The Convertible Dress: One Price Tag, Multiple Looks

June 22, 2007 • Magazine

The Convertible Dress: One Price Tag, Multiple Looks

The Convertible Dress: One Price Tag, Multiple Looks

Thu, 2007-06-21 18:00

Rachel Yeomans

This past Sunday, a good friend of mine and I were gallivanting back and forth from fitting rooms to clothing racks, parading around in multiple outfits asking one another our opinions and what colors worked best with our skin tones. A typical weekend shopping excursion — the only difference between this spree and many others previous, was that each outfit might have been different, but both my friend and I only brought one piece of clothing into the fitting room. That day, in American Apparel, we each spent $36 dollars on one garment we could wear 15 different ways. We discovered the convertible dress.

Out of all the clothing occupying my closet at a given time, among them there is always a single seasonal staple I wear to the point of exhaustion, be it a denim blazer, a gaucho suit or a pair of peep-toes. In the summer, it’s that one dress that always looks fabulous and seems to make even the accompanied accessories more fashionable. And since the convertible dress can play the role of that special garment in so many different ways, it not only can be the most versatile piece of the season, but also the most economical.

Now, I have heard of the convertible garment before, mainly involving removable extra long straps to transform one dress from a halter to a crisscross to a strapless. There is also the tube dress that can double as a skirt. However this is the first time I’ve come across something that can transform from a tube dress, to a halter dress, to two different skirts, to even a backless shirt! Not to mention its light cotton fabric is perfect for those sizzling summer days.

Of course there is always the more decadent option lurking in the corner of my consciousness. Kara Smith and Nina Firestone of Karanina have their own version of the convertible dress — the silk jersey garb with its radiant colors, intricate ribbon detailing and easy-going style make it an item any girl would drool over for that evening cocktail party. And it might not transform into as many as 15 looks, but just the few it offers makes the average $300 price-point seem somewhat negotiable. However, for the budget savvy, the former item does give you more perks for the price.

Yet if you are still looking for the elegant style mimicking that of the Karanina convertible, Victoria’s Secret has a fair, and much less costly, imitation. Other transforming garments I’ve come across include styles from T Bags and Cool Change.

Now, there is just one dilemma I have yet to conquer in regards to my newly purchased summer staple — with two styles featured in at least 21 colors that I can wear 15 different ways, how many more colors might fit into the fashion budget?

American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Bandeau Dress $36

Karanina Two Tone Convertible Halter Dress $308

Victoria’s Secret Convertible Dress Orig. $65/Sale $55

T Bags Short Convertible Dress $189

Cool Change Ruffled Convertible Dress $140

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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