Dressing For Comfort

Happy Sunday ladies. We are in the midst of a rainy weekend here and things are looking pretty dreary outside. We took that opportunity to move some furniture around, hang a few pictures and not much of anything else. It’s funny how fast the days go when it feels like I’m not doing anything. I hope to just lay on the couch and dive back into my book today.

I was out of mannequin pictures on Thursday and feeling a bit cooped up so I took a short drive. Not to worry, I was never near anyone. I got into my car in the garage, drove to a local shopping center and parked in front of several clothing stores. Since there was no one anywhere, I could park directly in front, zoom my phone in to capture the window displays.mannquin wearing tangerine dress

Then I drove home, into my garage, came into the house and washed my hands. It was an eerie feeling to see how desolate things are. Frankly, I was happy to get home.

Yesterday’s mannequin was the first one I snapped. It had mixed reviews yesterday. Some loved them, some not so much. One lady mentioned that the dress on the right would help her narrow shoulders look wider, and it would. But if you like to wear a cardigan to cover your upper arms, this dress isn’t for you.

The dress on the left has cap type sleeves which tend to make upper arms look wider. If you clicked through the link to the dress, you would see it has a thigh-high slit which would make it tough to wear.

Neither dress works for me because the colors are too warm and my shoulders are too broad for these styles.

On the subject of dresses, most stores have a large crop these days. Other than maxi dresses, I stopped wearing dresses during the day, many years ago. I decided they were harder to wear than pants but the truth is, they are the ultimate one and done garments. You don’t have to worry about coordinating your top with your bottom. Most bypass the ever disappearing waistline and they really are more comfortable than most jeans.

Many women don’t wear dresses because they struggle with unsightly veins on their legs, sagging knees, or lumps and bumps they would rather hide. I hear you! My kneecaps are nowhere near where they started out:)

Self-tanner (favorite here), can cover that pasty color most of us have and it also helps camouflage some veins. Longer dresses will cover most of your legs. I’m a big fan of maxi dresses for every body shape. So is it the shoes? Dresses look as good with sandals and flats as pants so we shouldn’t let that stop us.

For me, it feels like my movements are more restricted by a dress than pants but to be honest, unless I am trying to stand on my head, a dress will work in virtually every occasion a pair of pants will. They will also be much cooler in hot weather and never bind around my waist.

There are so many to choose from this spring I’ll be looking for more dresses that I love as much as this one. My tastes and style are certainly being changed by this forced time at home. I wouldn’t even put it past me to try a pattern or two;)

Thanks for reading ladies and have a great Sunday.




  1. Nancy Walden says:

    I have always loved dresses and skirts. The type of dresses/skirts I wear has changed over the years. I had one denim skirt when I retired in Oct 2011 and now I have 7! I have quite a few casual a-line dresses that I wear when it’s warm. In the fall and winter, I wear leggings or jeans–no more pantyhose! I have a lot of sleeveless tops/dresses but as I get older (I’m 75) my arms are beginning to look less toned so I’ll be keeping an eye out for tops/dresses that are cool but have a little more coverage. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  2. I have one dress I wore quite a bit last winter. It’s made out or the softest knit. In fact, it’s called the PJ Dress. I could wear it with leggings or tights and dress it up or down depending on the jewelry or scarf I wore.
    Since I’m tall, most dresses are too short for me, but I find I can get away with wearing capri leggings under them and feel covered and not too warm. JJill has some lightweight ones that give plenty of coverage, but are still cool.
    Your post today made me think of a funny post someone said they saw on FB. The text was, “Shop Now for Easter Dresses!” Then showed pictures of nightgowns. 😆

  3. What a great article! It’s really made me think: I very rarely wear dresses & am not sure why. When I was a kid I was a tomboy & hated them because everyone kept harping at me to be a “young lady” which I never had any interest in. But I should have outgrown that by now. When I was in uni no one ever wore dresses, it was all jeans all the time. After I graduated (I’m an engineer), most of my jobs over the next 4 decades were outdoors on construction sites or in remote camps somewhere or power generating plants where I had to go up & down ladders & along open metal walkways, certainly no where one would wear a dress even if you could find one to pass the safety gear regulations & that looked good with construction boots & a hard-hat 🙂 And of course I married a guy who loves motorcycles & we spend a lot of time on a Harley, which doesn’t lend itself to wearing dresses either. My excuse is that I’m “too active” for dresses, but as you point out, that’s nonsense! I remember years ago we were on a hiking trip in the mountains & we met another couple out in the middle of nowhere. The first time I saw them the woman was wearing a lovely cotton sundress even though she was carrying a backpack nearly as big as she was & wore heavy socks & boots. We spent a week crossing paths & I never saw her in jeans or even shorts in all that time, just these simple, pretty dresses. She really rocked the look — it still impresses me 30 years later. I might be too old to change my spots entirely, but I might buy a dress this summer just to shake things up a bit.

    1. That’s a cool story. It just proves you can wear them almost everywhere.

  4. Jennifer, I have to stop by the office a few times a week, and while it is nice to get out, I agree that I feel better when I’m back home. Thanks for showing us some current shop windows. It’s hard for me to think about clothes these days but I do love dresses for comfort and versatility. The only requirement is they must have pockets! If they do I will wear them every day!

  5. ‘Seeing this dress on you and reading your comments made purchase this dress using your link. It won’t arrive for another week but I think it will really “perk” me up. I usually love deciding what to wear but since we are confined at home I have lost my mojo! Love that this dress has sleeves. Thanks for all suggestions.

  6. Rosemarie says:

    Remember when our grandmothers only wore dresses – every day – no matter what they were doing – cooking – gardening etc. A year or 2 before her death in 1978 she bought a pair of pants – was so odd to see her in them.

    Myself I haven’t worn a dress since 1987. Skirts yes – into the 90s – then it’s been pant suits – and various other dress/casual pants.

  7. In the milder weather I prefer tee shirt dresses to shorts, they are more comfortable in the Southern Heat. I do like mid length sleeves to cover my older arms.

  8. Christine says:

    I started wearing dresses again when we spent a few winter months in Palm Springs. I love the semi fitted A line look of tho Indian gauze midi length dresses. Now I wear this style of dress all summer. So easy and cool, and that style seems readily available. I wear “slip shorts” (stretchy panties with short legs) under them to avoid chafing. I also use self tanner!

  9. In the winter, a dress is too cold – even with tights and boots. In the summer there is the dreaded thigh rub. Otherwise, love a good dress!

  10. Jennifer, your favorite Talbots dress that you wore with the denim jeggings, may I ask what size you have on? I’m about the same height and weight as you and I want to order them. Do they wash well and do they stretch out after wearing? That sometimes determines if I size down or not.
    I’m in sunny Florida….it’s pouring here today, too. We need the rain. Be well

    1. They run small so I went up to the 10 petite. If you’re busty, I’d go up two sizes. I haven’t washed it yet but it’s 100% cotton so it won’t stretch out. I wish I could wear the red because it’s so classic.

      1. I’m replying to your answer about the Talbot dress. I actually asked about the white denim jegging sizing in my email. Thank you for the info on the dress. Love it too but, I fear the dress would be to tight across the bust.
        Be well.

      2. Oh sorry. I’m wearing a 6 regular in the jeggings.

  11. I love dresses in the summer, cotton is my favorite, and I look for sleeves to keep the sun off me. Retailers keep their eye on what’s selling, so buy sleeved options , and they will notice. Thanks Jennifer, for the blogs, it helps.

    1. I’m a fan of sleeves too so I hope more brands will catch on. 🙂

  12. I did buy a couple easy slip on A-line 3/4 sleeve dresses to change up day to day summer wear. Wish they were an inch or so longer. I’ve decided to enjoy the comfort/stylishness anyway and not stress over knees that have a few extra wrinkles. I still look appropriate and well dressed at home and out and about (some day). Trying to apply my new mantra…”Be kind to yourself”.

  13. I saw a product on Amazon called Sleevey Wonders that give instant sleeves. Have seen them on someone and they’re great. I haven’t actually made a purchase yet because I’ve shied away from sleeveless garments so long I really don’t have a great need for them. There is, however, that black tank dress in the back of the closet……….hmmmm..

    1. Carol, I have never heard of them! Just looked at them on Amazon and they might do the trick. Thank you for the tip!

  14. ANNE SHANNON says:

    Have you noticed that coats/jackets have tighter sleeves? I swear they are cut skinnier than in decades past. Use less fabric?

  15. I LOVE that long black dress! Where is it from? I want it!

    1. I agree…super cute. Anthropologie. You won’t like the price. That store is expensive.

    2. It’s linked in the widget. It’s from Anthropologie and pretty pricey but they are having a sale.

  16. The thing about dresses is they seem to make me look heavier than I am. Pants have a slimming effect, if they fit well, and they also make me appear taller. (I am 5’1”.). In the winter I have had some luck wearing dresses with matching tights. But in other seasons, my legs appear to break up the line, and at my height, this is not attractive. Does this make sense?

    1. It does makes sense. Tights the same color as the dress would help in the cooler months.

  17. I love wearing dresses. To me they are so much more comfortable than slacks or jeans. Only problem is the Kansas wind. You definitely have to hold on to your dress tail. Lol. Especially like my dresses for around the house.

  18. Margaret Moody says:

    My daughter has persuaded us all to do yoga in the living room every morning (11! 20-something “morning” — feels like lunch time to me) so dresses are out for a while. Maybe I’ll learn the headstand!
    Thank you for your stealthy mannequin photos! I like the mental image I’ve formed of you driving close to the window, zooming in, driving on. I also like the red dress but no thigh-high slits for me.

  19. I am in my mid 60’s and feel like I have seen every style possible in my life time! These dress styles seem to be a throw back to the dresses my Gram wore. I find that it is equally difficult between styles too young and styles that seem too old for me, like these dress styles. I prefer an A-line style with a 6” sleeve or an empire style.

    1. In summer, I only wear dresses and at 63, like you, worry they might be a bit ‘granny’. I think the trick is how you accessorize it, your shoes, hair and makeup. I must be doing something right, because when wearing some (not all at once) of my many dresses, I often receive compliments with some women asking me where I bought it. Although, if the weather is really hot, comfort is my number one priority. I hope Jennifer doesn’t mind me replying to you.

  20. Great topic Jennifer. I was just thinking yesterday as the sun peaked out, that I should get my dresses out to wear at home. Where else am I going to go? I have always loved dresses, and unless I am digging in the garden, I should enjoy them. Right now it is about trying to feel as normal as possible and looking good is part of that. I would rather cover up my legs (many scars) so the maxi and midi are my go to anyway.Add to that the many skirts as well with a looser top and I am good to go for quite a while. And yes to the sleeves. Must go looking. Thanks and hope your sun returns soon.

  21. Becci Pfister says:

    Good Morning!
    I look forward to your posts each morning. I enjoy your humor,insights and tips about style. You have taught me to be objective about my body and dress using the style that flatters. For example, I always thought cap sleeves were a good alternative for sleeveless! Whoopsie! You are a bright spot in my day……thank you

  22. Marcie Lynn says:

    Jennifer, that blue and white striped shirtwaist dress you modeled a week or so ago looked amazing on you. It’s a style my stylish mother-in-law loved to wear, but became hard to find. So glad to see it has come around again. As for the styles you show today above, while they would not work for me for the same reasons you state, I do love the colors of both and the pattern of the one on the left. Thank you for braving the desolate mall to get the photo! My favorite dress length is the midi.

  23. My biggest issue with dresses is sleeves! I need to wear elbow length to 3/4 length and would even in stunner. I don’t want to feel that I have to wear a sweater or wrap in the summer. Where are dresses with sleeves?

    1. April Bruckmann says:

      Anita, I agree! At 61, my upper arms look lumpy and old. I really do work out and nothing helps, so I chalk it up to genetics. So many dresses and tops are sleeveless. It gets discouraging!!

      1. I rely on lightweight cardigans for sleeveless tops

    2. They’re few and far between so we have to snatch them fast when we see one.

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