I have been keeping an eye out for a great dress I can wear in cooler months, but this is a really awful year for my colors and preferences. Everything is warm or pastel tones, ditsy florals, tiers and puffed sleeves, etc.

I found this shirt dress on TRR and even secondhand it’s not cheap — it’s silk, and from Altuzarra. I love it. It has pockets and the fabric is lovely with nice swish and drape. I love the colors and the cut, and it fits me great…until you get to the chest. It’s just a smidge too snug at the chest button and gapes as soon as I move around. There appears to be very little seam allowance inside so I don’t think it can be let out. Since it would be a cool weather item, I think I’d be content to wear it unbuttoned slightly over a tank top or tissueweight layering scoop-neck tee (maybe even a tissue weight black turtleneck), or a long slip with a not-too-deep scoop neckline that looks like a tank top underneath. I’m showing it here with the problematic button unbuttoned and a black slip underneath, but this is probably not quite the right slip.

Other tweaks are also necessary if I keep it: it appears to have once had a belt. Belt is gone but loops are still there. I would cut those off, and the waist would need a simple hook and eye fastener added to fill in that little gap where the belt would normally cover it. Or, I can just wear a belt! I’ve included some photos with a belt and without.

The sleeves are a little on the long side, but that is never a deal breaker for me. If it bugs me, I can move buttons on the cuff so it closes more snugly around my wrist and doesn’t shift down over my hand.

It also has a high slit on one side, but a long slip or black underskirt beneath would be fine. I could also get away with it if I wear opaque black tights or leggings underneath. I’m showing it here with the knee highs I’m wearing today just so you can see where the slit is.

It’s quite long, but I think I like the dramatic length with heeled black boots or booties, which is how I would wear something like this.

I have a difficult time finding dresses that fit me that I actually like, so I’m torn. Is this good enough on me to be worth the tweaks and alterations? Or should I return and keep looking?

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