The day before we left on our trip to France and Spain, Adam and I went over to Georgetown to do a little last minute vacation shopping. He wanted a new pair of Rothy’s driving mocs, and I had my eye on a new Tuckernuck hat and the perfect dress for Europe. I had been looking for weeks for that elusive dress, and came to the point where I was willing to shell out more than I’d usually pay. I had a vision — long, full, either blue and white or green and white, and romantically feminine. I wanted it specifically for Provence and, while it needed all the Provencal vibes, it also needed to work in late September, when there might be a crisp chill in the air.
Tuckernuck delivered on the hat, but fell short on the dress, and I wandered over to Anthropologie. I tried on a few dresses in my usual stop in the sale section. Then, on my way out, I spotted one blue and white dress hanging at the back of the rack. The very last one in the store.
I tried it on and this was it. This was my dress for Provence.* Impossibly flattering with a smocked waist and gently puffed sleeves, it’s everything I imagined myself strolling down cobblestone streets in. But, whew, $168 for a cotton dress is more than I prefer to spend. However, with just a day until I left for the trip, I decided to go for it. And, as I read the reviews, I realized this dress’s reputation is known far and wide.
*Funny enough, it turns out I’d encouraged my friend Chesley to buy the exact same dress a few months earlier before her own grand European adventure. Perhaps this is the quintessential European look?
What’s All the Hype About the Anthropologie Somerset Dress?
Apparently this dress has somewhat of a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-type reputation. A quick Google search turns up not only 429 near-5-star reviews on Anthropologie’s own website, but articles across the internet touting it as the dress for spring and summer days, weddings, baby showers (yes, even for the mom), and everything from an casual brunch to an evening out.
It’s Anthropologie’s most popular dress ever, according to them, and they’re continuing to come out with more colors and prints each season (though I’m partial to the classic blue and white that I got).
Is the Anthropologie Somerset Dress Worth It?
So did the dress live up to its golden reputation? YES. A million times over, yes. While I don’t love paying $168 for a cotton dress, I wore this multiple times throughout my trip, and would have worn it more had I had access to a washing machine more than once. I received several DMs from others who’ve also gotten on the Somerset train, all with equal enthusiasm.
I wore the Somerset Dress both on its own and paired with a navy blazer, and it was the perfect early fall transition piece. It works beautifully with blazers, but it’ll keep me cool in the hottest days of summer. The tiers don’t read prairie at all, instead the pin-tucking looks timeless and shows the attention to detail. I love how the ever-so-slightly puffed sleeves give it an air of elegance, like it’s something just a bit special compared to your normal cotton maxi dress. The smocking doesn’t read like nap dress smocking, it disappears into the dress, but adds a defined waistline. And the v-neck can be clasped closed — or not (I choose not to, no surprise).
I always think of those photos people have of their grandparents where they say, “I’ve always loved this photo of her in that blue and white dress, when she was young and carefree, galavanting across France, looking happy and full of wanderlust.” I imagine this is that dress and those photos for me.
And, Of Course, I’m Wearing My Sarah Flint Perfect Block Sandals
No surprise here, I’m wearing my Sarah Flint Perfect Block Sandals. I wore these literally every day in Europe (beyond the one day it was pouring rain), and I’ve shared both a full review here, as well as touched on why they were the only pair of shoes I needed in this post.