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There’s Nothing Quite Like Linen Dresses In Summertime, Or, Saturday Morning at 7:30am

Remember this dress? Well, I pretty much lived in it last summer. The linen floats, you can curl up on a sofa without a thigh reveal, and the color made me feel like I am the kind of person who travels on a whim to Morocco. Which I am not.

Recently, Grae Cove got in touch to ask if I’d like two more dresses to review, as well a discount code for my readers. Reader, as we say, I did. Witness Georgina (same dress as I have in Caramel) in Ocean Blue, my favorite color in the entire universe. I’m grinning because I like it so much.

A pair of pearl drops, white Birkenstocks and pale pink-gray toenails polish up a tomboy–when we’re over 65 and the temperatures creep uncomfortably over 80. Tomboys embrace wrinkles in our linen dresses. They’re just a sign we might have a hammock out under our tallest tree. We also embrace the loose, because we know our bodies are still under there. We found them when we climbed on top of the old truck in the meadow. Besides, linen lets through enough light the idea of a body is revealed, even if not the actuality.

Truly summer heat is best experienced in languor. Even if you’re just leaning against a closet that you bought from a school supply catalogue to hold your shoes.

Woman leaning on cupboard in blue dress

The good news for you is that the second dress they sent, the Jayda, is made for someone with a different silhouette than mine. Beautiful color, slightly heavier linen than the Georgina, and probably sweeter than my black heart permits.

Beautiful for someone with hips, a bust, and narrower shoulders.

I have neither washed nor ironed it, and only wore it for these photos. I’m going to give it away to the first person who emails me at skyepeale@y+h&&.c+m *Note: Jayda has now been spoken for* (you can figure that out, right? And the internet spammers cannot?) Here I’m wearing my Gucci slides, but, I think some refined fisherman sandals might be perfect, or maybe these? (the almost exactly matching color is on sale if you want to do a little monochrome?)

Oh, one more thing. In between Mustard and Ocean Georginas, I’d bought myself this Blair Maxi in orange. Perhaps the hat is a clue as to why. Or, the orange suede Birkenstocks, which might be out of character?

If I tell you I’ll be adding a camp shirt and beer jacket, both featuring tigers, to that Sydney Evans bracelet? (best place to find her work on sale). Yes. My 45th Reunion is coming up and I’ll be heading back to Princeton. If it rains I’ll wear black Aquatalia boots.

Finally, Grae Cove has made a code for a 20% discount available to us: Amid20. Worth a look.

I am extremely fond of these dresses. High WASPs don’t usually say they “love” things, but we do recognize good stuff. Given the range of colors and silhouettes, and the price–which makes alterations no burden–I’m pleased as punch with Grae Cove.

Edited to add: people have asked me about reviews saying deliveries are bad and maybe there are quality issues. In my experience, the delivery times now are just fine. Quality is good, with one point. Ocean Blue when I received it didn’t match the color on the site. I loved what I got, and they’ve updated the site to make the color truer there. I assumed that was a one-0ff, but if you have concerns, I recommend you check with customer service to make sure the color is going to be what you’re looking for.  Here’s their post acknowledging the early issues, and thanking customers for their support: Six Month Check-In.

Have a wonderful weekend. Go forth and summer.


Post is not sponsored. Two dresses were sent to me, free of cost (I will not say “gifted” and you cannot make me). Some links (not Grae Cove) may generate commissions.


25 Responses

  1. Only during Princeton Reunions can even as dashing a person as you get away with quite so much orange – although the orange Birkies are a truly inspired touch! Let your inner Tiger roar … and All Hail the Orange and Black!

    1. Thank you:). If we were to take a hyper-analytical approach, we might say that this confirms the degree to which style is constructed in a social context, would we not?????

  2. I have missed your blogs. For some reason I don’t get notifications when you publish anymore.

    1. Denise, I’m so sorry! My email dashboard shows you as unsubscribed from this email, so if you’d like to get notifications, please resubscribe? It’s so nice to see you:)

  3. It’s 54°F and windy in San Francisco at the moment, so I’ll have to take your word about summer dresses! (I’m wearing jeans, boots, a cashmere sweater, and a blazer, and I’m carrying a down vest and a warm hat for an outdoor afternoon event. #MayGray) The dresses look lovely on you!

    1. Thank you! And I am definitely jumping on summer early. I just hate getting caught by high temps and nothing to wear.

  4. Hi Lisa, well of course the dress looks great. But I was also really interested to see this for another reason. A lovely skirt from Grae Cove keeps coming up in my Facebook feed. I had never heard of the company, so I Googled to discover their reputation and it was pretty poor – stories of items not arriving, of them being nothing like the images – so I decided to give it a swerve. Then here you are, having had a pretty good experience. Do you think that was just because they were giving (not gifting!!) you dresses, or have you heard anything about how they treat paying customers?

    1. Hi Ruth:). The first dress I bought, last year, in the Caramel, I bought it on the website. It did take forever to arrive. I complained in a DM, and they explained that demand had been overwhelming and they apologized. It did arrive eventually and I loved it. Then I bought the orange one on the website too, for my reunion. It arrived 10 days after I ordered. They do ship from China.

      With these two latest, they arrived in fine time too, but the company sent them to me. I did notice that the Jayda in Ocean that I got was a darker greener blue than they showed on the site. When I let them know, they changed the site before I posted this.

      In sum, my guess is that they had early kinks in the system which they are gradually working out. But I could be wrong! If you like one of the dresses, I think you can trust it will arrive. If you would like certainty on the color (and who would not), I had been thinking my experience was a one-off but maybe not, message them and ask if the picture on the site is correct. I only had that experience with the Ocean Blue.

      The prices feel so reasonable to me that I don’t mind the shipping time. YMMV.

  5. I do think the orange is so good on you that you could easily wear the dress anywhere without someone twigging to your motive for its purchase! For myself, though I love the IDEA of floaty, crinkly linen dresses, they simply do not flatter me. There’s too little contrast between the “wrinkle” of the fabric and the curl of my hair, and if the dress fits across my oddly broad shoulders it comes with far, far too much fabric for someone under 5’2″. So I salute all of you who wear them well with just a tinge of envy!

    1. Why thank you! I’ve never worn orange. This will be the orange maiden outing.

      I can exactly see why these dresses don’t work for you. It’s all about texture and geometry. My guess is you can wear the tailored pieces that make me look 92 years old;).

  6. What cute dresses! I remember when you posted about the first dress and I love linen in the summer, especially the hot humid summers we have here. I’m going to give them a try. And I love you in that orange, a color that could go oh so wrong, but which on you is just indescribably chic.

    1. Thank you so very much. I could never imagined me at Reunions being indescribably chic but I’ll take it! You have such a wonderful color sense, I’d love to see what you choose. One note: I’ve been getting questions about quality. I find the quality to be excellent. Only thing is, confirm with customer service when you order that the color you see on the website is what you will be receiving.

  7. The orange look is just lovely. I so admire the Birkenstocks, have not seen them in our neck of the woods as yet. Your linen dresses are so comfortable looking, I just might treat myself to one for this summer.

  8. I went to two funerals last Summer in a miserable baggy black dress, the only dark dress I owned.
    I should have replaced the dress after the first funeral, but I was busy finding a dress for a wedding and forgot about it, until I got the call about the second death.
    I just put the baggy black dress from the Summer into the Goodwill bag this morning, and like magic I have your blog, which I always read on Saturday pointing me at a website that has a dark colored dress. So now I’ll have the “Morgan.”
    Be prepared now includes having something to wear to funerals. The next thing you know I’ll be buying another fridge so I can have a covered dish in the freezer ready to take.

    1. The Morgan, in navy, looks ineffably elegant to me. I agree, in this time of life, having something to wear for funerals seems to matter. I just don’t think I have ever made a covered dish in all my days;).

  9. I love Ocean Blue too – one of my favorites (big surprise, right) – and I love that dress on you. If I were you I would get two – so you actually could wear it everyday. I love a uniform so I don’t have to think. Love the orange too, and I like you in orange – it’s a great pumpkin shade. I actually love the second dress on you too – it’s a great color as well.

    1. Thank you for all the confirmation. Your taste is my beacon. And yes, if I look at the orange as pumpkin, it seems much more reasonable to me:)

  10. Hmmmmm, love your writing – living in Santa Barbara after this past winter and no spring and promptly into May Gray and presumably June gloom I’ll have to hold off on linen dresses and keep shaving cashmere balls on sweaters and rotating down vests…..honestly / really …. that look would add 10 lbs to my frame but love your confidence going shapeless linen dresses …..

    1. Thank you. Sorry you’ve not yet launched into your gorgeous summer! And it’s only shapeless when I’m just kind of standing there. If I move, or sit, the shape is hinted at. Which is enough for me. I am not so fit as you;)

  11. I love linen too…most of my summer wardrobe is linen. I had not considered that linen would be a sturdy gal fabric…more the cousin style.
    I think you look great and that blue shade suits you.
    I have my 50 th high school reunion early in June and I think I will wear linen.
    Have fun at your Princeton get together!

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