March 14, 2012

Consumed by creative layering

Chloé Van Gogh print dress
Halftee layered underneath (c/o)
Kate Spade belt (from another dress)
Jewelry: Target, Michael Kors, Hiptique

Although this isn't uniformly the case, a lot of my favorite dresses can transition from season to season with the help of creative layers. And among those favorites that can only be worn during cold weather months, the fabrics all claim to require dry cleaning. As a not-so-secret dirtbag and frequent monogamous dresser, I tend to use layers to enable longer periods of wear between cleanings. This saves me money and time which is frankly even more valuable at the moment. It's helpful to avoid the inconveniences of frequent drop off and pick up errands.

My layering strategies thus far have had mixed results. I've tried slips, which help make more opaque otherwise sheer pieces and when exposed can add length or dimension to an ensemble. I've tried cotton shirts which create a machine-washable barrier between me and the dry-clean-only fabrics. And I've tried tops with slips which provide a lot of coverage but add a lot of bulk. Added bulk is annoying and it becomes an issue especially when I try to layer underneath garments with thinner fabrics (like silks). Rather than harboring anxieties over "panty lines," I am left to worry about layering lines.

I was recently approached by folks from Halftee about reviewing one of their pieces and I am happy to report that this very reasonably priced invention helps solve the bulky layering lines problem. The Halftee in my estimation is a washable cotton slip for the upper body. Its name is apt as it is a half t-shirt that can be layered underneath clothing to provide a barrier between you and your more delicate, dry-clean-only clothes. Some women also might use the piece to make more modest and covered their garments that otherwise expose décolletage, shoulders, or even upper arms. The nice thing about the Halftee is that it stops underneath the bustline, so you avoid bulk through the midsection and hips. I found them to be comfortable, stretchy, and average in fit. I took a size medium in the 3/4 length sleeve version. My only issue was that when I layered underneath dresses with deeper neckline plunges, the Halftee came up higher than I'd like. It wasn't an issue with the above ensemble and I imagine this is a good thing for those who buy it for modesty enabling. But for me, I do like the option of a deeper scooped neckline. Hopefully they'll release one eventually!

The Halftees are offered in a few colors, styles, and fabrics with different sleeve lengths. And readers of Consume or Consumed can use the exclusive coupon code "consume10%" to can save 10% off the entire website!


dc said...

i read your blog every day and this is probably one of the most helpful things youve ever posted! thanks so much

Jesspgh of Consume or Consumed said...

Yay! Thanks so much for the kind words. For a moment, I felt a pang of regret over admitting how much I try to avoid the dry cleaners. haha I have more secret dirtbag tips that I am glad to share. For example, I use this weird laundry soap called Fels Naptha to spot clean many alleged "dry clean only" pieces to further lengthen the amount of time between garment cleanings. It is a bar soap my grandmother and mom both used and I swear garment manufacturers are lying when they default to dry clean only on some things. Chris uses it on some of his dress shirts too with great results. I wouldn't put it on the most delicate of silks but I've had no issues with wools, cashmeres, and wool blends.

Anyway, thank you for reading and for your comment!

Cynthia said...

I'm of the opinion that the only "dry clean" things that actually need to be dry cleaned are: fabric with lurex or sequins, wool garments lined with polytaffeta (because if the wool shrinks and the lining doesn't, you're hosed) and interview suits. I have a front-loading washer and I delicate cycle all of my silk, cashmere, and viscose in cold.

zyzzyva said...

I'm very excited about the prospect of these layering options. I have a couple thin, form-fitting turtlenecks (from Eddie Bauer, of all places) that I like to layer under my sundresses in the winter (particularly my Tippi & Flight of Swans dresses). Since I always wear a slip, though, the extra shirt layer does indeed get bulky.
An extra barrier between me and my dresses is always welcome. I send nearly all my dresses to the [green] dry cleaners (even a few that claim to be machine washable). Many pieces are vintage and most are in vivid colors that would otherwise fade. Considering I plan to keep wearing nearly all of them for years to come, I want them to last.

dc said...

haha, yeah i think if people knew how little i actually dry clean my 'dry clean only' items, they'd be horrified. but now im starting to think that im not that strange. good feeling :)

thatdamngreendress said...

great idea! I love thin layering options, and it's true that the long layers sometimes add bulk where you don't want it!

I hand wash a lot of things, like silks and only take wool suiting to the dry cleaners a couple of times a steamer helps give the silks back their lustre, and I never need to iron!


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