Making Waves

(Brace yourselves for some photos you guys, cos this dress is photogenic as feck)

I love a good trapeze dress, due to the swingy shape and the fact that the higher neckline suits my 14 year old boy upper body.  I first saw the sample of this dress in the Wilson Trollope look book waaaaay back (in 2016?), in navy, and fell in love.  However, as is sometimes the case, navy never made it to production and so I sadly determined that my collection of dresses would not be growing by one.  I felt this wave pattern was too summery to get trans-seasonal wear, and I was still stuck on navy.

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However!  As some of you will know, Annabelle is setting up her new store in Wellington and before she moved out of the pop-up, she had a big sale – which included this dress.   So, I decided to give it a whirl in this wave fabric, which I thought was pretty but perhaps not that practical.  Five minutes later, I was living a life of delight, twirling around gently.  It might not be trans-seasonal, but it sure is pretty!  I’m horrible at over-anticipating seasons, and always buy summer things too early (and vice versa), so buying this in July was a natural move for me.  It will be so sunny one day and then this dress will be A+.  In my mind that’s quite soon. 

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For now, it is still too cold to go sleeveless in Wellington (why do I always talk about the weather in these blog posts?!), but obviously I was keen to wear this as soon as possible.  Mum will tell you about my penchant for keeping all the shopping bags in the front seat with me, so I could look at my new things on the drive home from Hamilton.  Only now that I can drive, do I understand how annoying this habit would have been – thanks Mum for your patience!  I am not great at delaying the excitement of wearing a new thing, and so I decided it was necessary to find the right way to wear this right now.

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First up, it’s windy in Wellington, you might have heard.  So, when I wore this get up to work I made sure to wear my trench over the top, so I could essentially trap the massive amount of fabric and prevent any “skirt over face” kind of scenarios.   The fabric is a blend of cotton and silk, and it is extremely light and moveable, so it will go straight up if encouraged! 

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Next, I needed to find the right thing to layer under this.  Pure white is too bright with this fabric, and makes the fabric look dingy (which it certainly is not), so I needed something light and bright(ish), without the yellow tones introduced by my favourite cream roll neck jersey.  Enter: this silk shirt.  I also loved this choice because of the tie detail at the neck.  The high neckline on this dress calls for either major earrings, or something to break up the swathe of fabric, and the bow was an ultra-feminine way to achieve the latter.  This shirt was an impulse sale purchase about two years ago from Forever New and has proven to be a star player in my wardrobe (love when that happens!).  I thought the bow would be super prissy, and it definitely can be when I want it to, but it can also steer surprisingly sexy.

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I think it’s fair to say that I have an unhealthy relationship with these shoes.  I wear them so much that I’m starting to feel awkward about photographing them again…but they were so good with this dress.  I’m babying these guys because I can’t replace them (WHY do I never buy the back up pair immediately…whyyyy), so they have metal tips under the toes and I’m trying hard to let them rest between wears.  I just recently bought a pair of gorgeous silver shoes to replace these (turns out P/U metallic shoes will crack, rather than bend) and I can’t wait to wear this somewhere nice in the summer with those shoes and some beautiful silver earrings.  Dear Friends: please organise some kind of fancy event for me post haste.  Preferably involving champagne cocktails and a string quartet in a courtyard setting kthanx.

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If you wear a lot of high heels, here’s my pro tip: leather will stretch and break down faster if it’s warm, moist and under pressure.  All of those things are factors when you are wearing high heels on your feet (more so than most flats, because of the interplay between your foot and the shoe).   If you can, you should avoid wearing the same pair of heels two days in a row.  That way they get a little rest and can settle back down before you wear them again.  Have you ever put on a pair of shoes for the first time in a while and they’ve felt a little bit rigid and tight?  Voila!

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Anyway, back to this dress.  In short, what a babe it is, and how pleasing it is to wear.  Proof that sometimes it’s not the sensible navy option that’s right, after all.

For any Auckland readers, Wilson Trollope will be at the Designer Garage Sale in Auckland on 2 and 3 September.  Get some pals together, pick up a ticket, and head along for the best part of NZ Fashion Week - shopping.  (Just kidding!). 

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Dress is Wilson Trollope and available if you're lucky as aforementioned Garage Sale; this option from the winter sale is totally different but a BABE, and this is a more similar colourway (also on sale).  Shirt is Forever New, they have nothing similar on their site right now but this is a great alternative.  Shoes were from The Iconic but these would also look great in warmer weather; a silver option is here.  Sunglasses are from Sunglass Style and their blue mirrored lenses are all I want on my face right now. 

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