Monday, January 24, 2011

Spring trend: open-back sundresses (plus my latest DIY idea)

I love to show off my back. I like the curve of my shoulder blades and the mole on my right shoulder. Perhaps that's why I like open-back sundresses so much, or perhaps it's because I love the excuse (when the weather gets warm enough) to show a little skin in a way that's both flirty and innocent.

If you haven't nothing in the way of breasts to show off, an open back is a great option for looking sexy, but if you're a girl with an ample bosom (as I am) finding at open-back dress that can be worn with a bra can be a difficult task. One option is to wear a skirt over something in the way of an open-back leotard (I have a bunch of them for ballet), which is tight-fitting and has a built in shelf bra. But, if you really want a genuine open-back sundress, there are styles that give enough coverage to hide a bra.

I found that Urban Outfitters usually has an incredible selection of open-back sun dresses. Here are a slew of them that are available now. As you can see, some are more accommodating to bra wearers than others. (Click any of the photos for a link to its listing on

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Now, for my latest DIY idea. Last summer, I tried on this dress at--you guessed it--Urban Outfitters, but found that it didn't fit me in the most flattering way.

Still in love with the dress, and never to be outdone, I've been scheming to alter a thrift-store dress into something approximating it. First, I plan to take one of those calf-length cotton dresses from the 1990s that I always see at thrift stores and shortening it. I will choose one of the ones with a button-down bodice, but that doesn't button all the way to the hem. I will turn it around backward and cut the bodice of the dress from the skirt across the front of the dress (which is now the back of the dress), hem it and put in some elastic with the hem of the top of the skirt. Since the back of a neckline is usually higher than the front of one, I will probably need to open up the neckline a bit too at the back of the dress (which is now the front).

Here is roughly my plan. The front of the original dress is on the left and the back of the new dress is on the right.

I'll post pictures after the process! Perhaps I'll even get myself in gear enough to do a DIY video of it. Stay tuned!

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