WIW: Little Red Dress - keep or throw?

Hello Fabulous!

After many years of lurking here on YLF I've finally screwed up the courage to share my fashion choices on the Internet. It feels like a big step and I applaud the rest of you for already having taken it! I'm hoping you guys can help me sharpen up my style and keep me from making too many missteps. 

So for my first post, I'm going to be brave and ask you to help me with a tough call. 

This is my Little Red Dress. I made it a good few years ago when I was learning about couture sewing and I put a lot of work into the fit and finish, so I'm rather fond of it. It's had quite a lot of wear and it always feels like an easy choice when I want to look a bit smart but not too formal. 

Lately though, I'm not feeling the love. I've lost a few kilos since I made it, so it doesn't fit quite as well as it used to, and I'm starting to wonder if it looks a bit dated. I still enjoy the colour and the fabric, and I think it looks quite cute under this fuzzy vest, which was a present from my wonderful sister. 

What do you think? Does it justify space in my overstuffed closet? Should I wear it with or without the belt? And how old is too old for a short skirt?


This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • thimblelina replied 6 years ago

    I think it is still very modern and pretty, but that doesn't mean YOU haven't extinguished your personal appearances in that particular item. My only hesitation is that you say it was your first project, so in my mind that might merit folding it away in tissue for sentimentality's sake.

  • thimblelina replied 6 years ago

    And, welcome!!

  • Suz replied 6 years ago


    I like it under the vest, too. 

    But if you are not loving it so much any more then I agree with thimbelina -- how about packing it away carefully? It sounds as if you put in lots of time and effort on it and you may rekindle your love for it if you give it a bit of a rest. 

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Hi ladies, thanks for the welcome!

    You're right, packing it is probably the thing to do. Although looking again I think I might try it in the spring with patterned leggings and trainers. Maybe I'll just give it a rest for a season and see how I feel when I get it out again.

    Thimblelina, it wasn't actually my first project. That would be Albert, an alien cuddly toy I made with my mum when I was about 6. He's still with me, he sits above my sewing machine reminding me where I've come from and how far I still have to go. 

    I'm terrible about my projects. They're always hard to part with. I usually end up gifting them, which, let's be honest, is passing the buck :P

  • Firecracker replied 6 years ago

    The dress is really classic and a beautiful color on you. I'd keep it, as others say, and tuck it away if you don't feel like wearing it now. Later you may want to return to it.
    I sew a lot of clothes, and at first I found it hard to part with them. Then I started accumulating so many, it became easier. I usually donate them when I'm done with them. My projects are not couture, though; I do as much as possible by machine. 
    Welcome, and congratulations on your first post of photos!

  • Jeanie replied 6 years ago

    Welcome and congrats on your 1st post!  The dress is cute and still looks very modern.  I agree with the others....just pack it away until you are feeling it again.  I think our creations feel like a part of us when we've spent so much time on them.  Sometimes to give something away feels like giving away a part of yourself.  It can be rewarding but some creations are meant to stay with us for a while...like your red dress :)

  • Astrid replied 6 years ago

    Welcome and congrats on posting your first pics! I think you've gotten good advice already, I'd also say pack it away for now.

  • Deb replied 6 years ago

    Bravo! First post....a big step that I've not taken. This dress looks good, particularly with the vest and the interesting belt, and the colour is just right for you.The looser fit is modern and you have great legs that suit the shorter length. You have styled it well and I'd keep wearing it with the vest to keep it current, even if it is less often than you used to.

  • rute replied 6 years ago

    Welcome! You look amazing!
    The dress looks perfect to me, it does not seem too big, but if you don't love it, toss it!

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Thanks again for all the comments. You've all persuaded me that this is a keeper. I've probably worn it a bit too much for now, so I'm going to give it a good clean and take it out of circulation for a while. Something tells me it's going to feel fresh and new again a couple of seasons from now.

    Cheers all!

  • shevia replied 6 years ago

    I think storing it for a while is a great solution. It is quite short, but you seem to pull it off very nicely. On the other hand the fitted waist makes it seem somewhat less current. But no doubt its time will come again. It has an elegant simplicity that makes me think it's worth keeping.

  • Aziraphale replied 6 years ago


    I think the dress is cute, but if you're not feeling the love (yet still feel attached to the dress for sentimental reasons), hide in in a box for a year. Pull it out later and see what you think. Sometimes a span of time gives us some perspective.

    Another point is that it's pretty darned short. You might not feel the same way about the dress when you're older. So maybe you should wear the heck out of it now, while you're young, and wear it out? I know I feel awkward in short skirts now, even though I still have the figure for them. ;-)

  • Beth Ann replied 6 years ago

    Sounds like you're sorted as to what to do with this lovely piece (and I think your plan is a good one).  I just wanted to say welcome to the forum!  I've learned a lot from posting here -- the give and take is constructive and friendly.

    I sew a bit (although I have a devil of a time finding the time and space for it), so I love to see what people craft for themselves, as well as their fab finds in stores.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Ah yes. The length issue is beginning to bother me. I've always loved short skirts and I have a couple of others in the closet. Some older women can really rock them in my opinion. I'm not ready to give them up just yet so I can only hope I'm going to be one of them. I just need to figure out how!

  • Janet replied 6 years ago

    Hello and welcome!

    It's a great piece, and you have totally fab legs, but I feel like the overall proportion looks a little short on you. Admittedly, I'm pretty sensitive to hemlines (I sadly lack the great gams to make them work), but I'll be the first to cheer on anyone who wants to rock a mini. I just think the silhouette of this dress without a topper is just short enough to look a little off-balance. The vest version, however, looks pretty darn good.

    But the bottom line is, how do you feel wearing it? If it doesn't make you happy and feel fab, then I think it's time to tuck it away in storage, if it holds sentimental value for you.

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