On a Coffee Date

In the most subjective of ways I find myself at the start of this article openly admitting that the perfect coffee date is at home, on a cozy couch, in perfectly loose clothes. Coffee dates do not necessarily mean busy city expeditions. Neither they mean diving into a collective urban landscape together with other dozens of persons crammed in a stylish interior, irrespective of how large it may be.

That being said, let's focus a little bit on how to recreate the first context into the second one. That should be the premise from which we should start plotting out a nice outfit for a relaxing  day. Even though right now outside is everything from messy to frozen all in dark and grey hues, let's push the game a little bit ahead of the temperature conditions. Still, to keep the subject slightly restricted to winter restrictions, this post is entirely illustrated with photos from the latest Fall 2010 runway shows.

City girl first, cocktail second & coffee to go 

The challenge: transforming a cocktail dress into a city one. Being urban, city-like is a characteristic of clothes that can be introduced by manipulating the layering aspect and the textures. Sure, accessories play an important part too, but there is absolutely nothing a pair of casual shoes can do to downgrade a fancy cocktail dress without making it look borderline miserable.

So, can we transform the cocktail dress for our little adventure? I say so.

cocktail dress or cocktail gown is a woman's dress worn at cocktail parties, and semi-formal occasions.
The length of cocktail dresses varies depending on fashion and local custom. The length ranges from just above the knee to touching the ankle. When it is about 5 cm (2 inches) above the ankle it is called tea length and when it is almost touching the ankle it is called ballerina length, although ballerina length dresses usually fall into the evening gown category.
At semi-formal occasions, less elaborate, shorter-length cocktail dresses may be worn. Prior to the mid 20th century this type of dress was known as 'late afternoon'. When gentlemen are in business suits, ladies also wear dress suits or "good" afternoon skirt and dresses.
This is, in a few words, what wikipedia has to say. Not the most perfect definition, but the most accessible anyway.

With this in mind, I present you the selections: the good girls, and a round of bad girls. Mix and serve!

BCBG Max Azria, Chado Ralph Rucci, Cushnie et Ochs

Ports 1961, Lutz & Patmos, Vena Cava

Casual or Causal?

Dressing down the gown is one subject to approach which can easily go down the mishaps route. But since this post exclusively includes photos from the latest runway looks (Fall 2010), it would be appropriate to push the rambling even further. Maybe appearing in a cocktail dress at a coffee date would be too much, but how can one resist to these below? This comes very close to my personal opinion that long dresses can be downgraded and relaxed with great success. I have lots of tees in my wardrobe, how about at least one similar, long skirt to balance things right, hm?

Toni Maticevski
(all photos: style.com)
For the real deal on Fall 2010 cocktail dress downgrading (in the most unexpected and subtle ways) see all of Tony Maticevski's collection here.

P.S. Now would be the right time to give a name to the mix between a cocktail dress and a dress to wear on a coffee date one: the... coffee dress! An entire new breed which would have lots of success if it were commercially presented and sold under this name. Just saying.

Sweet treats,

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