How would you wear it?

*Just a reminder to get your submissions in for our Wonder Woman CFP. The deadline is tonight at midnight!*


Well, I’ve survived the first day of class. So far, so good but it’s hard to believe that summer is over and the term has begun. Today’s a non-teaching day so I’m working from home which clearly means it’s time to go through my closet and figure out what to wear for the rest of the week.

As I was going through my closet, I came upon three pieces that I have trouble styling and, therefore, hardly wear. I need your help interweb.

Exhibit A:

Despite starring in an ill-fated drunk-drunketty-drunk night at A-Dubs’ Steeltown apartment, I hardly ever wear this wrap dress. I like the silhouette of it — and it’s fairly flattering. And I like the pattern. But for some reason I can’t completely get behind it.
Dress: gifted, Nygard
Exhibit B:
This has been my go-to conference dress this last year. It’s comfortable as it’s jersey and easily presentable. Yet each time I wear it, I hate it more. Both this dress and the previous one tend to make me feel matronly and boring. I’m prepared to give to Goodwill but want to redeem it if possible. Part of the problem, I think, is the color scheme. I find it really difficult to style blue, black, and white and just end up piling on more black or white.

Dress: Loft

Exhibit C:
I love this skirt. I like that it’s poofy & floaty. I LOVE the pattern and the grey & blue. But what the heck do I wear on top? I’ve tried it with black, white, and grey which work to varying degrees but seem a little blah. The black and white often seem too harsh in comparison to the relatively delicate colors of the skirt. I feel like there’s a more adventurous, awesome outfit ready to be made with this skirt but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is.
Skirt: Old Navy






At what point do you just decide that an article of clothing won’t work for you — no matter how much you like it — and give it up?

26 thoughts on “How would you wear it?

  1. Jewelry! You need some jewelry! At least for the first two, something to add. The first dress – you could add pretty much any color you want since the dress itself is black and white. But whatever you do, go bold – big and bold! Chunky bracelets, chunky necklace. Don't go slim.For the second dress, I agree with the person who suggested a belt. Maybe a black belt? Or you could get the skirt hemmed and remove the white portion so it's just black and blue with a wide black belt.Now for your skirt. It's a darling skirt, but I think it's going to require layers. You could always go with an adorable yellow tank with a cardigan or short sweater in Gray. The yellow would give it some punch. But then again, if you're in the south we're not going to have some cool days for awhile. Unless your office is cold like mine is. Mine is freezing! So I can wear my tank on the way from the parking lot to the office and then slip on the sweater or cardigan once I get in.

  2. Dress #1 is a standout. It really doesn't need anything, and it is immensely flattering. Maybe you should add a pop of color with it via bracelets or shoes…I'm thinking red or kelly green. This is a great dress for under a hip-length jacket or a cardigan…again room for color with the cardi. In winter, you could do a back cardi with a couple sparkly brooches pinned on and it would look fantastic!Dress #2…let it go. The color-blocking does limit you, and I don't find it flattering. If you have a moment's hesitation, say goodbye. You've gotten your wear out of it.OK, now the skirt. The colors are indeed difficult to match, but I agree that coral…on the orange side of coral…is MADE for that pale aqua blue. Like you, I don't care for black with it, but I'm surprised white doesn't work. I could see a white tank under a summer-weight 3/4 sleeve cardigan with this. Or even a tank under a little medium rinse jean jacket. And silver sandals and accessories…silver would look amazing with this skirt.That's my two cents.♥ V http://www.gritandglamour.com

  3. Obvy, you have lots of great suggestions. But I wish to note what a tragedy it is to get rid of a jersey dress. If you can make it work with the stuff Sheila suggests, I say keep that baby.Also, I can't believe you don't wear the wrap dress more. Even though it has some questionable memories attached. And I knew you were doing the blank slate thing with these ensembles because one of your sartorial superpowers is accessorizing. For example, you are the reason I no longer carry teensy purses. (You know, because you taught me how us tall peeps look ridiculous carrying small things. Except for Mini-FR's, of course.)Finally, in future, always go for the crotch shot. Otherwise, we'll have to work harder to get the crotchal discussions established.

  4. Controlling the boobage is definitely an ongoing battle (though I have been fitted recently, this bra is not a particularly well-fitting one. However I'm way too cheap to not use perfectly good bras that were quite expensive and are still in good shape. I feel that this may all fall into the TMI arena). The black cami I have on with the skirt is not something I would generally wear unless it's under something. I was going to crop it out of this picture but then it became basically a crotch shot so I decided to leave it in. All three items are deliberately unstyled here as well — to give a sense of them as blank slates. I think basically that I have been too un-adventurous in color-pairing the skirt. I'm definitely going to try some of these color combinations out. Plus I LOVE the idea of dress #1 with mustard. Thanks again all for your really helpful suggestions!

  5. I am late to this hug party, but here's my thoughts.1) I love black and white. I could see this with a light black blazer/ cardi for when I finally cools down in the south, or as is, with some colorful accessories.2) I see red or yellow with this outfit working well. Or those beautiful patent leather grey shoes.3) Do you do yellow close to the face? (I don't because of skin tone reasons). I think a pale yellow might look great with this skirt.If you decide that you just can't stand that color block dress- ditch it. Colorblock looks cool but can be hard to style.

  6. I'm also late to the party but that's because I'm a fine lady. I love look number one and I think you can wear this dress as is to teach in. Maybe with those awesome bright pink pumps you wore to A-Dubs wedding extravaganza?I see how look number two works well for conferences but I always think of you as a more colourful dresser than this. Maybe with a bright pink cami, a la Shiela's suggestion, to warm it up? Look number three is a lovely skirt and I would wear it with a pale pink blouse though I like everyone's suggestions for coral too. And this would also look great with the patent grey pumps. Or the nude pumps. Though I kind of like flouncy skirts with ballet flats–that's just how I roll.

  7. I am late to this hug party, but here's my thoughts.1) I love black and white. I could see this with a light black blazer/ cardi for when I finally cools down in the south, or as is, with some colorful accessories.2) I see red or yellow with this outfit working well. Or those beautiful patent leather grey shoes.3) Do you do yellow close to the face? (I don't because of skin tone reasons). I think a pale yellow might look great with this skirt.If you decide that you just can't stand that color block dress- ditch it. Colorblock looks cool but can be hard to style.

  8. Obvy, you have lots of great suggestions. But I wish to note what a tragedy it is to get rid of a jersey dress. If you can make it work with the stuff Sheila suggests, I say keep that baby.Also, I can't believe you don't wear the wrap dress more. Even though it has some questionable memories attached. And I knew you were doing the blank slate thing with these ensembles because one of your sartorial superpowers is accessorizing. For example, you are the reason I no longer carry teensy purses. (You know, because you taught me how us tall peeps look ridiculous carrying small things. Except for Mini-FR's, of course.)Finally, in future, always go for the crotch shot. Otherwise, we'll have to work harder to get the crotchal discussions established.

  9. Outfit #1: red, yellow, turquoise accessories? A belt? Outfit #2: I would do bright yellow (cami, bracelet). I think turquoise would also look great.Outfit #3: what about a pink top?

  10. Controlling the boobage is definitely an ongoing battle (though I have been fitted recently, this bra is not a particularly well-fitting one. However I'm way too cheap to not use perfectly good bras that were quite expensive and are still in good shape. I feel that this may all fall into the TMI arena). The black cami I have on with the skirt is not something I would generally wear unless it's under something. I was going to crop it out of this picture but then it became basically a crotch shot so I decided to leave it in. All three items are deliberately unstyled here as well — to give a sense of them as blank slates. I think basically that I have been too un-adventurous in color-pairing the skirt. I'm definitely going to try some of these color combinations out. Plus I LOVE the idea of dress #1 with mustard. Thanks again all for your really helpful suggestions!

  11. Cynthia says it again. Right on. The black and white dress I might pair with a mustard-color cardigan. Black & white look very harsh on me so I have to dilute them with color & have found mustard a better alternative than the usual red (not good on me) or adding more black. (Coral or pink might work for summer.)The block-print dress. It's hard to dude up this because the block print already makes it kind of busy. I'm in the "out with it" group.The skirt is luscious. I love the idea of coral, if you can wear it. Coral tank/gray cardigan would look good. Also a deep plummy color, with more gray into the mix.

  12. Yes, that's definitely one thing that can screw up an empire line, too — boobage, or boobage not properly controlled. I may not look like I've got a huge rack, but the rack I have needs CONTROL, and I am fond of highly structured contouring and/or minimizing bras. That alone may make some of these styles look better on you. It sure made it easier for me to wear wrap dresses. I used to have some before and after pictures of The Time I First Got A Properly Fitted Bra. Which I'm ashamed to say, was not that many years ago. Holy crap, it was astonishing. If you can't go get fitted, I recommend the self-measuring instructions at barenecessities.com.

  13. I find wrap dresses difficult to wear because of my ample boobage, but that dress is definitely a keeper. It would look amazing with black boots or red shoes.Of course, it's a little hard to be sure because of screen res, but I think that orange, yellow, and saturated shades of green would look really fantastic with that skirt.

  14. Thanks all for your awesome suggestions! I've got way more ideas about what to do with dress #1. And I think with dress #2, I'm going to just admit that it's not the dress for me and add it to my donation pile. I haven't really explored layers with the skirt and, thanks to your ideas, that's totally what I'm going to do. You'll see this stuff again soon!

  15. Jewelry! You need some jewelry! At least for the first two, something to add. The first dress – you could add pretty much any color you want since the dress itself is black and white. But whatever you do, go bold – big and bold! Chunky bracelets, chunky necklace. Don't go slim.For the second dress, I agree with the person who suggested a belt. Maybe a black belt? Or you could get the skirt hemmed and remove the white portion so it's just black and blue with a wide black belt.Now for your skirt. It's a darling skirt, but I think it's going to require layers. You could always go with an adorable yellow tank with a cardigan or short sweater in Gray. The yellow would give it some punch. But then again, if you're in the south we're not going to have some cool days for awhile. Unless your office is cold like mine is. Mine is freezing! So I can wear my tank on the way from the parking lot to the office and then slip on the sweater or cardigan once I get in.

  16. More love for dress #1! Like many others, I would go for brights with this dress. Red shoes. Fuschia shoes! Black shoes / cardy with brightly colored beads. A short jacket or cute cardigan in green, teal, dark yellow, marine blue, red…I've recently realized that no matter how well something should work, if I hate it every time I wear it, I should just get rid of it.As for the skirt, what about chocolate brown? Something with simple lines, just a nice warm neutral to set off the skirt. I think I'd also like this skirt with a white tank top and a lemon-yellow cardigan. I love yellow and turquoise together.

  17. Dress #1 is a standout. It really doesn't need anything, and it is immensely flattering. Maybe you should add a pop of color with it via bracelets or shoes…I'm thinking red or kelly green. This is a great dress for under a hip-length jacket or a cardigan…again room for color with the cardi. In winter, you could do a back cardi with a couple sparkly brooches pinned on and it would look fantastic!Dress #2…let it go. The color-blocking does limit you, and I don't find it flattering. If you have a moment's hesitation, say goodbye. You've gotten your wear out of it.OK, now the skirt. The colors are indeed difficult to match, but I agree that coral…on the orange side of coral…is MADE for that pale aqua blue. Like you, I don't care for black with it, but I'm surprised white doesn't work. I could see a white tank under a summer-weight 3/4 sleeve cardigan with this. Or even a tank under a little medium rinse jean jacket. And silver sandals and accessories…silver would look amazing with this skirt.That's my two cents.♥ V http://www.gritandglamour.com

  18. I love the top of the first dress. Maybe layering another skirt over the bottom? A high waisted pencil skirt maybe? As for the last one, I love the way browns and blues look together, and anythign in the brown family… aubergines, ruby reds, burnt oranges.. so pretty.

  19. I wrote you an epic comment and the comments ate it.Anyway: A&B are hard to belt 'cause of the empire waist. Maybe it would work with a wide obi. Think about adding a very light layer to the top one, like a jersey cardi-vest, to create vertical lines, or maybe belt over both layers. B's a bit more of a stumper because I don't tend to have solid-color dresses.For the bottom: is that taupe or grey in the skirt? If taupe, deep pacific blue tank and taupe cropped cardigan? I am the queen of matchy-matchy, so I say yes! Deep coral pink tank and taupe cardigan? Ivory shortsleeve blouse and wide brown belt? The key to those kind of full skirts is to go either belted and tucked, or slim-cut and drapey but not too long, with the top.

  20. That's one of the many ways I spend my work-from-home days too! I have to put together my WW pose today, and in the meantime I've been cooking things. And, er, working.I really really love Dress A! The print is SO flattering. Why can't you get behind it? It's classic black & white, and looks great on you!I feel like Dress B would look great with some kind of red accessories. Red looks great with black & white (which would apply to Dress A), and I think it'd be a wonderful contrast with that blue.

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