Looking back fashion always used to be a hobby of mine though I wasn't quite aware of it at the time. Reading the Vogue occasionally and sometimes watching the red carpet at the Oscars. Though I liked to see the last trends or just immerse myself in the world of outfits, fabrics and all that is possible with some imagination, I was never a trend follower. I was just myself and loved simplicity - type in Audrey Tautou or Marion Cotillard and you will know where I’m headed. However, when adding some of that red carpet pepper, with or without a crush on Natalie Portman, seeing her in a Maria Grazia Chiuri cape sealed the deal for me. Elegance and simplicity at it’s peak. But I digress.
Fast forward in time, the only way I would have time to read the Vogue now would be if they’d suddenly write co-ed pieces about how to throw the best party for your ten year old (which I fantastically did do, if you’re wondering :). Getting immersed in that amazing children’s world is a day in day out adventure that brings you to new heights and gives you new perspectives. Even on fashion since we’re at it - having your presence urgently summoned to be shown a crab in a book, weaving seaweed into a fine-looking suit because your child knows you’re trying to add a stone to the sustainable fashion realm, shows what an amazing live-in-the-moment and let-my-little-great-heart-be capacity they have.
Ten years ago, after baby Number One was born, I still had a bit of time to spend in front of the mirror before date nights to perfect that ‘long-longed-for-date’ look. But then baby Number Two happened and then Number Three (I swear those are not their actual names) and my sitting in front of the mirror time was reduced to 0.7 seconds, more often then not with one of the little ones trying to engage me in some precious little way. You probably know - when you’re trying to get dressed then two hours later you’re still wearing what you started with while your daughter has tried all of the dresses you currently have. Not to mention wanting you to see her do the runway thing with her newly found stilettos. How can you not get lost in that… to then realise you have no time left anymore so you hear yourself thinking: ‘Where is that dress I can just put on in a blink of an eye (because I will always want to enjoy those special moments in time that will so soon have passed) and be more than ready for my date? - another scarce moment meaning the world to you as you connect to your ‘one and only’ without the ‘why’s and the diapers :)
When I started Moyo, I was a mom of three having just completed a move from one continent to another, on the look for those simple outfits that both look good and are super easy to slip into. But with no time to shop and no luck in finding what I wanted, and needed in the limited time i had to stroll through stores the idea of the shift dress came. I cannot say I was struck on the spot as I believe clothes do need to prove themselves worthy of your love, but as I made a couple and started wearing them I realised I had found my solution. (torn between wanting to still look like myself, but no time to shop and find something that both looks good and is super easy to slip into. Then I found the shift dress.
What made me fall in love with it is not only the fact that is slip-on, but also because of the colored cotton I can wear it with sneakers during the day or with pumps or boots in the evening, depending on where I have to be. For example, you can put an oversized denim jacket over and be ready to pick up the kids from school and then a nice leather one or a simple coat when you and hubby are going out for the evening.
Now you might ask yourself - as I did until I realised how they’re ‘officially’ called - what a shift dress is? It’s that type of dress that hangs a bit loosely straight down from the shoulders, without being fitted. Now, if you happen to be a bit of a pear shaped mom, don’t worry - this dress will slightly wrap your hips ever so lovingly. Usually, a shift dress is sleeveless, but I prefer mine with some sort of sleeve - the ¾ sort because it gives a note of elegance hiding the upper arms yet still allowing you to turn it up for a shorter version. Either way it is meant to compliment your beautifully unique body.
Let’s talk about body types for a second.
Since we’ve mentioned shapes, any super quick google (or your search engine of choice) search will tell you that there are four most common body types for women: the pear, the apple, straight or hourglass. Now, in a perfect world, our chest would match our hips and we would all be a forever hourglass figure. But the world is beautiful, not perfect, and so are we. So even if it is not easy having to go from a straight (many times when from straight) (or rectangular, or banana) figure directly to pear, meaning you have to rethink an entire wardrobe since 90% of the dresses you owned would stubbornly stop at your waistline, don’t despair! Embrace yourself, your shape, your body! And add a shift dress to your wardrobe - you will not regret it ;)
Introducing THE SHIFT DRESS
And you can pretty much see how the pattern can cover all love handles and tummies, should you want to.
If you’re a pear figure, you have two options with this dress, depending on the look you’re trying for. A smaller size will be a bit tighter on your hips and show off your booty a bit more, which is great for an evening out, for example. However, it could restrict your moves a bit, so if you’re planning on wearing it during errands or picking up kiddos from school you’ll notice that the fabric will rise up your thighs a bit which could be annoying at times. In which case, go for a size that allows it to flow loosely at the bottom too. And don’t worry, it won’t make you flat-chested or puff up on your shoulders when the fabric is high quality.
The rectangle figure, or straight, benefits the highest from this dress type, in my opinion, when the fabric is thicker, as it can fill you up in all the good places, unlike a soft, satin dress, for example, which usually follows the body lines. And for an extra shift of attention you can also go for geometric patterns and play with styles.
If you’re an apple figure, your main concern is to draw attention away from your midsection, while emphasizing your bust and your legs. You can wear the shift dress with heels, either kitten or full pumps, or skinny ballet flats, to lengthen the legs. Depending on your height, the Moyo shift dress usually falls a little over the knee (a size S is 94 cm/ 37 in), so make sure you wear it with a pair of shoes that show off your ankle and then some, for maximum impact.
The hourglass figure can style the dress a bit differently, as the goal here is to emphasize the middle area, so go with a soft, skinny, belt to compliment your natural curves. You can match the belt with your shoes or bag or get it in the same colors as the dress to make it more subtle. Either way, you’re in for a win!
As we wrap up I want to let you in on a secret, one we all share once we hit a certain stage in life - I love making things easier for myself, especially when I value time spent with my family most. I love having a number of unique, timeless pieces that I can wear from drop off to dinner without the need to spend too long in front of a mirror. Well..except if it’s for having fun and hearing that laughter echo in the walk-in closet and beyond :) So, yes, I have a shift dress, I have a number of them actually and I can say the best thing about it is that I still get compliments without having to put in any effort. On and off you go!
From somewhere in Africa, With love!