Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mad, mad world [outfit]

gap dress
nina paladin pumps
vintage frame bag
business casual
Gap dress - 2011 - $25 (similar) / Nina Paladin pumps via Ross - 2009 - $16 (similar) / J.Crew outlet belt - 2011 - $5 (similar) / Vintage frame bag via Bows and Arrows - 2010 - $12 (similar) / Necklace via Gottschalks - 2009 - $6 (similar) / Silver ball studs via Target - cheap (similar)

Outfit analysis: The sleeves, wide neckline, and defined waist of this dress really hearken back to the Mad Men days. I think the bag only adds to that vibe, and I like it. Looking back at this outfit now, I sort of wish I'd tried it with my braided leather belt, to carry the color of the bag through to the outfit, and maybe another necklace. Although I really do think the leopard print of the belt is a nice touch. Well, that was rambly. Bottom line: I liked this outfit. It was easy. It was comfy.

When I get a new item of clothing, I tend to start out simply and then branch out. That was the case with my gray Target dress (iteration 1, 2, 3), and that's how I'm approaching this dress as well. Sure, I have an idea of how I'll be styling the item when I buy it, but in reality it often takes me a few tries to figure the piece out. This styling isn't all that different from the first time, but hey, it's only my second try, so cut me some slack, okay? Any ideas for my next try with this dress?

How do you approach working a new piece into your wardrobe? Do you try out the waters one toe at a time or do you cannonball right in?


  1. oh, this outfit is sassy! I would die of heat stroke wearing a sleeved black dress right now, so I'm hot just looking at you, but you look amazing!

  2. I love how simple and stunning this outfit it. I'm similar to you, in the way that I introduce pieces to my wardrobe. Start small and work my way up to the fun mixes.

  3. I do love the "Mad Men" vibe of the dress and the handbag is adorable. Next time I would try a black high heel almost gladiator sandal with a wide very colorful belt. A little sexy and summery.

  4. I love your bag--it's sleek and very Mad Men like. Your outfit is lovely. To change it up, I would add lots of color. A colorful belt, shoes, and some bangles.

  5. This is perfectly "Mad Men," and for that, I love it! Whenever I get a new style, I will usually just jump in and try it out the first time... that technique rarely works out, though, so I find myself experimenting a bit before I finally hit the nail on the head.
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights

  6. What a great dress! I really like the lady-like accessories you used here. You can do so much with dress. I would love to see it worn casually with sandals, simple jewelry, and a worn vintage belt.

  7. The dark dress with the light brown purse is SO pleasing to me. Mad Men? Crazy about it!

  8. Such a fab frock. I adore that sleeve length for summer!

  9. I love the vintage look of the purse! I have two that look like that! Great outfit overall, very classy!

    I think I'm the opposite when it comes to working items into my wardrobe. I tend to have grandiose plans in my head about what it will go with in my current closet, and when I try on the combinations and realize it is a fail, then I will start from the basics. =P

  10. I love this, the brown accents are so chic!

    I usually wear the item as is for the first time and then figure out other ways to go from there.

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

  11. LOVING this outfit! And those shoes/bag!!!

  12. I would so be wearing this if I could find it! So cute. I'd love to see it with something bright, accessories or wear a shirt over it.

    Great outfit, now back to my Mad Men watching :)

  13. that dress looks incredible on you! And that little belt is a lovely touch. You're going to find so many amazing ways to rock this dress!

  14. I tend to start small when styling an outfit. I really like the cut of this dress on you, and the belt is really fun.

  15. I too tend to style a new item simply for the first few wears, and then try incorporating it in more experimental ways. I think you did a great job with this dress. The classic frame bag really brings out the vintage feel to the dress.

  16. I agree with you. I would have tried the belt be same color as the bag.
    I think you could do a bright colored shoe (red) and a colored belt (blue, mustard, lilac) and a bag in another color - and the necklace in ANOTHER color - so nothing matches but is brought together by the black.

  17. @ noguiltfashion - Good to know I'm not the only one! I just like to work up to things.

    @ questforfashionsense - great ideas! I have pretty limited colors in my wardrobe, but maybe this will be the push I need to get some more.

    @ basiccravings - oo I've never thought of wearing it casually (I still have a mental barrier sometimes when it comes to dressing up-ish outside of work).

    @ Sal - thanks! It's so hard to find good dresses with sleeves lately...I just couldn't pass this one up!

    @ Sam - thanks! A shirt! That's a good one to try!

    @ Pixie in pumps - I hope so. These comments have given me good ideas already.

    @ Jamie - Thanks!

    @ Lorena - oo I like the layering of different colors. I need some more colorful accessories.

  18. I agree with Sally, this is a great sleeve length. And I love the caramel/brown and black -- one of my favorite combinations.

    This is not a complete idea, buuuut...with this dress I could see you wearing your hair up in that double ponytail, black Nine West peeps, and your sassy teals earrings. Beyond that I'm a little lost (not great with brights). Maybe a corresponding teal belt? Fun date ensemble.

  19. @ Cynthia - Oo...teal...I love it! The gears are turning...I don't think I have any other teal accessories, but those earrings are a good starting point (oh crap, I think they might be broken). But good idea!


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