The Girl in the Gray Flannel Dress

by Erin on August 16, 2006


Steffe Gray Flannel Dress

I don't know what it is, but I've seen this Cynthia Steffe dress three times now and it resonates with me more each time. Maybe it's the lasered lace on the sleeves and hem of the overskirt, which is so girly and dainty combined with the serious gray flannel.

This isn't quite wearable the way it is — even leaving out the fetish gloves, and how fun will it be to see what Google ads the words 'fetish gloves' bring to this page, huh? Maybe I should start seeding these entries with completely random words, like 'pumpkin jambalaya' or 'customer-centered light-arms manufacture' — I'd rather see 3/4 length bell sleeves with the lacework at the hems than these little cap sleeves, but if just that one tweak were made I could see wearing this all the time, with tights and short boots.

Gray is one of my favorite (non)colors — ask my mom sometime about how worried she was about my all-gray wardrobe in the seventh grade; I was a kind of Goth-lite, or maybe I just looked like someone had drawn me in pencil and then half-heartedly erased me — and I'm really feeling it again this year. I just bought a heather gray cardigan, and I think I have some hugely wide-wale gray corduroy to make an autumn skirt of, and I have some pink cotton satin that I was going to pair with some yellow lace in an eyeball-wrenching tour de force of Bollywood homage, but now I think it would make a great party-dress Duro with simple gray banding, instead. And I have a charcoal 1960s shift I should really finish up, too, and a gray pencil skirt cut out and waiting for a waistband, and a gray A-line skirt cut out and waiting for construction … and, oh, a gray flannel circle skirt! I really need to make one of those before autumn gets too far advanced. (I know, I know, it hasn't even started yet!)

Looks like it's back to seventh grade for me! Only this time without the orthodonture or the algebra, thank god.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous August 16, 2006 at 9:43 am

Maybe with a blouse underneath?

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Anonymous August 16, 2006 at 9:43 am

Ooooh I love this dress! You are right about the sleeves…that would make the dress PERFECT.

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Nora August 16, 2006 at 9:47 am

Oh, I’m REALLY into gray lately too (or is it “grey”? – I like both spellings). Our gray cat is sick lately, so I thought maybe concentrating on her was having an influence on me (she’s also very chic); and I have light coloring so gray is a good “color” for me that’s not a pastel. But maybe it’s the fashion zeitgeist. I just won 6 yards of gray vintage cotton print on Ebay (2 shades of gray, with some pink flowers and dark green foliage), and I’m going to make my first really BIG dress with it. I got an A-line grey skirt secondhand last fall that fits me perfectly (which off-the-rack never does) and goes with everything. And I was just on fabric.com last night looking for gray fabric, and fantasizing making a wiggle dress out of their $10.95 dupioni silk (which they have in something like 4 different shades of gray), for that sexy-serious contrast. And that dress is great – love the empire waist, too, though unfitted through the midriff like that people would keep asking me when I was due.

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Gidget Bananas August 16, 2006 at 10:00 am

I’m loving the trapeze silhouette lately (“trapeze” sounds so much better than “tent”, doesn’t it?). It must be something in the air.

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Diane August 16, 2006 at 10:03 am

Erin, You got it right in the 7th grade. Grey is fantastic! It can be punked up with bright colors or super sexy in a charcoal cocktail dress.

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trenabdesigns August 16, 2006 at 10:38 am

LOL, it is a good thing to have left orthodontia and higher math behind. I *love* that dress. I actually like it with the cap sleeves, but would prefer them without the lasering. My favorite part is the pleated underskirt.

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Anonymous August 16, 2006 at 11:49 am

I adore this dress; it makes less fearful of all the gray clothes coming our way. I’ve never looked so hot in it, but this warm color cheers me. Nora, “gray” is the American spelling, and “grey” is UK, Canada, etc.

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Summerset August 16, 2006 at 12:31 pm

I love the whole thing as is – color, sleeves, gloves and boots! Thanks for another great dress, Erin!

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Valerie August 16, 2006 at 1:12 pm

I totally have a charcoal gray dress with a lasered hem! It’s sleeveless though, from Banana Republic I think. Anyway I like your idea of longer sleeves, but maybe fitted ones? Anyway, wish I had a use for fetish gloves, but CAN’T WAIT to bust out my tall boots with all my skirts and dresses! Post some of your gray projects!!!

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sweetdarlin August 16, 2006 at 1:25 pm

This dress is totally cute! I love it cuz you could wear it alone or with a million other layers of clothes. But I have to say that I like the gloves and the boots with it. It gives it a less dainty feel.TOODLES

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Rosalind August 16, 2006 at 2:01 pm

This dress is fantastic! I love the pretty sleeves and hemline but agree that for an everyday look longer sleeves would be better. Grey always makes me feel like I fit in perfectly, so pretty and so many shades- one for every occasion! I bought a mid-thigh length grey jumper when on a visit in Canada a couple of years ago and it’s my favourite wooly item. It go’s with everything- and looks ‘greyt’ (get it!? hehe) over winter dresses and skirts. Looking forward to tomorrow’s dress Erin!

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CaliforniaStyle August 16, 2006 at 7:18 pm

I love this dress…it’s adorable!

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diane August 16, 2006 at 7:52 pm

yay gray! for some reason when i talk about charcoal i spell it gray, when i think of heather i spell grey…dreaming of a tropical weight stretch wool light GREY fabric to make a shift dress for fall. with a black patent belt.i am wearing a charcoal GRAY wool doubleknit dress i made, when the temp gets down to 80 and rainy as it is today here in tucson, it feels like fall to me :)

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Julia M. August 16, 2006 at 9:48 pm

My favorite thing about that photo is the clean, healthy-looking (albeit of course very thin), pretty human being wearing it. I like the dress too, very much, but I get so tired of catwalk photos with bizarre hair and faces. I like people to look like people, so I can focus on dresses.

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Anonymous August 17, 2006 at 5:18 am

I am addicted to grey and would looooove to add this dress to my wardrobe. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to pull off the gloves–literally and figuratively!

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Ruth Singer August 17, 2006 at 6:49 am

oooh, this is nice! I am a bit phobic of grey – too neutral for me normally, but in something as fabulous as this dress it’s tempting. I am trying to get my head around putting some grey into my winter collections as I know it will sell, but my normal default colour range is seriously colourful, so it’s a little odd for me. This makes me feel better about it, thanks!

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Anonymous August 17, 2006 at 2:55 pm

Note the same, but a start:http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2900670/0~2376776~2374325~2384392?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=2384392&P=1If only they had used wool instead of poly-rayon. But Maggie London does patterns now, yes? Maybe we will see it in a few months.

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Shrimpton Couture August 17, 2006 at 10:22 pm

I love this dress!!

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Floridaprincess August 17, 2006 at 11:42 pm

Oooh, I love this gray dress. I must say in the picture it looks brown to me. Im glad to hear its not brown. I like the cap sleeves too. Im a cap sleeved kina gal. This reminds me of the apron dresses from the 70′s. They say apron dresses are in this year. I saw alot of them when I went to Atlanta recently. I would skip the gloves. I would probably wear Mary Janes with this dress. Erin, they say when we are young we all ready know what colors look good on us. I liked black when I was really young. This is one of my colors that looks good on me. My mom always thought it was quite odd that I gravatated toward black.I think moms wanted to put us in bright cheerful colors.

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Susan August 18, 2006 at 8:31 am

I had a gray period, too! In high school Mom dispaired that I’d never wear color.One day shopping at JC Penneys, I picked out a gray shirtdress. She said she’d buy me that one if she could also buy one in hot pink for me. I agreed. That hot pink dress became my favorite and I have no idea what happened to the gray one.

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Kori August 19, 2006 at 11:35 pm

congratulations, you are the first under a google search of pumpkin jambalaya.

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Karen August 23, 2006 at 8:52 pm

I love love love this dress. I have to make it, but in light gray with pink lace on the sleeves and hem. I am now seaching through patterns to figure out how to make it and at least keep the shape! I’ve even already dug out my fabric. Ah, fall dresses…time to get my boots out of the closet! Oh wait, I’m in CA and its 90 degrees.

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Anonymous September 3, 2006 at 5:34 pm

Where can I purchase this dress in gray?-Southern California

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