Two Ways: Kaleidoscope Dress

Jul 11, 2013

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Dress: Kaleidoscope Dress ($59 + 20% off)

From Left, Earrings: Carolee Natural Bezel Set Studs ($59Bag: River Island Bowling Bag ($118) Shoes: Ann Taylor Kitten Heels ($99) Blazer: Mango Tailored Blazer ($90) Belt: Calfskin Double Loop Belt ($124)

From Right, Earrings: Jules Smith Hoops ($75) Clutch: BCBG Whipstitch Clutch ($238) Shoes: Madden Aftrdark Heels ($130)

For the Office.  This is one of those outfits where I tried a multitude of combinations before I found one that worked.  The navy blazer looked heavy.  The wide buckle belt looked out-of-place.  The green earring looked forced.  Matching this dress with separates that made the outfit look easy and chic was tough, and it meant a return to keeping it simple.

This sleek belt worn over the blazer defines the waist and pulls the look together in a sophisticated way.  And the white blazer lightens the print on the dress, while lifting the look into the professional.  A cardigan just wouldn’t be enough here, it really does have to be a blazer, and I think white is the best choice, unless you prefer something in pale blue.

This bag is fantastic.  The classic shape and the details, what a great basic work bag (the price isn’t too shabby either).  I also like the look of this simple Dooney bag, and this larger, darker cognac satchel.

Navy shoes are not easy to find.  Most designers don’t even bother with them, but these pumps from Ann Taylor are perfection.  So if you’re over “nude” heels, and want something different to wear with your navy pencil skirts and dresses, give these shoes or their peep-toe slingback a try.

Lastly, I chose a simple earring with a color that coordinated with the print but didn’t compete.  These earrings blend with the lighter color in the pattern and provide another hue besides navy.

For the hair, I would suggest wearing it up in a low bun or twist.  For the makeup, I would keep it fairly natural with a taupe eyeshadow and some highlighter on the brow bone for definition.  I’d also recommend either a red lipstick or a plum/berry one.

For Going Out.  White shoes are a big trend for this year.  Every red carpet seems to feature at least one actress trying to make white pumps work.  I had never had occasion to feature them on the blog, since they’re not suitable for most work environs, until I saw this dress and couldn’t get the idea of a white pump out of my head.  Which was odd, since I haven’t really embraced the trend.

I love the shape on these Steve Madden pumps with the curved lines and the patent trim.  They really stand alone as a cool piece, unlike some of the uninspired white pumps I’ve seen stylists try to make interesting.  If you’re thinking about a white shoe, I liked the airy feel of these ankle strap Nine West sandals.

White shoes not your thing?  Try these tan sandals, or bring in some color with these coral heels.  And if coral is too much contrast, try an aqua or teal.

As for the other accessories, since the dress is such a statement, I kept it easy with a navy clutch.  I liked the clean lines of the BCBG one above, but also considered this Claire Vivier foldover clutch.  However, if you’re looking for something less pricey, try this easy clutch from Simply Soles.  Simple hoop earrings complete the look, or you could try a drop earring.

For the hair, I would do something big.  This outfit needs waves, a teasing comb and hairspray.  Why?  Because with a look this bold, the hair has to hold up.  The only other option if big hair isn’t for you is the opposite, super sleek with pin straight lock either worn down or in a low ponytail.  For the makeup, play up just one feature with either bright red on the lips or a charcoal smoky eye.

Three Ways

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