Shirtdresses Strike Back

How many times have I written about shirtdresses in the past two weeks? A mere three times.

How many shirtdresses have I purchased in the past four weeks? I am standing at three.

I am telling myself no more, but do allow me to share these two styles with you. Both come in tall. (#andtheangelssang) I am combining them into one post because they are so dang similar. 

shirtdress // belted version (not pictured)

A Blue Ribbon Dress

I have written before about my admiration Lily’s style from the movie Thoroughbreds. (Fashionista did a really great article here.) I could compare it to Blair Waldorf’s style, but I think that is simplifying it too much. Lily’s outfits were much more complex. Especially when the costume count is low, every single detail of an ensemble has to say something about the character.

This dress is something I could see in Lily’s closet. That grosgrain ribbon? Ugh. Everything. The contrast between the lace and the ribbon makes the dress. Imagine me wearing the tall version (#andtheangelssang), a lightweight wool navy gold-buttoned blazer, and Gucci loafers. I am getting fall vibes from this combination, so I will have to wait until October to take this outfit on its maiden voyage.

dress

Tie in the Sky

I flipped out when I saw this dress. We all saw the iteration of it in navy last fall, albeit in a lightweight wool fabric. The autumn prior came a sleeveless, asymmetrical version which, to be honest, I prefer against its contemporary versions.

The updated spring color is what made me drool for the just released last week dress. My dilemma? It is made of a poly fabric. I found it in the store and can confirm that it feels like crepe, but I just cannot get my mind around the fact that it is synthetic fabric. Especially since this version is of a comparable price point as I recall the lightweight wool version from autumn 2017 was, this is a disappointment. Discriminating against synthetic fabric has been my first tool in my Shopping Moratorium 2018.

What a bummer. 

dress

24 / Lemon

I passed up multiple opportunities to purchase a gorgeous navy and white striped (or gingham? I honestly do not recall that detail…) tiered maxi dress last summer. To be honest, the first few times I saw it, the dress just did not strike my fancy. No love at first site. Do not pass go. It was not until the following autumn that I started to obsess on the one that got away.

In hindsight, I think I loved that it was the perfect blend of preppy and bohemian. There is something about that combination that, though iconoclastic, just goes.

The dress that got away was re-released today and in a gorgeous yellow. Bonus? It is on the 40% off promotion. Did I already buy it? Yup, and have big plans to wear it Monday for Memorial Day! 

dress

Never Drink Absinthe on NYE

 

In compliance with my commitment to love the clothes that I already have in my closet – and I DO love those clothes – I wore a dress from several years ago for New Years Eve. Perhaps I got taller and perhaps I got wider, consequently causing my dress to hang less lower, resulting in feeling a bit overexposed in my dress.

In compliance with my commitment to love the clothes that I already have in my closet – and I DO love those clothes – I wore a dress from several years ago for New Years Eve. Perhaps I got taller and perhaps I got wider, consequently causing my dress to hang less lower, resulting in feeling a bit overexposed in my dress.

My go-to peacoat, a pair of opaque tights, and several absinthe cocktails later and I didn’t care how short my dress was. I still love the brand (Tibi) and the style (metallic sheath). I cannot wait until the next time I think to wear it!

These are the only photos we got from the night. I blame the absinthe. #commitments2017

pearl necklace // pearl earrings // peacoat // tights // gold pump //  cable classics bracelet with black diamonds // quatrefoil ring // cable classics bracelet with pearl and gold

Thankful

The fiance and I live at least two flights away from either set of our parents’ homes. Since it was just us for Thanksgiving, we decided that dining out would be the way to go. After much research, we chose XIX for an afternoon Thanksgiving brunch. With an all-you-can-eat raw bar in addition to the traditional holiday staples, XIX was a no-brainer.

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Being the ever-wandering daughter, I have been to enough restaurant Thanksgiving brunches to know that an oversized shirt and leggings is just not appropriate and let us be honest, even if I made it home, my mom would not be a fan of either of her daughters congregating at her holiday table in the athleisure side of her wardrobe; however it is a total rookie move to wear anything with a static waistband. An empire-waist dress is definitely the way to go! This dress from last year’s J.Crew winter selection, was perfect for the outing. With a cocoon coat and Cole Haan with Nike Air Technology heels, I was ready for walking to and from the restaurant; thus walking off the inevitable food baby.

I love most of J.Crew’s tall line of dresses and this dress is no exception. While this style is no longer available, I have found a selection of dresses, with either empire waists or belt-able over a less fitted silhouette. The best part is that every style I picked comes in tall, and ranges in price points. For the tall J.Crew, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Gap lines, as well as other less tangible things and people in my life, I am thankful.

embroidered swing dress // pintuck swing dress // long sleeve wrap dress // boucle wrap dress // silky split-neck dress // lace-trim shirtdress


coat // purse (similar) // earrings // necklace // ring // pearl cuff

I Heart Houndstooth

Several weeks ago while perusing the J.Crew online store, an oversized houndstooth-print dress with a pleated flounce hem at the header of the tall section caught my eye. As I scrolled down the page, the dress was no where to be found. A quick tweet to @j.crew_help and I got the item’s official name and confirmed that it came in tall. An email exchange later and the dress was preordered, complete with complementary overnight shipping.

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I ordered the dress on a Monday and I was hoping to wear it for my engagement photos the Saturday immediately after; however I was advised by the Very Personal Stylist that the dress wouldn’t be available for shipping until the Tuesday after my session. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a notice that my order was shipped two days after I placed the preorder. I was even more thrilled when I slipped it on and it fit perfectly.

The dress is just as stunning in person as online. If anything, I would say that the print looks softer in person and while I love a bold print, that is a good thing. From the photo in the tall header (since the item was not posted in the online store, the item description was unavailable), I thought I would be getting a black and white dress. The dress was actually ivory and shades of deep brown, charcoal, and black, making it super versatile in terms of pairing with a coat, shoes, and accessories. Additionally, J.Crew also offers an elastic-waist pant in this print.

The dress is marketed on the J.Crew website as a “30-second (holiday) outfit.” I can attest to the ease of it, as I have worn it twice more since my engagement photos, to work and to Crate & Barrel, for putting together the wedding registry with my fiance. The latter of which occasion, I married it with a faux fur vest, d’orsay heels, Wayfarer sunglasses,  multistrand pearl necklace and bracelet, and my everyday jewelry: engagement ring, pearl cuff, and quatrefoil ring. I tend to wait for an item to go on promotion or markdown before purchasing, but my confidence has soared every time I have worn this dress and that is priceless.

Last Year’s Cut-out Dress

Let it be known that I will wear something not from “this season” in a second in the case that it fits my style and I love it. This is rooted in that my aesthetic is very traditional. I do not want my future children to look at old photographs and critique what their mom is wearing; more so, I don’t want to look at old photographs and wonder what I was thinking. Some of my favorite clothing items are those presently hanging up in my closet that I had the foresight to purchase during high school or even from a thrift store.

J.Crew Factory jewelry findsstaying in the shadowcut out backbucket bag

J.Crew is great for achieving a classic look that I can feel confident will likely not look dated in one year or five years or ten years. I favor the J.Crew chambray dress in the post because not only does it have an A-line cut, but it has a back cut-out which remains on-trend, sets it apart, and allows for any standard bra. While last year’s version was available in a tall length, J.Crew Factory re-released a version; unfortunately like all J.Crew Factory, it is only available in their standard length. (J.Crew Factory also caught on to how popular the full size leather bucket bag was, and re-released it. J.Crew still has the mini-version in print and solids.)

Going forward with this blog, I will shamelessly wear items from any time between last year or twenty years ago, save for they are either part of my classic aesthetic and / or relevant to today’s trends. In the age of fast and disposable fashion, there is something to be said about being about to incorporate an item into your wardrobe for the long term, which speaks to the quality of the garment and the ability of the brand to release a design that stands up against the test of time. Despite how much I splurged on a Banana Republic lightweight wool dress – which at the time seemed excessive for a seventeen year old – the price per wear fourteen years later is minimal and makes the purchase a steal.

sunglasses // sandals // cable cuff with gold and pearls // bucket bag

Floral Dress at El Vez

Like many women who came of age during the Sex and the City era, I draw inspiration from the outfits that Carrie and the girls wore. Certain selections from the late 90s / early 2000s wardrobes seems so timeless. While few of the get-ups trigger “What was Pat (Field, the legendary costume designer) thinking?”, I romanticize Calvin Klein minimalism, oversized flower pins, and everything that Charlotte wore.

This post is not about Charlotte, however; this post is about that primary colored Marimekko sundress Carrie wore in Ring A Ding Ding. I won’t get into plot points here, save for that Carrie found herself in a financial cul-de-sac and was rejected for a home loan while wearing dress in the above photo.

jay walkingmatching the columnarm partylook both ways

J.Crew released this dress (and the sister skirt) earlier this summer and despite the negative circumstance Carrie found herself in when she was in the designer doppelganger version, I had to have the J.Crew iteration. Rather than wearing it to request a home loan like Carrie, I wore it to El Vez to consume some guacamole and blood orange margaritas – much better circumstances indeed.

dress // heel // clutch // ring // cable cuff with gold and pearls // link bracelet // earrings // skirt

Last Call for Summer Whites

I used to have issues finding dresses long enough for my torso. The standard torso measurements on regular length dresses effectively made the skirt length too short to wear in casual settings, let alone in a professional capacity. Let alone the fact htat the designed waistline inched towards my bustline. Sometime around 2012, J.Crew changed the game and began offering the tall option for dresses. My only complaint is that they do not offer the length in enough of the style selections.

 

white dresswhite dress in profileiridescent tote

Prince Charming buckles a Birkenstock
Sometimes Prince Charming will fix your shoe when you didn’t know it even needed adjusting.

I was attracted to the flutter sleeve dress in Eyelet because it reminded me of a 90’s era silhouette. The dress was born to be matched with a pair of grunge-era Birkenstock Arizona sandals, updated with glitter finish, and an iridescent shopper-style bag, which reminded me of something I saw Jessica Biel wearing in a Seventeen magazine spread back in 1997. Despite the 90’s references, the look does not feel costume-y.

Despite growing up in the deep south where etiquette rules are followed to a T, I do not believe wearing white should be restricted from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This rule is beyond counterintuitive as deep south climate is conducive to wearing white and summer fabrics as long as possible, as Mother Nature brings high temperatures and high humidity from Easter until Columbus Day. If you follow this rule however, the flutter sleeve dress in eyelet comes in an ikat print and a rich red option, the latter of which looks particularly seasonable for autumn while maintaining an air-y layer perfect for a humid September and October. (Both options are on deep markdown, and they are typically offered with an additional percentage off of clearance.)

dress // sandals // sunglasses // rose gold cuff // ring // cable cuff with gold and pearls