Monday, April 26, 2010

What do you accentuate?


navy dress (H&M)
navy and pink polka dot pumps (Payless)

Last weekend, I attended a bridal shower for one of my best friends.  I've known her since we were five years old, so we've seen each other through many fashion (and life) ups and downs (see: stir-up pants).  I was happy to celebrate her upcoming marriage, where I know for a fact that her wedding dress will be a fashion DO.

Unfortunately, the cold and rainy weather on the day of the shower caused me to scuttle my plans to wear a fresh, spring dress or my frothy sea-foam colored skirt (which is lovely and part of an upcoming post).  So instead, as part of thinking about one-and-done outfits, I wore this shirt dress.  The color is dark enough to fit the dreary weather, but the dress itself is not heavy or too winter-y.  Mostly, I love the simplicity and ease of this. The built-in belt gives the dress shape, accentuating my hourglass figure.  The solid color and simple cut make this dress a perfect vehicle for fun shoes.

I love the way that these shoes add whimsy to genre of the peep toe pump.  The light pink polka dots are lighthearted, fun, and youthful, and the little poof at the toe just enhances the playfulness.  They're a great way to lighten up an outfit -- perfect for this occasion, where they transition the classic, more professional dress into a social, more outgoing context.

I want to place this outfit in the ongoing conversation on our blog about under-styling and over-styling and the questions raised about varying philosophies regarding layering and the use of accessories (with some great conversations going on in the comments!).  Namely, I want to question my own fashion decision to under-style it.  The reason I did was two-fold.  1) As I mentioned, I like the way that this dress highlights my natural curves, and by keeping it simple, I think it works as a showcase for my body shape. 2) I have a strong belief in the way shoes make a statement, though sometimes that focus makes me neglect the other aspects of my ensemble.  Now, unlike the other outfits in our blog discussion, mine does not employ a bold print.  In fact, if I want to turn a very critical eye to the dress, it could look like a stewardess dress.  Keeping that in mind, I wonder if in the future I should pair it with a different belt (maybe a pink one?) and/or a nice necklace (perhaps a gold pendant?).

  • How else could I style this dress?  And do I look like a stewardess?
  • When you look for statement pieces, what kinds of accessories do you like to accentuate?  Jewelry?  Shoes?  Scarves?  Hats?
  • Do you typically dress to show off your assets or hide (perceived) flaws?


La Historiadora de Moda said...

It's hard to tell from the picture, but does the dress have an actual belt or a sewn in tie/sash? If the answer is belt, it would add a lovely pop of color to add a pink or red (or green to match your toes) belt. I think that the shoes are very cute, but I wouldn't classify them as statement pieces. A scarf or a bracelet in addition to or instead of a necklace would be a lovely accessory with this simple and chic dress. Essentially what you have with this dress is a chic blank canvas for the rest of your outfit.

Scholar Style Guide said...

The dress does has a skinny navy belt attached to it. I hadn't thought of a green belt, but I really like the idea, thanks!

I agree with you - the shoes aren't excessive enough to really make enough of a statement on their own. As I mentioned, I often err on the side of simplicity, and I tend to only make little changes to outfits, leaving most of the canvas unadorned, so to speak. Writing this blog has definitely made me more conscious of this tendency and think about why I feel more comfortable understyling. It's interesting to think about alternative ways to approach an outfit - especially a "blank canvas" like this one - and how we can create different portraits.

I definitely want to branch out, so next time I wear this dress, I'll experiment with some new options.

Thanks for the comment!


Designer Store said...


When it comes to men’s clothing the first thought which sparks in my mind is designer jeans. Anything will be suitable with designer jeans might be tees, shirts, jackets or blazers. Men in designer jeans look cool and handsome!

Scholar Style Guide said...

I like the idea of the "blank canvas." How could you NOT style this dress?! It has great potential to be dressed up or down. You could put on a pair of Chucks and a jean jacket and you have a great Saturday afternoon look, or you could keep the heels, add a cardigan and a statement earring or necklace and wear it out at night.

If I learned anything from the Cezanne exhibit, though, it's that leaving the canvas (partially) unadorned can be fantastic! I think it looks perfectly good on its own, too, and I do like the way it accentuates your shape! I think the shoe and the pop of color on your toes give it enough visual interest to make it fit in with your personal style.

Maybe DON'T wear it with a navy blue sensible pump, though. Then we're getting into flight attendant territory. : )


Scholar Style Guide said...

Katie! You could get away with wearing skirts/dresses and heels for the rest of your life. The silhouette of the dress works really well on you. I agree with the recommendation for a pop of color in a belt or a scarf, but, you're right, the cut of the dress makes it a great stand-alone piece.

- Anne-Marie

Brooke said...

I adore those heels - I can't believe they are Payless!

And you certainly don't look like a stewardess! lol

Brooke said...

Oh, and to answer your question, which I forgot to do: I dress to hide my flaws, not show off my assets.

Anonymous said...

I have these same exact pumps and they look like pure crap on me. I just can't make them work. You look fabulous! I'm just going to turn mine into glitter pumps. Off to the craft store.