Do you see the demure, T-shirt-like neckline, the trim-but-not-super-fitted silhouette, the lightweight-but-lined fabric (okay this is not visible). It's the perfect basic dress in my head made real.

It's also rather expensive for me because I rarely spend so much on clothing. (Also because I think A.P.C. is overpriced, no matter how much I like them.) This dress sells for S$575 in the A.P.C. boutique in Singapore. On A.P.C.'s international online shop, it's 248 euros with shipping, which works out to be S$429.

It doesn't look that appealing online, but trying it on, it fit like a dream. One of those things that require no adjustment after you put it on. Perfect fit on the shoulder and waist, hit the right spot above the knee.

When I discussed this with friends, the reaction was uniform: "I wouldn't pay so much for such a plain dress."

And yet why not? I suppose their response comes partly from not having actually worn the dress, and touched it for themselves. But I also know that for some, there isn't a point in buying an expensive garment that isn't obviously expensive. This is why people buy status bags.

And for others, spending so much on clothing at all is absurd, and wasteful. I'm the same in some ways. There's a reasonable limit to what I will spend on clothes.

But this dress challenges me to rethink my limits and my principles for shopping. Do I need another dress? Definitely not. But does any dress in my wardrobe come close to fitting like this one? Definitely not.

This dress also comes at a point where I am upgrading the not-so-well-made items (bought when I was poorer, but with no less a need for clothes) in my wardrobe. I have some clothes of which I love the design, but have always been bothered by the construction, and when I find a better replacement, I give the old one away. I could think of at least 2 dresses this dress could replace. But is it worth the cost?

It's been a week. I'm still thinking. At this rate, the dress will probably sell out in my size by the time I decide. Or even better, go on sale.

Anyway, this whole affair reminded me of this post from Le Portillon, who has started blogging again, incidentally.

Pictures from totokaelo and la garconne


Of course an LBD is versatile, it's well made, it's a great fit...Hopefully it would go on sale while you decide. If it's meant to be it will be.
Alex said…
Personally I do pay a lot for very basic things like t shirts, simple sweaters etc because thats what makes up most of my wardrobe, so to me the price of the dress is kind of justified. Having done this for a while cheap/badly made basics just aren't the same
Also if you have never found a dress that fits you so well you will probably get a lot of wear out of it. As to whether or not you need it, I think there becomes a point when you have something for every occasion and you don't necessarily need anything else, but unless you buy something every week there is no harm in the occasional new item.
Madelene said…
I really enjoy reading your entries. And, I had completely forgotten that old post of mine.. 3 years ago! Time flies, but I still agree with what I wrote. It is still true, for me.
Ammu said…
I agree with Alex - I never saw the point of paying much for basics, but then I bought a silk-blend tee from Kain on sale...and the difference it makes to wear a tee that drapes so beautifully on the body is amazing. I like the simplicity of the dress - my only concern would be the fact that I don't think APC quality is very good anymore. I used to love their stuff - still love the look, the beauty of stripes - but the quality of the fabric just seems to have dropped. It's made me very wary of buying anything with the label.
If Jane said…
oh simple...should never be expensive (and not expensive does not equal cheap)
Stacy said…
I agree with Alex I spend a lot on simple quality pieces as well. Of course, just because it's expensive doesn't means it's good quality (Dries van Noten I'm talking to you).

Really good clothes stay in style.
Fleurette said…
I agree with Alex and Ammu as well.
lin said…
Thanks everyone for all the advice!

Pret a Porter P: Thanks! Fingers crossed. I've always liked the idea of an LBD but this is the first time I actually really like one.

Alex: I agree; basics are not only my foundation, they are my style. I'm picky about quality, whatever the price point and I don't mind paying a little more, but there's a still a limit to how high I go.

Madelene: Thanks! I liked that post because it was nice to know that there are people out there who feel the same way.

Ammu: I agree, I think I would feel more assured about buying it if I felt confident of it's quality. It felt good in the shop though. And the few APC things I have seem to have held up.

If Jane: Exactly. I think expensive is relative, but cheap is definitely not for me, for all kinds of reasons.

Stacy: It's always a balance of design and material/construction - it's best if both are equally strong, but usually that's out of my price point :) How much I pay for something usually depends on how both rank and whether one can outweigh the other's shortcomings..

Fleurette: Yep. Everyone's made good points that's really helping me make a considered decision.
Fleurette said…
"basics are not only my foundation, they are my style. I'm picky about quality, whatever the price point and I don't mind paying a little more, but there's a still a limit to how high I go. "

I absolutely agree. That's why I haven't covered all the basics in my wardrobe yet, because they are my style.
lin said…
^ I do agree with Alex that after some point, all my needs will be met, and so long as I am moderate in my shopping, the odd purchase doesn't matter. Especially when I find something that's a refinement of what I love.

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