When I was shopping for a dress I could wear for my 40th birthday party last month, I wanted something that could transition into several looks, but still have that special feel. After all, you only turn 40 once! I allowed myself to give this selection a larger budget than I usually do for every day dresses so when I spotted the Desert Star Maxi Dress on the Anthropologie website, I thought it had potential.
I am so happy that I made this purchase! I felt so confident at my party and received so many compliments on my dress. When I shop now, I am looking for key features that I know make me feel my best. Those elements include:
- A V-neckline that helps elongate my torso
- A flowy, yet structured silhouette
- A defined waistline at the smallest part of my rib cage
- A soft jersey that is lightweight enough for spring and summer, yet thick enough to not show every lump and bump
- Capped sleeves that are not too tight around my arms
- An overall pattern that has a large scale in navy, cream, and turquoise colors that can mix well with other pieces from my closet
- A slight high low hemline that keeps me from tripping on a long skirt and allows me to show off my shoes
- A feel that can go both dressy and casual
I wanted to share four ways I have come up with to style this maxi dress to give you ideas on how to maximize the dresses you have in your closet.
ALL DRESSED UP
This first look is how I styled it for my birthday party. A large stone slab bib statement necklace, snake skin clutch, carved wood bangles, and pierced leather wedges give an earthy elegant feel. It’s funny the little things that you appreciate with clothes and with this dress it is the faux wrap. The day of my party was very windy and the skirt blew in the breeze dramatically, and the sewn closed wrap kept me from worrying of over exposing to every party guest. I did however add a tiny piece of fashion tape at the criss-cross of the neckline to keep it nicely closed.
Being in a creative field, I probably have a little more leeway to what is work appropriate than most. This dress fits the bill on so many levels for doing interior design work. The comfort level + professional look makes for the perfect work dress. The addition of a simple short gold pendant necklace, wide faux ostrich belt, vintage copper & turquoise cuff, large brown handbag (that can hold loads of fabric samples), and nude peep toe booties give me that confident interior designer look that can go from office to showroom to client meetings.
Spring has brought fluctuating temperatures to Southern California and layers have been my saving grace. My weekends usually consist of running a few errands and visiting family. By throwing on a medium wash denim jacket, this dress transforms into a beautiful casual outfit. The long stone & tassel necklace, casual conjac satchel, and simple navy pointy toe flats complete this easy, breezy look that can go from grocery store to mom & dads house.
For me and my hubby, date night usually means heading to Seal Beach to our favorite sea food restaurant off of PCH. We like to sit out on the open patio and feel the cool breeze of the ocean wash over us as we dine on Parmesan Crusted Sand Dabs. Half way in between casual and dressy, this version includes a conjac faux leather jacket, long turquoise & bronze tasseled necklace, navy wristlet, and nude tasseled sandals with a low wedge. This allows me to be comfortable during dinner and perhaps a walk on the boardwalk afterwards while still feeling beautiful.
There are actually several more ways I could style this dress and perhaps you might see a few of them on the blog, but I thought these four gave a good sampling of its versatility. This is probably one of the nicest pieces I have in my closet currently and I am glad I can utilize it in many different ways and be situation appropriate. These simple combinations can be translated into any maxi, hi-low, or midi dress that you may have, or with one you find that fits your style.
Review on fit: I am wearing a size large and would probably have sized up to an XL had it been available in store. The dress has a built in lining underneath that helps with both smoothing and to prevent being able to see through it when light is from behind. Although this dress is jersey knit, it is not flimsy by any means. It has very nice body and holds its shape nicely.
Dress 1 is the one I have from Anthropologie and dresses 2, 3, & 4 are some plus size ones I love too that can easily be transformed into several different looks. Even though two of them are solids, they still have fantastic color and each have that same nipped in waist with a v-neckline.
Which is your favorite look? Do you remix your dresses? Can you pick out the thrifted/second-hand pieces I mixed with this dress?
Today’s Postivity Note
Don’t save things for a special occasion, everyday of your life is a special occasion. -Thomas S. Monson
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