Suburban Swing

Suburban Swing

Lots of us head home at the holidays, and as a result, find ourselves dealing with the various micro climates of New Zealand.  For me, the Christmas break equals a trip to Cambridge, where there’s this thing called “humidity” that we never experience in Wellington.  The air is usually moving around too quickly down here to be able to heat up or get sticky.  This is clearly true science and I am New Zealand’s next crack meteorologist.  Regardless of the reasons for the humidity in Cambridge, I can tell you that my tolerance for it has plummeted in the 17 years I have spent in the capital.

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Much like cheap electronics, I now fail quickly in humidity.  I steam up and start to lag, with full shut down not far away.  It’s imperative that I stay as cool and breezy as possible, so a trip home is a great opportunity to bust out a very swingy dress – something that sits away from the body, and which can be swished about to create a one person draught.  This time around I dug out this Country Road option from a few years ago, for a day of doing basically nothing.  We went out for brunch and later Mum and I went for a literal Sunday drive.  We know how to hit our holiday stride pretty quickly.

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Now, this dress is not flattering in the traditional sense.  The many, MANY deleted photos are testament to how badly it photographs.  It’s voluminous, so if your goal is to not look like you’re wearing a muu muu, this dress is not for you.  There’s zero body definition; in fact, you could be pregnant/smuggling a full family size box of chocolate out of your family’s living room in this dress.  CR has tried hard to make it more sexzzzy with the neckline, but it’s fighting a losing battle against the pleats, print and general amount of fabric.  You know what though – I was comfy AF, and that’s a more legitimate reason to wear a dress than how figure-flattering it is (at least in my book).

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Long term readers of this blog will know that my ethos is all about how clothes make you feel (heck, even medium term readers will know this).  I don’t mean how they make you feel physically, although that is a factor, but rather how they make you feeeeeel in your feelings.  I always feel kind of cool when I wear really swingy, volumey things like this, and the addition of these Chaos and Harmony sandals that I stole from my Mum (thanks Mum!) added to that overall feel.  They remind me, in some tangential way, of Japanese fashion design and I think we all know that my worship of Japan very much extends to the incredible work by its fashion designers. 

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Alternatively, you could wear this style of dress with perfectly flat slides, a pair of dressy sandals (perhaps for an evening thing in the summertime?), over a jumper with a pair of cool brogues or oxfords, with a pair of Converse, over a tshirt or a collared shirt, with a pair of mules in a bright colour for a bit of punch… I think, as always, that there are plenty of options.  I think a rollneck jersey and a long coat with a pair of black boots will winterise it nicely (although, as I look at these pictures and remember the humidity, merino feels like a terrible choice).  Whatever the combo, a swing dress like this will hide a multitude of Christmas dinners, while giving you plenty of attitude.

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Dress is from Country Road many seasons ago, but try this or this as an alternative.  Shoes are Chaos and Harmony, now sold out, but give these a go if you like the style.