Karina Dress with bell slip and ultra-mega-high red-glitter platform shoes and acorn hat.
The first dress was when I was a student many years ago and my housemates and I decided to throw a big party, of course. I was determined to find something extra special to wear. I did: a navy fit and flare vintage dress with a front button closure, v-neck, and gathers under the bust. The party was a blast and the dress made me feel like a million bucks. And then I washed it.
I remember clearly standing shivering in the bathtub while my girlfriends and I strained to tug that cold, sopping wet, terribly shrunken dress back around my naked body. I don't know why we thought the cold water would make it stretch but we certainly laughed a lot. The dress, sadly, was a goner.
Recently fellow blogger Anne of SpyGirl hosted a link-up themed around clothing with strong memories, here, which rekindled my longing for that party dress. So this time when Karina Dresses contacted me about styling one their dresses, I said Yes! I had been admiring them on other bloggers for years, but more than anything, their classic design soothed this nagging nostalgia.
The dress I chose is the Margaret, black with teal pin dots, midi length, surplice body. Below are several ways I styled it - you know I can't resist a chance for dress-up.
1. About Town Style
I knew immediately that I wanted to wear those sandals with this dress. The red is my heart-shaped bag which I haven't used in a while. This styling would also look great with a wrap-around head kerchief, sunglasses, and short white gloves - picture an open classic baby-blue convertible speeding down the California coast. Or take this look to France with a bicycle, beret, a baguette, a bottle of wine, and Gerard Depardieu for good measure - I mean O! And a huge grin always looks good.
2. Oo-la-la Style
I really got into character for the hat photos! Those are the studded shoes I wore to my big failed TV audition. I found this vintage hat at Value Village several years ago and it's been waiting for the right outfit ever since. It's hard to see but there is floral embellishment under the brim as well, on the right side. And the v-neck puts a natural spotlight on the accent jewellery.
The dress has a long, sewn-in tie belt. For this elegant styling I tied the belt loosely so the knot hung down near groin level, and then I gathered up some fullness of the skirt and pulled it through the big loop made by the belt to create the draping. The back of the dress becomes more fitted like this too. There are many, many things you can do with that belt, but this is my favourite trick.
3. Punky Style
Here's the dress with a crinoline for extra poof (my ballerina dress actually), my glitter ultra-platform booties, and my tower hair. I don't love these photos - the setup was all different - but I love this style. I stuffed socks into the sleeves to get extra poof there too. Those double-puff shoulders would look cool with classic styling as well. And they're good for a crowded train.
4. Student/Casual Style
The dress as a skirt with sneakers, a book bag, black turtleneck, my doggy scarf, and my vintage sunglasses. A beret would look good too. Or maybe even a baseball cap if I had an SUV or was dodging paparazzi. The turtleneck is on top, but it would be easy to wear long-sleeved sweaters and blouses under the dress too, including bow collars.
A similar rougher styling without the scarf could have, say, black tights and black army boots with classic grey, men's work socks with the red stripes at the top, like these.
5. Dinner Style
6. Other, first photo above and below.
Of course it's fun to bury clothes in necklaces and belts and bracelets to change a look, but here I enjoyed the challenge of highlighting the features of this dress without those embellishments. This dress has a full skirt so a bell slip (I don't know the proper name) was a natural choice - the crinoline was rather limp.
I got so many classic-style photos it was hard to choose which ones to show you. The shape with the slip is reminiscent of old Dior stylings. And look at all my hats this week! This one is a vintage straw hat from Value Village, bought on the same day I got my Oo-la-la hat. Hahaha. Hello Hat Attack!!
I took this when I got back from a morning walk, About Town Style. The dress felt great when I was out, especially in the breeze, and got lots of positive feedback. In this shot you can see all the little teal pin dots and the belt wrapped around and tied at the front in a bow. I like the slicked back hair but tower hair is also useful for adding an edgy cool vibe to any outfit.
In summary - fantastic dress! It's an extremely versatile pull-it-on-and-go piece, no ironing required. This dress is the closest thing I have worn to that stellar dress so long ago. At least I don't have to worry about screwing it up - it's machine washable and drip dry. Thank you, Karina Dresses.
If you think you might want to try one, go HERE. I don't get paid anything if you click the link or buy one; this post is my review of the dress they sent me.
I'm linking up with:
Judith, Style Crone, for Hat Attack #37
That's all! My SEO is shot all to hell. I'm not following any of the Rules. Dang! SEO is like MATH.