Pattern Review: Trinnie StyleArc Dress

I recently read fashion journalist Amy Odell’s biography of Anna Wintour, the longstanding editor-in-chief of American Vogue, and that pushed me into a deep rabbit hole googling for articles about Anna Wintour’s style. Anna is of course known for her immaculate brown bob and omnipresent dark sunglasses, but she is also exceedingly consistent in wearing midi-length, fitted printed dresses topped with several strands of colorful sparkly necklaces. Here are some examples from the Instagram account @wintourdrobe:

I decided to try to adopt Anna’s uniform for myself by making some floral print dresses with high necklines, fitted shapes and midi-length skirts. I found the silhouette I was looking for in StyleArc’s Trinnie dress:

View A of this pattern features a high gathered neckline, lightly padded shoulders and a whopping 11-panel skirt. I made two versions of the dress, both out of printed floral rayon challis. I lined both with some ivory-colored Bemberg lining from my stash.

I have styled both dresses with some colorful colette necklaces and a pair of nude slingback sandals. Here’s a closer look at the necklaces:

I really love this pattern, as I think the final result is so flattering and easy to wear. Both dresses fit very well straight out of the envelope; the only alterations I had to make were a straight back adjustment and shortening the hem by about 6 inches (for reference, I am 5ft 2in). I love how the high neckline is a great backdrop for the stunning necklaces.

(Note that the blue version does feature a slightly lowered neckline, but that’s because I originally cut the dress with View B, decided I didn’t like it, and then tried to modify it into View A, which required some piecing together of different fabrics and lowering the neckline.)

I also love the swishy shape and feel of the skirt, thanks to the 11 panels that make it up. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a pain to sew all those panels together, but the resulting skirt is so fabulously flattering that I might end up using it as my go-to skirt pattern in all my dresses.

Here are some more photos of the dresses:

Overall, I highly recommend the Trinnie pattern, and I plan to make enough of these floral print dresses that I’ll be able to make this my new uniform. Thanks for the inspo, Anna!