As the base for your outfit, start out with this great dress. Add on a necklace, bracelet, and some pretty flats – great for walking, croquet, and/or lots of mingling, but still stylish. The great thing about the look as a whole is that it combines old and new – old as in nostalgia – i.e. tie-dye-esque top of dress – and new as in an unusual color play – instead of red, white, and blue, which can be predictable, blue, silver/gold, and pink is used. This new color scheme gives an ode to the holiday but is much more sophisticated – and original - than the typical Fourth of July color palette. (Note: I’m not saying red, white, and blue can’t be done beautifully – they can!!! – instead, I’m saying a general statement. I don’t mean to offend anyone!)
One last [important] thought: thank goodness for the freedom the United States offers us, and all of the opportunities that come with it. Let’s not forget that, especially when we’re having a crummy day in the future!
Enjoy your day!….By the way, what are your plans?! I’d love to hear what this day has in store for you – even if you have the biggest plans or the smallest plans!
It’s styling request time! Brittany contacted me in regards to the Gull Wing Dress (in the black/white polka dot with pink color scheme), now on sale.
Tell me this isn’t a lovely dress. I dare you to. See? No one could say it…it’s just so sweet. The thing I love about it is how it definitely has a retro, girly flair, but it’s not overdone either – it’s far from costume territory. The buttons on the front, the back of the dress…ahhhhh, just perfect!
In particular, Brittany requested I give some advice about styling this dress for summer, using colors other than the obvious black and pink, pulled right from the dress. There absolutely is nothing wrong with using black and/or pink, but I’m guessing Brittany is looking for something a little more adventurous – a little more unexpected. Sounds great to me!
Obviously, then, we should cover color first. Black, the primary color of the dress, is a neutral. Looking at that color alone, therefore, you could pair any color with the dress. The same can be said when you take into account the white polka dots. However, the addition of pink throws that flexibility off just a bit. Don’t get me wrong – I love the pink. In fact, it helps to make the dress so beautiful. The point is, however, the pink accents on the dress must be taken into account when pairing colors with it.
How about we take a look at the ever-handy-dandy color wheel?
The pink of the dress falls in with the more orange-y pinks on the wheel – it’s probably around the 9 or 10 on the color wheel pictured above. If you look directly opposite this, you’ll see the blue-greens. One of the first color pairings that actually popped into my head was a minty-green-like color. Because these two colors would be opposites on the wheel, this makes them complementary colors. In other words, the two colors will be intensified when together. (This color pairing reminds me of this color scheme, in a way.)
For an analogous pairing (that is, colors next to each other on the wheel), consider a light purple. This will create a soft, feminine effect. It will be more soothing than using a complementary color.
To be clear though, using complementary vs. analogous pairings is not a choose either/or, not both situation, if you know what I mean. Both can be done well (separately and together); it largely depends on the feeling and/or mood you want to be conveyed through the outfit.
I’m also liking the idea of pairing creams/whites and grays, in addition to blues, greens, purples, and other pinks with the dress. In general, I would stay away from the oranges – because the pink of the dress does have some orange hues in it, it could end up looking like you thought you were matching the color of the dress but just got it wrong – and that’s not how you want to look! Yellows could be risky for a couple of reasons – 1) black and yellow can read very bumblebee and, 2) it could look very chaotic. For that reason, if still like the idea of yellow, I’d suggest softer yellows…almost pastel-like.
This is an all out girly-girl look which fully embraces the vintage feel of the dress as well. The pairing of the light blue (almost blue-green) is gorgeous…it doesn’t overpower the dress, but rather complements it. As is, this look is the perfect day ensemble.
Come nighttime, however, switch out the bag and be left with this look:
Just by switching out the bag for this clutch, you add a slightly different, slightly more funky, slightly more bold, slightly more fun, slightly just different, but much more nighttime feel to the look. Gorgeous!
This is a fun, effortless take on a casual look with the dress! Put on the knotted blouse over the dress, which still allows for the pink detailing on the front of the dress to be seen. Pair some lovely purple sandals and a funky bag, as well as a more polished cuff, and the look is complete. If the tote isn’t quite your thing, a leather bag would also be fabulous!
Yes! I did it – I covered up the top of the dress completely with a pullover! While this may seem like a tragedy, it’s actually a trade-off. Yes, the top of the dress is gorgeous. But by covering it up, like I have done in the styling, I have made the dress all the more versatile by converting it into a skirt! Think of it that way…a skirt! Anyway, loosely belt this pullover (you may want to scrunch up the sleeves) slightly below the natural waist. The yellow may seem bright – and it is a bit brighter than I might normally advise with the black – but with the purposeful addition of brown in the belt, shoes, bag, and ring, it feels just right and not one bit bumblebee-like. The other thing I’m particularly loving about this look is the subtle pattern play between the polka dots of the “skirt” and the stripes of the bag. The shoes help to further pull out the quirky side of the look with their more vintage flair.
I love replacing the sash of the dress with this belt – I think this belt was made for the dress with its hints of pinks, but gorgeous contrast of light green which brings out and complements the pink of the dress. The sandals, tote, and simple bracelet keep the look clean and fresh. This is the perfect casual look!
Starting with the same base as the previous styling – the dress and belt – I’ve now made this work for the more dressy occasions on your calendar, such as work. The darker green of the shoes is a nice place off of the green of the belt, and the bag just picks up on that color even more. The bracelets nicely polish off the look!
This is a great take on combining silver and gold with the dress (two metals people often feel scared to use together). Wear this slouchy jacket over the dress (sash removed), and then add on a belt around the waist of the jacket that helps nip in the waist. The necklace and shoes help finish off the look.
Alternatively, you could do without the belt pictured and instead tie the sash of the dress around the jacket.
Notice how by adding a leather jacket, you completely change the feel of the dress – suddenly, it’s a lot more edgy feeling.
And this is how you successfully pair the dress with oranges/reds. Because the pink color of the dress, as mentioned earlier, has an orange hue to it, you want to make it clear that you are intentionally pairing red/orange with it…the danger is it looking like you thought your orange accent was a match to the pink in the dress, when in reality it’s not. To avoid this blunder, bring in the red/orange in multiple places in the look – as I’ve done above, I’ve brought in red in the shoes and necklace. This way, it looks like an intentional pairing, and the look works!
Utilizing the same leather jacket as the previous two looks, I’ve transformed the usage of it into a complete daytime-ready look. The pairing of sneakers with the dress is a quirky detail, as is this recycled, graphic tote. The necklace helps add a bit of polish. This look requires some confidence…if worn with a lack of confidence, it could easily look like a huge fashion mess!
I know Brittany, in her request, asked specifically for stylings using colors other than black and pink. However, I decided to still show this ensemble because I think it’s a unique take with the black and pink.
Staying very simplistic with the styling is also not a bad direction to go in, as I’ve done with this look. A sweet heart necklace, purple shoes, and bag is all the look needs here! Sometimes less is more!
That wraps up the complete stylings…but I still have a few more things to discuss!
Yesterday I showed you a sculptural high-waisted black pencil skirt that I love. Today, I’m showing you another sculptural skirt. This time though, the skirt is shorter and nearly the opposite color – nude. Take a look:
While not quite as sculptural as yesterday’s skirt, this piece still definitely makes a lovely statement. Bringing out its pink hues - with either more pink or contrasting colors – could be lots of fun!
Are you loving this wonderfully priced $36.20 skirt as much as I am? Which do you like better – this skirt, or the skirt from yesterday? Spill the beans!