Two Dresses, a la carte

Have been frantic of late about work and have lost the ability to accessorize. Somehow it seems difficult even to choose clothing, let alone the sparkly ornamental things that make clothes so much more interesting. Nonetheless, in the interests of keeping things as close to business casual as possible while expending absolute minimum effort, I’ve been wearing dresses.

I’ll do more next time, but here are two of the not-so-blank canvases with which I’ll begin:

Printed polyester dress: Kenzie (via Winners)

White cotton cardigan: Togo (via The Bay)

Black leather & cork wedges: Clarks (remixed)

Weird story: the Kenzie dress is an extra large. And I only tried it on because it seemed awesome but didn’t come in my (usual) size. Really, I should have the top tailored, but the belt at the waist helps me cheat, so I’m tempted not to bother. (Side note: how freaking short would the dress be if it were three sizes smaller? Jeez.)

Printed cotton dress: Esprit

White denim blazer: Gap

Silver leather flats: Jump

(Gah. I should have done the Wonder Woman in the image on the right. That would’ve made things less rectangular.)

This dress has more of a surfer chick aesthetic than I’d like. For example, how wicked would it be three inches shorter and worn with the tie undone over a bright blue bikini on a bronze muscled beach goddess? See what I mean?

With my tendency to eat chips, not surf, and to freckle and peel, there’s zero chance of my styling it that way next time. ‘Thoughts? How do you style up your cotton dresses for work or play? (I will, of course, keep checking your blogs, but still, you should tell me, again.)

16 thoughts on “Two Dresses, a la carte

  1. Jesspgh is the master dress accessorizer. I agree that dress 1 has fall potential. So cute.Dress two does have a beachy vibe, but in a good way. I actually look at how many of my summer clothes have a beachy/pool vibe, but decided that's OK. I like wearing belts and tailored pieces over my cotton dresses for more work-related contexts. Maybe if I were so included, a cute chunky necklace. But I also like to embrace beachiness sometimes and wear strappy flat sandals/flip flops (I know!), and floaty knit layers on top.

  2. The print on that first dress is divine!My accessorization of dresses is generally limited to belts and boleros. Maybe the occasional brooch. And other things that begin with the letter "b."

  3. LHdM: I know, right? In another year or two, they'll be making shrugs and calling them dresses. (Though I hope we won't be all "well, maybe with some black matte leggings.) Also, thanks for the styling suggestion. I think I might have a blazer I could press into service as soon as the heat dies out around here. . .

  4. The first dress is just gorgeous! I think it would look great with a blazer with the sleeves cuffed. What is up with Kensie dresses being so damn short?!?! I have one, but it's more of a shirt than a dress — or so my modesty level says.

  5. I am resisting those shoes, just as I am resisting all other shopping right now. Since this is almost killing me, obviously it is making me stronger. This is good, because you are getting a pounding.

  6. I love your use of white layers. Looks so crisply summeresque.With the second dress, I'm thinking a cropped and/or short sleeved jacket in beige or khaki, possibly in the structured safari style that shows up every second spring, worn with nude or light brown chunky sandals.

  7. I accessorize dresses with the Obligatory Frigid Academic Office Cardigan. I forgot to wear one today, possibly because I was proud of my belting efforts with the little cotton dress I am wearing today, and now I am COLD. I wonder if North Carolina could reverse its budget shortfall simply by keeping public buildings at, say, 74F instead of "bone chilling".

  8. The print on that first dress is divine!My accessorization of dresses is generally limited to belts and boleros. Maybe the occasional brooch. And other things that begin with the letter "b."

  9. Bronzed goddesses should worry about skin cancer. Pale is the new tan. Both of these dresses are lovely on you but I am alarmed that dress #1 (=awesome) is an XL. Maybe you are wearing a tunic as a dress? Anyway, if you could find it (maybe American Apparel?) this would also look great with extra-long sleeves (black or brown) layered underneath in the fall, but with a low scoop neck so it doesn't interfere with the ruffle action. Plus I think your not-neutral sandals would have been cute with this too.And yay for the silver flats with dress #2 (=also awesome)! I think of silver flats as an A-Dubs signature piece. I like the cazh, accessoryless vibe of these looks, especially because both dresses have a lot going on pattern-wise. You should eat more chips. May I recommend Kettle Brand Salt & Pepper or (new discovery) Kettle Brand Buffalo Bleu?

  10. Jesspgh is the master dress accessorizer. I agree that dress 1 has fall potential. So cute.Dress two does have a beachy vibe, but in a good way. I actually look at how many of my summer clothes have a beachy/pool vibe, but decided that's OK. I like wearing belts and tailored pieces over my cotton dresses for more work-related contexts. Maybe if I were so included, a cute chunky necklace. But I also like to embrace beachiness sometimes and wear strappy flat sandals/flip flops (I know!), and floaty knit layers on top.

  11. These are great ideas for dress #2, Jesspgh. I am on it.And I, too, have been thinking how well dress #1 will transition to fall and winter! Yes, I'm seeing it with all of the wonderful tights and boots and cashmere that come with November and December. . .

  12. Both dresses are just adorable! I love the first one's bohemian femme shape. And I think the first one can easily be winterized (as a lover of fall clothing I tend to buy summery clothes that can transition well into future seasons). I think the second dress would look cute with some strappy wedge sandals in a nude or blush metallic leather. Maybe add a belt in a raffia or brown or something? Though I like how you've styled both here.

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