This dress is extremely cute in theory. It's by a brand called Ryu, and I bought it at a thrift shop about a year ago with the idea that I would modify it, because I don't know what in bowtied hell is going on with the neck. It's a cute idea, but it doesn't quite work. It even sort of looks good at certain angles, in certain lights. The color is amazing - a very excellent cornflower blue - but add up the weird neck-bow, and the vast wasteland of chestage, and the fact that the halter shows my bra straps and cuts my shoulders to make me look like a linebacker, and you get a hot mess.
My general rule for clothes I buy at full price is that said garment has to be around 90% perfect. It's okay if there are a few little things that I would change about it, but if there's a major fitting issue, proportion issue, or technical flaw, it's into the no pile. Obviously, I relax this rule a lot when I go thrifting. I often buy the stuff that has a really great detail - like the amazing full skirt and bubble cutout hem on this dress - but is otherwise deservedly hanging in a thrift store and not somebody's closet.
It's like the dress didn't know what it wanted to be when it grew up, so the waistband turned into a bodice and got finished off with an awkward bow. The tucks that make up the fullness of the skirt start right above the natural waist, which has an unfortunate "pregnant prairie maiden" effect if unbelted. I can definitely see this kind of dress looking adorable as-is on someone petite, but dammit, I want a bubble-hemmed skirt all to myself.
So my plan is to cut it off around the base of the armholes to make a tea-length, cornflower blue, full skirt. I haven't figured out yet how I'll make a waistband, or even if this is a very good idea at all, but I'm having a little bit of closet-induced insanity that makes me want to play with my clothes instead of wearing them.
I think this is a very cute dress as is, if you can sort out the mess of a knot at the neck.
Do you have any wide belts or crinolines? It seems like it would look great with a wide belt and a ruffled slip or crinoline to fill out the bottom (only a little, just providing a more A line style)a bit and embrace the fullness of the skirt.
If bra straps are a problem, maybe use a convertible bra that can be worked into a halter style? Or find a set of the little clips that pulls the straps together at the back (this pulls the straps closer to your neck on the shoulders).
And last; be confident about your shoulders! c: It's easy to bother yourself with the negatives of a dress when a lot of the dress just doesn't seem to work right. If you find a good way to get it to sit on you, the rest of the look will come naturally.
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