Sunday, 7 August 2016

Memory with a Karina Dress, and Hat Attack 37!

This post is about two dresses. This is the second dress.

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


The same styling as Oo-la-la but without the hat. The switch of shoes, an added necklace, and belt draping dramatically change this look from the first About Town 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.


58 comments:

  1. Wow! You really showed every awesome way to style this dress and then some!

    Only you would be able to wear a watch as a choker! LOL I'd have to tape three watches together to get them around my tortoise neck.

    That hoop skirt makes such a unique look when paired with the dress, 80's sunglasses and vintage hat! So architectural.

    I do love the punky style one as well. A bit Cindy Lauper and I love the addition of the chunky bold bright jewellery.

    You aced this!

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. I wished I had a crinoline with a little more oomph. I love the Cindy Lauper reference. Thanks, Suzanne.

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  2. Wow, what a plethora of fabulous styling (schtyling??), Mel! Absolutley fantabulous, every one of the outfits. You do look like a classic Dior model, so ladylike, dahling.

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    1. I don't know how those Dior women did it - well, yeah, I do - corsets and big crinolines. Their outfits must have been quite warm but I suppose that wouldn't matter when you feel divine. Thanks, Sheila. I had a schwell time schtyling this.

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  3. OMG, j'adore the Dior New Look with the straw hat!! They're all good but that goes all the way to 11. :-)

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    1. I'm so glad I had a chance to wear the hat with a worthy outfit. She glares at me from the closet all the time. Oooh, yes, thanks for the 11. Hahaha!

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  4. Every style was wickedly done, to your magical best I would say. The dress is real nice, but I like anything with a spot or dot on it remember. Now rolled up socks on your shoulders is new to me. I know chics put them where their boobs should be and blokes have been know to stuff them in their pants, but shoulders, how excellent. Now I need to go check out the site for the dress!!

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    1. I was thinking of Joan Crawford with the sleeves. I think I would sculpt a piece of foam to custom-fit for a truly miraculous block shoulder. Heh. Yes, socks in boobs, I did that for my swim suit post a while back. Hahaha!! Thanks, Sue! Dots are the best.

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  5. It's not called a Little Black Dress for nothing. Pretty awesome how many different ways the dress can go with a simple change of shoes

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    1. Ah, this is territory you know so well! Thanks for dropping a line.

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  6. Wooohooo Melanie! Great post! I'm in love in your old Dior style ♥️. So many different styles. You are an artist.
    Xxxxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Tina! Dior Dior Dior, I love those old styles.

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  7. You're freakin brilliant. You need to get paid for your talent. That is, of course, unless you've been fooling us all this time and you really ARE that swanky rich socialite. In which case you could donate your proceeds. To me. :-)

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    1. Jean, thank you for this comment - how I would love to make a living from styling. It would be a dream! Until then, I'll just keep playing hard. Mwah!

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  8. It's a hoop skirt or farthingale. I wear mine under my crinoline under my Tudor gowns when I go fancy. If you came to my faire wearing it like that we'd put you in the stocks. HEE HEE!! I don't care how YOU wear it, I'm just plumb tickled that you have one and made it a part of your outfit! You rock my world!

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    1. Oh yes, Hollie, I knew you'd know what this is. I found this on the $5 rack at My Sister's Closet - maybe from a wedding dress at one time? I knew it would come in handy sometime (?!) and it has. Heh. You rock my world too, woman.

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  9. Wow! You really know how to get all of the looks from a dress. I love the punk look best - and the sparkly boots are too cool.

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    1. I love that you love the punk look. It was fun to wear, but after a while I get tired of the jangling sound all the time. Hahaha. Thanks for your comment, Bobbi.

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  10. Fantastic stylings! I have a dress like this from Karina and now I have to go play like you taught me! Love all these looks and the two amazing hats. Bravo to you, xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. You were definitely a big inspiration behind this Karina dress, Patti. You wear them so well! Any dress that can hold its own with and without adornment is a winner. And NO IRONING! Thanks, Patti.

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  11. Am in total awe of the many ways you came up with to style that dress. I particularly loved how you arranged to make the skirt look more drapey and sarong like. The Oo-la-la photo reminds me so much of the glamorous ads I see in my collection of 1940s fashion magazines.

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    1. Forties magazines - ooooh, how wonderful. I didn't wear the drapey style outside so I'm not sure yet how long the dress will stay in place, but knowing I can do it means there must be a way to make it stay put. Thanks for dropping by!

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  12. Love the many and varied stylings you've achieved here. I keep seeing these dresses on other blogs, but none are made the most of like you've done here. Well done to you. I have no favourite, just love the dress x
    Anna
    www.annasislandstyle.com

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    1. Yes, this is a good, solid dress, ready to be styled in as many ways as an imagination can take her. And easy care - no wrinkles. Thanks, Anna.

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  13. The company really should employ you to style their dresses , I bet they have never seen them styled with such aplomb. The Dior-inspired version with that stunning hat would have to be my favourite.Your talents so inspiring.

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    1. Thank you, Jill! This is a great dress. Oh yes, I am ready to be employed, hahaha!! But there are so many brilliant photos of women wearing this dress I'm out of a job before I even begin. Heh.

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  14. You got me with oolalal - opps, bay-bee. Way to go-go, girl. This girl can get it on and on all across the universe. yes.

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    1. It's the hat that puts this style over the top, this lovely hat - not something I can just throw on with anything... Thanks, pao!

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  15. I am a wee bit infatuated with that bell underskirt confection you've got going on, Mel, imagine it with a crown!!

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    1. Oh yeah, a crown, hahaha!! Perfect.

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  16. Oh my goodness (I am careful in expression myself..) this is the most fantastic piece of styling I have seen in years. Why is it that everything you come up with, suits you so damned good? If I were to hoist the skirt through a belt loop in the front I would look pregnant. Which would be quite an achievement at my age. Maybe I should try it to see what reactions I get. Oops.. I get a visitor. Bye
    Greetje

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    1. Hahaha!!! I would take photos if you did that. But I doubt you would achieve the effect you are hoping(?) for... Heh. The dress of impossible fertility shall be its nickname. Thanks, Greetje.

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    2. the dress of impossible fertility hahahaha

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  17. Multi function good dress. Beautiful. Best regards

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    1. Yes, this dress is a workhorse. Thanks for dropping by!

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  18. Wow! You make ths dress work on so many levels! Love them all :) I would love for you to link this post to my weekly fashion blogger link up if you get a chance. http://sydneyfashionhunter.com/2016/08/navy-striped-cutout-top.html

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    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting - and for your invitation. I'm afraid that for the time being I limit myself to just a handful of long-time linkups. I'll remember you though if I feel like getting out more!

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  19. All of your stylings of this frock seem to reveal a different mood and a unique aspect of your unpredictable personality.
    Tiny dots, BIG style expression.

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    1. Thanks, Marilee, because I do have so many sides. I'm glad you see them.

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  20. Beautiful, elegant and stylish.

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  21. Dude! There I was thinking how that dress exemplified the elegant but approachable Dioresque style, and then you shake it all up with the Punky Style. Genius! There's always a surprise when scrolling through your posts. They're all fabulous stylings, but the Student photo isn't showing up here. Was it banned by Blogger? Was it? What were you doing?

    I don' know nuthin' about SEO. Is that when the theatre is full and there are no more seats?

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    1. Why isn't the Student showing up? Is it because I'm naked except with the dress draped around my neck and I'm smoking with one hand and carrying a bottle in the other? Why would Blogger have a problem with that? Heh. Yes, I believe your definition of SEO is the right one. Hahaha. Thanks, Val!

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  22. I am SO stuffing my sleeves with socks.

    Oh-la-la is my favourite styling of that superb dress - I never know what to do with those sewn-in belts as I have no discernable waist - now I know.

    Love xx

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    1. Make sure you wash the socks first. Nobody wants to have stinky shoulders. Heh. Well, you can try the drapey thing. I just stumbled on it and liked it. I hope it works! Thanks always. Mwah.

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  23. wouuu, that's a really Great Review of the dress, exploring a lot of possibilities and fun!, love that you've worn a classic beautiful dress into your own attitude, and looking fab!, love all those hats and accessories and poses, and Fun!!!
    Lots of Fun!
    besos

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    1. Playing dress-up, I love doing that, especially when I get to wear things I haven't worn in a while. I just hate cleaning up afterwards. Heh. Yup, fun. Too bad you couldn't join me!

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  24. Now that's a versatile dress! I can't decide which styling I love more. The student/casual look has such insouciance about it; the air of an American in the 50's studying French literature at The Sorbonne in Paris, especially with the shades.
    The about town is so darn chic. Although I'm not sure that good old Gerard D would be any good with or on a bike these days he's beyond portly, sadly. Can I can a young Jean Reno instead? From his The Big Blue days.
    But the one that just made me smile and laugh was your punky style - it was Helena Bonham Carter meets Vivienne Westwood after a night out on the town! Fantastic.

    https://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Oh yes, I quite agree with your man substitution suggestion. Definitely! Jean Reno, ooooh!! And your references to HBC and VW, oh yes, I love that too. Thanks for this wonderful comment.

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  25. Karina Dresses should be absolutely thrilled with what you did with their dress! I wouldn't have imagined it could have so many different lives. You should be getting paid for this, as you convinced me that you can make their dresses (which I find to be rather boring) into wonderful outfits with some creativity and imagination (and good hats).

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    1. Yes, more pay more pay. Hahaha. It's like we say, wouldn't it be great if... Ah well. It was the connection to my wrecked-up dress and Anne's post and seeing these dresses on Suzanne and Patti (maybe others too...) that made me eager to try a dress. I'm so glad I did. It's stuffed into a little bag and I know that when I want to wear it next, no wrinkles!

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  26. Your post reveals the versatility of this beautiful Karina dress. Brava! Your creativity rules.

    I love the variety of hats that you wear in this post. I was so happy to see your image pop up on Hat Attack! Thank you. xoxo

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    1. Oh, I was happy to join your Hat Attack, Judith! I tried to put another hat photo on your linkup but you only get one per URL. Hahaha. These hats are treasures and it was great fun to wear them with outfits deserving of them. Thanks, Judith. xo

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  27. Sorry mi dear, I have been away for a while and missed this! I adore the ways you styled it (plus snooty expressions extraordinaire!!!) It is a really versatile dress as aptly proved here!

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  28. Back from holidays and the absence of the internet, I LOVE the punk style and the very elegant first one with the gorgeous little acorn hat - and THE SHOES!! One dress becomes many outfits. xx

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  29. You did it again, gal! Amazing creativity and style eye and theatrical guts shown here!

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