Frequent reader and all around awesome human CBackson submitted this request:
So I'm heading to a gala in NYC in early fall. It's black tie, and although I know that frequently means cocktail (and I'm willing to think about cocktail), I'd love to wear a long dress. The problem? Everything I see looks too bridesmaid-y, too prom-y, or too old (like, beads everywhere). I'm 32, and although I dress in a fairly classic style, I'm thinking something modern would be a fun change for me. I'm a fair-skinned blonde, on the short side, and slim-bordering-on-skinny (I'm a size 2/4, with a fairly boyish figure). I would LOVE to get something that wasn't black. Other than that, I'm open to all kinds of craziness (except maybe animal prints; girl's gotta draw a line). I was thinking $400 max, but would go higher for something timeless.
So, there's something I have to confess to you - my dear readers - there is almost nothing I like more than shopping for gowns, especially for other people (so I don't have to pay for them.) So of course this request from my beloved C. Backson is right up my alley. I'll try to give you a variety of different looks from different designers and in different price points but, for the interested, I've become more and more drawn to the Tadashi Shoji dresses I've seen at Nordstroms and other stores on-line lately. T.S. seems to design dresses that are classic while still having a little modern edge or something that makes it just a bit different. So there's a better than average chance that a couple of those will sneak there way in here. But I'll make sure to mix it up. :-)
As for the dresses themselves, I think generally something with a fairly slim fit will look great on you. First of all, you should take advantage of what sounds like a lovely, slim figure. But in addition, since generally there's a mix of cocktail length and full-length dresses at these sorts of events, you may be more comfortable in a dress without too much poof. But that certainly doesn't mean your dress can't have some pizazz. Okay! Now on to the recommendations!
Alice + Olivia Open Back Embroidered Maxi Dress at Net a Porter
($395 - from the front this dress looks like a pretty simple lace/embroidered gown, but turn it around and its DAMN sexy. And honestly, even the lace has a little something sexy about it. Plus, I actually like high necklines like this on dresses because it creates a wonderful base for jewelry. This red would be a lovely color for fall.)ML by Monique Lhullier Crisscross Chiffon Gown in emerald at Nordstroms
($298 - what drew me to this dress, first and foremost, is the color. I think if you want to stand out that a kelly green gown is really the way to go. Plus, the cut would be flattering on almost anybody and since you're relatively flat of chest I don't think you have to worry about the crisscross neckline [which I think adds some much needed interest to the gown.] I would consider the possibility of adding a belt at the waist, but that might drag it into the bridesmaid looks, so perhaps just gold or silver jewelry? Or, if you can find it, navy goes wonderfully with this shade of green so navy and gold jewelry would look fabulous.)Nicole Miller Printed Wrap Bodice Gown at Neiman Marcus
($208 - I'm not always one for prints on gowns, but I'm sort of drawn to this one for some reason, perhaps because its not *too* busy, you know? Also, I like that the cut is relatively simple - though I would add some color in the accessories I think. Heads up though - the only size left is a 4 which I know is the upper end of your size range - but I wanted to throw it out there anyway.)
Notte by Marchesa at the Outnet
($394.50 - I think I have recommended this dress to someone before but it remains one of, if not actually, my favorite formal gowns that I've seen floating around out there [though I think when I first saw it was in navy but this lovely coral would do wonders for you.] And sizes 2 and 4 are the only sizes left! The gold embellishments add just enough interest to make the dress interesting but otherwise it is a very simple cut. It is not too grand for the type of event you're going to, but you could wear it to basically anything requiring a formal gown. Basically, I love this dress - though I realize that other opinions may vary.)Tadashi Shoji Portrait Collar Pleated Mesh Gown at Nordstroms
($298 - so I know I have also suggested this dress on this blog before [and to you on the 'rette when you first floated this question], plus its basically black, but it is also one of my favorite formal gowns that I've seen in years so I can't help putting it out there as a serious option. I think the elaborate collar would add a little something at the bust area and the underlay of cream keeps it from being traditional black. Either way - this may be more my taste than yours but I wanted to include it anyway.)
Twobirds Convertible Maxi Dress in Deep Ocean at ShopBop
($310 - technically a bridesmaid dress, but its a lovely color. I'm not sure what to do with the different ways you can wear it, but I like the one shoulder design and the color would look awesome with what I think your coloring is. This is a simple but yet lovely dress and the pleats add a little something special. Definitely something to consider. I'd style it with purple and gold shoes and jewelry - perhaps go with a slight peacock look.)Tadashi Shoji One Shoulder Illusion Gown at Nordstroms
($368 - going back to red and Tadashi, if you want something a bit more form fitting and in the almost mermaid category, I don't think you can go wrong with this dress. It has the best elements of a bandage dress, but the illusion striping at the bottom and the neckline add interest and enough pizzazz that you'll be making a statement. But not the sort of statement you *don't* want to make. Actually, I really like this dress a lot, but don't think I have the figure to quite pull it off - it sounds like you might though! There is a similar, non-one-shouldered in cobalt
that is also lovely if that tickles your fancy.)Kay Unger gold silk and metallic lace overlay party dress at Bluefly
($347 - so this last one I'm recommending in case you decide to go with a cocktail length dress because, quite frankly, it is a FABULOUS cocktail dress and when else do you have an excuse to wear a gold silk and lace cocktail dress except at a formal gala like this? Plus, lucky you, only your size is left. So I'm throwing it out there as an idea, as a counter-balance to what I hope you found were helpful gown ideas.)
So okay! I hope you found these ideas helpful!! I know it was fun finding them for you. Write back when you pick something if you need help picking jewelry and/or shoes (because you know what a BURDEN it is for me to vicariously shop for jewelry or shoes.) But no matter what, let me know what you go with! I have to live through my friends and internet friends who get to go to grand galas since I spend most nights at home in pajamas. So have fun! Don't partake too heavily in the open bar. And show off that dress girl, because no matter what you pick, I know you'll look fierce. Happy Shopping and may the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.
Reader Turkey Traveler asks:
I am traveling to Turkey and Greece this fall. I'm looking for a travel dress I can wear into mosques and Greek Orthodox churches and be respectful. My understanding is that this means below the knee and shoulders covered. I want something packable and not super hot (temperature hot). So far my best find is at lands end but would like more color options--lighter colors (khaki, light blue) because it will still be sunny. Budget is 100 or less. I am 5 foot 6, size 2.
Hey Turkey Traveler! Thanks for the question!! I am so jealous - and I love this question because I love traveling and just went on a big trip out West which involved 2500 miles of driving and mixing up hiking clothes, casual wear, and a little bit of nicer clothes - all of it packed in one carry-on. None of it wrinkling. Two thoughts before I get started - one is that I like to go outside the "traditional" travel and "outdoorsy" wear brands for these sorts of things - there are lots of brands and dresses out there that will work perfectly for this that will be nicely in your price range without having to pay the premium that comes with travel brands. Two - I think you might benefit from a skirt and a couple different wrap tops and or breathable button downs rather than a single dress (given that it will be hot as heck and you might want to switch off the tops) so I'm going to offer you a couple options in that world two.
Indispensable Knit Wrap Dress from LL Bean
($84.50 - comes in several colors, though I like this blue as it would be a great base piece to accessorize with. The description says it hits below the knee and as below average height people [what what], I think we should be able to rely on that. Would probably pack well and be nice and breathable.)ASOS Midi Dress with full skirt and belt from ASOS
($71.27 - I actually own this dress in another color - it is an incredibly light and comfortable cotton, perfect for hot weather, but it can be rolled up and packed in a suitcase and come out pretty much wrinkle free. I'm still super happy with the purchase and it was one of my go-to dresses on my trip. I thought I wouldn't like the midi length on me [I'm 5' 3"] because I thought it would make me look dumpy, but because the skirt is fuller and floaty, it actually looks good.)Women's Regular Split Neck Half Sleeve Terry Dress at Land's End
($59 - this dress looks like it would be extremely comfortable for touring around all-day [it is a "knee length" dress, but I'm thinking if you buy the regular height it will hit below the knee] - and if you add a more structured belt and some jewelry at night, I think it will dress up well for dinner. Plus, it is also a color that will serve as a nice base for a variety of other looks.)
Women's Woven Clip Waist Skirt
in french walnut from Land'd End ($16.99 on-sale - another one where I think you'll have to buy the regular height to get below the knee, but I think this would be a great, light weight neutral skirt for traveling with - it would basically match any top or shoes.)Carla Skirt in white Periwinkle from Dobbin Clothing
($38 on sale - I like the idea of this skirt for this trip - its light, would pack well, hits below the knees but is a-line and would breathe, and the pattern would go with most colors.)Casual Chino Skirt in orange from Boden
($58.50 - okay - so not precisely neutral - but fun! They do come in white, but the orange is going to wear better over the course of a vacation - get dirtier and frankly (I think) scream tourist a little less. Because, is it only me, but do we only become neutral wearing, slaves to matching when we are on vacation?)
Women's Petite Cotton Voile Drop Shoulder Tunic in navy at Land's End
($19.99 - I think this shirt would go well with any of the shirts highlighted above - navy being such a great color - and its a very ambidextrous shirt. You can tuck it in, you can leave it out for a more relaxed look, and since you'd likely wear a tank-top under it, if you wanted to you could carry it in your bag with you just to put on when you needed to go into a church [especially in Greece, I'm unsure about street norms in Turkey with regards to covering one's shoulders.]). Merona Women's Three-Quarter Sleeve Double Layer Tee at Target
($14 - I like this faux-wrap style a lot and the double knit is heavy enough to travel without getting wrinkled but light enough that it will be comfortable in most weather. It can also look dressed up enough for dinners out while still looking in place on the street during the day. It comes in bunches of colors, but I like this purple. A nice option to consider.)
Okay! I hope these options help you out in shopping for your vacation and you find one or two options you like! One more tip before you depart - there's a reason that scarves are very popular in Greece and Turkey even with women who do not cover their hair for religious reasons. You might want to buy a couple scarves (either at home - or even better once you get there!) both for awesome stylistic purposes AND for sun protection. Plus, then you can use the scarf to wrap around your shoulders inside churches and other places of worship and feel extra secure that you are respecting the holy spaces. Win, win, win. And if you happened to find a nice Turkish scarf and wanted to send it to TCFKAG for all her awesome blogging...well...that certainly wouldn't be remiss. ;-) Just kidding. Sort of. HAVE FUN!!!
I have been absent from this blog for an unacceptably long time - I am aware. Unfortunately, my health has been...not good over the last month. But I am hoping to have an upswing soon. Today I was inspired by a black and white polka dotted dress
I saw in Boden's daily e-mail advertisement - reminding me of my favorite pattern and one of my favorite dress shapes, the belted sheath. I am also a fan of this particular neckline, which allows you to wear either statement jewelry *or* a pendant - but still maintains a mostly modest high neckline (especially for those smaller of chest.)
Now - having found such a terrific dress - I thought I'd go about styling it three ways. One for pure fun, one for a more "sexy" date night or night out with the girls, and one for work. But we'll go in reverse order - most demure to least demure. ;-)
Styling it for work
BP Moveover Pointed Toe Flat at Nordstroms
($49.95 - red is so often the color of choice with black polka dots ... and don't worry, it'll make an appearance down flow, but for work I was thinking about keeping things a bit sleeker with patent, pointed toe black flats.) Franco Sarto Instinct at 6PM
($47.99 - Recommended for those more interested in heels - I think the Mary Jane cut gives it a dash of vintage, but the pointed toe and angled block heel keeps it firmly rooted in the present - and comfortable for work at that.)Fornash Enamel Bumble Bee Bangle Bracelet in black and gold at SimplySoles
($25 - again going a bit against expectations here - I like using a simple palette of black and gold to keep the outfit relatively neutral - while adding a bit of a wink with the bumble bee motif on the bracelet to acknowledge that the outfit is still fun and youthful.)Studio Silver 18k Gold enamel Carnelian Pyramid Pendant from Macy's
($37.50 on-sale - finally, I've added a bit of color to the outfit, but again - I think - not in the way people expect. When wearing polka-dots, most expect colors to be bright and bold, but I think tempering that and bringing it in a bit in a more controlled way gives the outfit a more refined look. I really like these three items together for a work accessories plan for this dress.)K. Amato Fan Teardrop Earrings in black and gold at Designs by Stephene
($47.50 - a perfect match for the bumble bee bangle, but also incredibly reusable in their own right - I like these earrings a lot as a basic workhorse for any wardrobe - or at least a workhorse with some edge to them.) Giani Bernini 24k Gold over Sterling Silver Diamond-Cut Teardrop Leverback Earrings from Macy's
($110 - honestly probably a bit much for this particular outfit, but so pretty I couldn't resist recommending them. They'd certainly keep the outfit in the really focused black and gold world. I love them just as they are, as single pieces of jewelry.)
Styling it for a night out with the girls - bright/vintage fun
Faceted white bead vintage necklace from etsy seller Bonnie's Vintage Attic (
$29.95) or again for those preferring a more mainstream retailer Panacea Epoxy Flower Necklace, White at Cusp by Neiman Marcus
($45 - I *like* a white necklace for this [to be honest, its inspired by a vintage white chunky necklace I inherited from my aunt - it gives the look a vintage fun feel for summer without relying on many of the tropes that people frequently do with black and white dots. White, other than pearls, is really an underutilized color in our jewelry lexicon and I think it would look great with this outfit.)Ceramic Studs - yellow lemon dots - by etsy seller Hermoosa
($24.95) or for those who prefer more mainstream retailers Kate Spade New York stud earrings in yellow and white at Nordstroms
($34.80 - now 40% off - I love the bright vintage lemon yellow and white with black and white polka dots in the summer. And I personally prefer studs - though there are lots of fun chandelier or teardrop options out there too.) Now, if based on these earring suggestions you really wanted a yellow necklace idea, you might consider this one from Dillard's
- though I'm not convinced about the starfish accents. Bruno Premi in emerald green at Yoox
($59 - I know that a green shoe is a bit different here - though not totally out of nowhere since green and yellow go so well together - but I love these sandals [the block heel would be good for dancing and walking but they still have that sexy look] and I think adding a kick of green at the bottom of the outfit would be just what the outfit needed. Though for those of you who prefer a wedge - and are a lucky size 9 - these Butter wedges
might be just the thing for you. If, however, you were worried about the shoes being the only green in the outfit, you could consider something like this vintage bangle I found on Etsy
(pictured above) that works in both green and yellow - as well as a few other colors - and would be a great way to work the shoes and the rest of the jewelry together into a cohesive whole ($5 used at Sissy's Touch of Grey.)
Styling it for a sexy date - finally - here's the red!
As way of introduction - I feel like you can either go with reds or cobalt blue here as a theme for your accessories (if you decide not to go straight black ... which you can but would overlap too much with my above posts so....). So For each of the items I'm suggesting to style for date night, I'll recommend something in fire engine red and cobalt blue. Pro-tip though, I wouldn't wear ALL blue or red, I'd wear say red shoes and red earrings - but maybe a silver or gold necklace, just to mix the color up, but I'll leave the mix up to you! And whichever color you pick, make sure to bring it on the bright red lip!
Louise Et Cie 'Scorpio' Peep Toe Pump at Vince Camuto
($69.99 - there are as many red peep-toe pumps as there are people in the world, but this one is different and special while still looks like it would be comfortable. It is a textured fish-scale leather in a bright red and the heel and toe accents are dipped in gold enamel. It is under 4" in height. I love that its an elegant and different take on the classic red pump.) If you're interested in close-toed shoes, consider the Adrienne Vittadini Cecilia Pump in Red at Belk.Kamalikulture Zaylie Sling Backs in Cobalt Blue at Zappos
($69.99 - definitely hot looking - the reviews are mixed with some concern about the strength of the sling though. I think it would be okay for a sometime shoe maybe? If you're looking for a more traditional cobalt pump though - perhaps consider the Guess Rolene pumps on sale at 6PM right now
- they look pretty good.) Gold Wing Earrings found on Shoptiques from Langford Market, Texas
($12.90 - okay - the shipping on these is absurd because, well, they ship from a little boutique in Texas - but I feel I would be remiss if I did not share these awesome earrings with my dear readers! So here I am, sharing. They also come in a green and gold that is cool too.)Orion Teardrop Earrings at Nordstroms
($15 - I may or may not have done this whole red or blue thing just because of these earrings. I love these earrings. God. Earrings like these make me wish I could pierce my ears.)Akuamarina Silver Leaf and Murano Gold Round Pendant Necklace at Forzieri
($70.40 - I know I said I'd stick with red, but this gold murano glass pendant goes so beautifully with this look that I couldn't help it. Seriously, I love this necklace. If you do want red - this version of it is red
and this other murano glass necklace from the same company
is a beautiful, fun red and yellow necklace (might go great with the look above this one as well). House of Harlow 1960 Plectra Pendant Necklace in blue on Zappos
($60 - so this is designed to be opera length, but I think you can make it shorter to be worn around the neckline of this dress. And I love the color and the way it would go with these earrings. Its pretty cool!)
Okay - since this post is already getting out of control a bit, I'm going to leave it there - though I think if I WERE putting together a date look with these pieces, I might add a bracelet or possibly a different belt than the one that comes with the dress. But...for now I hope these items lend some inspiration.
So one dress, three looks. What do we think dear readers? Are you happy to have me back? Have I lost my touch? How would you style it? Leave a note in the comment section below!
P.S. Do you have trouble remembering the names of necklines? Look at this amazing resource I found when looking for the name of this neckline! Its great (though it doesn't include this specific neckline - which I'm still not sure what to call).
Reader KG asks:Hi TCFKAG! I'm in my mid-twenties and have been thinking about trying to create a more cohesive personal style lately. So far my shopping style is haphazard and I just buy what I like. My closet isn't bad, it's just not memorable. I'm trying to go about this by selecting a fashion icon (Jackie O) and trying to go from there. But I get a block when I'm actually shopping. What I really would love is a list of 5-10 modern Jackie O must-haves to get me started on building an awesome wardrobe. The details: Size: generally size small/2/27. I'm a skinny hourglass. Price Range: Lower is always better. Max prices would be $30ish for shirts, 100ish for pants, 75-100ish for dresses, $50-150 on shoes. But I love to fall in love and goggle at out of reach clothes too, so don't feel too limited. Hair color/skin tone: Super pale skin, brown hair Event: Everyday work and weekend clothes. I work in a pretty casual industry, so I don't need suits or really formal stuff. Shoes: Size 9.5, and definitely partial to flats.Hey! Look - I'm back. Sorry for the longer than expected delay in return. I got back from a PHENOMENAL vacation (go here to see photos) and then I got very, very, very sick. So my return to the world of vicarious shopping and blogging was delayed. But here I am and your question tickled my fancy. It also gives me a chance to expound for just a bit on a topic that has come up several times on Corporette and just generally in work environments I've been in in the past (but which doesn't necessarily apply entirely to your question). I have absolutely no problem with people having a defined personal style; in fact, I think its a great way (though not the only way) to guide your wardrobe and your closet into a cohesive unit - thus allowing the set of clothes you own to work well together as separates and saving you both time and money in the morning. But, with any style choice, you have to walk a fine line in the workplace. With the Jackie O inspiration, frankly, it would look incredibly odd for a twenty-something to be walking around right now wearing pill-box hats and chanel suits. And as with one of my recent posts, people who are more "goth" or edgy in their personal style have to find a way to reign that in for work. But I don't think this just applies to "out there" stylistic choices. If your style is "preppy" for example, a fairly well accepted style choice in the work place, I still don't think you can buy your entire work wardrobe from Lilly Pulitzer or LaCrosse. And if you're into fashion and really like getting dressed up and looking trendy, I would think twice about wearing an Akris suit everyday to a more casual business casual firm, no matter how awesome you would look, because the edginess would likely throw off your superiors. What am I trying to say? With any style-inspiration, its all about taking that inspiration and working elements of it into a modern business or business casual wardrobe. No matter how loyal you are to the "look", you have to remember that your work wardrobe is *not* about expressing personal identity (with, of course, the exception of dressing to match the gender you identify with) - its about looking professional and pulled together. But there's also no reason that has to be boring. Hence the meeting in the middle. So just remember, you want to be remembered as the woman who filed a kick-ass Motion to Dismiss or solved the network problems that had been plaguing the office for months; that is what your office identity should be. You do *not* want to be "Jackie O girl" or "Mad Men girl" or "goth girl." Your style should be a secondary identity but not a primary one. If you pull that off, then you have achieved greatness my friend. NOW! Moving on to the actual meat (and FUN) of the question.I guess the first question is .... what did Jackie O wear? Of course her style changed somewhat throughout her life, but she was known for clean lines, classic styles, simple colors, collarless blazers, and in her early years a-line skirts. She was a style icon of her time and always looked pretty amazing. She was also very New Englandy (is that a word....it is now) - trending, especially later in life, towards a sort of maritime look in her casual wear. Now, I have to admit up front a STRONG affection for Jackie - and frankly the whole Kennedy clan. I'm from New England (in fact a large chunk of my family is from Newport, RI) and I'm Irish-Catholic. What does that mean? That means that there were pictures of JFK and Bobby Kennedy up in all of my elderly relatives houses next to the pope. They were a very big deal for Irish-Americans in the 50s and 60s and it may be hard to understand now, but Jackie was their princess. My now deceased great-uncle went to JFK and Jackie's wedding, just so he could see them come out of the church and shoot a picture - the resulting picture (she looking pretty startled) was one of his most treasured possessions. But really - how could you not love them? (By the way, that's a rhetorical question, I am well aware of the reasons that JFK was problematic.)
So - given this is my first post back AND its Jackie O, I'm going to do a slightly different format. I'm going to post a picture of her that caught my eye - trending from the more business formal to the more casual - and then I will post more modern items that I think would do a good job of recreating a similar look - without making it look like you were playing 1950s or 1970s dress-up (I will be doing various J.O. eras - she had fabulous style in all of them.) So lets get started!
So - the Chanel suit with the pill box hat is, of course, a classic. Its practically iconic. But I also think its pretty dated for a young attorney at this stage of your career (and I'm just going to assume point blank you're not wearing pill box hats to work.) I also think its critically important that you get something that highlight the waist a bit more and is, frankly, a bit more flattering. But I have some ideas about suits that might give the same effect but without the stiffer, throw-back vibe.
| |Front zip moto in coral from the Limited
($49.99 also in yellow - I honestly think in your case that separates are the best way to go, since you don't need a full suit. You can get the vague look with a bit more modern flair.)
| |TopShop Fleck Bouclé Jacket at Nordstroms
($150 - a bit above what I imagine you'd want to pay for a blazer - but otherwise I think its perf. Its cute and modern and I love the color - and if you can get past the horrendous styling on the model it would be great for work (especially with gray.)
| |Bouclé Jacket at Mango Outlet
($79.99 on-sale - I think this blazer is cool and may fit a bit more with her later style - more in the seventies look - but I really like it. Especially if you tried something a little interesting and paired it with a black turtleneck, for example.)
So - other than the unfortunate Chanel suit - one thing Jackie was very good about was picking dresses that emphasized her natural waist. Now - I'm not sure where your waist is precisely, but I'm going to assume for the purposes of this exercise that, like her, you had a fairly mid-range natural waist (which was great for her - it seems to have allowed her to wear things that hit everywhere from just below the rib-cage to almost a dropped waist....the lucky duck.) So here I'll be showing a few work appropriate dresses that have nicely defined natural waists - but would also work as essentially a business casual suit separate with a blazer thrown over them (perhaps one of the blazers above - who knows.) For that reason, I'm sticking mostly with the neutrals here, black, gray, and navy.
So, there may not be universal agreement on this, but I think Jackie's 70s style was absolutely fantastic. She didn't fall prey to some of the more hideous excesses of the period, but instead stuck with her figure flattering, chic look - but added a little more flair and a little more.....disco....for lack of a better term. Take this look for example. 50s and 60s Jackie would never have rocked a super swag, collar popped trench coat and corresponding trousers. And yet she looks fabulous. Also...I think she's the only reason that sometimes I think that very sparing use of the turtleneck in your wardrobe is absolutely a go (see e.g. with the Mango Blazer above.) But generally, what I would take away from this picture, is the power of a well tailored pair of straight leg (or slightly boot cut) trousers, a fitted blouse or short, and an awesome trench coat.
Now, I will acknowledge, it is essentially an exercise in futility recommending pants blind over the internet because of simple size preferences, fit preferences, and the magic "it" that is impossible to capture via the world wide web. But take this from Jackie O - you should want your pants to fit - and don't trust catalogues as a judge for how pants fit - if you have lines pulling across the front forming that sort of spider shape across your pelvis (you know the one) they're too small. If when you sit down, they ride up and show your whole sock, they're probably too short. If when you walk, you trip over them, they're too long. And if they dig into your stomach and make you uncomfortable, they're too small. My best tip - buy the size that fits your thighs, hips, and stomach....the rest can be altered (and get a Nordies debit or credit card so you can get some free alterations too.) Okay...moving on, here we go.
| |Seasonless Straight Leg Pant at White House Black Market
($88 - I know I just said how I wasn't going to recommend pants - but I like the look of these - they're a bit different than all the other "straight" or "wide" leg pants. Might be worth a gander at this price. Readers - has anyone worn or purchased these?)
| |Silk Chiffon Houndstooth Blouse from Brooks Brothers
($91.20 - in trying to figure out what the modern equivalent to the turtleneck would be - I bet it would be something like this blouse. Its formal, but with a pattern and a bow to keep it interesting. In fact, Jackie liked neck bows as seen here
, so you'd be keeping it on theme.)
| |Mark New York Asymmetrical Zip Front Belted Trench Coat from the Bon Ton
($140 - so I'm going with a bright color on this trench because sometimes we forget that Jackie was actually *really* fashionable. She wasn't just demure and proper; she was one of the first First Ladies who was young enough to be a "fashion icon." Yes her style seems a bit prim now, but she was cool
back then, so a Jackie O inspired wardrobe doesn't have to be all prim all the time. Is all I'm saying.
The Kennedys as I assume many of you know are Cape Codders - they have a huge house on the cape and most of the kids grow up there and spend a lot of their time there in the summer. I'm not sure what Jackie's relationship with Newport was, but I think she also spent a fair amount of time on the beach in the summer. After JFK died, she married a yacht dude (I won't pretend to know what he did.) Basically, her casual wear definitely had a fancy maritime theme. Three elements that really defined her look were her cropped pants, her scarfs (traditional square ones, I think), which she would wear on her head or around her neck, and her flats (not pictured above as she's wandering around barefoot....like a peasant...or Britney Spears during her breakdown. But in other pictures it appears for flats she favors a box toe or a slight point with a buckle or other minimalist decoration on the toe box and either flat or a low square heel. We won't discuss in too much detail her taste in heels, we'll chalk it up to the era.) As such, I'll focus on these three items for "casual wear" assuming - probably rightfully - that you have t-shirts or blouses that you can wear that will go nicely with these items.
| |Caslon Chino Ankle Pants from Nordstroms
($34.80 - so, the Halogen brand cropped pant
which comes in a variety of cuts and fabrics gets great reviews at Nordies, but I think I like these chinos a bit better. The cuff gives them a little more of a relaxed flare, while still keeping them looking good - plus I love this navy color - though they come in like 20 colors.)
| |Slightly Curvy Perfect Twill Ankle Pants from Eddie Bauer
($39.99 - if you are considering a more formal cropped pant - I think these Eddie Bauers might be a good fit for you. They are mostly fairly straight, with the pressed seam in the front, but the slightly curvy cut will fit your slim hour-glass shape better. I wish they came in more colors though...I feel like the whole point of cropped pants is fun colors; I'm almost sure of it. For ones that maybe aren't as curvy friendly but come in WAY more fun colors, check out the Hampton fit cropped pants at BR
| |Linen Straight Leg Pant from C&C California
($48.99 - so these are a bit off the radar - but for a modern "oh, you know, I'm just running from the beach to my yoga class to coffee and I just threw this look together" pant - I really am drawn to these. They look amazingly comfortable and yet way more stylish than most similar pants. At least worth a look - especially if paired with an appropriately "just thrown together" tunic and some jewelry.)
| |Vintage Christian Dior Paisley Silk Scarf from American Apparel
($50 - I may or may not be having a stroke right now, since I'm willingly listing an item from AMERICAN APPAREL - but this scarf is SO PRETTY and is allegedly vintage Dior. Either way, I love teal, I LOVE paisley, and it would go amazingly with the color palette we've been building so far [always an important consideration when adding new items and accessories.])
| |Vintage Waves Square Silk Scarf from Lord and Taylor
($30.44 - I love this bright yellow, it would really take a lot of gray and navy and even black outfits into summer with just a tie of a scarf. Plus this is a color I know Jackie favored [at least in the color pictures I saw of her] and I just think its lovely. This particular scarf would go especially well with say a gray or navy dress as a way to add some interest without needing to add layers in the heat of the summer. Plus its a great price for silk!)
| |Harmony close toe flat in dafodil from Sole Society
($59.95 - I have to tell you, I LOVE these, and I'm thinking of getting them for myself. And they feel like exactly what an updated Jackie O casual flat would be. You have the box toe and the buckle on the toe box and yet the color and the patent really scream fun. Plus the yellow will add some pop to otherwise neutral weekend or casual [or work] attire. These are kind of amazing....I might be personally in love though I recognize they are not everyone's cup of tea.)
| |Sesto Meucci Exedra Flat from 6PM
($96.99 - so based on pictures of her actual shoes - these may be the most similar to Jackie O's casual flats that I could see on the current popular shoe market. Which, is kind of funny, because this sort of vaguely male style flat is totally back in style right now. And these would be insanely comfortable [they also come in tan] but they are not as cute and adorable as one might hope. I have no idea if it was a Jackie O thing or a that period thing, but there ya go. She did wear more dressy flats for formal occasions (based on the pictures at least.)
So, we have come to the end of our epic journey....the Little Black Dress. Perhaps not as famous for her choice of a LBD as, say, Audrey Hepburn, our First Lady in question sure knew how to make one work. I especially like the one in the above picture - completely appropriate for the wife of the President and yet stunning none the less (though I think in the modern day we'd ramp up the jewelry and the shoes just a bit.) The bottom two dresses are different. The one on the left is presumably still during the Presidency and it is a more formal event. But I like the deeper dip in the neckline. You can see her jewelry and her toned arms. This is Jackie O outside a boatneck! Huzzah! On the right is something entirely different. This is later in life (probably in the 70s - a google image back search couldn't turn up an origin) but her tastes have matured and she has been freed to be more sexy and fashion forward. Despite all that, and in the middle of the fashion....adventures that were the 70s.....she still looks classy and timeless. She could turn up to a gallery opening today in any of these looks and look in place - and in the end, isn't that the goal? (Well not always, but sometimes. Probably not with Lady Gagas meat dress.)
| |T by Tadashi Off the Shoulder Bandage Dress at Nordstroms
($138 - also available in red and blue - this dress is presented in honor of Ms. O's sexy later years. Because having Jackie O as your style icon doesn't mean being prim and proper forever.... sometimes it means off the shoulder bandage dresses. That's what we are remembering with this dress. ;-].)
| |David Meister Illusion Top Cocktail Dress at Neiman Marcus
($161 - I like this dress a lot - I feel like its classy with just a bit of sex appeal, just like Jackie. It would be great for a formal work cocktail party type thing or as a guest as a wedding. Its screaming for dangly earrings, bangles, and brightly colored shoes [and possibly an opera length necklace, if it doesn't mess with the effect of the neckline.])
| |Bridge V-Neck Dress in Black from Reiss
($240 - also available in red - I feel like this picture likely does not do this dress justice. But it is the ideal sheath dress for fancy occasions, the perfect blank slate on which to build your jewelry and shoes and hair and make-up; with the up-side being that you can wear it to work as well. Also if you click through you'll see the back dips down just a little, which I really like as a detail. To bad the picture is so terrible.)
| |Kate Spade New York Lorelei Dress in "black/clotted" at Piperlime
($248 - okay my budget is all out of control on these....look at them as long term goals? Sorry. But I love the checkered design on this one and the pockets and the classic shape. I also think it would be wildly flattering on someone with a slightly curvy figure [I say that as someone with a slightly but not super curvy figure....if that makes sense.])
| |JS Collection Peek-a-boo lace Cap Sleeve Fit and Flare Dress at Edressme
($270 - so I was trying to avoid lace, mostly because I feel like we're all going to look back at this period in 10 years and wonder if there was something in the water that made us all have a lace fetish, but everything else about the cut, the shape, and the fit of this dress is lovely...so here ya go.)
| |Carmen Marc Valvo Crepe Bottom Cocktail Dress at Bergdorg Goodman
($226 - so - I won't lie, this is only available in a size 6 - but I just think its lovely so I'm sharing it anyway. If any of my other readers are a size 6 and are looking to add something in the same style to their wardrobe, this might be a good match for you!)
So that's all she wrote folks. Did I miss any clear "Jackie O" necessary wardrobe elements? If so, give Reader KG a heads up in the comments! And I'm glad to be back - I missed you all!! Look forward to hear from all of you going forward over the next few days/weeks. And since I couldn't share ALL the amazing photos of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis I found during the making of this post, I will leave you with just a few more (clearly its too bad I don't have the picture of her looking shocked/terrified from when my great-uncle jumped out and took her picture on her wedding day.....)
So - I wanted to do a post about business appropriate work items for people who like to dress with a bit of edge. Now let me be clear, these aren't just for people who are dressing all in black to look more grown up or to be more intimidating. These are people who are, perhaps, goth in their personal style or otherwise like to look tough or edgy in their style. Now - much of what I post here would normally fit the "ladylike" or even "girly" side of the coin. And I'm not going to recommend studded belts or collars for work (which I know you wouldn't wear unless you work in a VERY creative field) - but I'm going to suggest some edgier work wear items to be paired with otherwise neutral items to allow you, my little gothic lovlies, to slip some of your edgy soul into your work wear without scaring the puppy-shirt loving office administrator or the 70-year-old managing partner.
| |Tracy Reese Brocade Pencil Skirt at Neiman Marcus ($90 - so I clicked on this because I liked the skirt but then I liked the sweater with leather sleeves too. I think a brocaded burgundy skirt like this is sort of sneaky edge; a bit vintage but cool if paired with a very modern top - like here with leather. I really like this version; not too much like a couch cushion and a lovely color.) | |Marc New York by Andrew Marc Black Sheath Dress with piping at Nordstroms ($138 - love the piping here - not only would it be great for women with longer or mid-length waists to emphasize their shapes, but it takes a plain black dress and adds interest without making it work inappropriate. Also the shape is a bit different but not crazy. With a cropped jacket in any color this would be great for work.) | |ASOS Pants in Wide Leg in Berry at ASOS ($34.99 - these are maybe questionable, but I love the idea of these with a wide, black leather belt and a black or contrasting shirt and then a long, beaded statement necklace [or the Boden military blazer right below this!]. Usually berry isn't an "edgy" color, but I think the combination of the palazzo cut and hard styling could make this an exciting outfit, you know?)
| |Fitzrovia Jacket in navy with white piping at Boden ($98 - "Military style" blazers are all over the place right now, but I like the piping and color of this one, which keeps it from being *too* casual or military. I think the ones that are military khaki green are too casual and some of the more super structured ones are a little hard to wear for a lot of women who aren't petite - this would look nice on lots of shapes and is nice.) | |Gliding on Style Top at ModCloth ($47.99 - I don't usually love peplum, but if you paired this with a black pencil skirt and a bright colored pendant necklace and fabulous earrings and heels and...god...curvy women would look amazing. Anyway - seriously cool.)
| |Antonio Melanie Rikki Pinstripe Waistcoat at Dillard's ($119 - I am of the opinion that everyone should wear waistcoats. Wear it with a silk blouse and then a looser pair of trousers. Or get the matching pants and have an androgynous day or a colored pencil skirt and show off your butt. Either way, if it fits right, everyone loves a good waistcoat and you can pretend to be Tom Hiddleston or Matt Bomer for the day.) | |Fashion Star Pencil Skirt with Leather Appliques by Daniel Silverstein at Saks Fifth Avenue ($150 - leather skirts are very trendy, but I think leather pencil skirts may not be work appropriate but I think some of the pencil skirts with leather detailing are exceptions. Just a leather waistband though are no fun - this one is FUN. Paired with a burgundy blouse or blazer and black heels - this would be beautiful. I actually wouldn't pair it with a black shirt so that the leather can shine.) | |Cooper & Ella Crochet Trim Blouse in black at Piperlime ($89 - okay there are a million black blouses in the world - but I like the crochet detail on the shoulders of this one - adding a little difference. Also, the soft way it hangs, and the v-neck is a nice cut but isn't too low.)
| |4.collection black and gray printed flare dress at Saks Fifth Avenue ($298 - I hope this dress would be longer on women of average height - but I love that this is an A-line dress but not girly - which they often are. Add a fitted black or gray blazer and maybe a gray leather belt and whatever color shoes your mind can imagine and you've got a great look. Plus this is practically made for dramatic jewelry.) | |Ann Klein Faux Leather Skirt in tan ($49 - limited sizes - I think this is one of the exceptions to the general rule against leather pencil skirts are inappropriate for work because it is so neutral and simple. Another exception are a-line leather skirts, like this one that Banana Republic used to have. I think the key is that the skirts not be too tight, not be black [black being very "biker" for some reason] and that the skirt and styling be as neutral as humanly possible.)
So - what do you think readers - do any of you have an edgier look? Are these things you would wear? What do you think - other than my love of skulls, I'm not particularly edgy (one of my skull scarfs is sea foam green - you can't really consider me to be hard core whatsoever....I find my love of skulls to be generally ironic.) Leave some comments in the comments sections (and if you don't know where that is, click the link in the title and go through to the post's main page and look at the bottom of the screen! Don't worry, your e-mail won't show up.)
A Corporette reader, Lost in the Racks, asked:Big dinner coming up SATURDAY NIGHT [emphasis mine] with SO and his firm (900+ employees). No idea what to wear. He’s wearing very dark grey pinstripe Hugo Boss European cut suit. I need to look amazing – first time to a work function with him. I’m 5’10″ and usually a size 12 – curvy (38DD). Help?So, LitR, I'm sort of letting you jump the line here because it sounds like your event is tomorrow? If that isn't true and its next Saturday - well - you're still a bit pressed for time but you could order from SOME online retailers (Zappos, Amazon, on-line only Nordstrom's dresses). But for the sake of this post I'm sticking to "things that I think are available at most malls in America" but simultaneously "still look fabulous enough that you won't look like you bought it the day before." I assume you volunteered your husband's suit to describe level of dressiness and not a matching issue - since almost everything in the world goes with gray - but I'll try not to clash (and if you need to, you can always buy him a new coordinating but not too matchy-matchy tie.) Or better yet, let the guys in the men's section of a department store or suit store do it - they are much better at it than us mere mortals.So I'm going to add some styling and possibly actual shoe and jewelry advice, because in the end what makes an outfit for an event like this sometimes isn't the dress but rather how you accessorize. Also, on a final note, I know most people would head straight to the "LBD" section for this one - and that's fine - but I think some color would be great for this. I mean, its a middle of the summer party and *you* don't have to be conservative to avoid "embarrassing" yourself in front of your bosses - you just have to be appropriate, if the difference is clear. So I'm going to suggest some color but I'd definitely suggest you look at my "wedding guest black dress" post (which has both LBDs and non-LBDs), my "teal" cocktail and work dress and my "little red dress" post from before for other ideas. Many of those dresses, especially the Nordies ones, may be available at your local mall - but I'd call ahead to check. Now moving on to some ideas specialized just for you.
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique at Nordstroms ($168 - the reviews are mixed, but you'd be trying it on first. Its available in your size at 2 of the 4 stores near my house so I figure you have decent odds of it being available near you. I think a fun floral would be great for a summer work party because well its summer. I'd keep everything else simple, nude or gray heels, maybe a silver or gold bangle, pendant necklace and maybe even just stud earrings.) | |Cascade Hem Sleeveless Dress in palm frond from Ann Taylor ($79.99 - so I would normally not recommend asymmetrical hemlines, I just usually don't like them, but something about the execution of this one works for me. Plus the color is great, I like the top, the price is right, and its available in-store in lots of locations. So it might be worth a try-on at least. Most reviews are good - saying its flattering and a nice length for the taller set.) | |Textured Cotton Sundress in polka dot from WHBM ($160 - WHBM has this fun polka dot dress - they also have a couple great striped dresses. If you're hitting a mall, I'd hit them up first. They're one of my must stops when taking my friends dress shopping and they are always amazed by how much they like the dresses and how flattering they are...including both x-shaped and fairly short to tiny, thin, and tall. So they have variety.)
| |Tadashi Shoji Lace & Tulle Cocktail Dress at Nordstroms ($298 - you'll have to check store availability - this is a repeat for me from the teal post - but I just love it. A more modern take on the lace trend, a beautiful teal, looks long enough that should work for a 5' 8" person, wide shoulder straps and high neck should hold the girls, and the ribbon detailing at the waist line should help emphasize a variety of natural waist lines. Also comes in a lovely cantaloupe color. Maybe worth the splurge since it would be a great dress for weddings and such?) | |Banded Drop-Waist Dress in black at WHBM ($160 - if I was you and looking for a little black dress for this, I might seriously consider this one. It has 11 reviews and a 5 out of 5 - with lots of reviews saying it looks great on curvier figures. I think it would really work well with your assets [as they say in the boob trade lol] and the banded section through the bodice and stomach looks forgiving but while still having a nice a-line twirly skirt at the bottom. Yes, I'm a grown-woman who likes twirly skirts and I'm proud. A pair of red pumps and a bright red lip with some great jewelry and this would be a great "guest at a company party" look.
| |Colorblocked Pleated Sleeveless Dress in tropical jade at Ann Taylor ($148 - this dress practically SCREAMS summer at me and if this color flatters you it might be perfect. Add a long necklace or pendant, some nude or metallic sandals, and maybe that bangle she's wearing and it's a great look. A nice mix of formal and fun. I'd bring a cardigan or wrap though. | |Etched Leaf Wrap Dress at Talbots ($109.00 - available in all sizes and should be in store - I think a lot of wrap dresses might be too casual for this event, but since this one has a pattern, a very nice one in my opinion, it dresses it up enough that I think it works. Again with a bit of extra jewelry and nice shoes and you've got a good look; plus wrap dresses are just SO flattering and look so good on bustier women.) | |Adrianna Papell Jersey and Taffeta dress at Nordstroms ($178 - I wanted to include one dress that was really a more formal "event" dress - unfortunately this one isn't available in stores near me but you should check with the stores near you. Or look for something with a similar wide-v-neck and fit and flare skirt - which I think would be a great formal dress shape for you.)
| |Side bow dress in bright red at The Limited ($79.90 - possibly with an additional 50% off - the sale is difficult to understand. There is also a black version of this dress and this is called red though on my screen it looks orange. Either way, the Limited is getting great props everywhere for its new resurgence so I'd definitely check it out for a mall option for a dress. [Oh and I secretly hop this is orange - I love orange.]) | |Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Beaded Tulip Hem at Macy's ($199 - this is a brand new Papell as far as I can tell, at least I've never seen it, so I'm throwing it up here just because I like to keep people informed - I'm not actually sure you could get it in time for your party LitR (sorry). Its definitely an interesting dress, I love the fish tail ruching, but not so sure about the beaded neckline - would have to see in person I guess. I am a HUGE fan of burgundy though - so they've got me there.)
And Now Just a Few Accessories Suggestions ... Because of Reasons
Okay LitR - that's what I got for you tonight. I hope you find something that makes you look and feel incredible (without making you wear your grandparent's clothes). But really, just have fun and take advantage of what I hope is an open bar. The goal here is just to look nice enough that you fit in - the nice thing about going to your husband's work events and not, say, your own is there's no one to impress. :-)
P.S. To the other Corporettes who are hopefully now reading this blog instead of just the tumblr (or nothing before). There is a tab on the top of the page entitled "Vicarious Shopping Questions" where you can submit your questions directly and they won't get lost in the shuffle of a Weekend Thread that gets out of hand and I just forget or lose them (which happens sometimes!)
Also, if you haven't been reading the blog at all, you may have missed the announcement that I have started a PERSONAL SHOPPING SERVICE through TCFKAG Shops. You can click on the tab at the top of the page logically titled "Personal Shopping" to learn all about it - but the upshot is if you have a particularly complicated or involved question - or would like help with something like restyling your whole wardrobe or picking out a new wardrobe after significant weight loss....something like that, you should consider hiring me as a personal shopper. I'm fairly cheap as these things go and it will be a more interactive, on-line process via e-mail or video chat (if you prefer). Or, if you live in the Boston/Greater New England area - it might even be in person. So take a look see at the info and submit from that form if you are interested!!!
Okay - that's all the announcements. Hope you like the dress ideas and happy shopping. Other readers - I know Reader LitR has to go buy these items at the store, but if you are going to buy any of them - I'd be super touched if you bought them through the link on the website because when people buy things through my links I make a little money which is both cool and I get adorably excited about it (think $10 per, like week, and you'll understand why its adorable.) Gosh - REALLY, really checking off now. :-)
Reader ET wrote in a really long time ago and asked:Hi! I'm looking for a nice crochet lace dress, preferably with a fitted waist and short sleeves. There's a lot of lace out there right now but nothing that seems quite right. A contrast with the underlay isn't absolutely necessary, but I don't like all white/cream. Cream lace with black/navy/purple underlay, or some dark lace in general would probably be the ideal. I love the black crochet lace with cream underlay of this dress: Wilfred Quai Dress the only issue it being a bodycon that I struggle to get myself into. It's a bit pricier than what I'd like for something I'm not sure about, but am otherwise willing to pay around that much if it's really perfect. I actually would have liked this Maitland Lace Dress from Anthro okay except that the skirt kind of fell flat. I tried it on and it just didn't do anything for me. I'm typically a size 12 if this helps at all. Sorry if I'm giving too many requirements! Thank you!
Okay, reader ET, I'm really sorry this answer is SO belated - I actually sort of hope you've found your dress already. Or that you've successfully phoned home (I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself, literally...couldn't do it.) Anyway - on the off-chance that you haven't - I think I've seen some good ideas out there for you. But first, for those following along at home, here are the dresses Reader ET sent in as examples.
Click through to see actual dress with black underlay - there was no picture of it on the model.
Both of these dresses are pretty - but nothing is wildly special about them. And I do love when retailers use "body-con" to just mean "really tight" instead of what I think it *should* mean, which is form flattering. Ugh. So lets get started on finding better options.
| |Midi Dress in Crochet Lace from ASOS ($64.49 - so the burgundy in the picture is apparently no longer available (boo), but the black version's details didn't show up well so I went with this picture instead. I like that this is fit and flare, though its sleeveless and not contrasting, and the price is right. I recently bought my first "midi" dress form ASOS and I surprisingly like the length, its fun and "twirly, if that makes sense.) | |Eliza J Lace Cap-Sleeve Dress at Dillard's ($106.80 - available in all sizes - I like the light blue crochet with what looks like a silver lining - its not a pairing you see much. I also like the belt to emphasize the fit and flare. I hope its longer than it seems on this model and I also wish the pictures on Dillard's was better so we could see the details better
| |Elie Tahari Lolly Dress in teal/coral at Elie Tahari ($358 - okay, so obviously this is WAY out of budget, BUT, it is also already on half off and all sizes are available at the Tahari site - so the price may drop further. I also think it fits your needs well and when I saw it, it was so pretty I took a picture of it through the store window at the mall.) For anyone who likes this, Muse has a similar but clearly not as cool version.
| |Sonia Black Lace Bodycon Dress from Reiss ($230 - so this is another "splurge" i.e. out of budget dress - though slightly less dramatically so. But I like many things about it, it has the black over cream overlay that you like. Its bodycon, but from Reiss, so it probably means bodycon as in form flattering. And the detailing at the waist and boob area (for lack of a better term) gives almost the effect of a belted dress without actually wearing, you know, a belt. Perhaps it will go on sale?) | |Graceful Gaiety Dress at ModCloth ($164.99 - I adore this dress and there are only two left, but hey, one is in your size ET. I just think this dress would stand out in the best possible way - its vintage but not dated. And the color would look AMAZING on a wide variety of skin tones. I know its not exactly what you came here looking for - but I want to throw it in the mix.)
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique Cotton Lace Dress at Nordstroms ($178 - so its hard to tell from the picture - but the description says this dress is a lighter pink lace overlaid on a brighter pink lining. I bet it would look lovely in person. I like the elbow-length sleeves and I'm a sucker for a boat neck. Also, I think with a structured blazer you could probably wear it to work. An interesting option anyway.) | |Hand Crochet Dress from Boden ($187.60 - this was one of the few truly *crocheted* dresses I could find out there - most just being lace with a crotchet like pattern. This is the navy dress, so you can't really see the details, but click over and zoom in and the detailing in the crochet is beautiful. I know its long sleeved, but the sleeves are fairly lightly knitted so they may stay cool for the summer.) | |Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique sleeveless A-Line dress at Zappos ($169.99 - its really a shame this one is sleeveless because its a really pretty take on this whole contrasting overlay look - the lace/crochet/cutouts are entirely different and the shape is just great. If its not right for you Reader ET, I wonder if other of my readers might like it for summer and spring parties and events ... or Easter Sunday. :-P)
Okay - so those are a lot of options - most of which don't precisely fit your needs but are cute anyway. Let me know if you like them (or if you've already bought something since I'm a slowpoke.) I hope you find something that makes your crochet loving heart go pitter-patter. Good night and good luck.....at the mall. (God I'm such a dork, why do you all come here?)
So - you all know I like to sometimes pick an item out and then find alternative, cheaper, versions of that item. Well, this time I was looking at L.K. Bennett, a brand that I (like most Americans probably) discovered because of the Duchess of Cambridge, and found actually two items that were beautiful enough to make me want to hunt for them. So here they are.
So - lets get to the shopping for alternatives. My main goals will be, for the dress, finding nicely constructed dresses that have differently colored tops and bottoms (I like that look because I think it makes it look like you are wearing a blouse and skirt but more sleek and without the risk of the shirt coming untucked and looks great under a blazer.) On the skirt, I'll be looking for a-line skirts with pretty patterns like this, but I think pleats will be a plus only, since I know only some people like pleats. SO LETS DO THIS THING!
| |Mango Two-Tone Pleated Dress at Amazon
($79 - I love that a black and white option, though I hope the skirt is longer on non models. Note the pleated satin panels on the top. I would wear it with a contrasting blazer, maybe in cobalt? And then with gray or nude shoes. A good look for the office, I think.
Can we also talk about these shoes and how much I NEED them in my life?
Eliza J Sleeveless Color Block Dress at Amazon
($138 - I like the pleated a-line skirt and that the belt creates a clear delineation and gives the waist definition. I think this would be good for work with a cardi or blazer and GREAT for outdoor summer events, like company "picnics" or clam bakes."
I will note about these first alternatives, that I did find in my hunt some absolutely beautiful options from some designer lines, like L'Agence
, St. John Collection
, Kate Spade New York
, and LotusGrace
(this last one was in the post until the very very last moment when I found that Calvin Klein one - but I still love it so check it out.) I didn't include these dresses though - and I generally don't include many designer options - because my goal is to find affordable (or more affordable anyway) versions of the things I'm inspired by. That goal isn't met by posting $500 dresses. No matter how much I love them. Now on to the skirts!
| || |Floral Pleated Skirt multi-colored from Jones New York
($59 - I like that the floral print on this isn't too literal, the length is great for work and looks like it might be long enough to work for even taller readers and it comes in petite as well. And the price is nice too. Jones NY also had a couple other A-Line skirts, and for my animal print loving readers ... you know who you are - check out this one
Finally - this row is just a few other things I like from L.K. Bennett. Just because, they had so many, many options.
| |Olivia Silk Graphic Print Scarf - Ocean Blue
($161 - you ALL know how I feel about scarves and this one, oh my god, I just...I'm platzing. Also comes in coral/orange print. More than I spend on scarves but grilled cheesus is this gorgeous.)
| |Cap-sleeve silk dress in champagne print
($312 - this is actually essentially the same pattern as the skirt above and this is the sold out champagne print (lovely isn't it) - the navy is available as well!)
I am including both of these shoes: the Floral Print Heels
($365) and the Malibu Metallic Leather Peep-Toe Sandal
($277) because I think they'd make great wedding shoes. I've gotten many wedding shoe questions in the past and both of these would be beautiful options for that...or for any special occasion really.
So that's all they wrote folks ... and in the immortal words of Veronica Mars:
"I'd be the best rich person. I'd be the perfect combination of frivolous and sensible. Money is wasted on the wealthy."
Happy shopping everyone and Happy Friday to boot.
So I saw this necklace on ModCloth, called the Statement of the Art Peacock Necklace
(which is unfortunately not available anymore), and it reminded me how much I LOVE peacock patterns. So I thought I'd do a post with a bunch of peacock items - just because I can. Do you all like peacock as much as I do?
Reader LK de-lurks and inquires:Hi TCFAKG, I lurk in C'rette, sometimes comment. I need help with wedding attire. I am going to a family wedding in late September in NYC. The wedding itself is held in the Botanical Gardens, and I will also be attending the rehearsal dinner and the Sunday morning brunch (both to be held in Scarsdale). I asked my cousin (groom's sister) for pointers and she replied: "As for dress code. My understanding is that for the wedding itself long (but not poufy) and/or black would be fine but black in general is the norm for New York. I am aiming for dark and below the knee but most probably not to the floor (though I went to a wedding in NYC the same formality last week and there was a lot of floor length even in dark colors so that would be fine). . It's definitely more formal than a little black dress though, but I think even one step up is fine with multiple steps also being ok. For the other events: Friday I am going cocktail and probably black - often the bride wears like white with a pattern though [bride] may not but I would avoid that specifically. Sunday brunch I am going to wear a skirt and flats - like business casual but not so worky. If that makes sense. I don't think the weekend will be very warm, so keep that in mind" Do you have any further insight? any shopping options? Mostly for the wedding itself, I can probably manage the rehearsal and look for something for the brunch. I actually live overseas, but can do online shopping. I am usually a small/4 in AT/BR. Incidentally, I am 5'3", and husband is 6'3", so anything that makes me taller would be appreciated. I have no set budget, but I'd like to spend no more than $300. Thanks! LSo, I'm starting to think I should change the name of my blog to "TCFKAG Shops for Wedding Guest Attire." Just kidding (sort of); who doesn't like shopping for pretty dresses. Here is my quick summation of what you need:
Assuming that summary is right, I'll suggest a few options for all three events (I know you said just the wedding but I don't do things half way in these here parts). And since its my site and I'll do what I want to, I might also offer up some fun shoe and/or accessories ideas. Because I'm awesome like that. So here we go. One last note, since you didn't clarify where you live overseas, I'm mostly sticking with American retailers here - but for future submissions and other readers, I can search on country specific websites (at least for some countries) so you can at least tell me where you're coming from.
- Rehearsal dinner: black or dark colored cocktail dress.
- Wedding: Midi-length or tea-length black or dark colored formal dress - perhaps a long gown if something is awesome.
- Sunday brunch: Fun business casual.
- Overall - lighter fabrics because it may be hotter than hell.
Black one-shouldered draped sleeveless cocktail dress from Calvin Klein
($49.99 - I actually just recommended this to a friend for a wedding this summer, she ordered it and likes it a lot. It so classy and sleek but could totally be glitzed up with red shoes or metallic jewelry. I'm a big fan and am thinking about getting it myself, the price is certainly right.)Petite Seamed Detail Sweetheart Body-Conscious Dress from ASOS
($64.49 - lovely classic shape and I assume at your height you can wear petite sizes - only issue is, based on the picture, it looks like you'll need to get a slip under it.)Calvin Klein Strapless Neon-Trim Dress at Dillard's
($59.40 - another fairly simple yet classy number from CK - though the neon pink adds a twist. Its a cotton/spandex blend, meaning it should breath well in the heat, and you could maybe add interest with a pink wrap. Overall pretty cute - though not sure if Dillard's will ship to you - might have to find it elsewhere!)
Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Ruched Matte Jersey Dress at Nordstroms
($118.00 - the Suzi Chin line has lots of great dresses for this sort of thing but this is one of my favorites. 56 reviews and it has 4 stars and I just think it looks really flowy and flattering - maybe consider one of the non-black colors...I know, scandalous, but the purple is cute!)Nue by Shani pink and navy two tone cocktail dress from eDressMe
($92.00 - so this is kind of a curveball both because its final sale and because its not really what you described but something about it just called to me, plus eDressMe ships world wide so that's a plus. Only available in a size 6, so may run too big, but sometimes these sorts of dresses run kind of small, so it may even out in the end.)Paper Dolls Mirrored Lace Body-Conscious Dress at ASOS
($98.43 - another color option, I love cobalt and black and think its both super on trend right now but also classic. ASOS ships internationally I believe and I think this dress is fabulous.)
Corso Como Dover Pump at DSW
($109.95 - I feel like red pumps are a great combo with black dresses and the cut-outs at the back of these give them a little interest. I don't know, they're cool.)Ivanka Trump Ariell High Heel Ankle Strap Pumps at Bloomingdales
($105.00 - metallics are my other favorite with black dresses and I'm super into gold right now, so here you go. I also really like black and gold together, like these ones at Piperlime
, but they're only available in limited sizes so I went with the Ivankas instead.)
Adrianna Pappell Short Sleeve Sequin Mesh Gown
($278 - SPARKLES - this row is having non-black dresses because I'm stubborn and because of reasons.)Colorblocked Blanche Dress at Kate Spade New York
($249 - a little whimsical but styled right it'd be great.)Dalia MacPhee Strapless Pleated Ruffle Chiffon Gown
($298 - another repeat but that's because I'm in love with it. The color and shape are gorgeous - though reviews say it runs large.)
Okay - the shoes here really depend on what you buy - but you could wear either of the shoes from above again with most of these. Now - I know you said you had the brunch on lockdown (and I'm sure you do) but I came across a few casual dresses that would be great for it, so I thought I'd pass them along.