Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Squeezing Into A Smaller Size - The Wonders of Smocking

This past weekend I went to the wedding of my good friend Kara. Once again I was faced with the problem of "what the heck do I wear?" I ended up pulling out a Moulenette Soeurs dress from Anthropologie. I purchased it a couple of years back for a Holiday party at my husband's work. Guess what - 20 lbs heavier I can still fit into it:

Now I'll admit, this is the best fit on me, but it's not horrible. Especially considering the dress is a size 14. In "model sizes" you know that means Size 12 (at least). So I feel pretty good about being able to zip this thing up, all things considered. How can I pull off this amazing feet of magic? SMOCKING!!!

This wonderful little technique turns your fabric into a virtual accordion, able to expand and contract as needed. Most of the time I see smocked-front dresses which seem more style than function, but here it's all function I'm sure. Thank goodness for Smocking. I can squeeze myself into all kinds of shapewear (and did before putting this dress on) but you just can't compete with a dress that allows the design to expand with the size of the wearer. I consider this dress one of the best purchases ever because I know I'll be able to wear it through at from size 18 down to size 12 without much problem - so long as I don't wear it out.

You know what's even better about this dress? The straps are removable. It can be strapless!

The moral of this story - if you shop Anthropologie and are a little larger (like me) check out Moulinette Soeurs. I've tried on several dresses belonging to that brand/name/designer and I can get away with a LOT more than I can in any other designer's dress. I believe appropriate use of Smocking to be the reason

By the way - I'm currently in love with THIS dress and yes, Moulinette Soeurs also uses smocking on the back: