Somewhere in my 50s I started wearing stripes and haven’t looked back. When I opened the latest Artful Home collection, you can imagine what jumped out at me: the multi-colored Alembika Quinn Dress in multi-stripes, of course. I also love the clever design. It’s got a tailored vibe on the top half, but the bottom half wants to be on a dance floor. When the wind blows, the lightweight fabric of the pieced panels billows wide. Picture a kid flying a colorful kite up and over rolling hills in the back pastures of a farm. That’s how it feels to be inside this dress; it’s springtime fun.
Taking a closer look at the design elements
See the top part of the Quinn Dress? The stripes, shirt collar, and buttons down the front remind me of a man’s shirt. But when the four different striped patterns are pieced together the way they are, the dress gets flouncy and bouncy.
Stylewise, it resonates with me. “Girly tailored” is a look I love.
Fan of a brand
I’ve already been a fan of Alembika, a small-batch designer from Israel that’s carried by Artful Home. The design team is known for creating movement with fun piecing in its line. You saw that all winter long in pictures of me wearing the Harper Jacket by Alembika. In fact, I wore it at our Association of Image Consultants International global conference last week in Chicago. Here I am at conference with a new friend, Marilyn.
Can you see the movement and the interesting piecing in the Alembika black and white jacket? It too is more business on top but flirty on the bottom. That’s another reason the striped dress caught my eye—I’ve already had a great experience with that brand.
Stripes in the Quinn Dress take me down memory lane
Long before I wore stripes, I delighted in sewing clothes for my kids, specializing in stripes. As you see this parade of kids clothes, you’ll realize even quicker than I did why this Quinn Dress satisfies me beyond its cool design, colors, and fabric.
This was a vest I constructed for my son Trevor to wear at Easter when he was around four-years-old.
I had that bunny panel in my stash and decided to put it to use in this little piece. I wanted to tie the yellow into the center of the panel so I made that white and yellow checkerboard design. Yes, those are all teeny, tiny handsewn squares.
See these cute little girls? Erin (on the left) wore this turquoise and purple striped dress first and then Caitlin (on the right) wore it. It went through many washings and is practically in pieces now but I keep it in a memory box.
I liked playing with the two striped fabrics and piecing them into a checkerboard design. The hem needed some interest too. Aren’t stripes fun?
And here’s the last one I’ll share with you. This tunic top in striped denim has a little matching skirt that goes with it. See the face on the front? It has a tribal feel. I used both the right side and the wrong side of the fabric. With stripes, the skies the limit when it comes to creation.
Back to the variety of stripes in the Quinn Dress
So let’s take a closer look at the patterns used in this dress. I figured it was easiest for you to see if I made a collage of the four different stripes in the Quinn Dress.
Adults can have fun wearing pieced stripes, too!
Takeaway Shopping Notes
My experience with this dress brings up a few shopping style notes that you could use when making your next purchase.
- Visit a designer’s new line when it comes out. If you’ve had fun wearing a piece from a previous season, it’s worth checking them out again.
- When you have a sensory attraction to a piece, don’t ignore it! This dress put a smile on my face before I even tried it on. That’s a sound shopping technique—move toward what you love. I knew I loved the stripes and the colors and the flow of the dress, but that it brings with it such warm feelings makes it even that more special.
- When your heart’s engaged in a piece, don’t let that emotion block out your reasoning powers. You love it, but does it fit? You love it, but will you wear it? I was googly-eyed after opening the box the dress came in. I was ready to wear it in the next 24-hours. When I looked in my full-length mirror I had teeny, tiny doubts about the fit. My desire for instant gratification nearly took over. “Well, it’s not that small in the shoulders,” I said to myself. Luckily, I had the sense to get a second opinion. I showed it to Russ. He said, “It looks tight in your shoulders.” The size one was a little narrow in the shoulders and pulled some across the front. I boxed it up and sent it back, exchanging it for a size two. Curbing my “but I want it NOW” impulse paid off. The size two was so much better!
Thanks to Artful Home for offering me the Quinn Dress to style. This experience went well beyond styling; it’s brought me such personal joy. It’s nice when a garment can do that. I guess I’m thinking a lot these days about early parenting because Caitlin is having her baby in a few weeks. Such special times!
My nose is out of my book right now and I’m ready to hear from you! You’ve been shopping for clothes for a few decades, do you come across clothing pieces or accessories that bring up memories? Do you sometimes resonate with items without really understanding why? I find it fascinating how fashion can be so much more than what we see at first glance. Will you share an experience with us?