Plenty by Tracy Reese Dresses
I love a good dress. Especially in the summer, I'm in dresses and skirts like, 90% of the time. I'm not picky about dress styles, but I am picky about how certain dresses look on my body. I think it's perfectly healthy to know your body and know that some styles just don't work for you. It's not body snarking - it's making sure you look your best at all times. This is basically the premise of What Not To Wear, is it not? (BTW, the original What Not To Wear, the British one, is SO body snarky. Those women are TERRIBLE. They're basically like, "You've got FAT HIPS so you can NEVER wear this." While the American counterpart is more, "You're a little wider in the hips, so here are some clothes that will look great on you.") I like to think my style philosophy is very Stacy and Clinton: Know thyself. Know that skirts above the knee are doing you no favors. Know that you should accentuate your small waist and rockin' curves.
I try on dresses like there's no tomorrow, and the one brand that has never let me down is Plenty by Tracy Reese. Tracy (We're on a first name basis, obvs. She stocks my closet! How could we not?) knows how to design for a shapely woman. I'm not BaDOW BaDONK curvy, but I've got enough swerve to make many dress styles a no-go. There are entire stores that I know to stay away from, because they apparently fit their clothes on 12 year old stick figures. I have a waist and hips and a butt and I need a dress that will go in and out in all the right places. Tracy Reese doesn't design dresses that are strictly for the shapely woman - I bet a Plenty by Tracy Reese dress would look good on anyone - but her dresses somehow accentuate everything that makes a woman beautiful, while upping her self-esteem by gracefully concealing anything she's not-so-confident about.
Allow me to show you some of my personal favorite Plenty by Tracy Reese dresses, and rave about how they have changed my wardrobe for the better best.
This dress is one of my all-time favorites. When I first saw it at Anthropologie I knew it needed to be mine. It was a little out of my price range, so I waited to see if it would go on sale, which it did. The print on this dress is to die for - Yet another thing Tracy Reese does amazingly well is prints. The fabric is completely fantastic. It's rayon jersey, so it's light and super soft. Who doesn't love a dress you can wear to a nice dinner out, but also take a cozy nap in?
I wear this dress for more fancy occasions. The drape across the front can be a little high maintenance for me to wear in everyday life. That being said, this dress is still super soft (jersey, jersey, how I adore you) and drapes over your body like it was custom made for you. This dress also came in solid black, gray, and purple, and a gray version of this print. I think the solids would be better for everyday, but I love this pattern, and it's become my go-to for when I want to look slightly above my average. (FYI: All these dresses are no longer available in stores, but they are all over eBay, so head there if anything strikes your fancy. Some of these pictures are even stolen from eBay listings.)
This is not me. This is actually a lovely woman behind the site Effortless Anthropologie, which I have only just discovered, but looks like a lovely site. Again, I've only just found this blog in my search for P by TR dresses, but it seems like she goes to Anthro and just tries on all the shit they've got, then blogs it. I think this is genius. Anthropologie in particular is a haven for clothes that look good on the rack, look good on a model (probably because they binder clipped half of it behind her), but look horrific on a regular person. I love the idea of a normal-bodied woman trying things on and showing what they really look like. Anyway, my review of this dress is the same as hers: Adorable dress, comfy, classic Tracy Reese, but a bit too long. We (Me and the Effortless Anthropologie blogger) like our dresses to hit right at the knee, and this one goes just below the knee and cuts our calves in an unflattering way. I sold mine to my mom (Yes, I made her pay $50 for it. AND I'D DO IT AGAIN), who is 5'10'' and can pull off this longer skirt. BUT I do still love this dress. I mean, that print AND it has pockets? Fabulous.
And here is the wonderful woman behind Effortless Anthropologie in the dress mentioned before! I'm going to have to spend some serious time with that blog, and you should too. (See how Plenty by Tracy Reese dresses are totally fucking awesome for gorgeous curvy women?)
I'd like to mention that every Plenty by Tracy Reese dress I've bought has been from the Anthropologie sale rack for less than $100. They typically retail for $150-$250, but when they're at Anthro they almost always end up on sale. You might have trouble finding your size or waiting for your dream dress to go down in price, but it's worth the effort to get a hot dress for $100 off. Also, Plenty by Tracy Reese isn't just a dress brand. There are shoes, tops, pants, and even home goods. I just only have experience with the dresses - but I'm sure everything else from the brand is equally wonderful. Here are a couple of dresses currently available that I'm drooling over: