Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What to Wear Wednesdays - Shopping for Dresses

Hi Ladies!  

Yesterday I left you with a sort of a cliff-hanger.  

How can a regular woman be ready for a "high fashion" event?  

I started with a dress.  Two dresses to be precise.  After a bit of searching at the local stores (TJMaxx, Marshall's, Burlington, and Target) I found two dresses that were simple, cut well and were beautiful from the neckline to the hem line.  

The first dress was from Marshall's. I looked at probably 20 dresses there and this one was the one that looked the best on me. I had my sister help me decide WHY the other dresses didn't look right... hem length, where the "waist" hit, size of the print, color of the dress... we used my swatches too!  The discussion was important in deciding the best look for me.

After I found a great fitting dress I went looking for accessories.  I found both pairs of shoes at Forever 21.  The only way I can shop that store (or any very overwhelming store) is to look at one thing at a time.  I was looking for a tall shoe with a wedge that matched either of my two dresses.  This could have been black, blue, or a pop color.  

Since the pop colors available were obnoxious orange and neon pink I decided to stick with black.

Shari said not to get an everyday purse and I didn't really understand what that meant until I went shopping. I wanted something between an "evening" purse and an everyday purse.  I found this bright yellow "envelope" type purse that brought a pop of color to a great dress.

Personal Note:  In the dressing room I told my sister that I felt "thick"... not fat or fluffy necessarily but just not as "thin" as I felt I should look.  I wore a shaper with both dresses... a few women who know me kept exclaiming how skinny I looked and how gorgeous I looked.  This goes to show you that shapers are worth it AND that the image in the mirror should not deter you from making a fashionably beautiful statement.  

Accessories... those were hard for me.  I am SO fortunate that this event was after Christmas, which was when I received a few sets of jewelry from Kohl's.  I also had some of grandma's costume jewelry originally destined for Goodwill.  In this case it was not the value of the accessories, but the volume of good looking ones.

Do you remember the 16-point accessory rule from Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad?

Want to count with me?  
1) Hair
2) Makeup
3)  4)  Earrings
5) Necklace  (it was a very sparkly grandma piece)
6) Bracelet on Left arm
7) Bracelet on Right Arm
8) Engineer ring on my pinkie
9) Friend ring on my right ring finger
10) Wedding Ring Set
11) Nails (Manicure from Friday afternoon)
12) Dress
13) Purse (counted because it was with me all night)
14)  15)  Shoes
16)  Pedicure

I want you to believe that it really can be that simple.  
* Find a dress
* Find a pair of shoes
* Find a great purse
* Search for accessories

I know this works because I not only had two nights of great outfits BUT I was able to dress a Pure Natural, t-shirt and jeans, friend in a matter of a few hours. She started with nothing to wear.  She wore flat gladiator sandals that were sparkly and comfortable for her and she borrowed jewelry for the evenings.  

My dresses were $30-$50, shoes were $30 each pair and my purses were $15-$25 each.  So it is possible to find affordable outfits if you have a little bit of a budget and trust that you will succeed.

I believe in you ladies!

Have a wonderful Wednesday.  Let me know what you think of my shopping experience and share one if you have any similar successes or frustrations you'd like to voice.


P.S.  Did you notice that Shari "borrowed" my purse for a picture (or two)... signs of a good pick!


Erika said...

You both look amazing. I love the blue shade of the dress. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm inspired now Laura! I love the contrast of the yellow purse. I need a dress for a beach wedding and will definitely be looking for 'pop' accessories since the event will be super casual. I'm going shopping with my sister in May (our annual shopping weekend to a HUGE place) and we are both going to be looking for dresses for this event. Can't wait! I love your color block dress, very flattering! Karen

~Brenda said...

Happy belated birthday, Laura!

You and Shari look very fashionable and perfect for the CFW!

I too like the pop of color in your clutch.

Lucy Wilson said...

Noticed the purse switch right away...what a compliment for you, Laura! Great post & great look for you and Shari. Since my word for 2013 is simplify, this advice is right on target! Thanks, Laura!