Sunday, May 18, 2008

Special Feature: Dear Diabolina

Two weeks ago, I got this email from Artsy Fartsy:

Dear Diabolina:

I went to see the new Made of Honor movie last night with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. Her clothes were so "me" throughout the entire film, and there is one shirt in particular that I absolutely must have. No doubt it is designer, but you are so good at finding knockoffs, I was wondering if you could help me.

Go to photo gallery and look at the picture with Michelle and McDreamy walking down the street. She is wearing a belted red shirt with the white/cream polka dots and gorgeous pleating around the neckline. I adore it!

I don't know how we found each other's blogs, but I must say, yours is one of my daily reads. It is so fun to see what you come up with, and although my lawyer job forbids me from mimicking much of your style, I try to at least to take inspiration from your color combinations.

Good luck with your new job!

The Dear Diabolina Answer:

So sweet. The top and Artsy Fartsy.

Wrote her back immediately and let her know I too loved the dotted dreaminess. As you've probably noticed, I have a thing for polka dots. Plus I am trying to retrain my eye to embrace a fitted, maybe even belted silhouette so this was a timely request.

At first I thought finding the top would be a cinch - no pun intended - and that the real challenge would be finding an affordable version. But even finding who makes the original top has proved to be a conundrum.

Initially, I thought the top might be Nanette Lepore. Then maybe Donna Karan. Then Dolce and Gabanna. Then Dior. Then Yves Saint Laurent. All these high end designers do fluttery feminine pieces and occasionally have a thing for polka dots. But no dice.

Then I started thinking like a wardrobe stylist. I considered the more mainstream brands that could keep the look realistic for the movie character's budget and lifestyle. I thought the top could be a Betsey Johnson or J Crew or Banana or Anthropologie. Still no exact match that I could find online.

I did find several adorable printed tops at Anthropologie. Here are some of my favorites.

Very flirty and girly. Already come with a fitted waist but you could still add a belt over the cinched middle.

Could work well paired with jeans for play. Or under a jacket for work. Think they'd look really delish with a black pencil skirt. Very sexy librarian.

And for about $88 dollars they are affordable. A bit pricey for my taste though. If I'm going to spend over $80, I like to make sure it's designer.

More searching yielded this slim fit button down at JCrew. Could be belted and for $58 it's getting closer to my sweet spot ;)

But in the end it's more preppy than pretty chiffony. Back to Google...

Decided to check out my one, my only, my Forever 21. Took a look through the latest dressy top offerings. After all, I've gotten some cutie polka dots there - all for under $30.

Found these two dotted tops that could work. Both could be belted and are definitely dainty.

Both of these little non-dotted numbers I would suggest spying in person. The idea and shape is right but I'm not sure how luxe they look because of the material. After all, both are under $22. Sometimes cheap just looks cheap.

That satin bow alone gives me an allergic reaction. But then again it could probably be snipped off. I've done that several times with Forever purchases to de-trashify.

Then it was time for Polyvore. She had no polka dot answers for me but still played for a little bit when Mr. Diabolina wasn't looking :)

Finally today, in one last ditch effort, I googled "Made of Honor wardrobe." Found a site I've been hearing about for ages but never visited I Saw It On.

It aims to be "
a central hub where you can find information and links to clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories you saw in your favorite movies worn by your favorite stars." Pretty cool. Wish I'd thought of it.

However, it appears even the ISIO professionals are stumped about this top's origin. But like any good resource, they provide some look alike options too.

Let me know if any of you have the answer to this puzzle for the ages. I'll even take educated guesses at this point...

Thanks for the question, Artsy Fartsy. Hope this all helps. Kiss.


Artsy Fartsy said...

Oh D! Thank you so much for all this...You obviously spent a lot of time on this question, and I really appreciate it! The hunt is still on for that elusive beauty, but in the meantime, you have given me some more tops to lust over (and possibly purchase)! I especially love that gray sleeveless polka dot from Forever!

P.S. that movie wardrobe website is awesome!

WendyB said...

You found a lot of good options, even if you didn't find the original.

weezermonkey said...

You are the master!

MissJordyPants said...


Such cute little flowiness.

Lynn Tran said...

Your knowledge has no boundaries. I bow to thee.

tam pham said...

such a follow-up fashionista. so impressed with your attention to detail.


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