Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Orleans in a Pink Dress

I've been wanting to wear this dress for a while. It's a bit vavavoom for book events, in a Marilyn Munroe on the beach kind of way. But it is very light, cool, and pink, so it was the first one I chose for the New Orleans trip. I'll be wearing it Sunday for a signing at the ALA Hachette booth from 11 AM ~ noon and for my Books A Million in Baton Rouge event at 3 PM (Facebook event page).


This 1950s dress is very lightweight cotton with a faux wrap look to the bottom that ties to one side. I purchased it at Bon Mar Thriftstore for $5. I added the lace to the spaghetti straps to hide bra straps, as I am not one of those girls who can go anywhere without a bra. Before you ask, no one over a certain size can wear a strapless bra, period. They simply don't work. Even if I managed, through some miracle, to find one in 30H, and it managed to stay up, I'd spend the whole day selfconsciously tugging because I'd feel like it shouldn't!

1950s dresses via Timeless Vixen Vintage

That said, I do have a nice corset I could wear under it, but who buys a beach dress and wears it with a corset? I haven't seen any dresses of this type on the runway or in urban snapshots, but that won't stop me from wearing it this summer. Perhaps I will do a blog on how to make it street chic.

Look at it this way, Fashionable Reader, at least we aren't confined to wearing something like this in this in the summer heat!

Left 1878-1880 English & right 1880-1882, both summer day dresses

Nevertheless, I am curious. What's your solution to the bra problem paired with lightweight summer clothing? Do you end up widening all your straps like me, or opt primarily for short sleeves? How about the fated white muslin peasant top? Or do you sweat it out with a cardigan?

22 comments:

  1. (Mostly short) sleeves unfortunately it is. ^^" My skin is very sensitive, too, and as flexible as I am after years of training, it's no fun at all to smear myself with sunscreen several times a day just for going to classes. Not to mention that it's no fun having every twig and leave stick to your shoulderblades. =B

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  2. I live in New Orleans and the straps issue with 98 degree weather and high humidity I've solved with very thin, short-sleeved cardi's. Plus, a lot of places crank up the AC so it's helpful when the inside is frigid. And if you wear glasses, bring something to wipe them with since glasses fog up when you step outside from the temperature change.

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  3. I agree with salamandersam. I'm from Houston and travel to Baton Rouge/NO and Mississippi often. Even though it will be unbearable outside, most buildings are over air-conditioned to compensate. It's not unusual for locals carry around light cardigans even in +100 degree weather.

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  4. Wider straps and short sleeves are my chosen option. I detest those bras with "clear" straps. They may be clear but they leave a strap indentation that just looks strange.

    I have also resorted to very loosely crocheted cardigans and boleros. It disguises the straps enough that it doesn't bug me that they show a bit.

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  5. It depends on the situation. If I'm going somewhere I'll primarily be indoors, I wear a cardigan. If I'll be outdoors, I have a couple tank tops/camisoles with slightly wider straps that manage to cover the straps of two of my bras. The camis are lightweight enough that the extra layer neither bothers me nor adds unseemly bulk or wrinkles to the outfit, and also innocuous looking enough that they don't ruin the aesthetic, either.

    Unfortunately, I got them all about four years ago and haven't been able to find them again ever since. It's tragic, because they've really become a staple of my summer wardrobe.

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  6. I wear short sleeve or sleeveless tops. I only wear tank tops with slim straps at home and will toss a lightweight, white linen shirt over it if I have to go out.

    Spanx has just come out with a strapless bra and I was wonderfully surprised that it actually stayed put! Not sure if it goes up to H but it held my 40D's in just fine.

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  7. I have big, fat, jiggly upper arms. I never, ever wear sleeveless/capped sleeves - not even to bed! If forced to buy a sleeveless top I always wear a black cardigan with sleeves.

    A lot of my fellow fatties tell me that my refusal to wear sleeveless tops is one of the reasons men don't ask me out. "Because it shows you're not confident and therefore not sexy." I say they need to visit the website People Of WalMart to see why women with big old bat wings should never go anywhere sleeveless.

    You're lucky that way. You might be big on top, but I'm big all over - so even vintage clothing doesn't really fit me - except for maybe a vintage mumu! I was super lucky to find that disco dress.

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  8. If I am going somewhere semi-formal (work, out for dinner, etc) I will make sure my bra straps are covered - usually by wearing shirts with short (but usually not cropped) sleeves or boleros

    However, if I am somewhere casual/informal (home, a friend's house, possible even uni) then I wear whatever I want regardless of sleeves & bra straps. I will wear spagetti strap dresses or singlet tops and don't care if my straps show. I used to be really self conscious about that, but I've come to realisation that all ladies (well, most) wear bras and generally are expected to wear bras and so if someone sees a bra strap it's not a big deal. It's just part of everyday modern life.

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  9. Funny you should say that about the strapless. I work in a bra fitting salon, and we have strapless that support up to a GG cup - and AREN'T bustiers. I thought I could never wear a strapless bra until I worked there.

    I live in Southeast Louisiana, and I haven't shown off my arms in over 20 years because I hated the way they looked. I usually wear cardigans or just ignore strappy/strapless dresses altogether because of that. However, this year I decided that the only person who had a problem with the size of my arms was me - and it was too dang hot here to fight it any longer! I got a good convertible/strapless bra (40FF here), and started wearing sleeveless. I do bring a lightweight cardi in case we go anywhere chilly.

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  10. I'm in the same boat with JamiSings. Arms covered all the time. It also helps from getting a sunburn.

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  11. First: I have to say, I love your new blog. Everything about it makes me smile.

    Second: I'm terrible. I have the same problem you do, with the size 8 everywhere but my size 10 bust, and I don't even try to hide my bra straps anymore. I wear spaghetti strap and sleeveless tops all the time. The only thing I do is try to match the bra strap color to the shirt color so it's not quite so obvious. Though, strapless is definitely not an option.

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  12. Either go with sleeves or wear a really nice bra that I don't mind people looking at under it. LOL

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  13. I normally wear wider straps to cover the bra straps. I so far haven't found a strapless bra that isn't a longline bra that will stay up.

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  14. Depending on the top, I would also consider a cross over strap bra. that way they wouldn't show.

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  15. I live in las Vegas so I wear Sundresses and maxi dresses a lot. I have lots of different color bras and I've pinned the straps to my dresses so they don't show. It sucks buy at least no bra strap oopsies.

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  16. Meant to say I adore your pink dress :)

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  17. Hi. Saw you today at BAM in your pink frock but had to leave before we could be formally introduced. Anyhoo, if you see this before you leave BAM today, step over to Whole Foods in the same shopping center where you are now. To the left of Whole Foods is Massey's Urban Outfitters. There you can find some delightful summer frocks with shelf bras that don't make you look dowdy or give you the uniboob look. I don't do strapless bras either since they don't work if you are a woman who actually needs a bra. Also, check out Title 9's website for similar dresses and other solutions to the undergarment problem. Well made products that let you look professional and stylish and be comfy, and not cheap.

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  18. Meant to say that Title 9's products are not cheap, though they are comfy and stylish.

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  19. EE makes another good point I forgot to mention. Actually, you'd think with all the things we know about UV radiation such as skin cancer and premature aging, people would go back to keeping as covered up as possible and carrying parasols!

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  20. I usually try to wear a bra that's the same shade as the straps. Then, even when the bra peeks out, it's more likely to look like the dress is double-strapped, rather than the bra showing. But, I know that's not for everyone. Plus, it's harder to do when, like the dress above, the straps aren't all one color.

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  21. I must confess that I am on of the larger chested that just doesn't give a rat's bottom about my bra strap showing (unless of course it's for something formal or professional). I figure I have big boobs, it's quite obvious I do, and therefore if someone is offended by my being tacky...well the can pay for someone to walk around holding my boobs up all day so I don't need straps.
    ...sorry, I'm a stagehand, we don't do polite company really well. :)

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  22. This is where I feel those with greater endowments must be practical with their clothing purchases (totally just wrote "bust' for "must"). Depending on what size strap you feel most comfortable wearing, as some can NOT wear a thin strap, I feel one must purchase clothing, especially tops and dresses, without unrealistic expectations. Why they use thin straps on tops and dresses for women with large chests is beyond me.

    By the by, saw you (and got Blameless signed :-P) at ALA. The dress was lovely! I think many librarians may start wearing gloves now; you've started a trend.

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