FASHION: SHOPPING FOR A DRESS

Let’s talk about dresses.
Everyday, fun, useful, practical and pretty dresses.

I’ve always loved dresses. My Mother would take my sister and I to Best & Co. in Ardmore, Pa. a few times a year. In those days shopping was NOT a daily or even weekly way to pass the time. No, shopping was special. So off we went to Bests and, for me, it was heaven. Little girl dresses with lots of “petticoats” attached were my dress of choice. Hmmm. Not so for my Mother! So we would compromise. But I do remember my dress for my school picture in third grade: a sort of gauzy white with gold threads in horizontal stripes with, yes, petticoats attached! Between that and my chipped nail polish it must have been quite a sight; no, no picture available to show you!

Anyway, moving on in years. Lilly Pulitzer dresses came on the scene and I adored them. If only I still had them, right? And my early office years in New York, San Francisco and again New York saw me in dresses almost every day.

But then something happened. Dresses disappeared. Olive drab and khaki became the colors. Pants suits came in. While I liked them (the pantsuits),
I yearned for dresses. Well, then long, gauzy skirts came in and that was ok too.

But dresses are B A C K!

In a big way.

So let’s take a look at some I’ve chosen. Fair warning to all readers: these are NOT skimpy, low cut, clingy dresses. They are, for the most part, for women over fifty. Or at least that is my niche. If you’re younger than that and like these, WONDERFUL. I would be so happy to not see so much cleavage going around, no matter what your age.

Let’s start with this wonderfully colorful dress from Anthropologie. You know I love that store. The details say it falls 36″ from the shoulder. Well, this model must be very tall, because for me, at 5’4″, it would go to just below my knee.

 

Let’s go to The Loft for our next stop. They have a good selection, although not too exciting, they are (as always) reasonably priced.

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Leafy Flare Dress. At $39.95 this is a good buy!

Another Loft dress:

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Long sleeves are tricky for the summer. If you will be in air conditioning it’s possible to go this route. But, for me, there is nothing worse than being too warm.   Henley Dress

 

Loving this from Banana Republic.
While it is a little dressier than others I’m showing, it simple and pretty.

 

While this is much more than I have ever spent or would ever spend on a dress, it is perfect. In so many ways. Sleeveless, and yet some shoulder coverage. High neckline. Flowing. Slimming. Lovely.

Moving on to my favorite source for so many home and fashion items,
Garnet Hill.

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Perfect in so many ways. Linen. Coverage. Cool. Reasonable price. And I like the white. Linen Shirtdress.

 

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Linen Cap Sleeve dress. Liking the melon color!

If you go to Garnet Hill/Dresses you will see the excellent reviews received for ALL these dresses. Look carefully at the age group: many are 55+. Yes!

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For a hot humid summer day? How cool looking is this? Or pair it with a gauzy white shirt for a little coverage. Double Layer Dress

And, of course, Eileen Fisher hits the spot:

That’s it for the DRESSES round up today. What do you think? Would you buy any of these? Do you like/love dresses or not?

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FRIDAY FLOWERS

What a difference a week can make.

This was happening, just one week ago:
HAIL!

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This is what it did to the leaves of my Colocasia, Phlox and Cannas. At first I thought something had been eating them, but then realized these large leaves had been torn by the hail. Luckily it is early in the season and all new leaves will be fine. Amazing, no?

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Today, one week later, we have this romantic, serene and very feminine view in the garden:

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This rose was a gift to me from a dear friend who has since moved away. I’ve looked everywhere for the name and can’t find it but I’m pretty sure it is
“New Dawn.”

In any case, it loves the hot, South/West position against the white fence. It has now been here for four years and, with annual pruning, it has tripled in size. While I am not really a rose person, I adore this one!

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Happy Weekend to all!

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LET’S GET PERSONAL: CHOOSING A MATTRESS

The subject today is choosing a mattress!
It’s a mine field, right? How in the world do you choose the best mattress for YOU?

There are hundreds of brands at many different mattress and home furnishings stores. And then there is the on-line choice.

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So, let me tell you my own story and maybe it will help you.

We had a foam mattress. It was the first of that kind we had bought and we bought it when they were fairly new and novel : read expensive and hard to find.

We paid a fortune for our queen size. Then we also bought a box spring to go with it which, when they arrived at our house, didn’t fit up the stairs so back it went to be redelivered as a “split box.” So we have two separate box units that equal a queen size. Are you with me?

We loved it! There was a slight issue with the warm feeling that many people feel: the foam somehow increases the body heat and sort of traps it underneath you. Well, luckily that problem disappeared for us with a week. We were totally sold on the foam concept versus a coil or spring mattress.

About five years later we began to notice that the foam simply was not springing back into place: there were permanent indentations from our bodies! Hmmm. ( Really…we are not big people!) We called the company but by then they had been bought by another, plus the warranty didn’t include anything like this. So we let it go.

Fast forward another ten years. Yep. By the time the mattress was fifteen years old we had become totally complacent and used to the by-now very very deep body indentations. And it felt kind of cozy to slip into our individual cocoons each night! Neither of us had/has sleeping problems, and we are both basically back sleepers and were not experiencing any kind of back problems at all…thus the complacency.

But it was time to deal with this problem.

Let me tell you about

Saatva! 
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What do I like about Saatva?

  • They have eliminated the middle man: you buy direct from the manufacturer.
  • They have a generous return policy:  There is a 75-day no hassle return policy. If you don’t like the mattress they will come and pick it up:  “No penalty fees, pick-up fees or restocking fees.”
  • Their website is easy to understand and follow.
  • They use all eco-friendly materials. I had just read this article from CertiPUR explaining foam products. This company is a good example of going green in their use of raw materials.
  • The three comfort levels they offer: Plush Soft, Luxury Firm and Firm seemed very reasonable to me. Yes, we had to choose sight (and feel) unseen. But I felt their explanations were sufficient and we knew we did not like soft and yet we didn’t want VERY firm or hard.  So we chose the level Firm.
  • Maybe what really sold me is that they offer all mattresses in two depths: 14 1/2″ and 11 1/2″. This had been an ongoing problem with so many other brands: we definitely did NOT want a deep 14″ mattress. For one thing, none of our present sheets would fit. And I just don’t want that MUCH mattress. I don’t need it. It’s too bulky and heavy. But it was becoming very difficult to find a slimmer mattress. Thank you, Saatva, for offering this!
  • And then we have the reviews. I scoured so many sites and forums and read numerous blogs and found that Saatva has such a good reputation and such great reviews.

So there you have it. This is NOT a real sampling of mattresses, but a very personal recommendation of this one brand. Finally, we have a nice flat mattress with no hill in the middle, nice firm edges, and no deep cocoons on either side. It’s wonderful!

And did I mention price? More than competitive: it’s great!

Of course, we would all love to hear your comments and any recommendations you have. Have you had a good, or bad, mattress experience?  Do tell….

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