Well, I Guess It’s Time To Wrap This Up, Then

by Erin on April 29, 2008

Miu Miu Fall 08 runway show

Yes, I did see the NYT article about the "demise of the dress". (I was actually surprised that the story didn't make the NYT's most-forwarded list, since so many people sent it to me!)

The main point of the article seemed to be that those in the fashion industry are tired of dresses, and are looking towards pushing "the pant" for fall. Yes, even though the article touts dresses as "glamorous", "easy", "slimming", "efficient", "flattering", and "attractive", (not to mention the obligatory nod to the patriarchy with "guys like [them]") their time is UP.

In fact, Anne Slowey, of Elle, was quoted saying that the "expiration date" for the dress “is end of August.”

Which gives me, what, 124 days, more or less? Is "PantADay.com" already taken?

No, no, no, don't worry — I've made it this far without taking the pronouncements of the fashion editors seriously, and I think I can struggle through an autumn where "the full-legged, pleated high- and low-waisted legions will be out in the urban jungle" (as Ms. Slowey put it).

But if, like me, you are going to continue wearing dresses past 31 August, there are some strategies for getting through this difficult time of dress shortages and rationing. The most obvious work-around is to learn to sew, so that you simply don't care what's in the stores (aside from the fabric stores). If you don't think you can swing that by the end of August, you should start looking to buy vintage. Don't wait until October when the shortages will be most acute; start searching now — especially if you're an odd size. If you are shopping for velvet in July you won't have many competing bidders, and you can ward off the tragedy of having to wear pants to all your holiday parties.

Don't forget the downturn in accessories availability that accompanies a dress shortage, as well: tights may be in short supply, along with slips of all kinds and full-skirted coats. It's a little trickier to predict what will happen with shoes, but if you want taller boots, they tend to be harder to find in an environment where dresses are scarce.

With some careful planning you should be able to continue dress-wearing activities well past the expiration date forecast by Ms. Slowey and her ilk. And, while they're waiting in line at the tailor to get things taken in and let out and taken up and let down (pants are notoriously NOT one-size-fits-all), you can swan by in your easy, nicely-fitting dress. Don't forget to thumb your nose as you pass.

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