks, but not how it feels on. For some reason I feel like it will make me feel sweaty if I wear it, though I don’t know why I think that since I only rarely ever do wear that fabric. Whereas silk knits are my fave. Oh well. Maybe it is too hot here for the crepe.

  9. Lori says:

    Does anyone know how Mango sizing works? It appears that dresses are only available in 2, 4, 6, and 8 — so am wondering if it’s a brand-specific code, as with labels that use 1, 2, and 3? Or does Mango literally only sell clothes in sizes 2 through 8? Thank you!

    • Maggie says:

      I’ve never bought from them, but if you click on the “Discover Your Size” link on the page with that last dress, it asks you a bunch of questions (height, weight, shape, age) to find your ideal size in their clothes. I answered them and wound up being my usual size.

  10. Lesley says:

    I am open to the idea of floral but in reality I haven’t worn a floral print in more than 20 years. That last one is pretty cute though!