19 September 2007

The Fall "two piece"

I first became interested in the Fall "two piece" when I saw pictures of the lovely Jennifer Lopez at a press event this past Winter. I, like most, assumed this ChloƩ ensemble was just that - an ensemble - an aesthetic created from the piecing together of a brushed taffeta high-waisted skirt and a slim, cropped, tuck-in-able cashmere sweater.

But as I did my requisite find-that-outfit searching, I came to realize, that's no skirt and sweater combo -- that's a dress.


Months later, I bought the October issue of Lucky Magazine, in part because I adore all things Mandy Moore, in part because I couldn't stop staring at the skirt and ruffled cami she wore on the cover. As I hurriedly flipped to the "Cover Look" page to find out just how significant a portion of my savings acquiring her outfit would require, I saw, as I had above, not the words "skirt" and "blouse" but rather "Mandy's" and "dress." Once again, I'd been fooled.


And now I'm hooked on what I like to call the "two piece" dress. As with printed, floral, metallic and brightly colored varieties, the "two piece" dress is not a necessity. In fact, if you're looking for to add versatile professional pieces to your wardrobe this Fall, I'd steer you in the direction of separates, not a dress that gives the illusion thereof. Why? Well, for starters, dresses can only achieve a singular look. Sure, you can place a jacket or sweater over top and play a bit with your frock's appearance, but for the most part, your red, purple and white graphic printed sheath, Marc Jacobs and super cute though it may be, can only perform one act. A skirt and blouse in rich neutrals, however, can spin off, mix into and spice up your existing components to create any number of unique outfit permutations.


If, on the other hand, you've been good this past season and saved more than you've spent, I wholeheartedly endorse bringing a "two piece" dress into your for-Fall fold. Here below are a few of my favorite, almost all of which, surprise surprise, fall into the "If I had a sugar daddy..." price point.


If a $400 dress isn't and never will be a possibility, sit tight for I have a sneaking feeling Zara and company will stock their stores soon with much more affordable versions.


Until then, enjoy the view...


Runway shift dress by Tracy Reese ($400 at eluxury.com)
Turtlneck satin skirt dress by Rachel Roy ($995 at net-a-porter.com)
Two-tone jacquard dress by Milly ($350 at net-a-porter.com)*
A-line tuxedo dress by Shoshanna ($305 at southmoonunder.com)
Cowl-neck sweater dress by Thread Social ($617 at otteny.com)
Two-tone ruffle neck dress by Franny ($352 at ronherman.com)
Diamond turtleneck dress by Alice & Olivia ($396 at saks.com)
High-waisted knit dress by Adam + Eve ($385 at saks.com)*
Two-toned belted shirt dress by Calvin Klein ($140 at dillards.com)
Coince cap-sleeve dress by Tibi ($400 at shopbop.com)*
Dotted wool dress by Marc by Marc Jacobs ($498 at shopbop.com)
*your Editrix's top picks

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want them all but esp. the Marc Jacobs one. Sigh.

Samantha said...

Mandy's outfit on the cover of Lucky is gorgeous!!!

Teresa said...

I dunno if Mandy's is my true favorite, or if these just look better on a non-model. I must find a grey tweed pencil skirt this fall. The Rachel Roy dress looks rather like someone threw a pleated apron on over a black cocktail dress, non?

dara said...

Not a big admirer of the Rachel Roy dress, either, but I love just about every single one of the others. I hadn't noticed this trend yet, but maybe that's because, like you, I couldn't tell the dress was a dress and not 2 separate items!

Love Mandy's dress. Who makes it?

Johanna said...

Dara-

Mandy's dress is Black Halo and costs $366. It's listed in the magazine as a Saks piece, but it hasn't been up on their site (or in their store in Friendship Heights) as far as my stalker eyes have seen. I'll keep everyone updated, as interest in it seems to be pretty high!

amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johanna said...

Amy-

I bow to your superior online stalking skills! thanks so much for the link.

ladies, start saving NOW - it looks even more gorgeous without that cumbersome sweater, doesn't it?

best,
J

amy said...

I just Googled Black Halo and the first result for "Black Halo at Saks" brings you to a page with the dress to pre-order. For some reason, it doesn't show up when you search for Black Halo directly on the Saks site, though :(

Johanna said...

If you click on "Black Halo" in the "designers" section, it brings up the dress in question, though if you simply type "Black Halo" into the search prompt, it doesn't. Weird. Anyway, it's available for pre-order now, now, NOW!

amy said...

P.S., Johanna, thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! The two-piece dress is my new fall obsession since that Mandy Moore Lucky cover. Now if I could only curb the "spending problem" I have been so blessed with in order to save for one of these beauties...

dc girl said...

As usual, I covet the Milly most. Their clothes are so pretty and dainty and mod - love them!

jessica said...

Not sure I like the idea of a "two piece" dress...what if I decide I like the top and not the bottom (or vice versa) a season after I buy it? Like you suggested, I think I'll stick to separates. That said, I do love the Tibi one. And um, if I can say this without seeming too weird, I think I saw you wearing it today out and about a couple of hours ago. Tall black boots?

Johanna said...

Jessica-

That would be me! Good eye!

best,
J

Anonymous said...

since you were spotted in tall black boots today, i assume it's "fall" enough in DC to make the transition to my favorite parts of fall - boots and lincoln park after dark. i never know whether to wait until october or not, considering it's still nearly 80 degrees now.

love the tibi dress, btw.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You spent $400 on the Tibi dress...if only...I agree it's cute, but I can just see the knockoffs start to pour in since it's such a simple design. I'm definitely a fan of the March Jacobs.

Anonymous said...

Marc Jacobs I mean..oops!

Johanna said...

'Twas a gift...

nyc admirer said...

Johanna's got a sugar daddy! It was only a matter of time before one of your wealthier male admirers caught onto the fact he's got here a virtually endless list of items to win your heart right here at his fingertips!

Not that your heart is for sale, my darling, but let's be honest, in my experience, EVERY woman get's a little happier when she finds a nice new pair of shoes or a pretty dress waiting for her at home.

whoever he is, good for him!

Quarter-life crisis said...

Will you do a post on T-strap shoes? I think that would be fabulous!

Johanna said...

Anonymous 3:04-

My standard for bringing out the tall lovelies was "when the highs hit the low-to-mid 70s" and today (and last Friday) qualified. Wear 'em with pride - the boots and the dark nails :-)

best,
J

Candid Cool said...

Interesting concept
-h

west coast devotee said...

Ahhh, I was trying my best to earn enough money to be your first SD. Dayumn, girl, you move quickly-like.

I bet you look smashing in that dress, btw. Very mod.