It’s summertime and super hard to pay attention at work when the days are warm and perfect. Will this smart looking shirt dress help me focus? Does clothing impact performance? I read studies that show wearing formal clothes increases abstract thinking, improves test scores, and improves negotiation outcomes. I also read a super interesting study that found people made half as many mistakes on a complicated task when wearing a white lab coat. Well, I don’t have a lab coat, maybe next project…?
Even if this dress doesn’t improve my work product, it’s a smart option for summer work and other outings. The pattern is the tried and true Simplicity 8014 with a modified skirt. The fabric is a stretch cotton woven from Mood from my deep stash.
Neckline Strategy: I came up with a simple solution for a “just-right” neckline plunge on this dress. I knew that I would never wear this dress buttoned up to the top- the fabric is a stretch twill and too heavy for that. So, I tried the dress on and marked an ideal closure point for a not too low- not too high neckline and started my buttons from that point down. Easy and perfect positioning- also no need to think about how many buttons to leave undone- and you save on unnecessary button and buttonholes. Genius!!!
This is a straightforward shirt dress. I lined the back yoke with a Liberty of London scrap- which makes it cute and cool. The fabric was great to work with- very little fraying- see sharp looking collar grading below.
The only other decision point was the belt option. I tried this dress with a few belts on hand. But did the leopard print cancel any possible performance advantage?
I decided I wanted a clean, monochromatic look, so I made a self-fabric D-Ring self belt. Simply cut a rectangle 2 1/2 inches by desired belt length. Interface to your stiffness preference and sew a tube. Turn and topstitch attaching the D-rings on one end.