+ Three Ways

Two Ways: Cobalt Kitten-Heel Sandals

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Shoes: Mara Sandals ($118 – 30% off = $82)

From Left, Necklace: Kenneth Jay Lane Resin Bib ($84) Ring: Lucite Ring ($58) Bag: Leather Envelope Clutch ($39) Dress: Alice + Olivia Peplum Dress ($264)

From Right, Earrings: Helena Drops ($78) Bracelet: Graziano Stack Bangles ($38) Belt: Beaded Stretch Belt ($39) Bag: Cordoba Wallet Clutch ($78) Dress: Warehouse Crossback Dress ($149)

The weather is finally warming up (knock on wood!) and I am ready for all the great spring and summer events.  From Bethesda Front Row, to garden parties, to al fresco dinners, I am beyond ready to dress up and go out on the town.  Here are two going-out looks to suit a woman with sleek tastes or a woman with flirty tastes, or that rare woman who can do both.

Modern Look.  I have tried on the Alice + Olivia dress, and I was really surprised how flattering it is.  Sometimes peplums make everything look works (the read looks bigger, the legs look shorter, etc.), but this dress, in a stretchy jersey, gives a body-hugging fit that’s sexy without being vulgar.  And if red isn’t your thing, it comes in a myriad of colors from basic black to white to pale pink to blue.

Looking for something cheaper? This red Asos dress has a chic, side peplum, and this sleeveless Vince Camuto is priced at $45.  Plus size? J.C.Penney sells a red, belted peplum dress. Petite? Tahari has a very chic frock for $139.

I added this blue resin, bib necklace to break up the red and pull in the shoes.  It would also look wonderful worn with a white button-up blouse or a pastel crewneck top.

Lucite is a big trend in fashion right now, and I think this geometric-cut, lucite ring is a great way to bring it into your wardrobe.  I also like this lucite cuff and this cool lucite-link necklace.  Lastly, this clutch from the Gap is a great, inexpensive basic.  It also comes in silver, mint and fuchsia.

For the hair, I would wear it down, perhaps in loose waves.  For the makeup, a MAC Ruby Woo red lip (of course!) and black liner with a rosy blush and gold shimmer on the eyes.

Flirty Look.  How adorable is this cross-back dress?  I love the crochet lace and the not-quite-white color.  It’s perfect for a garden party or Gold Cup.  The only issue is what bra to wear?

Personally, I love a stick-on, push-up Nubra.  I know this isn’t an option for some of you, so I did some research and found that Maidenform makes a backless bra with straps for support.  

Looking for a lace dress that isn’t backless? Try this flirty-sheath from Lord & Taylor or this flared minidress from Forever 21.

For the accessories, I added a pair of berry-colored drop earrings for a bit of color to complement the shoes.  I kept the rest of the items fairly monochromatic, however, in a palette of grey and gold.  I adore this beaded belt from Ann Taylor Loft (and this one, and this one), it’s a great price for a fun accessory.  And the wallet clutch is a great staple that you can even carry in your bag during the work week.

For the hair, I would wear it up to show off the back of the dress.  You could choose a teased-up ponytail, or a low twist.  And for the makeup, I would keep it fresh and dewy with highlighter, pink blush and a bit of bronzer.