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Two Ways: Viva Vena Maxi Dress

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Dress:  Viva Vena Maxi Dress ($88)

From Left, Earrings: Kenneth Cole Modern Hoop ($32) Bracelet: Metallic Cork Cuff ($88) Shoes: French Connection Terri Sandal ($60) Scarf: LoveQuotes Scarf ($88) Bag: Cole Haan Zoe Satchel ($240)

From Right, Earrings: Gorjana Hexagon Stud ($30) Belt: Club Monaco Genny Belt ($80) Shoes: Mango Ankle Strap Sandals ($100) Jacket: Tildon Drape Jacket ($78) Bag: DvF Harper Bag ($177)

This morning, I mentioned that you had two options with this dress: you could leave it long or have it hemmed to hit just above or just below the knee (I’d do below).  So I wanted to style it for each possibility.

Leave It Long. This is a relaxed, casual look that’s great for plane rides, casual weekend lunches or running errands in the neighborhood.  It really lets the dress, and the pattern on the dress, take center stage.

I adore Love Quotes scarves.  They’re wide enough, long enough and give the perfect amount of scarf volume.  I recently replaced my Moonbeam (ivory scarf) for the third time in five years, and decided to buy an extra just in case they stop making that color.  But if you need something cheaper, this gauzy infinity-scarf from Charlotte Russe is a nice under-$10-alternative.

For the shoes, I wanted a sandal that mixed black and cognac, so when I found this French Connection sandal with a hint of gold, I had to use it.  But I know some of you are gold averse, so try these Report sandals instead for $50.

The jewelry is pretty and shiny (ooh, shiny objects!), but also a little bit cool.  I adore this two-tone, cork clutch, and these shaped hoops are lovely too.  If you’re looking for similar earrings in silver, try these twisted hoops for under-$20.

Lastly, I like that the Cole Haan bag has a structure but is still relaxed.  If you’d like something similar for less, I like this $125 ASOS messenger satchel and this $30 BDG bag.    And if you want something totally modern and slouchy and Soho-chic, try this tote from Need Supply Co.–I can’t believe it’s $72.

For the hair, I would wear it up in whatever style you think looks best on you.  I like a low Gibson roll or a really teased and twisted low bun.  For the makeup, I would wear black liner and a substantial lipstick color, perhaps a red or a deep purple.

Shorten The Dress.  I envision this outfit being worn to religious services or on a casual Friday when you want to go straight to an event, so all you have to do is remove the jacket.  I might also wear this to an evening event or a brunch at a work conference.

I like the shape and the color of this Tildon jacket and how it plays with the hints of powder blue in the dress.  It’s the kind of piece that would look great with a navy pencil or over a white, gauze dress.  But if you’re not looking to dress up this look, and would prefer something edgier, try a leather moto jacket ($318) or the less-pricey version.

As for the accessories, I chose a simple earring to complement the black in the dress and keep the look from being too pretty.  I chose this belt because I love the clean style (you could also wear it “backwards” to keep the look sleek), but this Topshop one offers a similar look for a bit less.  And the shoe is a clean, block  sandal with a hint of vintage.

Lastly, I need to say something about this purse.  Usually priced at $295, this bag is marked down to $177.  So if you’ve been looking for a bag that can be a smaller every day bag and an evening bag, this Harper bag is an excellent choice.

For the hair, I would wear it down.  For the makeup, I would wear a rosy blush, lip gloss, and a greige nail polish.

LEAVE A COMMENT

    2 comments

  1. Lindsey says:

    I immediately ordered the French Connection sandels. They are gorgeous! I know I’m going to get a ton of use out of them. And that’s a great price, especially with the extra 15% off. Thanks Belle!

    April 30, 2013/Reply
  2. Caroline says:

    What are your thoughts on wearing long skirts or dresses to work? Are they professional enough? I recently told someone I wouldn’t wear the skirt I had on (long, patterned, drawstring waist) to work, and she looked at me like I had two heads.

    May 1, 2013/Reply