The month of March is edging toward its close! I suspect the weather is about on par with every year, but I am surprised by the number of Newfoundland and Labradorians that think Spring should have sprung by now. Over the past twenty years, St. John’s has an average daytime high of 2 degrees Celsius or 36 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, the average low has been -7 degrees Celsius or 20 degrees Fahrenheit. With respect to precipitation, we have 14 days with rain and 20 days of snow. This is not a typo as rain, snow and sleet are known to occur on the same day. The real proof that it is unreasonable to expect Spring in St. John’s in March is the lack of sunshine hours. Our average sunshine in the month of March is a measly four hours.
Regardless, every March Newfoundlanders and Labradorians lament that Spring has not arrived in our province. Well, we didn’t get one again this Spring and I wouldn’t count on cheerful weather before June. Even then it should be foggy and cold with the amount of ice excepted to adorn our coast line.
July 1st icebergs! The rear view mirror photo shows a white square at the end of the road- that is a huge iceberg! Last year the ice and icebergs along our coast line was record breaking.
So what is a woman to do? Why you need to dress like our pioneers, in sweaters and warm boots! So it makes no wonder that this week’s blog is all about the sweater dress!
In order not to embarrass myself with a lack of fashion awareness, which I admittedly accept as a possibility, I was delighted to see so much appear in a google search for “sweater dresses”. I must be thankful for my foresight to have adopted a rule with this project- no new purchases of clothing during the project period. I took a look at those dresses and wanted to start ordering right away. However, given the volume of dresses, the variety of styles and short lengths, I can easily start ordering upon the end of the project! After all it is now the wind down of the North American winter fashion season. I think it is wise to wait until July before ordering from the new line of sweater dresses for 2015-2016 season. I can predict, I will order five new ones.
Here is a glimpse at the week past.
I began the week feeling Irish, so I was compelled to wear green as I was unable to do so last week. My only green attire suitable for work is this dress and it wasn’t scheduled until after Saint Patrick’s Day. In actual fact, I was playing around when I put on my late Mother’s beautiful mink jacket. I wore, instead, a green Icelandic cardigan that suits this dress beautifully. I forgot the sweater at work, so the fox jacket was a fun substitute for my husband’s photo shoot. This green dress was the first sweater dress I purchased in recent years. I ordered it from the Talbots Petite line. It is made from pure merino wool and is very comfortable. I love the cowl neck. As the temperatures rise in late Spring, I won’t need a cardigan sweater to boot. I do keep shawl/wraps at work, just in case I get cold. I often wear black leggings with this dress and a variety of different boots. Who knows, maybe I will add this vintage 1950s jacket by W. H. Ewing and Sons Fine Furs of St. John’s Newfoundland in the future.
One difficulty with this fantastic dress is that the wool does show wear. I believe it is caused by my habit of wearing over the dress either a shawl or a jacket. Consequently woollies, as I am fond of calling them, appeared on the sides. This has been somewhat manageable, but having worn this dress for over three years now, it is questionable how much longer I can get away with it.
This is a fun dress! It is short and sassy and all the way from Twigs of Stephens Avenue in Calgary. Several years ago I took a course from Haskayne School of Business. I hadn’t taken a full fledged course in some time, certainly not one I had to take an exam to finish. Consequently, I needed to unwind after class one day. I took a walk along Stephen Avenue Walk, Downtown Calgary. I passed by Twigs and Company, a flower store. Who knew it would have great gifts and a woolen clothing line. I bought a lot of things that day. Presents for many women on my list and two wonderful sweater dresses. One dress I didn’t wear last week as it is a bit dressy for work. I promise I will wear it before the project concludes! But this particular dress above is just fun! It has its own beads, silver studs around the pockets and to hold the beads in place at the shoulders, plus short sleeves! The dress is by ESKA Design. It is 70 per cent acrylic and 30 per cent wool. Consequently, this dress can take a lot and hasn’t succumbed to woollies either! Given its short sleeves, if Newfoundland had an earlier Spring, it would be wonderful!
This is a dress for those days you throw caution to the wind! This a woolen patch work creation, sewn together with red and light grey wool, giving it a Bride of Frankenstein effect, minus the big hair. Every time I put it on, I think of Halloween. Having said this, I wear it from late Fall to Spring. It has a polyester lining, making it very comfortable to wear. I added a light grey turtle neck from Lands End. I wear this with high heeled black patent leather and swede shoes I store at work, hence the reason I am bare footed in the picture. The dress is by LINEA DOMANI.
I love this purple dresses, but it has its flaws.
This dress is only approaching its second anniversary in my closet. I loved the green dress (worn on Monday) so much, I wanted another one in a different colour. This idea came to me a year or more post the purchase of the green dress, so I was unsuccessful sourcing such a dress on Talbots website. Instead, I located a dress on Ann Taylor’s web page. I know what you are thinking, isn’t it risky buying online? Well I agree. I have had disasters with online purchases. They haven’t always fit or suited me. But Talbots worked out once and Ann Taylor worked out once! This dress is not Petite. I would benefit more with a petite size, as the length and the cut would be generally more flattering. Unlike the green dress, the fabric is thicker and heavier. The cowl neck is stiffer and I find it hard to keep it in place. It looks best stretched across the shoulders. The last problem is that it began showing “wear” right away. The woollies were noticeable within two wears. I find it hard to select for the office now because I am self conscious about the condition of the wool on the sides of the dress and the arms.
Last but not least in the sweater dress line is my Michael Kors sweater dress.
I cannot find dresses at Michael Kors, although I have tried. I suspect this is not the way the designer envisioned it would be worn. For example, I turn the cuffs up in order to eliminate the long arms. Yet, I often get complemented when I wear it. I know it is about four years old at this point and it has not shown much wear. It is made of 52 per cent cotton, 40 per cent viscose and 8 per cent angora rabbit hair. It feels wonderful and soft. The zipper front is cute! I have tried wide belts but I don’t like the effect.
It was designed for taller women. The dress is consequently not as short on me as it was no doubt intended. The dress is beginning to lose its shape, so I don’t like it as much as I did originally. C’est la vie! It is the only Michael Kors dress I am likely to have, so I am not ready to give it up yet!
These five dresses are staples in my wardrobe for two basic reasons: Newfoundland and Labrador has a colder climate and I love the look of sweater dresses. It is not easy to eliminate these dresses at this point.
Green Talbots Sweater Dress is in style, showing early signs of wear. Decision: watch list
Grey dress with beads and studs is still in style, no signs of wear. Decision: Hang it up and wear again!
Frankenstein dress is quirky but I love it. No sign of wear or tear. Decision: Hang it up and wear again!
Purple Ann Taylor dress is in style, but worn out and stiff. Decision: Goodwill
Michael Kors dress is losing its shape and is a bit long. Decision: watch list
As March turns into April, I will step it up with blazers. It is a busy four day week, let’s see how I do. I also need time to get ready for Easter! I will keep to Lenten colours and break out in vibrant colour seven days from now!