A Dress for all Seasons

December 4, 2019 Features, How to Travel, Travel Blogger Jane Lovatt's Holiday Memoir

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The Perfect Dress for a Trundler

As a Trundler I am always looking for ways to travel light. The less I carry the happier I am.

Imagine my joy when the dress I bought for myself as a 60th birthday present folded up so small that it fitted into a tiny bag – one about the size of a make-up bag. It couldn’t be easier to transport, weighing about the same as a packet of crisps.

My soft, blue and green shift dress dress is made from fine cotton lawn, so light you can barely feel you’re wearing it. It’s perfect for a hot summer’s day, a warm Spring day too. But for autumn and winter? Was it time to put my cherished birthday outfit to the back of the cupboard?

As the colder weather strikes, however, I have realized to my delight that this glorious garment is ideal as a dress for all seasons. There’s plenty of room above and under it to wear layers. It’s a colourful cover-up for leggings and a thermal top. You can add a cardigan or a jumper for extra warmth. I feel claustrophobic in heavy clothes, so, for me, this is a comfortable and stylish way of dressing for winter weather.

The Trundler is not prone to spending money on clothes. Most of my current dresses and jumpers come from El Cabanyal Thursday market. They cost on average one euro per garment and an entire new wardrobe can be mine for a fiver. So to spend £225 on a single item was going slightly over budget.

However, this is not any old frock. It’s a special dress with a special story. It’s designed and made by Savile Row Jacket Maker, Molly Rae Withers. I first met this lovely, vivacious and talented woman when she was only one. I met her charming, talented and delightful grandmother, the artist and printmaker, Gill Withers, at around the same time. This collaboration between the two of them sounded like a wonderful thing. Molly uses her grandma’s prints to make these distinctive dresses, which are also artworks and a chapter of family history. I decided that I would buy one and wear it to celebrate my 60 years on the planet.

Gill studied Fashion Illustration at Central St. Martins after WWII. She is predominantly a print-maker, but also paints, sketches and makes mosaics, with beautiful work often inspired from people and landscapes. Molly trained at Savile Row and her collection also includes practical, elegant tailored separates. All the Shift dresses are in one non-repeated pattern, in keeping with the original art work.

Molly says she is focused on ‘creating playful separates for women and the spirit of the collections are clothes to be free in. To be worn from day through to night, neither over-dressed nor under-dressed, with an emphasis on cut and cloth.’

All of this is music to my ears and I loved the shift dresses as soon as I saw them. When I put on my special dress I feel as if I am floating on my back in the sea and looking at the sky. I look forward to wearing it throughout the seasons and taking it with me on all my trips, folded up so small I can put it in my pocket. Other clothes will come and go but this is truly a dress for life.

FOR MORE INFORMATION See WWW.mollyraewithers.com