Here at T&C, we pride ourselves on our discerning eye for quality. With Tried & True, our editors will give you an inside look at the pieces they simply cannot live without.
One of the big perks of working with T&C is discovering the latest and greatest from our editors. From the Cuyana bag that no less than three T&C editors carry on a daily basis to the LED face mask that’s now part of my pre-event glow-up routine, I’ve discovered so many essentials around the office. But for all their impeccable taste. our editors aren’t only ones with a very T&C eye for style. In fact, it was the readers who led me to discover my new go-to fall party look: The Somerset Maxi Dress in Velvet.
For several seasons now, Anthropologie’s signature Somerset maxi has been earning raves for its effortlessly stylish appeal, so naturally when the brand debuted a brand new velvet iteration for fall, I thought it was high time to see what all of the fuss was about.
Now, let me start out with a caveat—I’m not a dress person. The mobility and ease of pants has always appealed to me, and my short-waisted figure tends not to play nicely with the proportions of your average frock, so it takes a lot to make me a fan of a dress. That said, as soon as I put on the Somerset maxi, I could see why it has garnered so many fans.
The pull-on style (we’re talking “nap dress” levels of comfy, here) sports a stretchy, smocked midsection that instantly molds to your waist to highlight your shape—regardless of what shape that may be. The split-V neckline and the loose, short sleeves show enough skin that you’ll never feel matronly, but still has enough coverage that you also won’t be overexposed at a work function or family get-together. And while Anthropologie makes the style in a whole range of fabrics, shades, and lengths, the velvet version—which features soft, lushly colored fabric (it’s available in five hues) with enough heft to feel luxe without weighing you down—practically screams “party.”
Paired with cowboy boots and a chunky belt or a slouchy sweater and combat boots, it instantly brings fashion girl cred, while a good pair of pumps and some sparkly earrings takes it easily into evening territory. Throw on a blazer and your favorite mary-janes for a day to night look that transitions seamlessly. Essentially, everything you could ask for as we trek into the latter months of the year.
Did I mention it has pockets? Oh yes, my friends.
While I won’t claim that this maxi has single-handedly turned this avowed pants-person around on the issue of dresses, I can say that I’ve definitely joined the legions of Somerset devotees who’ll be keeping an eye out for even more versions of this staple to add to their collections.
Lauren Hubbard is a freelance writer and Town & Country contributor who covers beauty, shopping, entertainment, travel, home decor, wine, and cocktails.