November 28, 2007

The Very Thin Line

When I shop, I usually like to shop with a partner, (and preferably exactly one partner, who has some sense of style and could give helpful opinions.) This is because with clothes, there is sometimes a very thin line between good style and bad style, and it's nice to have an extra input. And sure, an outfit looks really cool when it's worn by a model in an editorial, but most of the time, those artistic background, makeup and lighting just don't echo real life. Take these two as examples:

When I first saw this Kate Moss Top Shop dress I thought, 'Oooh, I really, really like it.' I liked how only the top had sequins (instead of the whole dress,) and that the dress had a bit of an A-line shape to it instead of a huge T-shirt shape (which a lot of sequined dresses seemed have.) It was a glamorous with an edge, but without being too sparkly. I like the chiffon skirt bit because it meant it will swirl around with you when you walk and dance. And so I thought the dress had a good balance of style and trend. But the more I stare at the design, the more I thought of one thing: showgirls. For some reason, the dress really reminded me of dresses that showgirls in cheesy movies would wear in bars, dancing around poles and entertaining sleezy guys.


This is another dress that I was thinking of awhile back (from Top Shop). It's a 50's style dress and it has a slit-like hole at the back. I've never tried or owned such vintage-looking dress before, and was thinking that I lacked stylish, unique dresses. The dress fit well, and the length was just right. But one thing I was debating about was whether the dress was unique in an old-fashioned way, or in a fashion-foward way.

You will notice that the shoulders of the Top Shop dress is really wide and the waist part fits well. Doesn't it just remind you of the Balenciaga SS08 shape? I mean, obviously it's not as structured as Balenciaga's, but it looks like a more casual design of Balenciaga's, doesn't it? But I was also concerned with the print. It's not the most modern print around and could easily be seen as a print that's too 'old' and 'grandmother-y'. On the other hand, if you can carry it off and accessorise well, then you can pull a really fashion-foward outfit together. Thus, the line between fashion-backward and fashion-foward is really really thin.

At the end of the day, I always think the most important thing is what you think of the item yourself. But in my typical shopping mindset, I just can't help thinking of the pros and cons. So anyways, what do you think of the two Top Shop dresses?

Image credits: http://www.topshop.com/, http://www.style.com/

31 Comments:

Blogger encantadora said...

Here's my take- The Kate Moss dress is super cute in the picture, but no, I don't think it lives up in real life. It does have that "I want to be a show girl" trend going.
The second dress has a cute cut, but depends on who is wearing it and with what. If you pair it up well with boots/hat/scarf or maybe the right jacket that works and gives a creative, modern flair, I think it could definately work.

11/28/2007 3:52 AM  
Anonymous Robin Claire said...

I definitely agree with both of your verdicts- the black dress is a bit showgirls-esque and the second one really could go either way. I can think of a lot of different ways to wear it that would look good, but even more that would look horrible!

11/28/2007 4:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tanks for a very nice blog.

Want to recommend you to have a look at my friends blog.
She is a Swedish born fashion illustrator, based in London.

www.confessionsfromlondon.blogspot.com

Have a nice day!

/Tess

11/28/2007 5:54 AM  
Anonymous christine said...

total agreement on the kate moss one! she looks great in it, but on the white backdrop, it is ... kind of dark angel ballerina. *shivers*

11/28/2007 6:23 AM  
Blogger Patent Shoes && Rants said...

I like the Kate Moss dress, but yes if you wear it the wrong way you can end up looking like a showgirl. Understated colorful accesories like an unexpected peach would make it more laid back.

The second dress is very grandma like, but hello? Aren't the huge sunglasses, feathers, big pearls all thanks to grandmas? Add some bold youthful accesories and whallah you got yourself a high fashion concoction!

Anything can be worn right- Well almost anything.

Hope I helped!

xoxoxoxo

11/28/2007 6:33 AM  
Blogger Knikki said...

this is prolly my favorite post you've written so far. i appreciate your take on fashion that's "on the bubble."

but honestly, don't buy an outfit that doesn't make you feel amazing when you put it on.
and if you have to accessorize too much to make the outfit look trendy, it's not a sound investment.

11/28/2007 8:01 AM  
Blogger The Seeker said...

Hello!
I'm new at the blog's World.
My blog isn't about fashion, but I'm trying to find my style, so I would be very grateful if you could help me, leaving a comment to my outfits.
Thanks a lot.
My url is http://searchingtheinnerme.blogspot.com/

11/28/2007 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one rule with shopping;
IF YOU LOOOOOOOOOVE IT, TAKE IT
IF YOU HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS, UNLESS IT COST 10 POUNDS, THEN LEAVE IT.]IF U LOVE SOMETHING, U WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO WEAR IT AND LOVE URSELF IN IT

11/28/2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

The dress looks hot on Kate, but such glitzy sequins look so Vegas showgirl in real life.

11/28/2007 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Brock said...

Personally, I don't like either of them. The first, like you said, is much too 'showgirl'-esque. It lacks the fashion element in it's showy-ness. The second one just has much too bland of a print. This belongs on a much older woman carrying some form of Prada bag with sensible shoes.

11/28/2007 4:07 PM  
Blogger Juliet said...

i would love to own a legs that would allow me to wear the kate moss dress.

but the other one, excuse me, but flower print? eh ... no !

juliet

11/28/2007 6:54 PM  
Blogger Moi said...

i think the kate moss dress is really cute..but then again sometimes i wish i was a showgirl so my opinion isnt very usefull. the second dress can go either way depending on what u paired it with..but it seems like it would be easy for it to go badly. if ur having second doubts though, i wouldnt recommend u buy them

11/28/2007 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you're right - both could work really well; it all comes down to accessorizing. The most amazing dress could look really terrible on someone who doesn't know how to carry it off.

11/28/2007 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the floral print falls on the wrong side of that thin line, but if you feel you can rock it, then go for it!

i completely agree with some of the comments above-don't get things you can only wear with certain accessories or a certain "look"...not getting much mileage out of your dollar then!..

:)

TG

11/28/2007 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

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11/28/2007 7:54 PM  
Anonymous gangrene said...

to be honest, there are just some people who can carry off the sequinned dress but still look chic, moody and ingenue-esque instead of showgirl-esque. e.g. kate moss

there are also some people who can carry off the flower print in the dress from topshop no problem at all with flats, a thick camel cardigan/angora cardi, a vintage flap bag and look super chic and like they just stepped off the pages of NYLON.

the BOTTOM LINE is: if you don't have the look or the innate style to go with either dress, then just forget it. you will just end up looking like a wannabe. and there are just too many of those in the world. go for something that you know you'll look decent in and not feel uncomfortable in. just my 2 cents.

11/29/2007 3:21 AM  
Blogger Charlie - hope & spray said...

Shopping is like drinking...you shouldn't do it alone. Definitely the next best thing to shopping with a partner is to gauge opinions from the blogosphere!

I think the first dress is gorgeous. If you do a smoky eye, it won't look showgirlish. Also think of where you would wear it. Probably at a dark restaurant/bar/club/party not onstage beneath a spotlight.

The second dress is really cute, too! I think the metallic quality of the fabric makes it very today. The great thing about such a busy print is that you can be really simple with your accessories and make-up.

I hope you'll tell us if you buy them!

11/29/2007 3:51 AM  
Blogger alis said...

i think the kate moss dress is really cute, so what if it reminds you of showgirls? wear them while you're young! you're at the only age that can pull off a dress like that; i say don't try to make it "classy, luxurious", but try to wear it in a "rebellious" attitude, shoes and hair would be very important, i'm thinking shoes ANY color but black.

as for the second dress, it's a little too grandmother-y for my taste, again bold(definitely high heeled) shoes might be able to youth-it-up a bit. like patent dark red or navy. dont forget to add smokey eyes. i can imagine this dress looking great and modern on either blondes or red heads or especially a girl with beautiful chocolate skin. i'm a brunette and this would totally wash me out.

11/29/2007 5:44 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Hate em both. Especially the second. There is nothing fashion forward about that!!

11/29/2007 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this dress is so sdorable! i bought one just like it on artfulwears.com, and this online boutique gave me a great deal along with their selection! best part-- they ship everywhere, take special request orders, and have an awesome return policy!! i totally recommend you ladies check it out! www.artulwears.com

12/13/2007 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dress is cute and I love the smokey eye makeup.

3/27/2008 4:59 AM  
Blogger belhana said...

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Blogger belhana said...

Thank you for the wonderful effort

إني تذكـرت والذكرى مؤرقـة *مجـداً تلـيدا بأيـدينا أضعـناه

أنَّى اتجهتَ للإسـلام في بـلـدٍ * تجْده كالطيرِ مقصـوصًا جناحـاه

كـم صرفتنا يـدٌ كنـا نـصرفها * وبات يـملكنا شعب مـلكناه

بالله سل خلف بحر الروم عن عرب * بالأمس كانوا هنا واليوم قد تاهوا

وانزل دمشق وسائل صخر مسجدها * عمن بناه لعل الـصخر ينعـاه

هذى معـالم خرس كـل واحـدة * منهن قامت خطيبـا فاغرا فـاه

الله يعلم ما قلبت سـيرتهم يومـا * وأخطـأ دمـع الـعين مـجراه

يا من يرى عمـراتكسوه بردته * الزيت أدمٌ لـه والكـوخ مـأواه

يهتز كسـرى على كرسيه فرقـا * من خوفه ، وملوك الروم تخشـاه

يا رب فابعث لنا من مثلهم نفـرا * يشـيدون لـنا مـجدا أضعنـاه

7/05/2009 10:23 PM  
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