I have another exciting styling request to share with you today! Venessa emailed me with a predicament of sorts: she purchased the Bent Stripes Assymetric Skirt (on sale now!), but wants some ideas for styling it, other than with a tucked in loose white top, nude wedges, and a gold statement necklace. Oh, and this outfit is not for just any old day – it will be worn to a wedding in Mexico on Cinco de Mayo!
I’ll start by saying I think Venessa picked theperfect starting point for this type of occassion…the skirt is festive, yet not completely in-your-face-look-at-me, and the assymetric cut of it really is stunning. I imagine walking in it looks magnificent!
Although Venessa called her styling ideas “kind of boooring,” I don’t think she had a bad idea at all! Yes, it may seem simple, but that may just be the beauty of it! Understated simplicity is definitely sometimes for the best – maybe even more so at a wedding. In fact, I will not be going as “out-there” with these stylings of the skirt, say, as I might if I was styling the skirt purely for everyday wear.
Shall we get started?
Let’s talk color first. The skirt is primarily yellow and navy blue, with a white background of sorts behind the print. On the color wheel, yellow and blue are almost complementary, meaning they really do intensify each other. That is most certainly why the skirt feels bright and vivid, not to mention fresh, with the addition of the white.
Pairing the skirt with whites will maintain the freshness and will really put the focus on the skirt. The same goes for dark blues. Brighter blues would be a great option; they add some pizzazz yet don’t feel too out there (in the context of wedding, remember), considering that they’re just a shade of the blue on the skirt. Some light-medium purples could also work, as could some tones of orange. Honestly, most colors could work; it is just a matter of picking the right shade and what you feel comfortable with.
In terms of the silhouette of a potential top, I recommend generally picking something a little more tailored, something a little closer to the body. This type of silhouette will definitely create the most pleasing proportions. If you want something with more volume, generally going sleeveless will be key. I’m also going to recommend that you tuck the top in.
I’m loving the pattern play in this look; even though I cautioned to stick with more simplicity for a wedding, this print is subtle enough, but most importantly, the top being a tank means there is not an overwhelming visual sensory between the skirt and tucked in top. I kept the rest of the accessories pretty minimal too – these strappy sandals are delicate enough yet still graphic, and the bracelet is just that as well. Throw on a jean jacket, and this is a great look for day-to-day too! Bonus! 🙂
No, your eyes did not deceive you – this look uses the same top as the previous styling! Note, however, that by using more of statement necklace with the surprising addition of pink, the look has a different feel.
That wraps up this request! I hope Venessa has gotten some helpful ideas. I’m sure she’ll have a blast in whatever she ends up wearing with the skirt to the wedding!
Spring is in the air. Flowers are blooming. The worst of winter is (hopefully, fingers-crossed) over. With spring time, comes fresh wardrobe options.
When Preetha contacted me in search of ideas for styling some beautiful lilac pants she got from Madewell, I naturally became quite excited. You see, these pants just might be the piece that can make your look the epitome of spring, and eventually, summer, chic.
The soft color really is just gorgeous. Even though colored pants seem compltely the antithesis of a neutral in many people’s minds, I think these pants really are nearly a neutral.
Let’s take a look at the trusty color wheel to examine this thought more closely. Before we look at a typical one though, let’s look at this special “pastel” color wheel:
Preetha’s pants appear to be a shade right in between those purples or pinks, though I do think they have more white in them. Naturally, it is always a good idea to look at the color complementary (directly across on the wheel) to the color of an item you are styling. Yellow is opposite purple. Now, immediately this pairing, as shown on the above wheel, might freak you out…Easter anyone? Pairing a pastel with these pastel lilac pants, thus, is not your best bet (or, not really my personal style, although it can work).
Instead, think of pairing bolder, richer colors with the pants. Here’s a typical color wheel:
The color of the pants on this wheel appears to be somewhere around the very outer edge of where the label “15” appears. Coincidentally, this color wheel also shifts the apparent complementary color to be green.
Do you notice how using these deeper colors really makes the overall color scheme more modern, and less Easter? Let’s keep that in mind.
Besides pastels, the other color to be a bit wary of would be pink. Pink and purple are classically colors associated with love, and they often, thus, take up a bit juvenile an appearance. Since the pants are lilac, this color pairing can especially take on this persona, in my opinion. Some people love that, but I personally am not a huge fan. *Red, too, can have this same “issue.”
And before I officially start with the stylings, I should probably touch on black and brown. Both, obviously, as true neutrals, will work with the pants. The difference is the feeling they have. Black is going to give more contrast, and thus a sharper look. Browns, on the other hand, are going to feel a bit more spring- and summer-like with the lilac. Both colors are great options; their differences are just important to keep in mind when putting together a look.
To me, this looks is effortless in putting together, yet packs much visual punch. The pattern play between the top and the oversized clutch is to-die-for, and the overall feel is modern, quirky, and fun, yet completely polished.
This look is a great going-out look. It feels very sculptural with the neckline of the top and the pointed shoes. Wearing the two types of metals together feels plain cool. Throw on a simple cardigan (black, perhaps), and this look is completely ready for work.
Pairing this great industrial silhouette yellow top definitely adds a great, unexpected edge to the lilac pants. Keep it simple with the rest of the look in order to let the intensity of the colors and pairing of the colors shine. Note too that by pairing brown shoes, as opposed to black, you keep the contrast focused just between the top and pants.
It goes without saying that there are countless more ways to style these pants. Don’t forget the always-loved basic tee, dressed up with a great statement necklace!
Isn’t it exquisite?! The detailing is beautiful and the silhouette is classic; surely this will be a dress which can be worn year after year after year.
Although Alli bought the dress for the purpose of wearing it to a rehearsal dinner, naturally, she’d love to get more mileage out of it. She fears it may be a one trick pony, so it is my mission with this request to prove it can be “casualized” (yay for made up words! :)! Therefore, I will be focused on the more dressed-down ways to wear this dress, as opposed to the dressed-up ways. If by chance there is anyone out there who would like some ideas for dressing it up, let me know, and I’ll do a post!
Anyway, in regards to the general “casualizing” of this dress or any garment in general, let me say one thing first: Wear your looks with confidence (obviously this advice transcends the said pretense, but hear me out…). What I mean to say is, oftentimes when people have an item that appears more dressy, they disregard it as having the potential to be worn casually. Many fear they will look overdressed and out of place. Let me tell you something…in my opinion, being “overdressed”, if that’s what you want to call it, is perfectly fine! As Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Audrey Hepburn once even also said, “I believe in overdressing.” Moral of the story? Be confident! Don’t worry about overdressing! (Bonus points: I know I’ve heard other great quotes before like the two aforementioned…can anyone think of any?!)
And onto the styling…
Right off the bat, I immediately thought of pairing a pullover with the dress. This technique allows the dress to function as a skirt, and let’s also be honest…it makes for a super comfy yet totally stylish ensemble! Following are a few examples using this technique:
*please note: throughout any of these stylings, adding tights would be great…dress for the weather!
I like how this pullover has an unexpected pattern on the back…it makes the piece interesting and unique! The booties add a bit more edge and balance out the femininity of the lace of the “skirt” with the floral pattern on the back of the pullover. Of course, you could also add a belt to cinch in the waist if you wanted.
Notice, too, how pairing this cream colored pullover brings out more of the ivory tones of the dress.
This time, notice how pairing the dress with this pink pullover brings out the blush tones of the dress. Interesting, how color works, right?!
I love pairing this look with the vibrant blue shoes, as I think the blue and pink make for a very interesting pairing – not one you see repeatedly daily. The complete look has a nice ladylike yet young and slightly funky feel to it.
Yes, this look is a combination of the previous two looks! Just thought I’d give you an idea of how some of these items could be remixed! 🙂 In this case, I like how the girly pink top and “skirt” are juxtaposed with the rougher belt and booties.
This is a great effortless look that is very high on style. The pairing of the stripes of the sweater with the detailing of the skirt is probably unexpected for most, which is exactly what makes the look so interesting and intriguing.
My next tip for styling the dress is to pair it with a great cardigan/sweater/jacket. While this might seem predictable, it’s a tried-and-true method because it almost always looks great. To evoke a more casual feeling, look for cardigans/sweaters/jackets that have a large knit or an unexpected print. Going oversized is always a great option too!
This chunky sweater automatically adds a cozy feeling. Add the patterned tights and the boots, and this is the perfect outfit for a cold day. The textures of the pattern of the dress, the knit of the sweater, the pattern of the tights, and the leather material of the boots make for a dynamic outfit.
As always, you could add a belt over the sweater if you so choose!
The pairing of this leopard print belt over the sharp purple cardigan adds a fun feel, while the wedge boots help keep the look more casual. You could easily transition out the wedges for pumps if you needed to make this more dressy for work in a flash.
Here is another great jacket – the color would look fabulous with the dress and I think it would do a great job to “casualize” the look!
Finally, don’t discount blouses either. They are similar to the technique of wearing a pullover over the dress. The one thing to be cautious of is that the top is not too clingy, because if it is, it won’t lend for a very attractive appearance overall.
Belt this blouse to give it a little shape, and then layer on the jean jacket. The simple flats complete the look! Please note that the jacket certainly is not necessary, although it certainly brings a more casual vibe to the look. You could also leave the top unbelted if you so choose.
Clearly, I strongly believe the Veiled Alder Dress to be far from a one trick pony! Remember…be creative and have confidence!
Hopefully Alli has gotten some great ideas! Does anyone else own this dress? If so, have you worn it more casually before?! Do tell!
Styling request time! Alli emailed me in regards to the Tupelo Dress (Anthro). She said that she’d love some suggestions for styling the dress more casually, as she wants to get some great mileage out of the dress. She also gave me the green light to look at pretty much any store I wanted to compile the stylings, so needless to say, I was ready to get started immediately!
First, let’s talk color palette. The dress is composed primarily of blue with a considerable quantity of yellow added in. It’s important to note that blue and yellow are nearly opposite on the wheel, meaning that when paired together, the two colors will really intensify each other. This obviously makes for some great contrast!
If you pair green with the dress, you’ll notice that you’ll be using the bottom third or so of the color wheel above. Because blue, yellow, and green are all together, you’ll lessen the contrast of the blue and the yellow on the dress. This will probably make for a soothing color palette.
Another direction you could go is pairing red with the dress. This will make for a nice evenly spaced triad on the color wheel. In turn, this will create an interesting sort of visual harmony, although that harmony will consist of contrasting colors.
Believe it or not, going with a purple or orange will create two similar (but different) effects. Consider this: purple is next to blue, a color of the dress, on the color wheel, and orange is next to yellow, a color of the dress, on the color wheel. Purple and yellow are complementary (meaning exact opposites), so by adding purple you’ll theoretically be intensifying both the purple and yellow. But, because blue is still next to purple on the color wheel, the purple will get toned down a bit, and so, the yellow will actually be the more predominant color of the three (although the purple and blue will not completely fade away!). Likewise, if you pair orange to the dress, theoretically the orange and blue will be intensified. However, because the orange is next to yellow on the color wheel, the yellow will tone the orange down a bit, resulting in the blue standing out. But, the blue is not an electric/neon blue, but instead a navy blue – a color I and many others consider a neutral, so it’s hard to say whether the blue would really stand out that much (it may very well just depend on the person).
Have I lost you? I hope not! But anyway, to recap, basically any color will work with the dress. It really comes down to personal preference.
Because the neckline of the dress isn’t too high, you can easily layer tops on in order to make the dress function more as a skirt! My general advice for this technique is to go for something looser on top (so it doesn’t show the lines of the dress underneath it), but then belt at the waist to give more shape, considering the skirt is fuller (if the skirt was more of a pencil skirt, belting wouldn’t necessarily be as needed). In this case, I love the asymmetrical bottom of the top, as well as this great belt. Every piece is understated, but definitely not boring. If you wanted, you could amp up the look more, if it so suits your tastes, with a different pair of tights…yellow, perhaps, or a not-too-busy patterned pair (or even these green ones!?)?
Here are some other great tops for layering for the dress to morph the dress into a skirt:
This is the perfect no-fuss look that can be easily altered for the changing weather and/or personal tastes. As is, it’s perfect for those days with just a bit of chill in the air. But as the temperatures cool, throwing on a pair of tights will keep you warm and only add further opportunity for fun pattern mixing (or you could just stick with a solid pair of tights too!). Also, as the look is now, the red pop from the shoes really adds some pizzazz. Not your thing? Switch out the shoes…for something more neutral, for boots, for wedges, etc! The possibilities are endless!
Here are some more possible cardis/jackets/sweaters:
I love the idea of layering on a graphic tee and then throwing on a cardigan or jacket. It makes for such an effortless yet polished, yet still somewhat casual look. The key is to not let the tee get too, too busy…after all, the “skirt” (the dress) is patterned too!
Just a note: yes, the jacket listed above is pricey…I really like the graphicness of the black/white contrast, but I’m sure you could find a great alternative for much less money…maybe on ASOS?
Here is another graphic tee that might be lovely with the dress:
Another route to go would be with a button-down, but tied into a knot in the bottom (buttons left unbuttoned). This way, the top of the dress still peaks through. The tying of the shirt is still quite casual too. You could always throw on a jacket/sweater on top of the button down too though, for extra warmth and even more visual interest through layering.
This is definitely a slightly funkier look, considering that I chose a plaid button-down. If you choose to go with a plaid like this, I’d actually suggest you steer clear of boots in general, because you run this risk of looking a bit too country-dress-up. By pairing the look with wedges, the look feels modern and youthful.
Of course, you could always do a solid button-down too. It’s up to you!
Well, that wraps up this request! Hopefully Alli has gotten a few ideas, and hey…I know this was a popular dress, so perhaps others of you who own the dress got some ideas too!
Remember Amanda? She was the reader who requested I style the Duo-Patterned Skirt. Well, from my correspondence with her I’ve gathered her to be such a sweet person…honestly! Therefore, I couldn’t be more thrilled to try my best at helping her again with a different request!
Well, as it turns out, as good an idea as that seemed, Amanda is not thrilled with the results. She wrote, “I’ve always wanted to be Wonder Woman, but I’m not so sure an adult should go around dressed like her when it’s not Halloween.” First off, I think this goes down as the best line I’ve ever received in a styling request – too funny, Amanda! 🙂 But anyway, I can definitely see where this Wonder Woman-like appearance could come from, considering the top is a powerful, strong tone of red.
Rather than scrap Amanda’s idea of wearing the two pieces together, we’ll first look at how we can remedy the Wonder Woman problem a bit first. To do this, let’s take at look at our trusty color wheel!
The color of the top is probably approximately around the 6-7 on the wheel. The color of the shorts is a very deep, true navy blue, so probably around the 20-21 on the wheel, but in the center of the wheel. This means that the two colors are not quite complementary, but almost so. To balance this out, I would suggest adding a third color, but an analogous color to either the navy or red. Conversely, if you went with a kelly green, the color wheel would almost be split in three…consequently, this would intensify the green, red, and navy. Obviously, I don’t think this is quite the way to go, if you’re looking to tone down the look and de-Wonder-Woman it.
However, now, let’s look at what adding an analogous color, as mentioned before, would transform the look. We’ll try orange first, as the red of the top has some orange in it.
Notice how that feels so much more harmonious? It seems more calming than the green color palette looked, don’t you think? It might not have been what you were expecting either, because if someone told you to pick the more calming color – green or orange – most would have probably said green. However, it’s really all about what you pair with a color – that’s what defines the mood.
Let’s take a look at another analogous color – purple.
Amazing, right?! This purple totally takes the Wonder Woman out of the equation, so to speak.
Taking this color lesson into account, let’s look at some styling options!
Pairing this purple-y pink cardi with the top and shorts mellows out the look a bit for sure, while still keeping a bold color palette. As you may have noticed, I haven’t put any colored accessories with the look (no jewelry even!). That, my friends, was on purpose. I wanted you to see the difference accessories can make in this case…so, have a look at this look again, with a different set of accessories:
Notice how the added color from the cardigan feels more intentional? Basically, what I’ve done is take the look from this:
While this probably seems extremely subtle, and in fact is subtle, it makes a world of difference. Then again, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the first look, but I think it’s important to note how much softer the second look is.
Starting with a feminine soft orange cardi as the base, I added nude lace ballet flats and a gorgeous ring. The overall color palette is softened up with these additions, as are the angular lines of the top.
The color scheme of that outfit looks something like this:
This time, by putting this pullover over the top, you allow the bold red color to stick out, but only somewhat. This means that the red becomes an accent color, as opposed to the main focus. Taking a cue from the gray pullover, the gray loafers add pizzazz, while the marbled ring adds texture. The clutch finishes off the look.
The color palette for this look appears like so:
And now, for some other pieces that could work with the top and shorts:
Also, I should note that any of these looks would look great if you swapped out the shorts for pants this fall. For example, here is the third look with the AG Stevie jeans:
I think we’ve successfully eliminated any possibility you’ll be mistaken for Wonder Woman when wearing this top and shorts together! And remember, an aire of confidence goes a long way! Good luck, Amanda!
I promise I’ll be back with more styling ideas for the top and shorts, but I fear if I continued on today this post would get unmanageably long. So for now, digest this, and look forward for more!
Happy Wednesday, everyone! I know I’ve still got a lot to share with you all about the newfound direction of The Style Connoisseur, but I have something else exciting (and important!) to share with you today…a styling request! Hooray!
Amanda is thinking of purchasing the Duo-Patterned Skirt in its green motif (on sale now!). Obviously, it’s a beautiful piece, so what’s holding her back? The styling of it! She’s a bit stumped. No worries though…I’ll do my best to inspire her!
I really like the combination of the polka dot waistband and striped skirt. Amanda mentioned that she’s short, so I think the vertical stripes will be great for lengthening her silhouette.
Let’s take a look at the colors:
As you can see, there seems to be some green, blue, yellow-y-green, off-white, and navy blue. What does all of this mean?
Well, if you look at the color wheel, you’ll notice that those colors are on one half of the wheel (on the above picture, the left side). It’s cool color palette, as opposed to warm. If you want to make the colors in the skirt pop, choose any color on the opposite side of the wheel. If, say, you wanted to make one particular color in the skirt pop, look at the color directly opposite the color you’ve chosen. For example, if you love the green in the skirt, choose a purple or pink to make it pop. If, on the other hand, you love the navy blue, go with a rich orange color. You could forget this color popping all together though, and pick to repeat a color from the skirt, or use any neutral (gray, for example).
Let’s get into the styling of it now. Amanda is primarily interested in how to style it more casually, so that’s what I’ll focus on. Most definitely, you could pair a simple, stream-lined t-shirt with the skirt, tucking it in. However, in Amanda’s particular case, she said her tummy is her problem area, so this may not be the best idea for her (it could work, but it might make her feel somewhat self-conscious). The one thing to keep in mind is that (from what I can tell online) the skirt is a tad voluminous…therefore, you don’t want to go too voluminous on top, especially when you’re on the shorter side, as Amanda and I both are.
I’m going to be using a lot of sale items in the following stylings, with hopes of keeping costs down. Keep in mind, however, that if you like the idea of a piece but just think it’s too expensive, perhaps a little sleuthing will lead you to a similar, yet cheaper piece. Or, perhaps you already have a similar piece in your closet!
I adore pairing this subtly patterned top with the skirt. Although I’d recommend tucking it in, I think its print will distract from any worries you might have of drawing attention to your tummy. Simple sandals and some pretty bracelets finish off this look that is polished, but most definitely not too dressy either.
Anshan Booties – $198 (although you could probably find another great pair of booties for less)
This time, leave the boldly colored pullover untucked, but to cinch in the waist a tad, loosely belt around the pullover. You can play around with exactly where to belt – closer to the hips, more around the natural waist, etc – all depending on what flatters your shape the most. I like that the pullover won’t be too clingy, but you still get a gorgeous silhouette. Come fall, adding a pair of tights to this look will only enhance it! Besides booties, flats would also look great. Obviously, I think this is a great base of an outfit, with all its versatility.
Aplomb Flats (pink) – $208 (pricey, I know! really, any pair of simple, classic ballet flats will do!)
Again, leave this pullover untucked, although this time you won’t need a belt. The necklace not only adds extra color, but also draws the eye up and away from any insecurities you have with your tummy. This is a great tip in general for this skirt…if you have a rather plain top (even a basic t-shirt), adding a bolder statement necklace will do wonders!
Loosely tuck this orange-y-pink top – which will really bring out the blues and greens in the skirt – into the skirt. Layer on this jacket, which will not only add style but also move the silhouette away from the body (and any problem areas). The complete look is simple, but sure to get compliments galore!
This stunning pink hibiscus colored top will draw attention to the face while simultaneously flattering any body shape. Tuck it into the skirt, and then accessorize with nude wedges and a simple necklace. Ta-da!
That wraps up this request! As you have probably gathered, I think this skirt would be a great buy…there really are tons of great options in styling it and so many colors would look great with it! Hopefully Amanda has gotten some workable ideas!
Do any of you have this skirt? Are any of you still thinking of getting it?! And, of course, which of the above is your favorite look?
Readers, remember Sawan? She was the sweet reader who requested I style the Southward Stop Shirtdress and Distant Chirping Chemise (to see those posts, click here and here) back in September. I was so pleased to hear from her that both of those dresses are getting some good use in her wardrobe, and I was equally thrilled to hear she had another styling request for me! This time, she’s in need of some ideas for the Dotty Shorts:
I adore these shorts! Not only are they just plain fun (dots -like lots – of fun! haha! I couldn’t resist!), but I also think they have the potential to be quite versatile too.
There is a wide range of colors that would work with the shorts. Neutrals will obviously work, such as white, black, gray, and navy. Actually, these colors could make for quite sophisticated pairings. Soft colors like light purple will work too, as will richer colors, such as a more eggplant/plum purple. For a real bright pop, head opposite from the turquoise on the color wheel and consider a orange-ish color. Keep in mind that pairing these two colors together will intensify both colors, but it could make for quite the eye-catching look. Lighter yellows will also work, as will the occasional brighter yellow. Same goes for pink – use caution, but many shades will work. I don’t think there are real major color pairing no-nos with these shorts, but the biggest one to take caution with would probably be green…many shades just won’t work, especially the forest greens (although something closer to a lime green could be divine). Remember there are always exceptions though! My best advice, as always, is just to play around and see what does and doesn’t appeal to you!
Time to delve into some stylings, don’t you think?!
Depending on whether your work allows shorts, this would be the perfect way to make these shorts appropriate for work. The sophisticated, yet simple blouse and blazer are complemented by the great shoes. The tote and bangle finish off the look!
I’m loving this put together, yet more casual look! A white tee might seem boring and safe, but with the great cut of this one, along with pairing it with some great accessories, it’s far from boring. Instead, it feels fun, fresh, and summer-y!
I’m LOVING the lilac top with the color of the shorts – it makes for such a pretty color combination! That purple top is further amped up with the purple belt, which I envision wearing around the waistband of the shorts (shirt untucked). This way, it’s subtle, but adds a bit more cohesiveness. The nude wedges and rectangular ring are the perfect way to finish off the look!
You might think the pairing of the floral print shoes with these shorts is too much, but I think it definitely works because the shoes have a hint of that turquoise color. I’ve also kept it pretty simple with the top, which I envision neatly tucked in. A non-fussy, sleek bracelet is all this look really needs to feel finished off nicely.
Don’t be afraid to pattern mix! Stripes, in general, are going to be lovely with these shorts. While these particular stripes are technically polka dots, the top still works with the shorts because the scale of the polka dots is different for each of the two pieces. Tuck in the shirt for a polished look. The pairing of crisp white accessories helps to further soften the look. You could definitely add a clean-cut piece of jewelry to this look, but I don’t think it’s necessarily needed either.
Here are some additional striped tops that could work perfectly with the shorts:
I really appreciate the clean lines of each and every piece in this outfit – it makes for a very sophisticated, modern, yet effortless look. If you wanted, you could do more of a statement necklace, but I rather like the more demure look.
This would be a great look for evening – maybe a night on the town?! The contrast between the black of the top and the white polka dots in the shorts is great, as is the delicate statement necklace (which pops against the black top!). The heels and clutch finish off the look. You could make this more daytime appropriate with different shoes and a bigger bag.
Here are a couple of other statement necklaces I’d recommend:
Wearing this yellow-orange cardi open over this pretty cami would be a great way to bring in a different color palette. The necklace makes the yellow-orange color feel all the more intentional. You could certainly dress up the look with heels instead of the sandals, if you wished to.
Now, let’s look at some more pairings that could work with the shorts (click the picture to be linked to the product page; if by chance that doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll be sure to fix it!):
(tuck in for the right proportions)
(could work in any of its other colors too!)
That wraps up this request! Hopefully, Sawan, you’ve gotten some great ideas!
Having seen the styling request I completed for Brittany, Christine emailed me in search of some ideas for the same dress (Gull Wing Dress), but a different color. But Christine isn’t just looking for everyday suggestions – no, she is planning on wearing this gorgeous dress to a wedding on a farm in just a week! She also, however, did ask for some other ideas…how to style it for warm weather and cool weather, formal occasions, and more casual settings.
Naturally, I was quite excited for the task!
Let’s start by having a quick look at our trusty color wheel!
The dress is primarily purple. It definitely is more of a pink-y purple than a blue-purple, so I’m going to say it’s around the number 14-15 on this particular color wheel. As you can see, green is opposite – somewhere in between a kelly green and a forest green. This means that if you choose to pair the dress with green, the purple color will be intensified, as will the green. If, on the other hand, you want a less harsh contrast, consider pinks. Blues are next to purple on the color wheel, but I think they will be harder to pull off with this particular shade of purple. Yellows are going to be tricky too – the right shade could work, but otherwise, it could end up looking pretty bad. Oranges, as well, will be finicky. The right shade will be stunning, but the wrong shade will be plain wrong. I think your best bet is to not pair too, too bright of colors with the dress, as the dress itself has a certain intensity to itself already. The less electrifying colors will also make for a very soothing color palette – almost sunset like!
In terms of jewelry: With the beautiful neckline of the dress, you probably won’t want a huge statement necklace. For the most part, allow the delicateness of the dress to shine through! Bracelets and rings are great ways to add interest without taking away from the dress.
For weddings, I tend to think that simple usually works best. Personally, I don’t see weddings as the time to try out a brand new trend – I think a certain element of classicism is beautiful. Obviously, I think there are exceptions, and it’s fine if you disagree with me – I’m just stating my opinion!
I’ll start out by modifying some of the stylings from the post using the black/pink version of the dress. Throughout, I’ll add some completely new ideas as well.
Keeping the same cardi, but switching up the shoes and accessories, I’ve made this a more casual, cooler weather appropriate look. The gray tights and boots really pick up nicely on the gray in the dress. If you wanted, you could do brown boots instead (and keep the gray tights).
With minimal adjustments from the other post, I’ve made this a great summer look! For those hot, hot summer days, you could do without the blouse completely. On the other hand, for those cooler days, you could do something like this:
Leave this cardi open, which will allow the blouse to show, as well as the dress. This will be great layering! If the weather is cool, but not ready for this sort of warmth, you could of course omit the tights or omit the tights and boots (replacing with different shoes).
Instead of using the sash from the dress, use this belt around the cardi (leave the cardi open). You’ll be able to see the ruffles of the dress and get a cinched in waist – a win, win situation! You could most definitely add tights to this look too, if need be.
Sometimes simple is the way to go…this would be lovely for a wedding – understated but put together. If it got too warm, you could always remove the cardi! Oh! And the flats are great for dancing! Come winter, you could add tights to the look for an everyday ensemble.
Remember the yellow pullover look from the other post? Well, this is my take on it with this color version of the dress. The shade of green in the bag is just a perfect complement to the purple and gray of the dress – just gorgeous!
For cooler weather, you could switch out those shoes for these shoes and add tights:
By replacing the sash with this sparkly little belt, you instantly dress it up. The shoes and ring finish off this simple, yet more fancy, look. The best part of not covering up the top of this dress is that you allow the pretty back to show!
This look has some great texture going on, with the lace, woven-like shoes, stone earrings, and silk dress. You could most definitely wear heels with this instead, but for a farm wedding, flats might seem more desirable – they feel a bit more casual and relaxed, as does a farm setting.
The color blue acts as a great accent in this look that is on the more casual side. You could, however, definitely alter it to make it more or less dressy!
Let’s talk hair now, shall we? If you choose to wear the dress simply, you might feel like your overall look still needs some oomph. Well, hair accessories are the perfect way to do so (and they can also be rather cost efficient!). Simple headbands or hair pins would be gorgoues…maybe something like this?
…But don’t let store selection limit you! A great DIY idea would be to buy some wide ribbon and attach a pin or brouch to it…you could have the ribbon tie in the back (with the pin/brouch to the side in the front, possibly?) or the front…your choice! Another idea would be to simply attach a pin/brouch to the dress’s sash! (In terms of places to find pins/brouches, you might want to try J. Crew…or really anywhere!)
Now, I’ll jump into some other items I think could work with the dress:
Having tried styling the Float Above Blouse on her own, but without much success (the tags are still on the top!), Kristie contacted me for some help. I was glad to be of service – and, obviously, this is a gorgeous top with lots of potential that I have to work with:
There is a very bohemian feel to this top with its embroidery, lace, and overall silhouette. Kristie wants the top to look “fresh,” so I’m thinking adding some modernity to it will be key in achieving this.
Let’s dive right into some stylings, shall we?
With summer heat, shorts are a great way to go with this top. The key is making sure the proportions work – the shorts must be longer than the top…must!…so super short short shorts won’t work! In terms of style, something clean cut, without much embellishment is ideal. This way, the intricacy of the top stands out without competition. This most definitely will provide a clean, fresh look.
Keep in mind with these stylings using shorts that I’m assuming the proportions work…these actual shorts may or may not work, depending on the individual.
Crisp white is a great color to wear with the top – instantly, the top feels all the more fresh and all the more modern. At the same time though, the white will still act as a backdrop to highlight the lovely blouse.
If you want to take the top in a more committed Bohemian/almost hippie way, consider wearing jean shorts, such as these. To help keep the look feeling new, consider adding these bold pops of orange in the form of a clean-lined bangle and clean-lined clutch (why not a purse, you ask?: a clutch such as this, as opposed to a purse-purse, feels a bit more modern). And no, I don’t think the orange bangle with the clutch will seem matchy-matchy at all in this case!
Now, moving on from shorts…
One of the absolute best ways to go with this top – as in, you’re pretty much guaranteed a successful look – is pairing it with skinny jeans. This is because the skinny jean is tailored and stream-lined – the tunic-type top will look great (proportions wise) and the pants won’t take away from the top’s beauty. Any color could work nicely too.
Using skinny jeans in a fun, bright color, such as these pink-red ones, is a great way to modernize the top. The shoes and necklace are great – they are simple enough to complement the other pieces, but also add a great deal of modernity to the look, while still being classic.
This is a classic look with a hint of vintage feeling too, while still appearing very current. With only four pieces, you might feel the need to add more to it, but I think it’s great just as is – this top really doesn’t need a whole lot to make it feel complete.
Wear this cardigan over the top, and then belt around both to get a defined waist. The simple skinny jeans, bracelet, and shoes complete the look! Don’t you love the pretty pink colors with the blue-green of the shirt?!
This is a unique look considering the fact that it has both a funky, yet equally chic, feel to it. This funky feel is in large due to the distressed, rolled hem crops and the loafers. The chic feel is in large part due to the sophisticated blue-gray-green color scheme and the sublime bag.
This too has a funky vibe, but it feels a bit more casual with its fun orange accents. I really seem to be liking pairing the top with orange! 🙂
I’m going to go ahead now and take the time to caution you about wearing wide-leg pants with the top – while it can absolutely look lovely and very 7os inspired, it can also just look plain bad. The key in pulling the look off is wearing high heels to really, really lengthen your legs. The shoes should ideally also be pretty simple in shape.
If you want to wear the top with skirts, I think pencil skirts will be your best bet. First of all, they’ll allow for the proper silhouette with the top tucked in, but they’ll also work for the proper silhouette with the top tucked out with a belt around the waist. (Speaking of belts, you could successfully belt most of the above stylings around the natural waist, if you wish.)
This is a gorgeous combination of pinks, blues, and purples, if I do say so myself! Anyways, this is a great styling because it can be worn TWO ways. First, you could tuck in the top to the skirt, and then belt over the skirt (close to the natural waist). Or, you could leave the top tucked out and belt around the blouse around the natural waist. Either way, this is a gorgeous look!
Another styling idea would be to wear the top over a dress, belting around the waist. Other great ideas include playing with cardigans, jackets, and belts.
This would work with the top and a skirt, pants, or shorts! So versatile! You could even belt the top underneath the jacket!
Before officially wrapping up, let’s talk a bit more about color regarding the blouse.
With this blue-green color, so many colors are going to work – blues, greens, purples, pinks, oranges, neutrals (grays, blacks, browns, khakis, whites, etc). The key is to not use too many dark, washed-out colors with it though, because it can start to look drab.
If, by chance, you own this top in its more pinky-coral color….
….I would still suggest blues (most shades), as well as many of the other colors mentioned above. You may want to avoid some of the darker colors, as well as some pastels, although you can still give them a try. Navy, used as a neutral, would be gorgeous, as would a light-medium-dark gray.
And now, my dear readers, we’re done. Hopefully Kristie has gotten some useful ideas. I wish you all the best of luck, Kristie!
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!