Monday, June 27, 2011

The brighter, the better [outfit]

Hawaiian dress - 2011 - swapped (similar) / J.Crew belt - 2011 - $10 on sale (similar) / Nine West pumps via Ross - 2009 - $25 (similar) / Faux pearls (similar)

Outfit analysis: This dress is a tad loose, but a skinny belt cinches it in nicely. I love the fullness of the skirt, the front pockets, and the bright colors. Simple accessories let the print be the star of the ensemble, although I think I could have coordinated the shoes better with my other accessories.

I'm going to be honest—I wasn't so sure about this dress. I grabbed it off the table at a swap, glanced at the size and saw it was somewhat around mine, and took it home with me. It sat in my closet for months, and I glided right by it for many an event...weddings, dinners, graduations. It caught my eye at the swap, but for some reason I hadn't even tried it on once since I brought it home.

One day I decided I had to try it. I'm purging as much as possible before the move, so I needed to know if this piece would work or if it needed to be tossed. Gosh it was pretty. The colors were so nice. The fabric is heavy and elegant. The pockets are adorable, even if they do form a slightly unflattering dropwaist look. The length was perfect.

I zipped it up, turned around...and was not all that impressed. It looked pretty shapeless. I apparently had swapped on one of those days where I mis-perceived my own size (in no small part due to the crazy large lunch I had right before hand). If I'd been buying this at retail, I would have needed an entire size down. But it wasn't retail, and there wasn't another. The label is some Hawaiian sounding brand I can't remember (and I'm at my parents' house typing this so I can't check). So it was either make do or throw out.

Last ditch effort: belt it. And wha-la. The dress lives to see at least one more day. Still not sure on the shoes, though...what color shoes do you wear with such a loud dress?!? Even so, I'm glad this piece found its place in my closet. This sheath-lovin' gal has found a place in her heart for an A-line dress. World peace is possible.

How many chances do you give a piece before you pass it on to its next destination? Do you kick it out once it stops working for you or do you hang on just a little longer?


  1. When in doubt, I usually go with nude shoes, but I think you could go with a bright cobalt blue or an orange or pink depending on the look.

  2. So glad you gave this dress another chance - it looks MARVELOUS on you!

  3. oh man do I ever love this dress. It's so pretty. I keep scrolling back up to look at it. Such a great find and a great solution to it being a bit shapeless/over-sized. It looks really great on you. And I think the shoes look great as well. I tend to go with neutral shoes when something has a print this loud. Oooo... maybe some nude heels... that might be interesting. (for real I just scrolled up again.)

  4. I really love this. I think it looks absolutely fantastic. A definite keeper.

  5. I'm glad you did not toss this dress, it really is amazing. I would go with nude shoes also.

  6. I love this dress on you. The belt really cinches it- the colors are so wonderful and seriously match any color shoe- navy,mai oui! white, tan, black all would be perfect down below. GREAT print. I hope you wear it a few more times- I think it will fit right in Florida.

  7. I'm glad the dress survived! I love the pattern and colors on you. It's amazing what a belt can transform!

  8. i like this bright number!!!! ur looking very nice in it

  9. I am so glad you kept this dress! It's really versatile and you can wear it to so many different occasions! You look great in it and I usually will only get rid of something after realizing it hasn't been worn in over 2yrs...

  10. What a cute dress! Love the color combination and the patterns - very unique. And if it's cotton or a breatheable fabric, trust me, bring it to Florida. A dress like that will get you through at least three seasons, maybe even 4 with a jacket or cardigan. (South Floridian speaking from experience here!)

  11. Angeline you wear this dress beautifully.
    I think the shoes were a good choice if any more color - i would add a red bag.
    I think a lot about letting items go, specially because I do not want to regret it. I go back and try it on and then post about it and ask fellow bloggers on how they would wear it . As it's not just how it looks but how it feels.
    I have to say I wear things at LEAST twice before letting go. If i am not 100% convinced I put it back and just look at it the next month.
    Finally, when I let go, I blog about it and write WHY I am letting go, this, so I don't regret it later on and I read the post and remember WHY it has moved on to a better life.

  12. I love it! It looks great belted and paired with those shoes. It works for me.
    I must say, I keep stuff forever hoping to discover a use for it.

  13. I think it looks amazing on you! I'm so glad you kept it, and pockets! You can't go wrong :)

  14. As I was reading your post, I was going to offer to buy the dress from it...and then I got to the part about the belt. I love the print and it's a keeper.

  15. I say pink shoes - pink would be fantastic! I love that dress, I'm glad you kept it!

  16. I really like the dress on you. I think it will look great with crisp white shoes, or nude heels.

  17. @ Sal - Thanks, lady!

    @ Pixie in pumps - I love the nude shoe suggestion. I'm thinking I need some nude colored open-toed shoes. It's just too hot now to keep my toesies enclosed!

    @ Jessica - Thanks! Sounds like nude shoes will be my next try with this dress. :)

    @ Nikki - so true...and to think I just discovered belting last year!

    @ shooting star - thank you!

    @ Kim - it's all cotton, and despite the fabric being heavy, it's very airy. It was over 100 degrees the day I wore it, and I was fine all day (the dress being slightly too big also helped with that). It's definitely going to make an appearance in Florida! (btw, any tips for a new South Floridian?)

    @ Lorena - I hear ya...I hang on to so many things because I'm afraid I'll regret it! I like your process. And red would definitely be a fun combo!

    @ Besos Lynn - Thanks! I figure you can't go wrong with basic peep-toes. :)

  18. South Florida tips: take a sweater/wrap/shrug everywhere because it can be meltingly hot outside and frigidly air-conditioned inside.

    Forget about tights and pantyhose. I haven't worn them in ten years! Sandals are wearable year-round, except those few weeks in January or so when the temperature gets down into the 50s.

    Natural fibers all the way!

    I love it here - moved from the midwest ten years ago and haven't looked back. Hurricanes aren't as bad as they make it sound - there's plenty of advance warning and most places only get some wind and TONS of rain.

  19. i love this dress! but i (personally) like a statement piece. i'd wear it with nude the belt with it.
    if a piece doesn't make it to the outside of my house after a few tries, i'm all about tossing it. i can't stand clothes taking up space and me possibly missing the opprotunity to add to my closest.

  20. I love this dress. I saw it and thought that. Then you wrote all about your issues with it. I guess belting it did the trick.


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