1. Start with a dress that is well tailored and has an interesting pattern. Florals are especially popular for the beginning of spring, but feel free to choose whatever print speaks to you.
2. If your dress doesn't have any detailing to accentuate your waist, add a skinny belt in either a metallic or a coordinating color.
3. Add a cardigan if you want an extra layer of warmth. If your dress is sleeveless, you will probably want something on your arms to protect against the chilly weather Mother Nature has served up this week! When you are choosing a cardigan to wear with a dress, a cropped length should be your first choice so that it doesn't interfere with the silhouette of the dress.
4. Add a colorful shoe! Although I show a shoe that matches the color of the dress, don't be afraid to mix and match if you find a stunning color combo.
5. Swap out your large everyday bag for a small clutch. This is an easy way to make your outfit feel more special.
6. Don'f forget your jewelry! Add on a necklace and stud earrings, but since your outfit will be worn in the morning and early afternoon, shy away from glitzy pieces.
If you are still trying to decide what to wear this Easter, here is my no fail formula for looking chic from church to brunch:
Last week I thought that I had retired my down coat and snow boots until next winter. I even painted my toenails so that I could wear sandals! And then we got snow on Monday. Here are three tips for staying warm without reverting back (entirely) to your winter wardrobe:
1. Keep your color palette bright. During inclement weather, I am more likely to choose dark neutrals, but swap out your black cardigan for a bright purple or teal. Instead of throwing a dark blazer on with your jeans, layer with a navy & white striped knit moto jacket. You'll still have the extra layer on your arms for warmth, but you won't look like you are hunkered down for another polar vortex.
2. Skip the snow boots. Unless there is serious accumulation, stick with rain boots (fortified with cozy wool socks) or riding boots. They'll keep your feet dry and you won't feel like you time traveled back to February.
3. If you are wearing a dress or skirt, choose brightly colored tights instead of basic black. This will allow you to wear your spring pieces even when it is cold outside. For example, if you have a floral dress, choose one of the colors from the pattern to pick up in the tights. You will look ready for spring even if Mother Nature is still wavering.
It is getting close to Easter and is finally getting warm outside, so yesterday seemed like the perfect day to buy a new dress. LOFT started a 40% off everything sale yesterday as well and since there is a LOFT just a couple blocks from my apartment, it seemed like a great place to start. (I also tried on a ton of pieces that weren't dresses and I highly recommend checking out the sale section. Mine had a nice assortment of side-zip moto-style jackets in stripes and tweeds. I loved this one so much that I couldn't resist bringing it home to my closet!)
And now, onto the dresses:
1. Eyelet Sundress in Cloudy Blue $98
I saw this dress on a mannequin when I first walked into the store and wanted to try it on before they sold out. Overall I liked the style, which is very similar the dress in the third photo, but couldn't imagine myself actually wearing it. I think that if it had been in a darker, brighter color I would have been much more excited about it, but the soft whitish-blue made me think that it would be perfect for a bride-to-be to wear at her bridal shower.
2. Drop Print Elastic Waist Dress in Deep Salmon $69.50
This is the dress that I went with! I didn't even notice it when I was scouting out the dress options online, but the bright color caught my eye in store. Before I had even gotten back to the dressing room, I had already pinpointed several occasions that I thought this dress would be great for. Plus, this dress won't have to go into storage at the end of the summer- I am looking forward to styling this with black tights, a black blazer, and riding boots for fall!
3. Eyelet Bodice Skirt Dress in Blue Flag $98
I saw this dress online which prompted the initial outing. I was drawn to it, even though rationally I knew it wasn't terribly practical for me. It is hard to see in my photo, but the skirt portion of the dress is a lovely blue and white stripe on a light fabric and the seamed bodice is black with a black eyelet lace overlay. The juxtaposition between light and dark as well as structured and flowing makes it eyecatching, but also not as versatile because it's caught between a casual sundress and a Little Black Dress. I felt that this dress required a very specific dress code/event. I was looking for a dress that would work for Easter and for a bridal shower and couldn't really picture myself wearing this to either.
4. Poplin Full Skirt in Bright Spirit Mauve $49.50 & Mini Heart Print Tank in Black $54.50
I realize that this is not a dress, but I liked the color of the skirt and the pointelle stitching detail near the hem. The wide waistband also helps to reign in an overly flow-y top (as in the case of this printed tank). When I was trying it on, I couldn't shake an overwhelming urge to find a skinny belt to add an accent to the waistband. However, this is a great casual skirt for summer that has the potential to be dressed up with the right shoes and accessories (and it also comes in black for those not in love with the mauve).
I feel like I need to note that I tried on many more dresses than are pictured here. It can be so easy to get discouraged when trying on clothes, so don't expect the first or even the fourth thing you try to be the piece you love enough to take home!
It's time to shed the heavy layers and bring out your light and bright spring pieces! I love to try out new restaurants when it is warm enough to walk further afield and the patio space is open for dining. Here are three outfits to inspire your next dining experience. What are your favorite springtime outings and outfits?
#1: brunch with friends
chambray shirt + patterned skirt + metallic belt + patent flats
#2: dinner on the patio
dress + sparkly jewelry + clutch + peeptoe wedges
#3: happy hour after work
cuffed denim + blazer + tank + patterned scarf + sandals