Young at Heart
With warmer weather (let’s hope) around the corner, I can’t wait to show off my legs in a sexy T-shirt dress. At Lucia, there was only one in stock. It was by Young at Heart, $88, and the black-and-white geometric print was so dizzying, my head almost started pounding. The length was all wrong too, hitting my legs right at the knee. Plus, the cheap polyester material just hung on my body like a sack. 272 Fifth Ave., nr Garfield St., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-788-7500.
At Flirt a few blocks down, this cream feather Phoebe dress by Eva Franco was about as refined as a T-shirt dress can get. The swooping back tied beautifully with black ribbons, and the cascading sleeves looked like little wings. The silk jersey fabric was really thin and sheer, so I’d have to purchase a backless bra. But for a nice dinner at Bond St., this coquettish ensemble, $275, would make me feel elegant and even a little, well, flirty. 93 Fifth Ave., nr. Park Pl., Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-783-0364.
Uptown at Henri Bendel, the Splendid rack had tons of options. The V-shaped neckline on this royal-blue dress was a nice touch of casual sexiness, not dipping too deep while still showing a little skin. The drawstring tie at the waist created a snugger silhouette, and the bright, saturated color really made my eyes pop. But $119 seemed a little steep for a pretty basic garment—I wanted something more than a beach-ready smock. 712 Fifth Ave., nr. 56th St.; 212-247-1100.
At Takashimaya, I tried on a short, white Nova dress with stunning silver lace details on the sides, which looked like cobwebs spilling from my armpits. The single seam down the front, square neckline, and $530 price tag were equally unappealing. Not even the saleswoman’s cheesy comments about how thin the dress made me look could sway me from my negative opinion. 639 Fifth Ave., nr. 54th St.; 212-350-0100.
My last stop for the day was C. Ronson, where I discovered this light-plum, Empire-waist dress. I decided to indulge my girlie side and give the Dessous by Sophie Simmons creation a shot. Though I liked the incredibly light breezy cotton fabric, the dress was cut way too low in the front. And the ruffled trim and sleeves made it look comically effeminate. I wouldn’t budge from the fitting room when the salesgirl tried to lure me out. 239 Mulberry St., nr Prince St.; 212-625-9074.
The next morning, I was ready to burn some cash at Saks. My first choice—a Marc Jacobs’s nude-colored style—was sold out. So I settled for a white Marni version. Because of its longer length, the dress looked rather demure. I loved the navy and black Savannah print on the white poplin, which made me feel like I was wearing a landscape painting. But the stiff cotton felt like a paper gown from the doctor’s office. 611 Fifth Ave., at 50th St.; 212-753-4000.
Desperate for a bargain, I dropped by the Express. With Destiny’s Child blaring overheard, I bopped into the changing room with a black frock, $39.50. The two front pockets were my favorite part—though the shiny polyester trim and precious scoop neckline were pretty irresistible. But I ended up needing a larger size because it’s so short. Even then, I couldn’t bear how close to my butt the dress stopped. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I was in no rush to join the ranks of celebrity flashers. 584 Broadway, nr. Houston St.; 212-625-0313.
I ended my spree at H&M, where I was hit not only with crazy crowds but also with a wave of heat. Pressing on, I quickly found my pick: an adorable, elongated white shirt. It was so playful and fun. The neon splatters reminded me of my childhood obsession with bright puff paint. But now the look was sassed up and shorter. Eager to leave this shopping sauna, I shelled out the $19.90 and wore my new purchase out to Flatbush Farms that night. 515 Broadway, nr. Spring St.; 212-965-8975.