What happens when one woman (me) wears the world’s most versatile dress (a classic Diane von Furstenberg wrap) every day for thirty days? Well, there’s really only one way to find out.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day thirty - two wraps are better than one

Tonight's predictably titled "wrap party" was a celebration of any and all things wrap-related - but I couldn't resist taking a moment to demonstrate what exactly makes a wrap a wrap. This great nation is plagued by derivatives of the original wrap concept - derivatives that dilute its essence and dull its power. Per the request of a guest, I brought my new DVF to the party to offer a how-to. I realize I was not exactly teaching orphans to read or something. But I consider it an important public service nonetheless.

Remember ladies, if you don't put it on like a coat, and if the two belts don't wrap all the way around your body and tie in front at a tightness level that you yourself choose, it's not a real wrap. And you deserve a REAL wrap!

Suddenly I was wearing two Diane von Furstenbergs! You'd think I'd have felt silly wearing two wrap dresses - but the truth is, a pack of wild dogs couldn't have separated me from my new double dress. I think it's quite fetching. Not "I'm going to wear this for thirty days fetching," but definitely "I've had two drinks and suddenly think this looks cool" fetching.

So, the DVF Experiment has been great fun. It has convinced me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the DVF wrap dress is the most versatile piece of clothing out there. It has also convinced me that the teachers at the Hathaway School in Portsmouth, RI, are either the most loyal blog followers in the world, or a complete pack of lunatics.

Happy wrapping!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day twenty-nine - my wrap dress could beat up your wrap dress

My roommate and unofficial DVF Experiment Creative Director Amy also owns a black wrap dress. It is not a DVF. She has always been skeptical about my assertion that my wrap dress would outperform hers in the field. So we put it to the test tonight in a wrap off at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge.

The Cantab is best described as the only bar in Cambridge where you can chat up a Harvard Law student, but where a resident of the local YMCA could also conceivably buy you a beer. It was the perfect place for a wrap dress thrown-down.

Amy's wrap cuts an intimidating form - it drapes nicely, it has a flattering capped sleeve - but it doesn't have the staying power of the DVF. After only a modest mount of dancing, her wrap started to gape in front. Mine stayed put - impressive, since for better or worse, I tend to use a lot of shoulder while dancing. (Even more impressive is the fact that it has more or less held its shape, 29 days in.)

So while Amy's knockoff is pretty to look at, I wouldn't want to get caught dancing in it. Better luck next time, poor imitation of the DVF.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day twenty-eight -it's a slippery slope

I love the public library because it has books. And I love the CAMBRIDGE Public Library because they will let you bring tacos and eat them, right there in the stacks! I ask you, how is it possible to not feel like a princess when you're clad in a DVF and eating tacos in your local public library?

But as much as I love the CPL (and tacos, obviously) I realized today I am treading on dangerous ground. The DVF is for sure a timeless garment, and age-appropriate for almost everyone. It's always, always, about how you wear it, and with what accessories. And when you start wearing it with a long, sort of drapey cashmere sweater, and when you wear it to hang out at the Cambridge Public Library...well, you are about an inch away from officially being an Old Cambridge Lady (OCL), even if it's 30 years before you're due for induction. You might as well just get your hair cut into the telltale steely bob and start sewing your own giant sweaters.

Believe me, I am VERY much looking forward to becoming an OCL one day - I'm already a regular at zoning meetings, and I yell at drivers who speed through the crosswalks, and sometimes even shake my fist. But tomorrow I switch back to hoop earrings and heels, and I'm going to a bar like a self-respecting 34-year-old.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day twenty-seven - Sam, Bob, and the DVF

Spring in Boston makes me want to do Boston-y things: go to a Red Sox game, eat lobster, wear a powdered wig, be unnecessarily chilly towards strangers. Today, the DVF and I did the most quintessential Boston thing a lady and her dress can do – we cut out of work early and toured the Sam Adams Brewery. Just as our forefathers did.

A mere three days ago, this dress was at an evening wedding. Today it was at a brewery, the only wrap dress in a vast ocean of men wearing hooded sweatshirts and women sporting the granddaddy of all casual looks – the white long-sleeved tee under the dark short-sleeved tee. But again, no one really noticed. The DVF is so stealth!

But "stealth" should not be confused with "un-impactful."

Boston has one bona-fide celebrity - Bob, from the Sam Adams commercials. The notoriously camera-shy Bob really does work at the brewery and people are constantly asking to take his picture. But I didn't have to ask. Like bees to honey, this dress.

You really haven't lived until you've seen Boston's most famous brewer leap off a forklift full of Sam Summer Ale and barrel across the parking lot practically begging to have his picture taken with you and your Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. Just look at how psyched he is. Pull yourself together, Bob. It's only a dress.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day twenty-six - an accessorizing challenge

Every woman needs a DVF wrap dress in her life. You know what else she needs? An Italian with a motorcycle.

How exactly does one accessorize the DVF in this scenario, ensuring equal weight is given to both style and safety? Well, with boots obviously. And a denim jacket. And because I am a lady, I also opted for knee-length spandex. (If you look closely, you can see them peeking out from underneath the DVF.) I also went for a scarf, Red Baron-style. (In retrospect, the scarf was a bad idea, because of the Isadora Duncan factor.)

But the ride went smoothly, and now we know; the DVF is chopper-appropriate. You know it's an incredible dress when even with a helmet, you retain your hourglass figure.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day twenty-five - A confidence cautionary tale

The DVF inspires confidence - I've known this from the beginning. But what I failed to anticipate is that the confidence aggregates. So by day 25, you're actually feeling 25 times more confident than the first time you put on the dress. I think they must add some sort of slow-release confidence chemical to the viscose.

My friend Mandy recently opened an incredible wine bar in New York, and I was there earlier this evening. Feeling like hot stuff in the DVF, I asked if I could stand on the bar's catwalk for a quick minute - that space is generally reserved for employees who are retrieving wine. She obliged.

Then I asked if I could stand behind the bar and hold her clipboard. She hesitated, and then obliged.

Finally, I asked for a red pen so that I could proofread the bar's menus. I promptly found myself on the sidewalk.

The moral of the story is...the DVF should probably be used only as directed. A dress that gives you enough confidence to attempt to exact a takeover of your best friend's wine bar - without you even realizing it - should be worn once or twice a week at most.

Day twenty-four - the DVF, plus one

This post is a day late, because common sense dictates that when you get home from a wedding (and the subsequent after party) on the far side of 2 AM, you really should not post on your blog. The DVF makes you so wise!

What the DVF does NOT do is magically turn you into a good dancer. I was unaware until I looked at my pictures from last night that this is my signature dance move/face at weddings - and, presumably, every other time I hear Bon Jovi (which is more often than you'd think):

Even if you have never been to a wedding in New Jersey, you probably could have guessed that there is a great deal of excitement when the band inevitably plays You Give Love a Bad Name. What you might not have known is that this excitement is accompanied by an almost dangerous amount of pointing. As in, YOU give love a bad name, person dancing near me in the circle. And so do YOU, guy from college who looks vaguely familiar. And YOU, waiter carrying puff pastries. And YOU, lady from table twelve. Someone could lose an eye.

Despite all the ugly dance faces and reckless pointing, the DVF still gave me enough class and style to pick up not one, not two, but THREE gentlemen. Although chances are they were not particularly interested in me and my awesome dress, but rather, were looking for someone or something solid against which to lean. The DVF makes you strong, both inside and out!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day twenty-three - the DVF at DVF

Earlier this week I posted a link to the DVF Experiment on Diane von Furstenberg's Facebook page. Their very lovely PR people sent me an email and - POW - four days later I am getting a tour of the DVF studio and showroom in New York. They even let me peek into DVF's office and sit on her couch!

Sitting on the couch of the woman who introduced me (and more importantly, my torso) to the Magical World of Ruching was thrilling. So thrilling in fact, that had that pillow to my left been slightly smaller, there's a decent chance I would have tried to stuff it in my purse when no one was looking.

Alas, the lady herself was not there, which might have been for the best. I am prone to two behaviors when I am nervous: cursing like a sailor; and knocking things over. I realize that Diane von Furstenberg is a woman just like any other - she puts her wrap dress on one sleeve at a time - but it would have been VERY bad had I spontaneously yelled a four-letter word and then accidentally sent the fall collection down the (beautiful) center staircase. Trust me, it's not that farfetched.

This day will most certainly be the highlight of the DVF Experiment. Future posts will more closely resemble my everyday life, which, as you know by now, looks much more like this, taken 20 minutes post-couch:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day twenty-two - put your best face forward

The DVF only looks good when you, the wearer, are feeling at the top of your game. And for me that means a visit to Jill, aesthetician extraordinaire, every six weeks or so. I'll be sporting the DVF at a wedding this weekend, and Jill is solely responsible for making sure I don't show up looking like a slightly more Scandinavian version of Tom Selleck.

I wish the DVF Experiment were all glitz and glamor. But this is the truth about being a woman - at some point within any given 30-day period, there is a good chance you will have to get your lip waxed. Why not do it in a dress that makes you feel like a million bucks? And then put it on the internet?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day twenty-one - the DVF is a civil right

I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. Here I am, carrying (or I guess to be entirely accurate, holding) my ACLU card:

I've been talking to the ACLU about doing some writing for their blog, and tonight I met with a friend - we'll call him David - to brainstorm about possible topics. When he asked me which civil rights violation really got under my skin, I told him that I am deeply troubled by the fact that there are some women in America who don't even OWN a DVF. A clear violation of their right to feel beautiful.

I spent a good twenty minutes describing to him, in detail, why every woman should own a DVF. Do I even need to tell you what came next?

To no one's surprise, "David" got hooked on the DVF. I practically had to rip it off him. He was worse than that baby from Day Seventeen!

Until we live in a country where every woman owns a DVF, and where men can be photographed in a simple yet elegant wrap dress without requesting that their faces be blurred out....well, the ACLU's work is far from over. And I will continue to fight the good fight.

DVFs for everyone!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day twenty - the DVF is my constant

Tonight's episode of LOST was particularly gripping/heart-wrenching, so I was grateful to be cloaked in the comfort of the DVF.

The cold hard truth is that sometimes I sit around in my DVF and watch TV. (I can't promise this habit will end when The DVF Experiment does.) I mean, honestly. If those women who are stuck on the island can run around shooting people and skidding across the space/time continuum WITHOUT so much as putting their hair up in a ponytail...why can't I wear a luxurious dress to watch TV? It's really not any more absurd.

I would rather be stuck on the LOST island in the DVF than jeans. Jeans take forever to dry, and they don't breathe. Can you imagine trying to outrun the smoke monster in wet jeans? No. In a quick-drying viscose dress that allows for maximum stride? Yes, please.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day nineteen - the DVF loves PBR

Sometimes the most remarkable thing about the DVF is its ability to go entirely unnoticed.

I wore the DVF to see some live music tonight - knowing full well that I would be the least hip person there. I thought about accessorizing the DVF with some hipster glasses, or my converse high tops, or one of those loosely tied Yasser Arafat scarves. (Clearly, my understanding of what constitutes a hipster comes entirely from the hipster puppies blog.) But then I thought - no. That would be counter to my hypothesis. That the DVF, in its rawest form, is perfect for any occasion.

And I was right! Can you even spot me among this sea of hipsters? Or do I just blend in, discreetly drinking my PBR and looking not at all confused about why the instruments the band members are playing look less like instruments and more like the thing a court stenographer uses?

No one looked askance at the one person who was NOT wearing skinny jeans and a confusing t-shirt. I mean, really. Look!

DVF, you've done it again. Pork pie hats off to you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day eighteen - don't try this at home

The DVF was not the ideal attire for one particular activity on my agenda today. But a deal's a deal, even if it's just between you and the internet. Thirty days, no exceptions. Today, momentarily, I wished the DVF were made of rubber.

My dog Bowser does NOT enjoy getting a bath, but he was holding up pretty well - until he did that full body shake thing that dogs do when they are wet, soaking the dress with hair/water/dog shampoo.

But Diane von F has thought of everything. It's like she KNEW that one day some crazy person would decide to wear her seminal dress for 30 days in a row, during which time she would need to wash her dog. Cause the dress dried almost instantly, and unlike my arms and legs (and tub) there's not a stray dog hair on it. Oh Diane von Furstenberg (both lady and dress), I love you so.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day seventeen - so very Jackie O.

I can't say for sure whether or not Jackie O. owned a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, but I can totally picture her in a classic DVF, eating a really messy turkey sandwich from Darwin's deli while lounging along the banks of the Charles River and looking very glamorous. Can't you?

Before about seventeen days ago, I wouldn't necessarily have thought of wearing the DVF to a picnic. But now I don't know why anyone would wear anything else, to anything, ever. I love wearing it, and it's always a hit!

Take this baby, for example. She was so taken by the Jackie O. look that she demanded I hand over the dress and scarf. (She's been itching to get her tiny fingers on the DVF since she first saw it on day seven.) Good thing I'm stronger than she is.

She DID manage to lift the scarf when I wasn't looking, though. You'd better nap with one eye open, wily baby.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Day sixteen - the DVF saves lives!

I bought the DVF two years ago on my birthday - a gift to myself, if you will. It was without a doubt the wisest gift I have ever given anyone. Until today, when I joined the bone marrow registry.

I knew that joining the registry would be simple - five minutes of paperwork and a quick cheek swab. But I was expecting the process would involve kindly nurses and private cubicles. Instead, I walked in to find that the bone marrow registry drive was being run by the Harvard University football team. Not a medical professional in sight.

I was so flummoxed at the sight of all these young men, that instead of saying that I was "here to become a bone marrow donor," I announced that I was here to "become a boner." I said to a room full of 20-year-old men that I was there to become a boner. We all had a good laugh. Then one of them called me "ma'am." The DVF is amazing, but it cannot make you fifteen years younger.

I still managed to go through with it - including the even more embarrassing task of asking one of the young men to take a photo of me swabbing my own mouth:

I can't believe he didn't just say "ah, get outta here ya old cougar." He was a good sport. I hope he calls me.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day fifteen - ICA, meet DVF

The DVF is nothing if not a piece of art. It deserves to mix and mingle with its own kind once in a while!

The Institute of Contemporary Art boasts two things: incredibly inaccessible art; and the world's most terrifying security guards. (And a bar. But that's neither here nor there.) But even the security guards couldn't keep the art from responding to the DVF. Jeez, ICA, keep it in your pants!

I am going to establish the the Diane von Fursternberg Institute of Art. This will be its cornerstone piece:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day fourteen - gettin funky

Not to brag or anything, but I'd rank my personal hygiene practices somewhere between average and above average. But no dress is a match for 13 consecutive days of wear. Something had to be done. So I took the DVF to a same-day dry cleaner today.

I was a little nervous, but then I met Ana from Dependable Cleaners! I told her about my project. She looked a little skeptical:

But within about 45 seconds she was completely on board!

Ana promised to take good care of the dress (to which, in case it's not obvious, I've become quite attached) but I was a little out of sorts at work today, what with each of my two legs encased in their own individual pant legs. But Ana and Dependable Cleaners really delivered.

The DVF will live to fight another day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day thirteen - civic duty

If you can't figure out what to wear to your next citizens' advisory committee meeting, might I suggest a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress? Pair it with a necklace you bought at an outdoor market in South America, and these Cambridge types will eat it UP.

Or more likely, they will not notice your amazing wrap dress or your handcrafted, oversized, Ecuadorean jewelry, as they will be totally focused on a powerpoint presentation about the types of trees the city is considering planting on your street. Whatever. The point is that the DVF is never not appropriate.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day twelve - takeout

The life of a jetsetter such as myself can be exhausting. Between the roller skating and the hanging out with babies and the twenty hour a week job...sometimes I just want to put on my DVF and be a regular woman. Not an internet sensation.

So tonight I went across the street to Basta Pasta for about the 5th time since last Friday. This is either Altin or Reno, and this is how he always greets me, even when the paparazzi (my roommate) is not following me.

Reno and Altin are brothers, and I introduced myself to them when they opened this restaurant six years ago. Since then they have allowed me to have UPS packages delivered there, had beers with me on my front porch, and fed me approximately 1 million hamburgers. Yet I still do not know which of them is which. You'd be shocked how easy it is to work around, actually.

Tonight I ate a meatball parm sub and lied on my living room floor and did a puzzle. Then I watched Jeopardy! True story.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day eleven - my living room

Since I spent most of the weekend feeling like this:

I spent most of the weekend doing this:

All this time on the couch with Bowser (at right, with squirrel toy) revealed yet another amazing feature of the DVF - it repels dog hair! Bowser is particularly sheddy this time of year, and my couch looks like a muppet. Even though much of Bowser's hair landed on the DVF, I discovered that you can just brush it off with your hands - you don't need one of those rolls of sticky tape. (I have many articles of clothing that I can't wear near my dog or anything that my dog has come in contact with because his hair gets everywhere, and then it gets absolutely embedded in the fibers of my clothes.) Amazing!

The other thing I learned this weekend is that my stupid roommate doesn't want to see Hot Tub Time Machine. She is LAME.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day ten - the DVF on wheels

I took the DVF where no DVF had ever gone before:

I thought this outing was really going to push the limits of the dress's appropriateness, but then I realized that adults who visit a roller rink every week are probably fairly forgiving when it comes to others' fashion choices. And I was right! In fact, the regulars were extra helpful towards my wobbly self (I think they might have thought I was someone's visiting Amish cousin) and were gracious when I nearly caused a six-person pile up. It was all so civilized! Like the DVF itself.

Not only did I get to go roller skating - I found all the men who wink at me on match.com! They spend their time at Skateland in Bradford, MA. Here are some of them, skating in a line:

Day nine - happy hour

Day nine's post is a little late. Here's why.

On day nine I learned yet again that I cannot drink the way I used to. I also learned that the DVF is self-cleaning! It was sort of inevitable that on a night where I looked like this (see above), I would drop a huge nacho glob on my lap. I've already extolled many of the virtues of the viscose/polyamide blend (wrinkles fall out easily, it doesn't slip once you've wrapped it) but it turns out that if you let a food stain dry, you can just sort of pick it off with your fingernails! It looked like this for a few hours:

But today the stain is totally gone! Unfortunately, the dress is not impervious to b.o. I've been wearing the DVF for nine days now, and I'm not sure I can go another 21 without getting it cleaned. Febreze can take me only so far.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day eight - the DVF gets well

When you tell your shrink you're planning to wear the same dress for thirty days in a row, rest assured, she will begin to ask you some very pointed questions. She will not, however, take pictures of you for your blog. (Apparently, that would be "inappropriate.") But she'll let you snap a picture of yourself on her couch before you settle into the hard work of healing.

This very brief blog post was brought to you by Blue Cross Blue/Blue Shield of Massachusetts, plus a $45 copay.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day seven - babies love the DFV

Prior to our afternoon together, my niece (through friendship) had barely spoken a word. But one look at the dress, and BAM - she's a total chatterbox. This photograph was snapped at the exact moment of her very first full sentence, which, I am proud to say, was: "That Diane von Fursternberg wrap dress makes your muffin top nearly imperceptible, while also adding shape to your otherwise completely square body. Is it a viscose blend?"

Wait - did that baby just call me fat?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day six - Workin' Girl

Ladies! If you're wondering whether or not a DVF is appropriate for the office, note how incredibly un-sexy one can make this dress when necessary. Tie it a little tighter so that it doesn't show any cleavage, and pair it with flats. Surround yourself with boxes labeled "Tax Returns, 2000-2005," stand next to your favorite copy machine, and hold a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Add a pair of $10 reading glasses from Target. You're a pro!

Unfortunately, the DVF doesn't guarantee good posture. I asked a colleague to take pictures of me "when I'm least expecting it." Well done, Bill from Communications!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day five - Boston Marathon!

I think I've discovered the one way you CAN'T wear the DVF:

The bright orange hat was so that my friend Kerry could spot me as she ran by. The sneakers were just to be marathon-y. Despite the fact that this is an incredibly unflattering look, you can't keep a good dress down. Just look at how that material bounces!

AND, even with the sneakers, the dress is pretty powerful - these nice men asked me to join them for a(nother) drink. Gentlemen, please! Do I look like the kind of woman who would be drinking in the middle of the day?

Another good day for the dress - an even better day for Kerry.