I ordered the pleated neck tie belted dress as soon as Karen Kane launched their online store. Although I have my fair share of black frocks, I am always on the look out for rare longer sleeved dresses. The fact that this style is woven was especially up my alley. 

I expected to love the weight and drape of the fabric of the frock. It’s a splendid crinkle crepe-like rayon with lots of substance. The fabrication did not disappoint! The dress was also a decent length which made me jump for joy. Over the past three years I’ve found plenty of perfectly fab dresses that were unfortunately just too short.

When I held up the dress before trying it on, I suspected that the neckline might not work. I do not have a strong shoulder line or full bust, which can make “filling out” tops and dresses a challenge. And coupled with very short hair and a long neck, low necklines aren’t my best friend either. That’s why I gravitate towards high necklines and necklines that are cut close to shoulder neck point.

Sure enough, as soon as I tried the dress on I saw that the neckline did not work for my body type, and a camisole did not help either. But I have learned that it can help to try items back to front. So that’s what I did and like magic the frock began to take shape. The keyhole opening looked a little odd now that it was placed on my back, so onto needle and thread to stitch it closed.

As the description of the dress implies, the pleated neckline adds interest to the style, which made wearing it back to front more special. Actually, with the keyhole opening stitched close, I can also wear the dress the right way round too. I asked hubby Greg which version he preferred, to which he replied, “back to front”. So that’s how I wore it last Friday night when we went out with dear friends Meredith and Nik to one of Seattle’s best restaurants, the “Flying Fish”.

I like wearing this frock sans a belt because I fancy short breezy sack dresses. But for this occasion, I added a wide black mock-croc obi belt to jazz things up a bit. I only have two pairs of high heeled party shoes, which made the red Kate Spades an easy decision. Good thing all I had to do was walk to and from the car! I added my white specs to soften the harshness of the high black neckline against my face. Ordinarily I would have added a white pearl necklace to soften the black, but here that would have competed with the statement belt, and be too much going. I was not in the mood for a clutch handbag that evening so I opted for a turquoise satchel.

Greg, who is generally not a fan of belted dresses and blouses, loved my outfit. He said that it looked pretty in an interesting way. He was also rather impressed with how I changed the silhouette with a little stitch and back to front dressing. I’m thrilled that I have a unique dress that’s comfortable, SLEEVED, flattering for my giraffe neck and easy to wear.