Monday, October 14, 2013

the opposite of basic

Tommy Hilfiger silk plaid dress, Ross
navy and green colorblock belt, Forever 21
       Impracticality is a longtime friend of mine. As much as I dutifully hunt for well-fitting, work-appropriate, versatile clothing, a part of me has always yearned for things of whimsy. I still remember the thrill my sister (my very first shopping co-conspirator) and I had so many years ago when we decided to buy a floral rayon buttondown from Wet Seal.  It was loose-fitting and the pattern was predominantly olive green and dusty red. I know what you're thinking - a rayon floral shirt doesn't sound that revolutionary. But to girls who grew up wearing t-shirts and shorts, it looked elegant.
    This dress is definitely a thing of whimsy. Let's start with the crinoline. I have never considered myself a girly-girl, but the fluff makes my heart happy. Next, let's glory over the fact that the skirt has two pockets. I know I look morose in the photo below, but I'm smiling on the inside. 

    This is the kind of dress that I imagine a certain woman would wear for Christmas fun. She lives in a airy, immaculate house that glows with light and whose living room hosts an 8-foot-tall Christmas tree. She'd wear this dress while trimming the tree with glass ornaments as sweet and intricate as spun sugar. When it was time to take a break, she'd sip on gourmet hot chocolate crowned with homemade marshmallows. 
     ... Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? But back to real life. I don't even own a pair of shoes that would do this dress justice. Our holiday family gatherings are quiet and low-key and we don't dress up. I don't hold or attend any fancy holiday parties. The cut of the dress is conservative, so maybe I could figure out a way to style it for work, but I'm sure silk plaid with a crinoline would raise a few eyebrows at my very casual workplace. In short, I have no real reason to own or wear this dress, but maybe it's a "just because" dress. Just because it makes me feel pretty and sophisticated. Just because it makes me smile. 

p.s:. I didn't wear this dress out yet, just put it on for the picture-taking fun. 
p.p.s.:Yes, it's really wrinkly from being smashed between all those cheap dresses at Ross. 
p.p.p.s: I've always loved how Dotty wears her belts artfully askew (see second from left photo), but I've never been able to pull it off successfully, until now. I think it really offsets the dress.
What is your favorite "just because" clothing item? When and how do you wear it?


  1. I am a huge fan of plaid and am loving the look
    I love that you used a green belt and the way you buckled it is terrific


  2. Aya in CouturgatoryOctober 14, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    I love this! I always get the coolest accessory and detail tips from your blog.

    I think it absolutely like something you could wear out, but we do live in different States with different clothes culture.

    Regardless, I'm really glad you got it. It looks great on you. Maybe we can do a Just Because dress party on our blogs.

  3. Wonderful, wonderful dress. It looks smashing on you, as does the artfully askew belt.

  4. This dress is magnificent! You look wonderful :)

  5. What a wonderful dress! Very special. And nice way of wearing your belt.

  6. This is ADORABLE! Maybe someone will have a wedding in the fall/winter you can wear it to! I have a ridiculous amount of cloaks/capes/etc. Living in the mountains, they're not really the most practical winter wear, so instead, I use them as fall outer garments. I blame them on a life of fantasy books.

  7. oooh! that dress is just gorgeous! even if you don't have an occasion (or shoes) for it, it should just be there for carrie bradshaw moments!

    and thanks for the shout-out! i do heart me some belts!

    dash dot dotty

  8. I love this dress on you and it's definitely perfect for the holidays! Do you know the American Girl dolls? It reminds me of a dress one of them had!

  9. So pretty!!!! <3 Reminds me of something Carrie would wear in 'Sex and the City' (and that's a compliment)

    Jen @ Librarian for Life & Style

  10. Thank you, Nnenna! :) I'll definitely find a reason to wear it during the holiday season. And now that you say that, it does remind me of the American Girl dolls.

  11. i love that outfit! such a great tartan!


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