Dresses with grown-up hemlines, early spring edition

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Usually I like to bring you all the options I can fit into this post, but that’s a challenge this season, because so many of the dresses out there right now are in shapes I just can not relate to on any level. But I did find several that very much are my thing, and I bring them to you now, starting with this gorgeous green print from Ba&sh.

A shirtdress with a touch of sex appeal is so up my alley, and this one fits the bill.

From Universal Standard, which means it comes in every size imaginable: the Geneva dress, which comes in a ton of colors and is gloriously flattering. I’ve already got it in black, but am considering this blue one too.

A tee dress with a delightful shibori-ish print.

a clean, chic striped popover dress for when you want to look put-together in a flash.

Here is what to reach for when comfort is absolutely of the essence.

I realize that this is teetering right on the border of being the kind of frilly dress I don’t love, but the fact that it’s a solid and not a print makes it OK for me. Also, I can sometimes be partial to a drop waist, and I like the one here.

Another good shirtdress with a nice, more feminine cut.

Here’s a cute tee dress at a really good price.

I kind of like that the colors on this dress are almost lurid.

This cool eyelet dress would be the chicest thing ever to bring on a beach vacation.

A white floral dress that I’d wear with black boots and a cardigan now, and on its own later.

And finally, I like the flowiness of this little number, as well as the asymmetrical hem.

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29 Thoughts on Dresses with grown-up hemlines, early spring edition
    Mamavalveeta03
    22 Mar 2022
    7:07pm

    Kim, your descriptions are on fire today…and made me laugh out loud. The All Saints “little number” is giving me Zero + Maria Cornejo vibes.

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    marjorie
    22 Mar 2022
    1:31pm

    love these!!! but as an aside, i’m so IRKED that Cos’s sizes top out at a 10 or 12 AND (unlike, say, Mango) they don’t have a plus line under another name (so that plus bodies needn’t SULLY the main site). Given the appealing simplicity of their silhouettes, it would be absolutely trivial for them to make larger sizes.

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      JenM
      23 Mar 2022
      8:56am

      I also wish they made petites. Love Cos, but many of their things are far, far too long and boxy for me. But I keep going back because in my fantasy life I am the kind of person who looks totally hot in long and boxy clothes. 😉

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    LJ
    22 Mar 2022
    6:30pm

    Some very strange things are indeed happening in the online shopping world now — things like not listing fabric content, not providing inseam lengths, or providing inseam lengths that are pure fantasy. Now I, at 5’7″, no longer fit “regular” pants because they are several inches too long. Size large is too small and XL is too big. If I order “tall” cropped pants will they be Goldilocks perfect as “regular”? I give up.

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    Eloise
    22 Mar 2022
    9:55am

    I just grabbed a sleeveless Reverie – it (or some version of it) is featured here often and I debate(d) it every time…

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    CC
    22 Mar 2022
    10:23am

    Good gravy, that unrelatable dress is just fucking stupid, innit? I teenaged my way through drop waists and yet, the way I shouted.

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      kimbersam
      22 Mar 2022
      12:37pm

      That unrelatable dress is very LoveShackFancy, which is still the rage here in LA LA Land. I’ve got some old season Sea from a few years ago and it’s much less princess poufy sparkle pony.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        22 Mar 2022
        6:56pm

        The perfect description, Kimbersam!

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          kimbersam
          23 Mar 2022
          12:44pm

          It’s also my handle for The Former First Daughter 😉

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    Liz
    22 Mar 2022
    11:04am

    BA&SH has gorgeous dresses. I bought this one on eBay for under $100:
    https://ba-sh.com/us/p/dress-mandie-bleu-3664784377542.html

    Elizabeth and James also makes some very affordable, roomy dresses that are surprisingly flattering. I have this one, and the cinched waist gives it just enough shape:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/224833011192

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    cw
    22 Mar 2022
    11:28am

    SUCH a good podcast this week. I had a very relatable experience of the enemy kind earlier this year that knocked me for the proverbial loop and am still not past it so it was healthy to hear of y’all’s experiences. Made me feel not so alone (and hated).
    As to dresses…love the first one, but for some reason I can not wear viscose (unless I desire to sweat and itch which I don’t). I also have a hard time with silk except in the dead of winter and cashmere breaks my skin out in tiny little bumps and itches my skin like crazy so I am not the best person to talk about fabrics.

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    Gablesgirl
    23 Mar 2022
    8:03pm

    Nap dress to me means pajamas so I’ll stick to my old t-shirt and flannel bottoms, thank you very much. I do like that you approved of an eyelet dress….I have one in my cart as we speak.

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    Eloise
    22 Mar 2022
    8:24am

    My eyes….the “unrelatable” dress really needs a stronger warning label….the Rebecca Taylor IS great, though – if I were taller, I’d grab it – then I thought the All Saints might take some of the sting away – nope, also too long (found measurements on Zappos – why is including length so hard, manufacturers?!?) Need a short folks version of this post.

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      Alexa
      22 Mar 2022
      8:51am

      I don’t care for the “pilgrim-core” style either. I’m just waiting it out until this trend passes.
      It’s good for my wallet, I guess : -/
      Thanks for the options to hold us over in the meantime.
      Btw, I own a sleeveless version of dress nine, In two colors, and want a third.

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        Laura
        22 Mar 2022
        11:39am

        I agree with the comment or who said there needs to be a short person version of the post. I just can’t relate to the dresses that require me to be 7 inches taller and 20 pounds lighter and make me look like I wearing a very large bag. It seems that every dress either looks this unflattering or it is meant for a 20-year-old and has puff sleeves and a square neck and smocking.

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      liz
      22 Mar 2022
      12:08pm

      I might go for it if I was the age of the model.

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    Gemma
    22 Mar 2022
    9:24am

    From now on, I’m going to use “I can’t relate to that” instead of just calling a garment fugly.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      22 Mar 2022
      7:01pm

      Good point, Gemma.

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    Betsy Palmer
    22 Mar 2022
    9:22am

    Thank you, thank you for dresses with sleeves but not necessarily long sleeves which we in the south will abandon in mid-April. Also, reasonable hemlines for (ahem) older knees but most especially no sister wife options. Who is wearing those things?

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    Melissa
    22 Mar 2022
    12:27pm

    Kim France, you really get me.

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    Kim
    22 Mar 2022
    12:40pm

    Just give me all the shirt dresses. Everyone looks nice in one.

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    Heidi
    22 Mar 2022
    12:46pm

    I am so sick of nap dresses and Little House on the Prairie dresses and can’t wait for more sophisticated styles to come back. Why would any grown woman want to wear this stuff?

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    LeighTX
    22 Mar 2022
    9:43am

    I am pretty sure my mother made me a dress exactly like that “unrelatable” one back in the 80s. She sewed most of my clothes back then and neither of us had great taste . . .

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      Elisa
      22 Mar 2022
      6:33pm

      Yes, Leigh, I think I had a Belle France dress that was distressingly similar to that dress. Also the 80’s….

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    Tahe Z
    22 Mar 2022
    12:00pm

    That dress you can’t relate to is a fine example of hideous. Yikes! I was at an event recently and there were a couple of woman who looked as if they could have flapped their collars and sleeves and flown away due to the amount of stiff and puffy fabric. I love a puff detail but there is a fine line between tasteful and utterly ridonk. On a positive note, I do love that BA&SH dress in both the green and the black. However, I purchased the navy Rachel Comey grown up dress after seeing you (or Andrea??) post about it and need to get a few more wears in before dropping anymore cash on a new dress.

    Btw, is there anyone else on here that pauses EIF when a male partner or child walks in the room?? It feels so much like a gathering of girlfriends that I find myself wanting to only listen when no dudes are around.

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      Rae
      22 Mar 2022
      8:37pm

      Yes Tahe Z! I do not allow my kids or husband to intrude on EIF. In the past my husband has listened and commented on things he has heard and I felt like he was invading my privacy??!!??

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    grldchz
    22 Mar 2022
    12:21pm

    Can anyone comment on Sezane’s sizing? It’s a little confusing with no size chart. I’m confused on whether the sizes are UK (used in description) or US (the site recognizes in shipping here).

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      JenM
      23 Mar 2022
      8:54am

      I find their sizing runs the tiniest bit large, at least in dresses. I often go one size down. Pants and jeans seem more true to size.

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        Kim (not the original)
        23 Mar 2022
        7:32pm

        Same, JenM. Though I often find myself returning the dresses because the viscose/polyester always feels cheap (and sweaty!). Keep going back for more though, despite the annoyance of returns, since the cuts are so good.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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