dresses

My Five Most-Worn-at-Home Dresses.

COVID, for me, has ushered in a new appreciation for the house dress. Every evening, at 5 p.m., I put away my work materials, splash my face with water, reapply some mascara and blush, and change clothes. It’s become a ritualized buffer between “work Jen” and “Mom Jen” and I always feel so much better (more energized, more prepared for the evening rush) when I’ve claimed that small sliver of time as a designated transition. Most evenings, I like to slip into a loose-fitting dress that makes me feel pretty but is as comfortable as pajamas. I’ve written about all of these extensively, but the top five dresses I reach for night after night are:

1 // FRANCES VALENTINE CAFTAN

2 // SZ BLOCKPRINTS DRESS

3 // HILL HOUSE NAP DRESS — I ESPECIALLY LOVE THE NESLI AT THE MOMENT BECAUSE IT HAS SLEEVES AND IT’S STILL KIND OF CHILLY OUT

4 // LORETTA CAPONI DRESS — MINE IS LAST SEASON, BUT SIMILAR TO THIS AND THIS (LOOK FOR LESS WITH THIS)

5 // SMOCKED SEA DRESS — MINE IS A DIFFERENT PATTERN/MATERIAL I BOUGHT LAST FALL, BUT I HAVE WORN IT ABOUT 34909 TIMES THIS SEASON…IT IS SO COMFORTABLE, SO FLATTERING, SO EASY TO WEAR

I am trying to be more mindful of practicality when I order myself clothes — I am a true Magpie, always drawn towards the dramatic and sparkly and novel! — so I literally sat down to evaluate what makes the above-five dresses so precious to me. The commonalities are that all have sleeves, all are midi-to-maxi length, none have buttons/closures that require work, and all are loose-fitting but flattering. I like that I never have to adjust with these dresses — nothing is ever inadvertently revealed or hanging out. When you’re playing on the floor with children or stirring with one hand and consoling with another — you don’t want to also be trying to adjust your neckline or hemline. Lastly, all are attractive enough that if I need to dash out to the store or fetch something from the lobby, I don’t need to worry about my appearance!

Accordingly, below are other options along similar lines that I am eyeing for myself for the evening hour…

THIS MIRTH DRESS IN SUCH A GREAT PINK PRINT

TORY BURCH CAFTAN

BASICALLY EVERYTHING FROM EMERSON FRY, BUT ESPECIALLY THIS DRESS AND THIS BELTED STYLE

CIAO LUCIA

MILLE SAFFRON DRESS (LOOK FOR LESS WITH THIS)

DONDOLO

EMBROIDERED TUCKERNUCK BEAUTY

BY TIMO FLOATINESS

DAPHNE WILDE (CAN BE WORN SANS BELT, TOO)

MI GOLONDRINA — I HAVE A SHORTER-LENGTH ONE, BUT WOULD LOVE A MIDI OR MAXI

ANTHRO BEAUTY

$29 H&M SCORE

ROLLER RABBIT KURTA

A tiny bit fussier, but I have also had my eye on a Sue Sartor dress for awhile, which is in a similar vein, though the sleeves might make dishes difficult.

I am always wearing these velvet mules at home. They are just the most comfortable shoe, and sturdy enough for running down to the lobby (and, occasionally, around the corner for milk!).

Of course, there are rainy, cold nights where I just want to wear my softest joggers, an oversized sweatshirt, and a top knot, too.

P.S. Totally unrelated to the above, but two beauty discoveries since my last beauty-centric post that I’m itching to try: Saie glowy super gel and Cle de Peau lip perfector. And preliminary review: I am in love with that Elemis balm I mentioned earlier this week, but I am having a difficult time fitting into my skincare regimen! At the moment, it’s competing with my beloved daily scrubby facial cleanser — I don’t want to use both because it feels like it’s undoing the work of the other. I’ve been alternating which I use. I know this is more about experience than results, but Elemis just feels like such a relaxing, luxurious step at night. You massage a beautifully scented balm into your skin and then wipe away the day gently with a warm wash cloth. I love it. Meanwhile, Tata has been great for my skin but it is a bit more bracing/abrasive.

P.P.S. My beauty hall of fame here. I stand behind each of these products. Love, love, love.

P.P.P.S. I’m a cautious tearaway. (How about you?)

8 Comments

  1. I love the concept of an evening house dress! I love HHH for this reason — I’ve amassed a little collection of nap dresses and am curious about the next drop in June. Also, love love love the SZ Blockprints caftans — I also have a painted plaid midi sundress from her (scored on Shopbop for a song) and I love it for the hottest days (like today, ugh!)

    I’m also intrigued by the short-sleeve Emerson Fry lovely! Have had my eye on that label for years but haven’t ever taken the plunge. Maybe this is the year!

    xx

    1. I know – my favorite kind of dress!!! So chic and so easy to wear!

      xx

  2. I love wearing easy dresses at home too — especially now that it’s warming up! I still have you to thank for introducing me to SZ Blockprints. I have 2 of their dresses now and I wear them weekly!

    Lately I’ve also been enjoying this under $50 dress from BR Factory (was surprised to see they carry organic cotton products?!), which I have in the cobalt blue. So easy to dress up with a printed silk scarf!

    https://bananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com/browse/product.do?pid=6665470210009&cid=1176289&pcid=1045225&vid=1&nav=meganav%3AWomen%3AWOMEN%27S+APPAREL%3ADRESSES&grid=pds_61_211_1#pdp-page-content

    I only wish all dresses came with pockets, by default…

    1. Oo I love that BR dress! SO easy breezy. I feel like the shape would look equally cute with Supergas, spiffy flats, or sandals. Love a versatile item like that!

      Also, totally agree on pockets. Until motherhood, I didn’t really understand why people raved about pockets on dresses. SO handy. Same with pajamas — I have a few pairs of joggers that have pockets and they make life sooo much easier in the morning. I am always carrying like ten things at once!

      xx

  3. I just bought that belted Emerson Fry and it is amazing in person 🙂 though, I can’t really try it on because I’m late in my third trimester now. I decided I needed a new dress to celebrate the post partum period! It’s so interesting approaching baby two; I find myself so much more focused on how I can take care of myself during that time because I have more of an understanding of how difficult it can be. Did you have a different approach for your second baby and post partum period vs. your first?

    (Not that I pretend to know what having two children is like! I recently read in “Momma Zen” this advice: don’t expect to be prepared. Which is something I’m leaning in to mentally. Physically, I’m trying to have some little luxuries and comforts at hand for me to help anchor me through the sleeplessness.)

    1. Ooh, I love that dress!! So chic! I also was much more aware of caring for myself the second time around. I was much better prepared with more nursing clothes I was excited to wear — it always made me feel slightly more pulled together, even when drained! — and I remember consciously “saving” TV series and light books to enjoy while nursing. The piece that I was not prepared for — the guilt I felt about not being able to be mini’s EVERYTHING right after Hill arrived. Eventually it all settles down and you get into a routine with it, but I remember absolutely sobbing about the fact that I hadn’t even read mini a single book in the days after Hill arrived, and worrying that she was feeling unloved, and all that jazz. You do get through it, but it totally took me by surprise! I’ve heard a lot of mothers feel the same way…the other thing I was not prepared for was the never-ending cleaning-up. I mean, I remembered from when mini was little, but the mess and chaos somehow triples or quadruples with two children. It is SO hard to stay on top of, and it drove me crazy not to have everything in its place. I remember feeling totally pinned in my bed between nursing and recovering from the c-section and wanting desperately to pick up the pile of clothes and stray toys on the floor of my bedroom. I am such a neatnik like that! If I could do again, I would hire a temporary housekeeper to help with some of those aspects!!

      Anyway, all to say, I did feel better equipped the second time around, but there were still huge surprises.

      Thinking of you, friend, as you round the final corner!!! Can’t wait to hear the good word.

      xx

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