Ok, let’s start off by being clear, the definition of a smock dress isn’t really represented in these photos! A smock dress really should have smocking – gathers of material in tight pleats – usually for decoration. A quick Google image search shows me I’m not the only one who thinks this style is called a smock dress though, so probably most of you will know what I’m getting at….
Perhaps it’s more the image of an artist’s smock – a loose baggy shirt that doesn’t tend to actually have smocking – that we’re all imagining! Anyway, this is a strange way to begin a fashion blog post! I bought my ‘smock dress’ at Glastonbury Festival a few years ago, and knowing it was a regular stall, I returned and bought a second one in a different colour a year later. I think, if I remember rightly they each cost £10. If you’re on the look-out for something similar, the brand is called Indo. Weirdly, during our America road-trip in 2016, we happened to stop in Asheville where I spotted the original hippy clothing Indo shop where the stock comes from!
I hardly ever buy the same item in multiple colours, but this dress has been SO useful, and SO comfortable, I would honestly keep buying more, (even though I do need to safety pin between the 2nd and 3rd buttons to stop it gaping) but sadly couldn’t find them at this year’s festival. My first was beige and my second was a lilacy-pink. Not my favourite colours to be honest, but it doesn’t matter. Not all items of clothing have to be beautiful to belong in our wardrobe – some are just useful. These two dresses aren’t in the slightest bit flattering either – they don’t sit nicely at the waist to give the impression of having an hourglass figure; in fact, they are gathered just below the chest so they could easily be mistaken for maternity dresses, but that doesn’t always matter too. Sometimes, particularly when on a road-trip, you just want something comfortable, and this fits the bill. In fact, it’s a good one for holidays because for some reason, none of us care quite so much about wearing something flattering when we’re on holiday!
My goodness, this isn’t very professional of me – I’ve got seriously mud-splattered leggings here! We had just been exploring a ruined tin mine, and of course as it was the middle of summer, it had just been raining!
Ok, here are the reasons why the smock dress works so well for a summer road-trip, so take note if you’re planning one for next year and are wondering what to pack!
- It’s made of cotton – nice and breathable – you don’t want to be all sweaty in synthetics, particularly if you’re sitting on pvc car seats most of the day!
- The cotton isn’t see-through, so you don’t have to worry about being indecent if you’re visiting sacred sights.
- The cotton fabric is soft and has a natural crinkle to it, so you don’t need to worry about ironing it.
- The style isn’t at all fitted around the waist, so when you’re searching for the guide book or snacks by your feet in the footwell, you don’t have anything digging in.
- The sleeves are long enough to cover my upper arms (an area I prefer covered) but baggy enough not to give me sweat patches in the armpits!
I have to say though, the dresses have shrunk a little in the wash and are now a bit too short to wear on their own. Cycling shorts in summer and leggings in winter work perfectly. Some of these photos were taken on the very same road-trip mentioned earlier, and are at a very strange place called Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia (I just did some googling and was since dismantled and put somewhere else!) I think a smock dress is a very versatile piece of clothing though and looks great with bare legs and sandals or with leggings and chunky boots; or over jeggings and skinny jeans when you’re not confident enough to show off your bum!
The others were on two different camper van road trips around Cornwall. I thought I’d put all the photos together for one blog post though. Do you have an item of clothing you always go to when you just want to be comfortable and don’t really mind how good it actually looks?! I need to find more because the beige one got ruined in my Nearly Killed by a Cow incident last year! I haven’t got rid of it (of course) but even after getting round to mending the large rip, I doubt it will look good enough to wear in public!
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