Two things to know right up front: 1) this dress from our friends at Printfresh is one of the most beautifully constructed garments I have ever worn, and 2) I never thought I’d be caught dead wearing anything that resembles a walking shoe with a dress. Like, ever.
But, well, here were are. Pairing shoes that have a decidedly “dad sneaker” vibe with the aforementioned dress of unapparelled prettiness. And feeling very okay about it.
I grew up near downtown Sacramento, which, as the capital of California, is chock full o’ state employees walking to and from any number of State buildings distributed around the Capitol Mall. In the 90s, this meant regularly seeing scads of female employees wearing skirt suits or dresses with chubby white walking sneakers, assumedly to be changed out for pumps at the office, all over the greater downtown area. On their way to work, on their lunch breaks, on their walking breaks, on their way home.
It was, I now realize, a vibe. A vibe that, at ten years old, I was very much not into.
Fall Dresses & Dad Sneakers? I’m In.
And yet thirty years later, my first instinct when deciding what to pair with my new floral dress for a morning trip to the library? Dad sneaks, of course. What goes around.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Pinterest continues to insist that cool girlies pair chubby walking shoes with all the things. (Since this is nothing new, I can only assume that I’ve finally reached my saturation point and am now succumbing to the trend.) Maybe it’s a subtle nod to Allison Bornstein’s now-viral Wrong Shoe Theory. (Side note: my favorite interpretation of this is pairing anything even slightly tough or masculine with ballet flats).
Maybe it’s just the inescapable sense of practicality — that instantaneous curse of motherhood — rearing its annoyingly sensible head.
Whatever it is, I reached for the sneakers and didn’t look back. And it was the perfect excuse to wear what might normally feel like a too-sweet-for-Tuesday frock for a very ordinary morning out with the babe.
Printfresh Makes Dresses? Why Yes. And They’re So Good.
This is my first Printfresh piece that’s not sleepwear (because who knew?!) and, unsurprisingly, the patterns are stunning in person. But even more impressive: the craftsmanship on this dress is so bananas good, it feels almost bespoke.
The allover eyelet detail is gorgeous, but it’s also fully lined, making it ideal for wearing well into fall (I cannot wait to put it with western boots). And while I love the pop of pattern play in the sash, I paired the dress with a leather belt (sidebar: belts are back!) and tan sandals the other day, and it was like vacation distilled into a single outfit.
You know we love the size range offered by the Printfresh team, too, and this dress is no different — available in sizes XS-4X. I’m wearing the small here and it’s lusciously roomy (I think an XS would also have worked if I were looking for a more trim fit, but the sash gets me there while keeping everything else light and loose).
We use this word a lot around here, but there is no escaping it here: this dress is lovely.
In short: pairing a dress with dad sneakers? It’s worth a try. Particularly a cheery floral number that’s as easy to wear as it is charming.
Maybe you’ll feel like a Cool Girl of Pinterest. Maybe you’ll feel like a 1990s California State Worker. Turns out, I think I’m realizing, they’re kind of one and the same.
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Photos by Carolyn Stockman. Thanks, friend!