This week, our hero is one of the most underrated items in my closet. Why this dress is great: The sleeves are the perfect length and structured just the right amount to give your shoulders a great shape and long enough to provide coverage and slim your arms. The length is comfortable and the bottom isn’t so fitted that it rides up.
Another shocking bonus of this dress is that these horizontal stripes actually do NOT make you look wider. I’m not sure what black magic this dress possesses, but I have chosen to accept it despite the fact that I’m probably selling my soul in the process. Maybe it’s because the stripes aren’t the same width? We will go with that. This dress I bought at the secondhand store, but you know I’ve linked some similar ones below.
A striped dress is a must because it is a “basic”, but can be dressed up or down and paired with such a wide variety of accessories. It is the easiest pattern to explore pattern mixing with. I went with animal print this week in the form of snakeskin, BUT a floral, leopard print or polka dots work great without feeling clashy, too.
I almost never wear mini dresses or shorts because I am insecure about the keratosis pilaris on my legs. Never heard of it? It’s basically the worst. It is a skin condition that creates extra keratin around your hair follicles so you have little bumps all over the place. It’s also affectionately known as “chicken skin” (cute). A lot of people have this more prominently on the back of their arms. I have it around my knees and the back of my legs. If this sounds like you and you’re wondering how you can get rid of keratosis pilaris (or KP), I just invested in SkinFix during the last Sephora sale. I’m liking it a lot and have noticed a visible difference so I’m less shy about wearing a short dress these days. (not an ad, I really like it.)
That said, I was going through dresses recently and this one shone like a ray of light from the back of my closet. I think I heard the sound of a choir, too. It really is the best and adaptable for so many situations.
I went with an all-black accessories palette for this look and kept it very simple. I started with these thick-strapped “wood” sandals. I got these at the same Payless going out of business sale that I got last week’s floral sandals. They are crazy comfortable. I am going to hope and pray chunky heels stay in style for another several years. I wore standard stilettos the other day and was wobbling all over. I am spoiled in these.
Because I wanted to dress it up a bit, I went with this black and gold statement necklace. I made sure it was close enough to the neckline so it didn’t feel too long or out of place. It’s definitely not my biggest necklace and the connectors are very dainty. I like the contrast of the bold stripes with something that feels softer. I debated between two other black necklaces and ended up with this one. Want to hear my thought process? Check out the video!
Lastly, I grabbed my tiniest Coach clutch. This was a bridesmaid gift from a wedding I was in. A great gift, too, because it is such a staple. I often will put all of my important things in it: licenses, cards, key, lipstick, etc. because I can just toss it into any of my other bags easily, or wear it by itself. I THINK my tiny, original iPhone SE even fits into it! Everyone rags on my small phone, but it fits into every single pocket and purse I own so I take the heat because I know I’m the real winner.
HEY! I also found a Coach-brand wristlet on their outlet site for $25 in the link below. S-S-S-SNAG IT!
I did toss a denim jacket over my shoulders since I’m always cold, but you could very easily go without it.
You know, it’s weird blogging in a time when we really have very limited places to go and things to do. I totally see this look being perfect for a concert or sporting event. Good luck finding one of those to go to! Regardless, it is a casual and effortless look and will leave you prepared for anything.
I grabbed my favorite worn-in chambray shirt (chambray is a fancy word for denim, really) and tied it around my waist. I live for a way to cinch the waist. We all have one, some more dramatic than others, but tying something around it will always add definition because it will add volume to your lower half and therefore make it look smaller. Voila. I also like that the shirt adds coverage to my heiney, but also that I can put it on if I get chilly. We’ve already established that I probably will get cold so – a must.
Also, please for the love of all things holy, when you tie something around your waist, make sure it is at your WAIST and not your hips. This will make you look wider than you’d like. Unless you have broader shoulders and are trying to balance it out, I would NOT recommend this. How do you find your waist? Bend over side wise and hold your finger in the spot where you naturally crease. That’s your waist! You. Are. Welcome.
No jewelry here because at this fictional event I’m dressed for there I’ll be active and don’t want to lose anything. I added a snakeskin crossbody that picks up the tones of the dress without being matchy matchy. It’s still anchored in black and white tones so it’s the ideal complement. If you’re looking to try pattern mixing, start with a pattern in the same color scheme as a safe first step. I wanted to keep my hands free so this is the perfect solution.
Lastly, I threw on these off-brand Converse inspired sneaks from Target. I have them in black, white and red and they are just as good. Don’t look too close. I was washing my shoelaces and never put them back in. So essentially, a real “threw this together” moment completely evidenced.
This outfit was inspired by the band, Cake. Can you guess why? They have a song called “short skirt and a long jacket”. Even thought this isn’t a truly “long” jacket nor is it a skirt, it is still longer than the dress itself, so we will give it a pass.
This chunky sweater is a lifesaver. I will wear it around the house over my pajamas in the winter or I will grab it an keep it in the car in case I need something. The color is neutral enough to be all-season and even though it is a thick knit, it is still structured enough to not swallow my frame.
If you are uncomfortable in a short dress or skirt, this is a great way to be able to wear things you may have purchased in the past, but haven’t had the guts to pull them out in a while. It adds more coverage and length and still shows off your dress. If you are googling this to shop, you can search things like “long kimono”, “duster” or “long sweater”. A sheer version would also look great on this!
I added lace up shoes with a modest heel. I thought about my black lace up shoes, but the nude helps my legs look longer, and in this dress I needed all the help I could get. I paired this with a secondhand Michael Kors purse that I could put more warm things inside. If I ever upgrade my phone to something larger, I will probably have to wear this bag more, too.
Are you obsessed yet?
I mentioned a couple higher-level brand name items in today’s post, which won’t be the norm. I’m working on a post for how to get items like this in your budget. And as always, you can always shop the links for similar styles at lower price points.
Whether your striped dress fits exactly like mine, or has a different silhouette, all of these variations would work for you. A wearable dress that never goes out of style is definitely something worth finding hanger space for.
Too long to read? Check out our video talking you through these outfits below. And, not to really persuade you, but I find a REALLY fun surprise in one of my purses in the video that is suuuuuper exciting and I know you’ve all been there.