Reader DancingLonghorn queried: Hi! I am a regular Corporette reader. I need to buy a dress for wearing as a wedding guest to weddings both this Fall and next Spring. I like this dress: Helene Dress in liquid jersey. The problem I am having is color. I like both the imperial blue and the crushed berry. I think that the crushed berry would look better on my coloring (and I wear a lot of clothing in that color), but I am worried that it will be difficult to style for a Spring or Summer wedding. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for styling that color for Spring or Summer?

First of all, for those playing along at home, this is the dress from J-Crew that DancingLonghorn wants to buy.
My first reaction is that I much prefer the crushed berry to the imperial blue in this case.  Generally, I love a good navy as much as the next girl (or even substantially more than the next girl) but I think this navy looks a bit washed out.  In contrast, the crushed berry/burgundy is a warm, saturated tone that would be flattering on many skin tones.

Now - to answer your real question - I absolutely think the burgundy can work for both fall and spring - in fact, this shade of burgundy functions as a neutral in my wardrobe along with black, gray, and navy. Different accessories will completely change the look and ensure that the dress is seasonally appropriate for both events.  So - for this post - I will put together a collection of accessories, one for fall and one for spring that I think would work well with this dress.  Obviously you don't need all of them - but you could consider getting a couple of them (or items like them) to allow the dress to transition smoothly from season to season.

Accessories for the Fall Wedding

Natural Copper Earrings by sophisticatedjunkie on Etsy ($23 - these earrings come from a very cool Etsy store. I love the way they've used the copper and its natural color to give it a teal and brown color scheme; it gives it a colorful look but without undermining the rustic feel. Base metals - like copper (or bronze, gunmetal, etc.) are in right now and really read fall to me.)
House of Harlow 1960 Serene Serpentine Collar Necklace at Zappos ($75 - this necklace is a bit pricy but its also really cool and really unique. I think the brown is an ideal neutral allowing maximum flexibility with your other accessories. [Note: its called a collar necklace but it isn't a choker or otherwise hit at the collar - not sure why its called that.])
Mixed Metal Bangle Set at Ann Taylor Loft ($29.50 - in terms of bracelets for this outfit, I'm keeping it a bit simple.  There are tons of mixed metal bangle sets out there but this one has a nice variety and selection. [BTW ASOS has a set of mixed metal bangles that are literally called vintage 90s bangles - when did the 90s become vintage?]
Donna Morgan Silk Chiffon Shawl at Nordstroms ($48 - Weddings in general, and especially fall weddings, are made infinitely more comfortable with a shawl or wrap to keep you warm. I own this wrap in black and it is perfect for air conditioned hotel ballrooms. Navy is also a nice third color to add to your outfit. [If you want a heaver wrap, consider this in either the teal or the gray.)
Nine West Women's Flax Pump in Blue/Green Suede at Amazon ($69 - I like the idea of mixing teal and burgundy for a fall wedding this year since mixed jewel tones are so in right now.  Plus, this pump would be a great addition to any work wardrobe, making it a two-fer. If the teal doesn't do it for you - you could also go with a navy shoe and work the teal in with the jewelry, as shown above, and have the shoes match the wrap. [Or, in the reverse, you could pick a teal wrap to match the shoes, either way really works.])
Touch of Nina Beaded Peacock Clutch at Loehmann's ($69.99 - plus an extra 25% off right now.  Whenever I recommend teal for an outfit, I always think that peacock accessories should get worked in somehow. This is definitely no exception. This clutch comes in both a black beaded pattern and this white pattern, but in this case I prefer the white. Not only because its gorgeous but also because it can then be used for both the fall and spring weddings easily [and, I predict, many times in between.])

Accessories for the Spring Wedding

Giani Bernini 24k Gold over sterling silver earrings at Macy's ($59 - so, there are other, cheaper gold or "gold" jewelry on sale at Macy's right now (not to mention the rest of the internet) but I particularly like these. They are delicate and would also be work appropriate and great for use year round for non-wedding events.  I think it goes great with the orange/coral necklace I recommended to the right [or the brown necklace I recommended above for that matter.])
Haskell necklace, gold-tone orange faceted teardrop bead frontal necklace from Macy's ($38.50 - Coral and burgundy contrast beautifully with each other; this is a great way to bring the dress into the warmer months and this will work well with the v-neck of the dress. I like it. Though I'd keep an eye on it, you might be able to get it for an even deeper discount later on in the fall.)
Blu-Bijoux Gold and Coral Stones Stretch Cuff Bracelet at Max & Chloe ($21 - note that this is final sale - so, obviously it is a bit hard to recommend jewelry on-line when you can't tell if the two pieces will match. These may be very different shades or they might match closely.  Either way - I like the idea of coral or orange jewelry with the burgundy. I don't think it all has to match exactly as long as its not TOO far off.)
Linen Blend Wrap in Gold Artisan from Nordstroms ($28 - you could - of course - use the navy or gray wrap from above for both weddings - but why give up the chance to buy an awesome second golden linen scarf?  There's no reason. But seriously, this scarf would be lovely for a spring wedding and throughout the spring.)




Nine West Beutie Pump at Macy's ($69.99 - really I think any neutral shoe of your choice would work with this outfit - but I like this pump from Nine West, which could be used either as a "nude for you" or as almost a white shoe rather than nude if its too light for you. Other neutral or light shoes might work too, like a light yellow, or gray, or navy blue, or even the teal shoes from the fall wedding if you want to be frugal.)
Large Gold Verdigris Hair Comb from Nesting Pretty and Victorian Gold Hair Comb from PrettyBabyMillinery both on Etsy ($24 and $28 - Since I recommended a purse above that would work with both outfits, I thought I'd recommend a hair accessory here. This would be a fun way to make the outfit feel "special" and add a third color to the outfit. Here are two examples, though there are tons of others on Etsy.)
So there you go, two completely different outfits to go with one dress. By using these different color schemes and accessories (or something like this) you will evoke entirely different seasons even with burgundy as the same base color. So go forth and party. And let me know if you like what you see! What do you think readers? Do you have a set wedding "uniform" that you wear regardless of season? How do you keep it updated as the seasons pass?
Susie
9/23/2013 05:53:46

I like the two different ways you styled the dress, though I myself prefer to wear strappy shoes to a wedding instead of pumps.

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9/29/2013 07:10:59

I think it really depends on the wedding - but sometimes I find that strappy sandals outside result in my feet getting too dirty and inside in air conditioning result in my feet getting too cold! And closed toe shoes just get more reuse as work shoes and such for me. But I'm certainly not opposed to a nice, metallic strappy sandal (which would look amazing with this burgundy dress of course) - especially for a summer wedding.

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dancinglonghorn
9/23/2013 11:47:21

Horray! Thank you so much. I don't know why I never thought of orange for the spring look but it is genius. I will pull the trigger on the burgundy dress!

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