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The Convertible Dress | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Convertible Dress

When I first encountered the Convertible Dress by plus-size designer Monif C., I thought to myself that the dress is too gimmicky for my taste.

But I found that I could not get it out of my mind. I kept thinking about it, and not with disdain but with curiosity and a certain desire to give it a shot and see if it looks good on me. I think I had been prejudiced against it because it would not hide the generous lumpy-squishies on my upper arms, and because it seems that the hem is prone to be higher at the front than at the sides, which is not to Francesca’s style.

Indeed, there is something unforgettable about this dress, which can be worn in over 20 different styles. Watch the “instructional video” link with any of the dresses, and you will see. I am not sure whether it is the dress itself, or the concept, or the beauty of the plus-size model in the video, or whether it is perhaps Monif C. herself, who strikes Francesca as the type of creative, intelligent, and relatable woman with whom Francesca would like to meet for coffee.

Whatever it is, Francesca is thinking that a dress that one cannot get out of one’s mind is a dress worth a try.

8 Responses to “The Convertible Dress”

  1. B.S.A.G. August 22, 2007 at 1:53 pm #

    I bought a similar “convertible” dress (not this exact one) several years ago and was disappointed to find that only one of its styles could be worn with a non-strapless bra. I think I wore it exactly once, and I was tugging at it all day to keep everything in place.

    That said, all the pictures on Monif’s site are very cute, and I appreciate seeing how terrific her dress looks on actual plus-size women! I’d love to get a look at it up close to see how it differs from the one I had.

  2. Heather Outside Boston August 22, 2007 at 2:48 pm #

    Please trust your first instinct on this one, and move along. Even these darling pictures and terrific, curvy girls illustrate the cheapness of the fabric and the awkward styling you mentioned as “high in the front” and BSAG decried as “tugging at it all day”. Why should we buy unfinished garments? We need to be as elegant as we can, and fussing with your bits ruins it. (I also feel that skinny girls should eschew this thing, so it’s not about the squishinesses.) Okay, getting off my soap-box now, thanks.

  3. Sarah August 22, 2007 at 11:20 pm #

    I have to agree with Heather. Any sort of clothing that can be converted is generally something to be avoided. Plus the big girl has to be at least doubly careful about clothes that have the possibility to ride up or have to be adjusted constantly. Plus the dress is a novelty. Big girls are familiar with the “tells” that get put on the plus size clothes that differentiate them ever so slightly (or not so slightly) from the “normal” sized clothes. The convertible ability of the dress seems to me to be a very obvious tell. That and the dresses just aren’t nice enough, even in the doctored up pictures, for me to imagine them to be worth the trouble.

  4. Kelly August 23, 2007 at 12:24 pm #

    Ugh ugh ugh. Made of luxurious jersey, you feel like you are wearing your pajamas!

    You know what that means? They’re charging you $205 for fabric that retails for no more than $7.99 a yard.
    The same stuff t-shirts and PJs are made out of.

    And it’s ONE SIZE FITS ALL.

  5. Kate August 23, 2007 at 4:30 pm #

    I love the pictures too, but I don’t like the way some of the fabric folds lie. It looks like they’re bandaging something up rather than covering it.

  6. Stella August 29, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    If you are curious, you can make it yourself in about an hour. That way you can use nicer fabric and make the hem hang however you want.

    Here’s a post on the topic: http://www.metafilter.com/53791/Sew-a-HotLooking-Dress-in-a-Hour

  7. Ashlee from NYC December 10, 2007 at 1:50 am #

    Um…I don’t know what you guys are talking about! I actually have the convertible dress–many of them actually–and it is amazing on me. There is no riding up as was mentioned. It is NOT low quality material at all. Yes, it feels like t-shirts and pajamas, but most luxury fabrics feels soft-that is why they are considered luxury, guys. Also too, not all matte jersey is created equal. Do you think they are selling the same matte jersey at Old Navy as they are at Dana Buchman, or Marina Rinaldi? No way, ladies; the quality is way different. So you really can’t claim that its the 7.99/yard kinda matte jersey, now can you? I took a picture in it the other day and it literacy shimmers. Plus for me, it actually works as a shaper. Meaning, that if wrapped correctly, it sucks in all the fat rolls and whatnot. Definitely a good look.

    With regard to the way the fabrics sits–ladies, you have to work with the dress!
    Meaning, when I got the dress, I am not going to lie, I was a little intimidated. But when I started experimenting with it, I began to understand how to fold it, or ruch it, etc. and I can’t get enough of it…like I wear it everywhere almost all the time. If I were you guys, I would reserve judgment and try one out. I doubt you’ll regret it…