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).
Blonde Lawyer
8/1/2013 11:28:08

Glad to see you back. I was thinking of you and hoping you were okay! This dress is awesome.

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Swtwc
8/3/2013 03:14:28

I truly hope you are feeling better soon!

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