Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Dress Discussion - "What's Up with Wearing A Dress Everywhere?"

Two of my favorite bloggers recently wrote about how sewing and wearing dresses are discussed in the sewing blogging community. 

As a sewist who loves a dress for all of these reasons ~ easy to wear, a lot of creative opportunities to make, one piece to put on ~ I'm gobsmacked when other sewists opine that dresses are fancy. Especially since to me, dresses can be dressed up or down...worn with heels, flats, sandals, boots or sneakers and worn anywear...even the grocery store!

I also don't understand why dresses are confined to fancy events or church. I wear maxidresses to picnics, but fancy seems to be the word associated with dresses.

So what do you think? Are you a sewist who loves sewing and wearing dresses? Or are you a sewist who wears a dress ONLY when you have to? Are dresses part of your regular life, worn everywhere? Or do you sew a mixture of garment types?

Talk back to me because this is the Question of the Day!

...as always more later!

100 comments:

  1. The last dress I wore was the dress I made for my sister's wedding - 17 years ago. I'm strongly in the camp of pants and shorts.

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  2. I am wearing a dress right now, and I wore it this morning when I was riding my bike. Knit dresses are secret pajamas.

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    1. I certainly agree with this! I wear mostly skirts vs. dresses, but I love them both. I can do almost anything in skirts I can do in pants.

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  3. I love wearing dresses; easy to wear, comfortable, one piece, divers..ect. 5 years ago I only wore dresses, but since I like straight or pencil skirts best on my figure I do find myself wearing less dresses since I got kids. Lately I've started wearing them more as I start to like a-line and more voluminous skirts. So to me a dress is not fancy only, but I do hear that from other people.

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  4. I'm with Lynn. No dresses for me. I wore a silk pantsuit to my son's wedding. Hey, if it was good enough for Sophia Loren...

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  5. I wear dresses and skirts quite often, especially in the summer. And when I'm not too sure of the dress code for a situation. I'd rather be slightly overdressed and at ease, than underdressed and uncomfortable.

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  6. I agree with you that dresses are not only for fancy occasions. It does depend on the style of dress though. I've worn more dresses in the past couple of years, after wearing none at all for a very long time.

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  7. I wear dresses a lot, to church, work and other social occasions. Most of my dresses are casual, and I find in general that dresses are a lot more comfortable than pants. I have a rectangular figure, and a shift dress is one of the more flattering silhouettes I can wear. I have gotten comments here and there from other women, usually positive, but like I am really going out on a limb. I tell them I wear what I like -- and they can, too!

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  8. I wear dresses a lot, but also separates. Never shorts. I think dresses are like other garments and the level of fancy depends on the style. I love that dresses are so easy to wear. No coordination needed!

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  9. As someone who has recently rediscovered dresses I agree that they can be worn for anything not just for best depending on the style and fabric. Maybe dresses for best are hangover from our childhood when apart from the occasional summer sundress all my dresses were for "Sunday best".

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  10. I love to wear dresses in the Summer. So comfortable and easy. I'm retired and alternate between shorts with a tee and dresses during the warm months. Living in central New York we get so few chances to enjoy the warmth.

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  11. I wear dresses and skirts all the time but I agree that many people low do think this is abbot dressed up. I blame the ubiquitous jeans- they go with everything and go everywhere.

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  12. I'm dying to know who wrote those posts, because I"m so firmly in the "dresses" camp that I can't imagine thinking they are only for occasions!

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    1. No...the posts weren't written that way. They were more that the blogger was criticized for wearing dresses all the time! *LOL* I'm beginning to think I need to have someone else read my posts before I hit send cause this misunderstanding happened on my IG post the other day too.

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    2. Not particular to dresses, but I've occasionally been criticized for dressing up. I just tell people that I have given myself permission to overdress whenever I want and wear my favorite clothing rather than "saving" them for occasions.

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  13. I love wearing dresses, but have only recently begun to sew more of them. I tend to sew more tops than anything, and am learning to branch out. However, when I wear dresses, I usually get the "where are you going?" or "where do you work?" question. I'm a stay at home mom, lol! I just like wearing dresses!

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  14. I love dresses! They can be casual based on style and fabrication. They are so cool in summer.

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  15. Dresses for me! I've worn lots of jeans in my work years, casual clothes and skirts. But since I've got back into sewing the past couple years, I just want to make more dresses. They feel so free. Today at church, I was working in the kitchen and I could hear the buzz. 'She sews all her clothes.' 'Did she make what she's wearing?' It made me chuckle.

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  16. I love the concept of dresses, but I work in a factory, so that's a hard no for work wear.

    For outside of work, I wish I could wear more dresses, but until I get the 'chub rub' issue under control, they're still a hard no.

    I wish I could wear more, but practicality demands trousers and shorts (that won't ride up!).

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    1. I wear underwear like bike shorts under my dresses. It eliminates any rub and makes me feel like a random breeze will not leave me flashing the world.

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    2. I've tried a few versions of these. So far, I haven't been able to find one that was comfortable, and stayed put.

      I have tried a few different patterns for them as well, and so far, nothing has panned out in that direction also. I do however have one yet to try, and the lines are promising.. but we'll see.

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    3. I've heard that the Gold Bond stick applied to your thighs work if you can't find an undergarment that works. I still have a spanx collection but will be attempting to make some of my own since the kind I like are no longer being made.

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    4. I have a friend with the chub rub problem. We brainstormed and she made an elastic waist culotte type of short slip in a very fine handkerchief linen to wear under all her dresses. It's a win/win because it's still cool, eliminates the need to line finer fabrics and eliminates the chub rub. I'm going to make myself one shortly to wear when I'm wearing a summer dress that is a bit see through. Might her worth a try for you.

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    5. A friend of mine introduced me to pantaloons--a slip in shorts form. I no longer have chub rub and can wear dresses no matter the occasion. I used a shorts pattern and adjusted the length to above my knee so that they didn't ride up. I also needed to shorten the waist height as I wasn't using a fold over waistband and just serged off the top while applying quarter-inch elastic. It was a quick and easy make and makes wearing a dress much more comfortable.

      I still remember the day in high school that I felt like wearing a dress. Everyone kept asking me why I was dressed up. They couldn't understand that I just felt like wearing a dress! A lot of people do think that wearing a dress is "dressing up." I wear them when I feel like wearing them--knit dresses are really comfortable for hanging out around the house.

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    6. Great ideas! This chub rub business is why I don't usually wear skirts/dresses.

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    7. I wear loose, mid-thigh length shorts made of Bemberg rayon; they double as a slip. They don't ride up, they are cool, and if my skirt flies up while I'm on my bike I don't flash anyone.

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  17. I got to sewing mainly because of dresses, as it is too difficult for me to find ones which fit. Since then, I wear dresses all the time - fancy to work, fancy on week-ends 😀 There is nothing as comfy and as easy to style than a dress. And my BF appreciates it too 😍. So about half of what I sew are dresses and I am not going to change that...

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  18. I LOVE a dress, and prefer to sew dresses more than anything else. However, linen pants and tunics are a pretty close second.

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  19. I have been exposed to this attitude more than once, as I am someone who was "dresses only" (excepting a few activities) until quite recently. I've been told that pants are more comfortable (really? I'm wearing a loose maxiskirt and you're wearing jeans...) manys the time.

    I think it has to do with the following: 1) the speaker's strong association of dresses with "dressing up" 2) the speaker's only having worn ill-fitting skirts/dresses or, maybe, tight pencil skirts when they *did* wear a skirt - so they honestly think that all dresses are uncomfortable, and/or 3) a general distaste for dressing up, rather than a pleasure in so doing.

    And me? I've lept rock to rock on a jetty in a tiered skirt to my ankles, so I just shake my head and wish the speaker would give skirts and dresses a proper try.

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  20. I'm completely team dresses. I wear them all of the time (even in the winter when I layer up with fleece tights). I feel good in them, and that's what matters most. I do get comments about being "so dressed up", but I feel that the comments just reveal the low levels of expectations in our current Pacific Northwest culture. A knit dress is hardly dressed up by historic standards.

    As a kid I had to change in to play clothes after school and on the weekends. I remember once getting wet outside, so I had to change. That gave me the idea to keep getting wet until I had only dresses left to wear! I guess the preference for dresses is longstanding for me.

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  21. I don't dislike dresses. They are just not practical for my everyday life. In my job, I am often carrying a heavy box to a client's office. Our office files are arranged so I often have to sit on the floor or stand on a stool to get what I need. Skirts and dresses just don't work for that. So I am a jeans and pants person. I do sew a couple of dresses a year. They are my first choice for going to weddings and events- and I can make what I like much easier than I can buy it.

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  22. I'd say at least half of my wardrobe is composed of dresses. That's all I wear to work as they are so easy, no coordinating required in the morning! I love dresses in summer as they are cooler to wear - no waistline. If I'm not in a dress, I'm in activewear or jeans

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  23. I think in theory dresses are more comfortable, especially knit dresses. (No waistband digging into you.) But in practice I always have two issues when wearing dresses that make me feel more uncomfortable in them:

    (1) Having to remember not to flash people. I'm sorry, my natural sitting position tends to be rather splayed knee! So in a dress I have to remember to keep my knees together. I wonder if this is from not wearing dresses as a child, so I never learned those instincts? It's not just sitting, it's getting out of a car different, having to crawl under my desk to plug something in ...I have to think harder about every movement.

    (2) Shoes. Whenever I wear a dress I tend to wear fancier shoes. I guess I don't HAVE to wear nicer shoes, but I feel like my casual shoes just don't look right with a dress. And then the shoes make me uncomfortable. I suppose this could be remedied with a different shoe wardrobe, but I think we tend to buy shoes for the silhouette we wear the most and it's harder to have shoes on hand for dress and pants. Plus I just like wearing socks.

    I have a handful of knit dresses that I wear around the house in the summer because I do find them comfortable. But then I'm usually barefoot and only flashing my SO, so no issues with the above!

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    1. This is interesting since they are showing all kinds of dresses with slip on and tie-up sneakers. I've even shown them that way here and wear them that way now. The shoe issue is something you can definitely rethink!

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    2. A ballet type flat made by a comfort shoe company (I've got ones from Clarks and Rockport) works best for me.

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    3. I like dresses and sneakers on other people, but somehow I never like it on myself when I try it out. I'm really short so I feel like my legs look stumpy. I dunno, I'm probably just being too hard on myself.

      And I've never found a pair of ballet flats that I find comfortable; I'm baffled why other people insist they're so comfy! Either they pinch my toes or they are too loose and slip off on the heels.

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  24. I prefer wearing dresses because I find them way more comfortable than wearing pants. Dresses are my prefered outfit even when riding my bike (which I haven't done in a while) and I wore it with leggings as to not flash everyone. But my guess is that they have recently been labelled as "fancy" attire by the leisure wear / yoga pants crowd. I'm just guessing here. I was once offended when I was invited for a gal's movie night and the host told me not to "dress up" because I wear dresses. Now, I don't care what people think, I've reached that age where I dress how I like and what makes me feel comfortable.

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  25. I love wearing dresses in the summer, but in the winter (in Maine) I avoid dresses because pants are so much warmer.

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  26. I enjoy wearing dresses a lot. I wear them more and more in the past few years since I have gotten back into garment sewing. I can make dresses that fit (yay!) and that are dressier for work or more casual for outside of work. I wear them with tights and boots in the winter and I feel great. And more casual dresses work for summer with sandals or flip flops...even to the grocery store. I just wish I had more dresses, but with more sewing I will get there.
    Skirts are great too, but you have to think about the matching top. At least with a dress you don't have to worry about that.

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  27. I wear a mix of everything - depends on the season. Dresses are so nice in the summer when it is warm. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned fashion - dresses allow so many options for style details, skirt length and shape, style, pleats, sleeves, fastening etc. Dresses are an artist's canvas like nothing else. Plus they work in every type of fabric so another reason. I love bright bold prints which look great in dresses. while I love to sew tailored items, dresses are certainly up there in sewing fun. And they don't seem too fancy to me - you can have something that is formal or totally beachy casual and everything in between.

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    1. Agree! As a child, I mostly wore dresses to church. Lately, I'm thinking I'm going to make more and more and MORE dresses, of all fabrics and styles and eventually that will become mostly my preferred garment. Like a couple of others, shoe pairings have been problematic for me, as heels (and high ones at that!) have been what seemed "right" on me when wearing a dress. Health problems now are forcing me to part with my beloved collection of high heels and even flip flops. I'll be in orthopaedically correct shoes (some with a slight heel), some wedge heels, but low, and athletic shoes with orthotic inserts. Sigh. It's a look that's going to take time to become accustomed to. Just wish I knew who would appreciate a lovely collection of size 9 heels. I feel like I'm giving my children away. Lol

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    2. Some of the orthotic people make inserts that can fit into certain sandals. I'm forgetting the brand on sandal right now but the inset sole comes out and an orthotic can go in. They have lots of nice styles from dressy to casual. Wish I could remember the brand name but you should be able to find something like this. I wear orthotics too and have some of these as well as my Birkenstocks which I've worn sine I was 16 (scary how many years ago that is!). My foot doctor can put my orthotic into a Birkenstock if I want it but I find I'm okay in Birks still. I have to have orthotics in anything else I wear though. Have a look around and you'll find something that will work.

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  28. I wore pants for years, decades even, but then I got to an age where I said I would wear whatever I please. I like long dresses. So I designed my own stuff and find it very liberating compared to pants. I grew up when they told you that you couldn't wear pants to school or on base, so I guess I rebelled against that but I really like the freedom of long skirts at my age. I can bend over and give nothing for anyone to look at.

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  29. It's no secret that I love dresses. Even living in the tundra I often find dress + tights warmer than slacks for work.

    I am curious as to why so many ladies feel that a dress (or skirt) is automatically dressy. And when people say "I'd rather be comfortable". I don't dislike jeans but pretty much all of my dresses are more comfortable than jeans! Sure there are occasions where pants may be more practical; but automatically more comfortable?? Highly disagree.

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  30. I wear dresses everyday. Summer, winter & everything in between. Dressy, casual or working around the house. I find dresses comfortable and do everything from daily chores to Church wearing a dress. Some styles are not practical for everything but with sewing your own clothing you can sew what works for you & the occasion. I personally think fitting a dress is way easier than fitting pants. I've always told my daughter that when wearing a dress you may be over dressed but hardly every under-dressed.

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  31. I know what you mean! I love dresses and live in a hot climate where a sleeveless summer dress works better than a tee and shorts, for me. Also like to make the odd Winter dress and evening wear. Much easier to fit than pants, imo. However, in my workplace comments are made about 'another dress?' from time to time. Strangely, no-one makes remarks about tops, jackets or pants.

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  32. My dresses range the gamut from dressy to casual and definitely not for work, especially went I occasionally wear them with my Converse All Stars.

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  33. I always wore pants for comfort. Think I'm going to start wearing dresses and skirts. I think they would be easier to make and fit for my curves. My first attempt at making pants was an epic fail. Haven't got up the nerve to try making them again.

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  34. Ha! Twice in the last week people asked why I was wearing a dress, "because I didn't feel like putting on pants". Seriously. Too hot for pants? DRESS! Don't feel like matching clothes in the am? DRESS!
    I love dresses. I make my own jeans and I still love dresses more. I'm wearing one now, I went out of the house once today, to the fabric store.
    Yay for the dresses!
    PS- if you're not a dress person, it's okay, I hold no judgement. ;)

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  35. I didn't realize I was as much of a dress person as I am until I got back into Garment sewing 5 years ago. I love that adress is a complete outfit & can be so casual or dressy -depending on fabric. I also love skirts -dresses & skirts are much cooler here in the SW-USA

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  36. I wear dresses year round in LA and half the year in CO. I agree that knit dresses are secret pajamas. In the time it takes to pull on a t-shirt, I'm dressed!

    The downside is that I'm trying to ride my bike instead of driving my car more often. So, I'm making tops and skirts. I wear the tops with shorts to bike places, then step into the skirt when I get there.

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  37. My issue is shoes. I have 4 pairs total and one of them is a beloved pair of ratty, close-toed Tevas that I kept in circulation by sewing on fresh velcro. I'm hard to fit in shoes because of small, wide feet with height that cringe at flip-flops, heels that aren't wedges and pointy girl shoes. The closest I get to wearing dresses is split skirts and skorts that go with my Rebocks or the one pair of SaS sandals I own. O also work at home, so there's not a genuine need to dress up. < : )

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  38. Before I retired I wore dresses to work almost every day and was often asked why I was so dressed up. (I was an exec asst in an office - it seemed normal to me.) In my retired life I wear dresses or casual pull on longer skirts quite often, especially in the summer. I think some of my love for dresses/skirts comes from my age - while I was growing up girls were not allowed to wear pants to school so I didn't have much of a pants wardrobe.

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  39. All I wear are skirts and dresses. I get asked all the time what I'm dressed up for..... I'm wearing a simple dress with ballet flats and a bucket hat. For some reason: dress=fancy to so many. I really think it has to do with our casual society.

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  40. Yes to dresses! I even started wearing the occasional 'house dress'. Which is just a dress that's more comfortable than flattering.
    Anonymous was right- knit dresses ARE secret pajamas, especially maxis! Didn't shave my legs? No one knows, & I'm super comfy too! 😁

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  41. Dresses as often as possible! Simple tee dresses all summer - usually made with cotton/lycra or rayon/lycra. SO much more comfortable than shorts! I do wear cotton/lycra bike shorts underneath to protect my chub rub (thighs) because I am a curvy girl. Dresses in the winter too - with tights and flats. Usually corduroy, coarse linen or even printed flannel! Pants/shorts are practically impossible for me fit properly to my body. Almost all of my dresses are on the casual side.

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  42. I wear dresses much more now than when I was younger ... I remember when it was 'dress' code at school for girls to wear dresses - we were liberated when the rules changed to wear 'pants suits' - but I went too far and almost exclusively wore slacks and jeans for several decades thereafter. Now I have a mix of dresses and trousers (tops of course) - casual to dressy, which really gives me more choice, variety and comfort based on what type of day I have planned - now THAT is liberating!

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  43. I'm a dress gal on the inside (since I haven't yet hit on the perfect dress for my outside) but I wear skirts more often than not, even running errands on the weekend, etc.

    Once I find The Dress for me, however, I will be an all dresses, all the time gal!!

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  44. I've worn dresses and skirts for years. I also wear jeans and clam diggers a lot. I find dresses to be so cool and comfortable in summer that I reach for them most often when the weather is hot. I've converted a few friends and clients over the years who just assumed they wouldn't like wearing a dress because they hadn't for years. Once they tried wearing them they were more comfortable too. Winter in Canada is really cold so it's jeans and leggings here but even then I usually wear a top over my leggings that is almost dress length. On someone younger these tops would be dress length. I love my long skirts too. I have a couple of linen skirts cut on the bias that are so old and have been washed so often they hardly wrinkle anymore. So cool and comfortable when my daughters in shorts and tanks are still hot. I grew up in the hippy years though so jeans are still a big part of my life. That's pretty much the only pants I wear though. We're all so different and that is what makes the world go round. I would recommend that anyone who hasn't worn a dress for years try a really comfortable casual one and you might just like it. I wear mine with Birkenstocks mainly but will wear them with sneakers too if it's a bit cooler outside.

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  45. We've had temps in the 105-110 degree range here for over a week. Nothing is more comfortable than a dress in this heat!

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  46. I am trying to sew a mixture of garments, but now that I have dresses that fit me properly (thanks to sewing my own), I find them MUCH more comfortable. I often have to wear pants for my work, but I prefer to wear a dress every chance I get. Also, Florida is so hot and humid right now that I can't stand to have fabric between my legs...it's so uncomfortable. I don't think I could handle the heat wave that's happening in the US Southwest right now.

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  47. So happy to see most of the votes are for dresses! I like wearing dresses as well as skirts (with a t-shirt). This post is making me think I need to make more dresses!

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  48. Thanks for the question! Dresses are my go-to, especially in the summer. There is nothing cooler than a body-skimming cotton shift. I wear them to the grocery store, to garden,to take a walk, really anything I need to do. To me, a dress is basically a long shirt that allows you to not wear pants. A top and skirt is just like a top and shorts but without the sweaty part between my legs. I'm a tee shirt and jeans kind of girl (if you can call a 67 year old a girl). I find dresses and skirts can reflect that style just fine, especially if I make them myself.

    I haven't made many dresses in the past year because I finally decided to try to fit pants. I've been spending most of my sewing time on that project. But now that I have better insight and success in how to fit pants to my body, I have gone back to summer dresses. I'm looking forward to having a complete wardrobe, with a selection of dresses, tops, skirts, and jeans/trousers.

    You have been an inspiration to me in learning to sew comfortable, well-fitting clothes that are stylish and fit my personality.

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  49. What's wrong with looking 'dressy'? I love dresses, and tr to wear them as often as possible. I also love pants, sowear them when I feel like it, but I'm a bit of a "Vintage" nut, so try to make as many dresses as possible with vintage patterns. They have such wonderful details that you never find in todays patterns. With just a change in some detail (sleeves, et.,) you can use the same poattern over and over. I love dresses!!

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  50. I only own 2 dresses (both knit) - every dress I've ever sewn has ended up being chopped down to a tunic because that's the length and silhouette that suits me best. On me, a dress seems to just emphasize all my body faults - a buxom torso on long stilts. If I cut the length down to the mini skirt length and wear it with capris or long shorts (summer) and leggings in the winter it's suddenly transformed into the perfect outfit. Add to that how rarely I would wear a dress and they just don't get sewn :)

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  51. Having just started garment sewing 3 years ago, I have to say I am wearing way more dresses these days. I get to sew and wear material that I love and dresses that fit me. Win Win! It is getting increasingly difficult to buy clothes that I love. Thus, I sew.

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  52. I love my dresses and skirts. They're easy to wear, cool in summer, warm in winter with tights, so comfy and lots of freedom. Easy to sew and fit, unlike pants. I feel I can be more creative with dresses/skirts than I can with pants. Certainly more colorful.

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  53. Love to sew dresses, hardly ever wear them. (All that tedious leg-shaving.)

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  54. I wear dresses all of the time, to church and casually. Sometimes I feel more put together in a dress. I make lots of garments but find I am more drawn to dresses in the summer. They are easy and for me much cooler.

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  55. Hi! I wear dresses & skirts in the warm weather, when I can wear sandals. Mostly because I don't want to wear pantyhose. Thanks for the wonderful blog.

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  56. I live in dresses and we live out in the country on a farm! Oddly enough, the only time anyone comments about my choice of wear is at the grocery store. Then it's generally comments like, "I love that dress, where did you get it". Of course, 90% of them are made by me. :)

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  57. I love dresses/skirts, but I hate hosiery, so I wear maxi dresses in warm weather--with knee length leggings/shapewear/bike shorts underneath. Mostly pants/leggings when it's cold; sometimes a longer skirt with knee socks and boots. I really don't like wearing pants and when I do wear them it's usually with a longer top or tunic.

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  58. I love wearing dresses - as long as the weather is warm. I have to dress up for work - so in the summer, I'm in dresses 95% of the time. Luckily we are allowed to wear no hose. When the weather turns cold - forget it. It's pants for me, for sure.

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  59. Dresses don't enter into my wardrobe as I spend 90% of my time on the floor PINNING dresses for brides. I do have some knit swing dresses that I can wear to dinner with my parents but otherwise it is cropped stretch pants and cool tops...sigh...my uniform.

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  60. You know I love me a good dress! I'm trying to find the right fit for being in the kitchen, greeting guests and cleaning. I've found my woven corporate dresses are really too fancy, the exception is my ESP dresses. Just about any knit dress works for all I do in a day, is comfortable and I feel like me - which is the most important part. g

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  61. That's so odd to me...I wonder if this is a semantic question? What is a " dress" anyway? Do
    You define a dress by style? Length? Shape? Fabric choice? What is the difference between a dress and a tunic that is dress length? Is there a difference?

    My everyday "style" since retirement, if you would call it that, is to wear a tunic that is dress length, over relaxed style pants. So I consider it a dress...but friends call it a top....so is it a top because I wear it over pants ...would it be called a dress if I wore it without pants ( which at a younger, slimmer age I would have done)..

    Excellent discussion...I might expand on this question on my own site....IF that would be alright with you ( of course I would to your post!)

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    1. Please feel free to continue the discussion on your blog - that is a good thing!

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  62. When I had to find a dress for my son's wedding several years ago panicked -- I had not owned a dress for at least twenty years. I still wear pants and shorts most of the time, but I am coming around to the idea of dresses again, thanks to the inspiration of sewing blogs like this one. Your dresses look so comfortable, Carolyn.

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    1. They are comfortable. I don't wear clothing that needs to be pulled and tugged. So glad they inspire you!

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  63. I also prefer dresses to trousers tho' I wear skirts in the winter b/c when it's really cold I can put my skirt in my backpack, put on my snowpants and add the skirt over my tights when I get to work.

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  64. Early on, as a tall, long-waisted person, I learned that RTW dresses never fit. Ever. The 'waist' on them hits me mid-rib cage at best. Since I could never wear them pre-sewing, I sortof just ignored them as 'not for me' even in my sewing. I buy tops and skirts, I sew tops and skirts. In the winter it's just too cold for dresses/skirts. My office is freezing cold, and I wear long socks, boots, pants, long underwear shirts under turtlenecks under sweaters. It's awful. I like skirts, especially maxi ones, but still tend to wear jeans all the time. At home, I can never tell when the dog's gonna jump up, or I want to pull some weeds, load plants and compost bags at the plant store, etc.

    Oddly, women have done much harder physical labor in skirts (scythe a hayfield in a corset anyone?) but we now consider that sort of thing to not be compatible with skirts.

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    1. Since we don't cook over open fires every day anymore (at least most of us do not) there is much less danger of dying because our long skirts have caught fire and trapped us in a horrible burning demise. That used to be one of the most common ways women died, after childbirth or virulent pestilence.

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  65. I used to wear dresses almost exclusively. After I had my son I kinda quit and when I think about it I'm fairly sure that it's because he was one of those that really had little sense of propriety-he was always pulling on my skirt, flipping it up, trying to hide his head in it, or just wanting to crawl under and hang on my leg! LOL! He outgrew that of course, but I never really got back into wearing dresses-I think I'm ready to do the dress thing again, because I'm thick in the middle and fitting pants/shorts is a real pain in the backside.

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  66. Dresses change how you carry yourself, and they also change how you navigate the world. I can't move any way I want to in a dress, unless I simply CHOOSE to, and I have to make a choice about how I will sit for reasons that are about vanity and modesty. There are many kinds of dresses in the world, but my day does change when I wear one.

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  67. I'm in the "no dresses" camp. My legs and feet get cold year-round (especially in air-conditioning), so dresses don't work for me. Also,I've always been more of a tom-boy, so pants are perfect for me.

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  68. I suppose calling people "dressy" does imply formality. Personally I'm in the separates camp more because of commitment phobia! However I'm finding dresses cooler & easier to wear on the hot & bothered days. So maybe with global warming I'll be making & wearing more dresses!

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  69. I'm on team dress, all the way, all the time. In summer they're simply the lightest thing you can wear and I found already several times that in winter, good tights are WAY warmer than pants. Or skirts, but dresses I favour more, because I don't have to match clothes. Pants are ok for sitting in weird (though comfy?!) positions, but I feel less fancy. Seriously, I tend to wear pants on "lazy" days only.

    Main disadvantage on wearing dresses is that it's hard to combine with breastfeeding, but I'm done with that now, so I don't see any disadvantages anymore. (And I was too lazy to sew special dresses for that purpose only)

    As for shoes, I used to love dresses with high boots or cute sandals only. Nowaydays, I found a brand with funky shoes and I adore those. I bought ankle boots, even one's with laces, I have pumps, sandals and flats. I did walk around in Rome as wel on my Birkenstock Sandals. Yes, with a dress. I haven't really seen any shoes that do not match with a dress really... Actually, I've even seen socks again, under dresses.

    Most important is that you feel confident in your style and for me, ever since I started wearing dresses and stopped trying to fit in and hide myself, I felt a lot better about my style. And indirectly about myself as well. :)

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  70. I have many dresses but I always feel I should be going somewhere special in them and consequently they don't get worn that often. I'm more top and skirt and the fabric around on stretch cotton at the moment is fabulous. They do pull you together though and years ago it was dress everytime for going out but this casual era seems to have changed that.

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  71. I agree with you. I love to make dresses and love to wear them for all occasions. Just one garment and I am dressed in the morning. No matching dilemmas. Give media dress over separates any day

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  72. I am not a big dress wearer but I love them in the summer. It's cool, and easy to wear in the heat. I feel dressed and put together without layers, without a waistband that gets damp when I sweat. I don't see dresses as inherently 'dressy'. I made a dress to wear to a wedding last spring and made it in silk. Dressy. But I could make the same dress, a simple off the shoulder dress, in a chambray or other cotton and it's no longer a special occasion dress.

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  73. Having grown up through the sixties where everyone wore dresses, I got out of the habit of wearing them, but I do have a nice selection in the closet that can get pulled out, thrown on and worn in a snap. For me, casual dressing that is a step above jeans/slacks and a nice shirt is a skirt, a blouse and flats or sandals and the dresses are for more proper occasions. But that is because the dresses are a more fitted, formal style. Theresa in Tucson

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  74. I have worn a dress in many years. Once I left a more formal business world and went to a business casual environment, I also shed the dresses. But, at the same time, I also set aside skirts. It has not been until recently that I started wearing skirts again and realized how much I had missed them. I really think I've had some body image issues post-kids. But, like so many of you, I've now made about 4 Vogue 1247 skirts and just feel so awesome in them that it has given me confidence to think about a dress. Any suggestions on an easy knit--but not too 'bumpy lumpy emphasizing' for a pattern? thank you for all that you do! You've given me great confidence in sewing.

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  75. I was a child in the 50's and 60's when girls and women had to wear dresses or skirts most of the time, to school, to church, downtown to shop, whenever we were out in public. If my mom wanted me to go to the corner store to pick up an item, I had to change out of slacks and put on a skirt. My junior year in high school, we had a cold snap in Portland Oregon( I think it got into the teens)and the school board announced that girls could wear pants to school and change when they got there. The ramifications of this edict was not clearly thought out by the authorities. Imagine half of the high school population trying to crowd into the girls' bathrooms to change before the first bell. I wore dresses all though college and my first few jobs. There was a feeling of freedom when women were allowed to wear pants to work. Nowadays I wear dresses as a choice when we go out for a special occasion.

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  76. I love dresses, but can't tolerate pantyhose and get chafed with bare thighs. I wear a dress with leggings for comfort, but trousers and blouse to my work at a big bank.

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  77. I'm in the <3 dress side here! Interesting because before I began sewing for myself, I would've considered myself a 'jeans' girl.... but now jeans are almost the last things I choose to wear unless I'm working outside. You are so right in that dresses can be dressed up or down and one of my fave ways to wear them is with my summer wedges or white leather Keds. Interesting conversation. :)

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  78. If I'm not wearing a dress, it's because I'm working out or doing yardwork. I noticed that folks are intimidated by my consistent dress wearing.... So be it. Dresses Rule!

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  79. I think our excessively casual culture has skewed what we think of as dressy vs casual. Exercise clothing, leggings, and athleisure have become the norm.

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  80. Dresses are so nice when it's hot! I also don't read them as "dressed up" or formal necessarily--I've seen dresses that look more like nightgowns to me, definitely not formal! =) I like dresses just fine, though I don't wear that many of them (because I don't have many of them--yet!). My main complaint about dresses is that women are typically expected to modify their movement and behavior in them: think entering/exiting a vehicle, shaving legs, etc. I also don't like feeling like it's expected of me to wear skirts or dresses because of my gender (our office used to have that policy--really--until about 14 years ago, when the former bosses were finally warned that was a discrimination suit waiting to happen), but I also like the breezy, easy wardrobe choice dresses provide. So I guess I have mixed feelings about them, but when I *do* wear them, it's because I choose to, and on my terms (regardless of leg hair situation, LOL).

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