Saturday, November 3, 2012

Musings on dresses and skirts

I have recently noticed something strange in regards to the styles I prefer in dresses and skirts. While I love my dresses that have gathered dirndl style skirts, I don't really like the skirts that I have in those styles.

For example, I LOVE the two dresses shown below (my 1 pattern 7 bloggers dress, and my Vintage Simplity 3965 copy), even though they both have a drndl style gathered rectangle skirt:

 

However, I was so lackluster about this gathered gingham skirt that I gave it away. I've even got a pleated skirt I made near the beginning of the year (maybe even late last year) that has been sat in my wardrobe unworn (and unblogged) since then. And these are just two examples of many.


In contrast, I do love full skirts in general, I wear my red and black crescent skirt almost every week since I made it, and the spotty version frequently during summer.

  

I've also waxed lyrical about my gored skirts, of which I currently have 5, all of which are in frequent rotation in warm weather.

  

The obvious difference between the skirts I like and the ones I don't are the bulk at the waist - obviously the gored skirts have a full hem, but no fullness at the waist, and the crescent skirt pattern has a fitted yoke, with the gathers starting further down.

However, it's not as much of a 'duh' moment as you'd think, as it still doesn't explain why I like the style in a dress but not a skirt. Having thought about it, I think the difference is how much a skirt can move around in comparison to the skirt of a dress. A skirt can ride up, fall down, twist around, particularly if it's not exactly the right size (on my shape it does anyway). However the skirt on a dress is anchored where it's supposed to be - it is on the bottom of the bodice and not going anywhere!

You're probably wondering why I'm bothering to put this into a post, its partly because I wanted to actually put it down in words to try and remember to not make this style of skirt in the future, as cute as I think it's going to end up being. Also, I'm hoping to get some thoughts from you as to whether I'm onto something or just spouting rubbish.

9 comments:

  1. How interesting! It just occurred to me that this is exactly what I do with skirts too. I like full skirts but have been avoiding making/buying them because when I have them on, there is something about the bulk around the wait I don't like... but I own plenty of dresses with full skirts.

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    1. That makes me glad to hear that i'm not the only one then!

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  2. I think you're on to something here. I've noticed a very similar thing in my own wardrobe. I'm thinking for me it has something to do with waistline bulk from whatever shirt I'm wearing with a skirt that makes me look bigger compared to a dress version, and something to do with being able to cinch things up a bit with a belt in a dress vs. with a skirt the waistband tends to slide out from beneath a belt. Or maybe it's more along the lines of a visually unbroken line in a dress that counteracts the fluffy look from the fullness at the hips whereas, with a skirt with a contrasting top, all the attention is called to the mid-section and the fullness just below.

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    1. aah yes, some very good thoughts that hadn't occurred to me.

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  3. I think you're totally onto something! I own and a lot of dresses with gathered skirts and I love them wholeheartedly. But skirts like that just don't suit me and I think it's exactly because they ride up, twist and so on. To be fair, with my body shape I tend to have this problem with all skirts, hence I wear dresses mostly. At least you get on well with gored skirts and skirts with yokes! ;o)

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  4. That's really interesting...I just discovered that I don't really like the look of a fuller skirt on me either, it makes me feel "hippy" and while I like my curvy hips they don't need any extra help, haha. That got me thinking though, because I am about to start on a dress pattern with a slightly fuller skirt under a fitted bodice and I thought maybe that will look terrible on me so I hesitated but actually your post makes me think that maybe on a dress it will look good, I think with the top and bottom the same colour it will add length and help with any extra (imagined or not) width? This might be one of those times i need to make a muslin first...

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    1. I shall be very interested to see what you conclude!

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