A swing and a miss…

While trawling the mall for something to wear for formal nights on our cruise, I spotted this dress at Nordstrom. First thought: Sleeves!! The shirred jersey bodice looked forgiving, and the wide v-neckline was promising. I tried it on, thinking it might impart a fun 50’s vintage vibe.

But the mirror informed me that Ethel Merman was not the look I was going for.
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  1. tough one. Can make the shoulders look like a football players.

    And that hair! It’s almost required. But there are those of us on whom that style is, um, not ironic. Which is not a good thing. C’est la vie.

  2. You don’t have rhythm??? I looked at the pictures from my last cruise 2 weeks ago and thought I bore a striking resemblance to Henrietta Hippo….Audrey Hepburn – Henrietta Hippo? I think I missed the mark…

  3. I think the only way I could get in that dress is with a corset, but I really prefer breathing 😉

    Have fun looking. I’m sure the perfect dress is still out there calling your name.

  4. Just trying to figure out to whom this dress is actually designed for, and then I realized that the answer is in front of my eyes- for a slender young girl.

  5. To those who commented about the dress being snug around the waist, actually it’s not and is quite comfortable. The bodice and sleeves are black jersey, so have some give.

  6. I loved the dress on sight too. I had to laugh when you said Ethel Merman – I can see her now in the movie “its a mad, mad, mad world” Ethel had dresses on just like that!
    god I love that movie – so funny.

  7. This dress epitomises the issues I’ve been having with clothes lately. At 52, I just can’t wear certain things anymore.

    Even though the dress seems to cover all the bases (sleeves, length, style) it still only looks optimal on someone young. There seems to be an invisible line on where something ceases to look good on a woman of a certain age even when she’s retained her figure. I just can’t figure it out but something needs to change for me.

  8. Not snug around the waist….difficult around the waist. Meaning, that if you have anything other than a reed-slim waist, this look will be difficult to pull off even though the proportions would stay the same no matter what size you are, if that makes sense.

  9. that sums it up exactly, anonymous, and is the reason for our continued interest in blogs like this — what really works for women our age? I’m 52, too, by the way, and I knew exactly what you were getting at in every word of your post.

    That’s why I’m so grateful for blogs like this where these issued are tackled daily.

    And Ethel Merman probably wasn’t anywhere near 52 in that picture — she just looked the part!

  10. I concur wholeheartedly… the retro styles that used to look attractive on me, now have a sort of Norma Desmond/ Sunset Boulevard effect, like I’m the vintage article myself…where to find classic contemporary clothes that are sleek and elegant? (Oh, Mr Armani?!?)

  11. I saw this only yesterday while walking through Nordstroms in Chandler, AZ, with my mother. We both said “so-Audrey Hepburn!!” I did not try it on, but oh, how I wanted to!! It’s probably a good thing I didn’t….sometimes, beautiful clothes look best on a hanger. 🙂

  12. I see the model is small-busted, with a long waist. If one has definite hips and full bust, you might look matronly- the skirt is pretty ample. But I do like the mood of the dress. Did you find something else?

    For me a palazzo pant and body-skimming top are working well; I am 60 with vestiges of a figure 🙂

  13. Hi katriona, sisty and anonymous! I too have the same problem as you three. Although I have managed so far to maintain my weight, probably it is even less now than 30+ years ago, clothes just don´t look the way I´d like them to look on me. I have asked help from Imogen ( Inside out Style ) for all of us. I know that we, who have passed our fifties, have to pay special attention to high quality, tailoring,lengths and shapes. Jewelry and leather can not not be fake. It´s interesting to see what Imogen comes up with, that is, if she has the time to work on this subject!

  14. I really think those full skirts only work for tall women. Michelle Obama (who, at 44, dresses a lot younger) often wears these. She’s tall enough to get away with it, but I always think she looks like she’s going to a birthday party. (I do like her other clothes, of course).

    I hate to mention Chico’s, but they have a black jersey faux wrap that looks slimming. I saw it on the website. If I get to the store, I may give it a try.