outfit: ottoman dress

ootd 2018-03-07 at 7.01.47 PM

While in LA yesterday, I went to the Beverly Center (the mall in Beverly Hills) for the first time since I was like 15.  Retail must be dead, because that place was so empty (old video about dead malls here).  I maybe saw two other people walking around.  And because it’s Beverly Hills, it was one of those rare malls that still had good stores in it.  In total, I bought 5 new things for my work wardrobe.  I thought about doing a stereotypical eye-roll-inducing “mall haul” post even though that’s not what I ever do, but luckily for you,  I’m too exhausted from all the traveling and lack of sleep to do that right now.  I thought I’d start off by posting what I wore today instead.

I made it back safely to NYC this morning.  I was nervous about flying back during the snowstorm but it wasn’t windy so the plane was able to land smoothly.  I had a hard time sleeping on the plane and felt miserably tired by the time I got home at 9am.  The kind of tiredness that literally hurts.  I took a one hour nap, woke up, and was in another mad rush to jump onto the subway to try and make it to work by 12 noon.  I was looking forward to having new work appropriate options to wear to work today.

Sorry for the bad lighting here.  I snapped this pic when I got back at 6pm. The sun was already gone, so we are stuck with crappy incandescent lighting.  I’m wearing an ottoman dress by French Connection.  Ottoman is a type of jersey fabric with large horizontal ribs.  It feels somewhere in between jersey cotton, corduroy, and neoprene.  I have a lavender ottoman jacket (the one on my home screen) that I love as well.  The material is nice in that it feels comfortable/casual and can create modern structured silhouettes as well.

ootd 2018-03-07 at 7.03.56 PM

Here’s a close up of the material.  I’m such a sucker for anything with a mock neck.  Steve Jobs would be proud.  Anyway the material feels like a sweater.  It’s big and loose so I can move freely in it, and do some emergency dropkicks if I needed to as well.  I was talking to a random secretary in the hospital today who is in her 50s-60s and she said I reminded her of Diana Rigg from the Avengers.  I gave her a blank stare because I had no idea who that was.


This is Diana Rigg.  I look nothing like her, but I’ll take it! =)  I felt like people treated me with slightly more respect at work today because I looked nice… or maybe I’m reading too much into things.

ootd2018-03-07 at 7.08.51 PM

Here I am trying it on in the Bloomingdale’s fitting room, so you can see it paired with warm weather shoes as well.  I tried on the gray and the navy version.  For some reason the navy version has a different fabric composition and a hook and eye closure at the neck line.  I opted for the navy because it had a higher percentage of cotton and I liked the open neck closure at the back (which I prefer to leave unhooked and open).

The original MSRP was $128.  It is on sale for $78 right now.  I ended up getting it for $40 because it was erroneously placed on the take an extra 60% off sales rack and the SA at Bloomingdale’s let me have it with the discount when I politely complained.  It pays to complain people!

Anyway, more work wardrobe posts coming soon, so stay tuned for that.  I’m going to take a second nap, unpack my things later tonight, and catch up on all my blog reading that I hadn’t had time to get to this week (what a treat!).

[outfit: french connection marin ottoman dress (size 2), american apparel winter leggings, aubergine wool socks from vietnam, hopp essential oxfords]

21 thoughts on “outfit: ottoman dress

  1. That’s a nice looking dress. Thanks for the info on Ottoman fabric too. It’s always fascinating to learn some new about material and fabric I never knew before.


  2. A red-eye flight? Those are tough (though one of Jetblue’s red-eyes is by far the best way for me to get back from California when I visit home, so I always take it). I’ve yet to need to go right back to work the next day after.

    Weird about the mall! I always read about what’s happening with malls and can see some of the factors causing it, like the rise of e-commerce, but the local mall where I grew up (Westfield Valley Faire and Santana Row) has managed to stay really successful and busy at almost all it’s opening hours. We had another mall within 10-15 minutes driving distance that completely died off a while before people started writing about the death of malls, though (as early as 2003).


    1. lol those are the malls I go to and yep they’re always packed. I think they have some good food options there (like DTF). And is the dead mall you’re talking about Great Mall? That place feels kind of dumpy.


      1. The one I was in was not technically dead. It’s the Beverly center by I was there on a Tuesday afternoon so that’s prob why it was so empty. But still back in the 90s a mall like that would be very packed at all times.


      2. Ooh Great Mall is quite dumpy, though in past years it was often busier than the other really dead mall in my neck of the woods!

        The really dead mall is Vallco, which has gone through a few iterations to try and revive it. It’s actually kind of strange, because they have a very ideal location. Their original anchor stores were a Sears, JC Penney, and a small Macy’s, which have definitely not done well. They did put in a large, busy AMC, a fancy gym, and a large banquet-style Chinese restaurant and dim sum place, but I don’t think any of those things brought foot traffic to the rest of the mall.


    2. Yep, brutal especially if you don’t fall asleep and work. Lol I could have planned things better so it’s my fault. Dead malls are so interesting to me. It feels very luxurious to be he only one walking thru a mall but also sad.


  3. I agree; the Ottoman fabric is so nice looking. It’s structured, but not stiff. The collar on your dress is really cool – and you have pockets! It looks like the fabric will be good for weekends, too. What a great find.


  4. I have always been drawn to this fabric and didn’t know anything about it! Thanks!
    Can you please comment on the sizing of this dress when you have time? I always felt FC ran really small when I was in college, but I cannot find many reviews about the sizing. I did see a negative review about the fabric on the FC site and one of a similar tone on Amazon. I still want to try it for myself. What a great deal you got! I always say something to the sales associate when this happens with items I spend my whole hunt believing are marked down only to find they’ve been misplaced.
    Thank you!


    1. Oh yes. I’m wearing a size 2. For reference my stats are 34, 29, 36; Ht 5’5”; this dress runs large and should be loose fit so I think size down. Even w a smaller size there is still 3 inches of space circumferentially. I would normally be a size 4-6.


  5. Ahh the fabric! I love it so much. And how architectural it makes the mock neck. Super A+. Agree about complaining. It never hurts, as long as it’s polite.


  6. Love the ottoman. Thanks for the definition, I had never heard of it before and I love improving my textiles vocabulary. The structure and confidence of your garment reminds me of a modern, more draped version of what Juliana Marguiles often wears in the show “The Good Wife”. Your look is very powerful.


    1. Thank you so much. It’s definitely a “power outfit” which may explain the diana rigg reference too. Funny how structure, movement friendly fabrics and a mock neck universally says “power”.


  7. Fabulous dress! I went to the Beverly Center and was basically shocked by how much it had changed since I was a girl. 3rd Street Promenade and its new mall remain unchanged, however.


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