Spring Shopping Guide: Trapeze Dresses
I was recently at a bridal shower for my dear friend MM, and I had worn one of my current favorite dresses, a green striped babydoll number. As I was talking to a friend, an older lady guest came up to me and asked when I was due. As in a baby. Mortified, I explained to her that I wasn't pregnant. (Was the mimosa in my hand not obvious enough?) So, this is the risk you run when you wear one of spring's full-shape dresses. On the other hand, you can eat whatever you want and no one will be the wiser.

Donna Karan is a designer I tend not to pay much attention to, which is unfortunate, because she is a master of construction and she consistently makes flattering clothes that women want to wear. Like this pleated tent dress. (Yes, the scarf is attached.) It's an investment, but you'll probably have it for years.

All of a sudden, Philip Lim's dresses are everywhere. I think you can expect to see this floral-print number on some of the most chic women this summer. It's not as full as the typical tent dress (which is a good thing if you're afraid of all that fabric, or if you're busty), but the shape is still relaxed enough that you can order fries, not salad, with your veggie burger.

I recently saw an ad in a magazine for Thread dresses, and I was a bit shocked to learn they started out making bridesmaid dresses! But the line is now venturing into straight-up ready-to-wear, and judging by this linen mini-dress, I think we can expect great things.

Twinkle is known for its innovative knits, and this woven dress is no exception--the awesome babydoll is actually a wrap dress--it overlaps at the front yoke and armhole. Metallic pinstripes also add a subtle shimmer throughout.

Not quite a trapeze or babydoll shape, this Lacey Parker dress actually has more of an A-line shape, and that plus its minimalist design is sure to be more flattering on a wider range of body types.

As I have lamented before, I love Rebecca Taylor's clothes, but they just don't fit me right for some reason. This smocked lace dress is so adorable, however, I might just have to try it.

Alloy has a lot of cute, cheapie dresses and this pocket trapeze dress is no exception. I'd say this is more of a weekend option, but it would also be cute layered with a tee for work (if you work in a more lax environment, that is). It would also make a nice beach cover-up.

With its pintucking and pleating at the neckline--and the fact that it's not jersey--this babydoll dress looks a lot more expensive than it is. The neutral color means you can wear it into fall too, if you're not sick of the trend by then.

Since the model is wearing this adorable Necessary Objects babydoll dress with colored tights, I suspect it's left over from last fall. If that's the case, this one might be a bit too heavy for summer--that is, unless your heavily air-conditioned office turns into a meat locker in the summer like mine does. On second thought, keep the tights.

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