Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Sexi Soprano’s Guide to Summer Dresses

By Sara Duchovnay

I’m a total dress girl! One effortless item of clothing that instantly makes you appear put-together, professional, and stylish. All without having to put on pants or find a shirt that matches? Yes please!

All winter long we were relegated to dresses with tights, dresses with boots, and dresses in more subdued wintery tones. We slogged to and from auditions in our tried and true, sad, jewel-toned, stretch jersey, faux-wrap style dresses, and we praised these workhorses of the industry for their ability to be thrown in the bottom of our suitcases and our washing machines! Now we have arrived at that wonderful time of year when the world proclaims itself ready for something new! It is truly the time to reap the rewards of that long, stretch jersey-clad winter! In the immortal words of Eduard Mörike, “Frühling läßt sein blaues Band...time for spring and summer dresses!”

Here are my dress picks for any rehearsals, sitzprobes, opening night parties, donor events, recitals, and even auditions that this glorious summer may throw your way!

Be still my heart! If there’s one thing I love (and one thing you’ll probably gather from this list), it’s vintage styling. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with classic, vintage inspired looks. Even the most conservative donors, auditioners, or administrators will approve. This 1950s inspired dress in stretch cotton sateen made by Trashy Diva is simply perfect for any occasion and would seamlessly work itself into your fall and winter wardrobe. It comes in a variety of colors too!  

trashy diva dress.jpg
Best for: Auditions, sitzprobes, donor events, parties, and afternoon recitals.
  • Flattering hour-glass silhouette that compliments a wide variety of body types and available in sizes 0-22.
  • Wide straps so you can wear a supportive bra.

  • Features a classic, full circle skirt that falls at or below the knee.

  • Its flirty details, like the sweetheart neckline, are sexy and fun, but still classic and appropriate.
  • It has a dressy feel to it without being over-the-top.
  • It has pockets so you don’t have to resort to using your “opera pocket” to hold your essentials.

Okay, I know prints can be controversial. Are they too distracting for an audition or a performance? Some say yes, some say no. I think this print is classic enough and won’t be distracting, but use your own discretion when it comes to prints for auditions and performances.

donna morgan.jpg
Best for sitzprobes, rehearsals, donor events, or parties:
  • The print is so lovely and just makes me feel happy! It is sure to attract attention and be a perfect conversation starter, which is perfect for parties and events!
  • It can easily go from day to night and would look be appropriate at a garden or a cocktail party.
  •  I love the princess seaming of the bodice and the pleating in the full circle skirt!
  • It’s “midi” length, so it falls well below the knee.
  • Again...pockets!

There is something so delightfully summery and nautical about navy blue and white, but this classic combination could easily carry you through the year as well.

lakeside libations dress.jpg

Best for: auditions, sitzprobes, donor events, parties, and afternoon recitals.
  • The lace is beautifully slimming and adds embellishment without drawing focus from your beautiful face and voice!
  • A 1940s inspired style where length falls well below the knees making it perfect for auditions and performances.
  • The fabric has some stretch to it, so it’s easy to walk and, perhaps most importantly, breathe in.
  • The cap sleeve and lace detailing adds a really cute touch and also facilitates supportive bra wearing.

I love a good maxi dress. Basically the yoga pants of dresses, maxis are super comfy, but unlike yoga pants, they look polished and appropriate in almost any situation!

eliza j maxi.jpg

Best for: rehearsals, parties, and donor events.
  • Maxi dresses are a great choice for the first day of rehearsal. Regardless of what your colleagues show up wearing, you can feel confident that in a nice maxi dress you will be neither overdressed nor underdressed.
  • I love the flowy look and the scarf inspired print. While it’s too loud for auditions and performances, it’s a great way to stand out in other professional situations. You can rest assured that you will be remembered as that soprano in that amazing dress!

I can say from experience that this dress is delightful. The pleating at the bodice is delicate and the tulle skirt has beautiful movement and flow to it. I own it in Blush (shown in the center) and I feel like a fairy princess-slash-goddess whenever I put it on. 

anabelle dress.jpg
Best for: evening recitals and gala events.
  • Has ties that blend into the tulle of the skirt allowing you to wear it 15 different ways. If you don’t feel comfortable performing in a strapless gown, you can wear it in a one shoulder, halter style, or even craft cap sleeves that cover your shoulders.
  • The multitude of options means you can get the most mileage out of your purchase! 

Happy shopping Sexi Sopranos!