One of the things I’ve realized after working on and analyzing my personal style for a while is that it’s just not super feminine. My natural appearance has always been quite feminine and cute (petite, slightly curvy, small features, long hair), but as far as dressing myself I think I’ve always subconsciously tried to counter that impression as I don’t think it suits my personality. Even as a child my mother tended to dress me in slightly boyish clothes as she felt it suited me better, and on the rare occasion that she put me in frilly dresses it felt like wearing a costume. I much preferred overalls and tennis shoes. So I’ve been leaning more and more into the garçonne style over the years (choosing to go with garçonne as a description rather than tomboy, as it feels more elegant and less preppy in my head). One thing I am struggling with though is dresses. I happily wear pants most days, but there is something to be said for throwing on a breezy dress in the summer. But whatever I try tends to feel slightly off, and I haven’t found a style of dress I feel completely comfortable in. I love looking at pretty dresses, and have bought a fair few over the years, but never end up wearing them, so now I have been trying to really analyze and define what I need from a dress. I have been searching online and found a few examples that I think might work, but would love some more help and suggestions!

Here are the guidelines I’ve come up with for myself:

  • Minimal in overall style
  • Classic with a twist - an overused term, but the best way to describe it. I always thought my style was very classic, but my husband pointed out that my most flattering clothes/outfits tend to have some kind of details that break the straight up classic style, otherwise it looks too preppy or sweet on me.
  • Relaxed/effortless feeling
  • But nothing oversized
  • Neutral colors (black, white, beige, olive, navy, denim blue, etc.)
  • No prints (except a narrow/subtle stripe)
  • Natural fabrics, preferably with some weight
  • Mini (above the knee) or maxi lengths are best on me
  • Defined waist
  • High neck (can do a deeper neckline as long as it’s more narrow/sits close to the neck, but prefer crewneck)
  • Some kind of asymmetry in garments seems to work well for me
  • I do have a weakness for pretty details, like embroidery, eyelet, crochet, knit textures, etc, but in very small doses only - the overall effect has to be minimal.

Some examples below of dresses I think might suit me:

#1 Apiece Apart Catania Wrap Dress - love this, the wrap front breaks with the classic shirt dress, and adds an asymmetric detail.

#2 Apiece Apart Palmera Mini Dress - this might be a little too slouchy on top, but I like the idea.

#3 Apiece Apart Nina Cinched Mini - a classic t-shirt dress with a twist, again I love how the cinching and the waist tie adds some asymmetry, and I love the wide sleeves.

#4 Sezane Pippa Dress - Somewhat similar to the above, but maybe too feminine.

#5 Boden Halterneck Linen Dress - love this type of neckline and the shape of this one. Would probably add a waist tie.

Based on all this, do you have any suggestions for other styles I should try, or any specific examples?

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