Spring dressing

This morning we went outside (without coats!) and saw that the tulips we planted last October are starting to push their thick green leaves from the ground. It's officially Spring (HALLE-FRACKING-LUJAH), and my thoughts have finally turned to my closet.

Why is Fall the big fashion season? I don't know about you, but I go into sartorial hibernation once the ground freezes. Yes, I know that there are beautiful scarves and boots to be worn - but in reality I end up wearing the same boots and coat everyday. With our messy winters, they end up being the practical waterproof ones. I eventually lose interest in what's underneath because knits are too hot in heated rooms and other materials are too light to wear outside.

(I know I sound like Goldilocks. Shut up.)

Also, the wearing of socks makes me grumpy. I can't feel stylish in socks.

But now that things are warming up, I'm excited to start shopping again - and the first thing my mind turns to are dresses. Easy, breezy, pretty dresses! I don't know why so many women refuse to wear dresses - I think that it is much easier to put one on in the morning and slip on some flats or sandals. Two simple steps and you're dressed for the day.

So yes, I wear dresses when its warm because I'm too lazy to bother matching pants to a shirt. And shorts? I avoid them like the plague. They're the warm-weather equivalent of socks.

I have two requirements for everyday dresses:

1. They must be machine- or hand- washable. No matter how cheap the dress, I drop it like a hot potato when I see "Dry Clean Only" on the label. (I have small children.) "Hand Washable" is acceptable only because I trust my washing machine with my delicates and it's never been a problem.

2. They must be easy to wear. If the dress requires specialized undergarments it's relegated to the "special occasion" pile.

The first place I go to for comfortable casuals is J. Crew and, as usual, they have plenty of options:

(J. Crew - where the pretty never stops.)

I'm definitely getting this beauty from Anthropologie and I'll probably wear it with flip flops to keep it from looking matronly:


It's as easy to put on as a t shirt or cowl neck sweater, but SO much better, don't you think?

But other than J. Crew and Anthropologie, it's been difficult to find machine-washable dresses for everyday wear. This is the best I've been able to find so far:

They're OK I guess, but I need something a little more exciting. Retro prints, bright colors, SOMETHING. Can you guys help? Have you found any awesome, machine-washable dresses you can wear to the grocery store?