Pre-Fall 2011: The Floral Dress


Polyvore Set Here. 

Floral dresses are a Summer staple.  But once Fall comes around, most of us put our florals in a box under the bed until the weather warms again.  This is a mistake, because florals, especially florals in Autumn hues like green, purple, grey and orange, can be worn all year round.

For this outfit, I added a cardigan in a darker purple, a complimentary eggplant.  And I made sure that the neckline of the dress complimented the neckline of the cardi.  Nothing irks me more than when someone wears a crewneck tee with a v-neck cardigan or vice versa.  I think the look is much cleaner when the necklines match.

The artsy, pendant necklace also compliments the neckline and adds a little sparkle without compromising the casual nature of the ensemble. 

Also, this is the most expensive cardigan ever to appear on this blog.  I do not expect anyone to spend this kind of scratch on a sweater.  They should save it for a downpayment on a Ford Focus.  But J.CREW, Madewell and others will sell plenty of v-neck cardis this Fall, and one of them will probably be dark purple.

Now, for this ensemble, I would leave the cardi unbuttoned.  Then, I would belt it at the natural waist or just a hair below if you have a long torso.  And I would make sure that the edges of the cardigan didn’t touch, so that you could see two inches or so of the dress running vertically to create a nice line.

I like these boots.  They’re a funky alternative to the basic riding boot.  They also make the look a bit more fun.

And, if this were my outfit, I would wear a pair of dark purple tights.  It’s not a strict adherence to my two-out-of-three rule, but the print is purple, so it’s close enough.

I added an olive bag because olive is very big this Fall, and I’d rather mix in an on trend color than wear a brown belt, brown boots and a brown bag.  Too many accessories in one color can look a bit like your accessories were made by Garanimals.

Breathe new life into warm weather frocks with blazers, cardigans and chunky sweaters.  Just add a pair of flirty boots or tights and booties and you’ll get extra wear out of your Summer dresses.


    leave a comment

  1. Kate says:

    haha, wow, not kidding about the price of the cardi! I love the boots. I always worry that a floral dress with boots like that would give too much of a 'Sweet Home Alabama' feel

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  2. E says:

    How do you make this work appropriate with flat boots? I get a little worried about the skirt/dress + flat boot combo looking too frumpy.

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  3. Ellie says:

    I also HATE when necklines don't match on sweater & shirt/dress combos. Pet peeve.
    This outfit however is adorable.

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  4. No Drama Momma says:

    Fall = the return of all things purple! Yay! Needless to say, I like the colors you have chosen here.

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  5. valerie says:

    JCrew has a nice, affordable version of the cardigan, in dark grape

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  6. Rachel says:

    I've noticed lately that you've been giving tips on on to wear the cardigan/belt combo for which I am very grateful. For whatever reason, this is what stumps me the most.

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  7. sarah says:

    Do you wear the boots w/o tights? I have great boots but have always worn them with tights or jeans.

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  8. CML says:

    I own these boots – I can attest, they are awesome. Very versatile and comfortable. Thanks for this outfit suggestion – I'll definitely wear this look come fall!

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  9. Colleen says:

    Hm. Never thought about cardigan necklines complimenting shirt necklines, but you're right Belle. It is a cleaner, more polished look. Thanks for showing me the light!

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  10. Belle says:

    E-It's a Friday look, unless you have a really casual workplace.

    Rachel-People asked for belt advice, and I am to please.

    Sarah-I NEVER wear boots on bare legs. I HATE the way it looks. I think it makes even the thinnest legs look puffy. Plus, I think tights is a better look.

    August 17, 2011/Reply
  11. BLM says:

    If I were a better person, I wouldn't snort at the claim that “nothing” irks you more than necklines that don't match.

    August 18, 2011/Reply