Dress Love and New Criteria

Is it becoming obvious yet that I’m so excited to be adding dresses back into my wardrobe rotation?! After a year of steering clear of dresses because of breastfeeding and pumping I am so happy to welcome them back into my life. I find dresses to be the easiest and most versatile item in my closet, which is important when trying to work with a lean wardrobe, plus they have a way of making me feel (or at least look) completely together even when I’m not.

As I move forward with my Core Wardrobe, there are a few criteria I’ve established to help me make more mindful additions to my wardrobe. When I’m thinking of adding a new piece to my closet:

It has to be a multi-tasker. I don’t have room in my closet for any ‘one-hit-wonders’. Before I buy, I think about different ways I could wear the item. More specifically, can it be worn for work and ‘free’ time? Beyond that, if an item is only suited for one or the other, it must be versatile enough for me to style it in different ways so that I can repeat it without feeling like I’m repeating it (if you know what I mean?).

I have to LOVE it. One of the biggest lessons I’ve taken from my capsule wardrobe experience is how valuable it is to have a closet full of items I LOVE. It’s also taught me the difference between really, really like and LOVE, so I’m much better at identifying those pieces. I have found that within the first moments of trying something on I typically know (almost like love at first try on). It’s all in how the fabric feels against my skin, how it fits, and most important how I feel wearing it.

It has to be effortless, styled, and classic. These are three words I’ve identified as my style ‘goals’ (for lack of a better word). Discovering my personal style is one aspect of the capsule wardrobe journey I still have lingering feelings of unfinished business. Moving forward, to be true to myself, I am going to work at only adding items that can be described using the words I most identify with.

The Dress

 

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This classic black silk dress from The White Label Project is the newest dress in my collection and it definitely meets the above criteria. I ordered a medium and it fits true to size (I am size 8 and 5’2″ for reference). There is plenty of room through the shoulders and hips, which makes all the difference when wearing a dress without any stretch. I’ve often found that dresses get hung up on my bootie but this just slight A-line cut gives me just enough room. The only downfall is that the sleeves are too long, but that is an easy fix.

The silk feels like a dream, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not nervous about the care. My hope is that the black hides enough that I won’t need to worry about stain removal or dry-cleaning too often. I likely will save this dress for work and non-kid social occasions, (or maybe kid events that don’t involve food ;)).

The LBD is probably known as the most versatile item a woman can own. Today I want to share three different ways to wear this dress and share more about why I love it.

The WHITE LABEL is a Scandinavian brand creating minimal luxe staples. Classic, clean cut designs made with high quality materials, priced honestly. Every woman deserves to build her wardrobe with timeless, luxury pieces.

Work

The slightly longer length of this dress makes it work-friendly. One of my biggest struggles with dresses is that they often are just a tad too short for me to be comfortable wearing to teach (especially because I spend a lot of my day with my arms raised writing on the board in class). This dress hits right above my knee and has even more length and coverage in the back, so I’m not in danger of feeling like I’m flashing anyone.

For work, any comfortable shoes and some simple, polished accessories pair easily with the dress to look professional and pulled together.

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Dress (c/o The White Label Project) / Shoes (c/o Bearpaw) / Bag (old from Old Navy) / Necklace (Stella & Dot)

Weekend

The slight a-line shape of this dress makes it universally flattering and easy to wear and move in without feeling self-conscious. For weekend errands or get-togethers adding a denim jacket and Birkenstocks give an effortlessly styled vibe, while being functional.

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Birkenstocks / Jacket (old from Old Navy)

Date Night

To style the dress for a night out I immediately thought I’d add a statement necklace, but as I tried different ones on I felt they were taking away from the dress. This dress makes a statement on its own thanks to the gorgeous silk fabric and classic cut, so I opted to add a leopard clutch and heels to complete the look and let the dress speak for itself.
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Shoes (old from Old Navy) / Clutch (Purple Peridot) / Bracelet (Jenny Bird, similar from same designer) / Earrings (c/o Nickel & Suede)

What are your most versatile closet items…the ones that can dress up or dress down and that make you feel effortlessly pulled together?

 

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6 Comments

    1. I love the dress (and that clutch!). It’s very cute, looks super comfortable, and versatile to boot. I don’t work so I find that to be the hardest part of any outfit. I like a lot of dresses and skirts but I feel awkward at school pick up when everyone else is in jeans or athletic wear. I usually get asked why I’m dressed up. I need to just get over it!

      1. Andrea, I would probably be the same about ‘dressing up’ for pick up line! The funny thing is dresses are easier and more comfortable than jeans in my book. I think the more casual knit dresses are perfect for mom-duty.

    1. I love your guidelines for adding to your wardrobe! They make so much sense, but I’ve never thought about it in those black and white terms! I love all your examples of how to wear this dress, each look is so cute, and so different!!

      1. Thanks, lady! Yes, I decided I needed a few guidelines so I don’t go off the rails back-to-school shopping. I really don’t want to end up back where I started 🙂

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