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Four Cheers for the Anytime, Anywhere Dress from XCVI

Here's a dress that passes Jeannie Ralston's four-part test: fit, style, versatility, and packability. Plus it has pockets, glorious pockets.

This post is sponsored by XCVI.

XCVI is offering NextTribe readers a 25% discount on all full-priced merchandise. Type in the code: NEXTTRIBE25 at check out. One use per customer. Thanks XCVI.

When I shop for clothes, there are four qualities I always consider. Besides great style and good fit of course, I look for versatility and packability. I travel a lot and take great pride in never checking a bag. (I recently posted in our Facebook Travel Group a photo of me with a small backpack in which I’d fit everything for a week in both hot and cold climates.)

That’s why I really love this Bran Dress from XCVI. It’s made of stretchy poplin with side panels of cotton/spandex ribbing that results in a smooth fit that hangs well. So that’s a check for fit. I like the ruching and the slightly nautical details. It’s a different look for me, and I was surprised at how fun and functional these touches were. There are jaunty grommets in the roomy pockets, and I truly adore pockets in any garment, especially a dress. Our fashion editor, Kimberly Cihlar, couldn’t agree more and wrote a whole story in praise of pockets.

The Long and Short of It

xcvi dress

I also like that using the ruching I can make the dress length longer or shorter. It’s like a curtain you can pull up or down based on how sexy you feel that day, I suppose. XCVI is known for its creative use of ruching, but to be honest, I normally ruching is merely decorative. The bonus of the ruching, when considering packability, is that any wrinkles acquired in a suitcase are virtually invisible in the folds of fabric.

As for versatility—beyond the adjustable length, I like that the dress can be dressed up with a jacket (the one shown above is also by XCVI) or can go it alone for a weekend look. The dress comes in three colors—Navy, a dusty brown, and what’s called toasted almond. I chose the light color because I live in Texas, where spring comes early and I always love a light color for layering. Plus, I’m heading to the beach at the end of February for a NextTribe Retreat, and this dress is coming with me—packed in my carry on and ready to take me anywhere over the week in Mexico.

Photos by Emily Nelson.

This post is sponsored by XCVI.

By Jeannie Ralston


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