I’ve been on the hunt for a long-sleeved maxi dress for quite a while now… since 2017 to be exact. I blame my friend Michelle Tyler. After I saw her in this dreamy fern print maxi dress a few years ago, I had to have one. It has to be just right though. I’m the eternal Goldilocks with clothes– if it isn’t perfect, I don’t buy it. A regret-free wardrobe sparks much more joy than finding a new home for my mistakes, a la Marie Kondo.
To complicate my search, I don’t want a floral maxi dress. Why are almost all of them floral?! I can bear a very abstract floral, but if it reads as flowery, then no. I also don’t want a sleeveless one. A sleeveless maxi limits me to summer-only wear. If I spend money on a nice one, I’d like to be able to wear it nearly year round, so sleeves are a must. Plus I live in Grey Britain, and no one needs to see my sun-starved arms any more than is absolutely necessary.
After my due diligence, I’ve realised that I need more than just one maxi dress– a light floaty one for summer and a more versatile year-round one. Ideally, both in styles that I can wear fancy with heels or casual with flats. I thought I hit the jackpot with this orange one. Orange is a colour I’ve spent my life avoiding, but now I love (I blame Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb for that; she is the orange queen). The metallic gold spots on it made me swoon; I can imagine piling on fabulous gold jewellery to fill up that V neckline and adding some gold flat sandals or heels. The problem is I just can’t get past the girly ruffle. I will wear a flounce or a ruffle on a skirt, but nowhere near my face. I would honestly rather have a spider near my face than a ruffle. A floral ruffle would require years of therapy.
Eventually, I found this golden mustard coloured dress by Sarvin. As a brand, Sarvin is RIGHT in my sweet spot: woman owned, only uses sustainable and recycled fabrics, has an ethical supply chain, and is luxuriously stylish without being ‘trendy.’ Basically, the brand is the polar opposite of Zara. This elegant 70’s style dress is a colour I don’t usually wear (but can, although it should be a bit brighter, according to my colour gurus).
It nails my versatile and nearly-year-round requirement, so I feel like it is a good purchase. Will I wear this on a sweltering day in New York or Savannah this July? Not unless someone is walking directly in front of me with an air conditioner! But I can wear it with heels to dinners, weddings, and other occasions, and with gold sandals for holidays and lunches. On a practical note, it is constructed so that the wrap doesn’t UNwrap as you wear it (there is an internal button that secures it). I bought a size large, because I thought I’d need it to ensure the wrap didn’t slide open, as it does with every DVF wrap dress I’ve ever tried. I’m going to exchange it for a medium because this one is too big on me. I wanted to stick to my posting schedule, so we photographed the large one anyway. I look forward to seeing future collections from this brand. I’ve already begged Sarvin make this maxi dress in a few more colours (turquoise! red! pink!).
My shoes from last week’s post are perfect with this dress, once again proving my theory that if you only buy things you truly love, everything magically goes together.
These are the other maxi dresses I’m ogling online. I hope that some of the pricier ones go on sale at some point. I’m still on the hunt for a light floaty summer number and maaaaybe even one without sleeves. If you see any other fabulous ones that aren’t floral, let me know!