Monday, August 22, 2016

One Red Dress in a Capsule Wardrobe: Fourteen Ways to Wear It

I love doing these... and this dress just calls my name. How can I NOT own this in black? This dress also comes in yellow (remember last week's post about a yellow dress?), black, and raspberry, which is a gorgeous rich hot pink... sigh...


red sleeveless dress
dress - Lands' End

It probably doesn't amaze you to learn that when I do similar blog posts, I reuse the original template, and just make the appropriate changes. So after I went into this template and changed the dividers in the middle from red to yellow, I removed the yellow dress from every page, and just plunked the red dress in...

And didn't have to change ONE THING, for these two options! How many different colors could work here? Certainly the black dress would be perfect here, if even a bit drab, and the raspberry dress would work with these accessories, too. We are continually reminded of the merits of an "accessory family," eh?

How to wear a red dress with black and white accessories, or black woven accessories
Dress – Lands' End;  
earrings – Savvy Cie; tote – Kate Spade; sandals – Sam Edelman
bracelet – Kenneth Jay Lane; wallet – Hobo; sling-backs –  Trotters 

Here, I kept the cardigans and shoes (I'm starting to really love those grey wedges), but changed the scarves for some that did the magic of tying the red and the different greys together.

How to wear a red dress with a grey cardigan
Dress – Lands' End;  
 wedges – Clarks
cardigan – Theory; scarf – Kathkath; flats – Dr. Scholl’s

In the first example here, I changed the scarf for a nice cuddly one, but I kept the original scarf in the second example. If you know what your accent colors are, and you're fortunate enough to find a scarf the includes more than one of them, you can splurge a little bit; the additional versatility makes it pay off...

How to wear a red dress with a navy jacket or cardigan
Dress – Lands' End
field jacket – L.L.Bean; boots – Aquatalia; scarf – Look by M;  
cardigan – Steffen Schraut; silk scarf – Vince Camuto; pumps – Sőfft

Here's an interesting thing - when I showed the yellow dress with these white pieces, I was perfectly find with white jewelry. When I put the red dress in here, I really felt that another touch of red would look better. Maybe red nails and/or lips would work, too...

How to wear a red dress with a white cardigan or jacket
DressLands' End
earrings – Madewell; cardigan – J. Crew; sandals – Jack Rogers
denim jacket – Levi’s; bracelet – Barse; canvas shoes - Keds

Of course, the original floral jacket and cardigan from last week didn't have a chance with a red dress! But in the second outfit, I was able to just change the cardigan, while keeping the rest of the accessories the same.

The first example here was chosen to give a more summery, casual feel to the dress. I think canvas shoes and a tote bag go a long way toward conveying a relaxed image...


How to wear a red dress with a printed or floral cardigan
Dress – Lands' End
 tote – L.L.Bean; cardigan - Only; espadrilles – Sperry Top-Sider;  
cardigan – Boutique Moschino; earrings – Lele Sadoughi; bag – Henri Bendel
flats – Shoes of Prey

And here is yet another pair of ensembles in which I had nothing really to do after I changed the yellow dresses for the new red one. It's becoming clear that these two cardigans and accessory sets would work well with almost any bright color... and they could be mixed with each other, too!

How to wear a red dress with a black and white jacket or cardigan
Dress – Lands' End
earrings – Alexis Bittar; jacket – Diane von Furstenberg; bag – Glint
sandals – Naturalizer
cardigan – Iris von Arnim; earrings – White House Black Market
satchel – Sole Society; oxfords – Nine West

The red cardigan from last week's post about the yellow dress matches this red dress perfectly, and I was REALLY tempted to keep it... but I decided to plunge headfirst into some really bold color combinations. These aren't necessarily for the faint of heart, but they could be just the ticket for a grey day when everybody is in a foul mood...

How to wear a red dress with a blue cardigan, or a purple cardigan
Dress – Lands' End;  
earrings – Nordstrom Rack; necklaceBunai; blue cardigan – Lands’ End;  
red flats – Clarks;
 purple cardigan – Lands’ End; earrings – Kate Spade; scarf – Missoni
purple flats – Nine West

Next, to find a great grey dress.... And what other colors?

love,
Janice

One Red Dress in a Capsule Wardrobe: Fourteen Ways to Wear It
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23 comments:

  1. I love this. But the dress seems too structured to work with a cardigan. I can see it with a boxy Chanel-type cardigan (like the red/white one and the black/white one). I can see it with the jean jacket or the field jacket for a high/low mix. I can see it with the long cardigans swapped for short Michelle Obama-style sweaters, especially with the sleeves pushed up. Or maybe it's because I'm on the short side and a sheath dress with a long topper doesn't work on me but would on somebody taller.

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  2. I love this! I actually owned this style of dress a few years back and I'm only 5'2" - and it looked great. But yes, "Taste of France" when you are shorter proportion does make a real difference. I am a cardigan addict and found my regular, waist length, dressy cardigans worked best - and a Chanel style one would be perfect.
    These posts are definitely inspiring me to go through my accessories and make up "sets" to see what I can put away for a bit and also to see the gaps and what I may want to purchase. So useful!

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  3. I too love these dress posts. I have a collection of red, black, and denim fit-and-flare dresses that have been neglected for far too long, and your accessories suggestions make me want to bring them out and wear them again. That colorful Vince Camuto scarf is definitely calling my name! I may have to get a white denim jacket because I never would have thought to wear it with dresses but I love the way it looks. I own a cardigan very similar to the red and white one from Only and will have to try that combination with my red dress.

    I think a blue dress should be in the lineup for this series, and maybe an autumnal shade of green, like olive or sage. I can't wait to see the grey dress combinations. Thanks for all of your creative hard work!

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  4. It's so nice to have something this much fun to look forward to on Monday morning. I love that dress!

    There's something about the accessory sets that has started me thinking. I already have my jewelry stored mostly by color, but everything else is stored by type (bags/ shoes/ tops/ jackets / skirts etc.) I'm thinking about reorganizing my closet by color sets. It would be kind of a shock to my system, but might be interesting.

    Any advice about how to organize and store things?

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    1. I organize everything by color. My closet is set up so that tops, bottoms, dresses in the same color are all side-by-side. My jewelry is hung by color, also. My shoes may be the exception. I only have basic colors of shoes, but I'm intending on taking pictures of them all so I can see them in a glance.

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  5. That really IS a gorgeous dress. I went to the LE site and another ponte dress popped up on sale, I thought about it before realizing that I already have a similar one I rarely wear! I have plenty of dresses and don't wear them enough. So back to my goal of waring them more often. I have done pretty well this summer, wearing a dress or skirt to church every week and about once a week for work or casually. That is a big change for me and still requires effort, so it would be silly for me to buy dresses in addition to the great ones I already own. Even with renewed effort to wear them, they spend most of their days in my closes. So... I'll make a note to get the one like this out this week!

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  6. Yes to the grey dress! I am wearing one today, a couple of years old from Eileen Fisher, sleeveless with an a-line skirt. I love this dress and feel pretty every time I wear it ... paired with camel. So yes, some new ideas are in order.

    Cornelia

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  7. Yes to the grey dress, and perhaps you could consider a capsule featuring charcoal grey. Love the dark charcoal, and it is not very easy to find. Love this set too! Thanks Janice.

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  8. Hi, I would like to see a charcoal grey dress. I remember my high school French teacher who only wore two sheath dresses all school year!! Both were a beautiful charcoal grey and were probably very expensive. She also wore the same broach every day with either dress. The funny thing is, she is the only teacher whose clothes I do remember.
    Deb from Vancouver

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    1. My college Econ teacher greatly influenced my current workplace wardrobe. She had a dress she wore every Monday, a second dress on Wednesday and a third dress on Friday. I knew her for 20 weeks, and this was her system... until one day it was Wednesday and she was wearing the Friday dress! I was so perplexed. What happened!? Her system lead me to my goal as a community college instructor, to have 6 dresses for every season. I wear them in rotation, and I don't have a predictable M/W/F dress situation. Obviously someone with a larger wardrobe wouldn't have this situation, but it works for me.

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  9. In the raspberry, please! Maybe with green for one of the brights?

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  10. I so adore the idea of the accessory family. I need to work at creating more of these. My clothes are now more coordinated, and now I see that my accessories need more coordination. Thank you!

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  11. I love a red dress! I am going to get a fitted one when I finally get all(or most)of my extra weight off!! I really like this one! I love these posts that show how versatile a single piece can be! A gray dress will be great too!

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  12. What a neat thing, finding that the neutral accessories work so well across these very different, vibrant colours!
    My request is for a denim shirt dress. I made one for this winter but hardly wear it because I can't seem to get the accessories right. I'm pretty sure they're in the wardrobe somewhere, but each time I put it on it feels either too dressy or too casual, never 'just right'. I think the style is called 'teacher dress' on Pinterest, interestingly.
    You've done a lovely job of making this dress look good for a variety of situations.

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  13. Love this post! Really shows the versatility of having accessory families preplanned. Brenda Kinsel, in her book, Fashion Makeover, describes how to put together what she calls "Beauty Bundles". I tried it for the first time last winter and was astounded at how far just a few pieces extended my wardrobe!
    https://www.amazon.com/Brenda-Kinsels-Fashion-Makeover-Style/dp/0811857387

    Your examples give so much inspiration for new ways to combine/wear items. I've added a white denim jacket (in a soft fabric rather than denim since I'm uncomfortable in stiff fabrics because of my curves) and a pair of white canvas espadrilles for next spring - two items I have never worn before. You've made it possible for me to envision the mileage I would get from adding these items to my wardrobe.

    Yes to a gray dress! Maybe a fit and flare style?

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    1. So this book sounds intriguing, so I ordered it. I think I know my style, but I'm open to new ideas.

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    2. I think if you get one really good idea from a book - the kind of idea that helps you for years in the future - then the book is worth it. And Brenda Kinsel's books are always good...
      hugs,
      Janice

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  14. I like citron with grey! And pink, obs.
    This red dress 14 ways is awesome! Thanks

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  15. I like citron with grey! And pink, obs.
    This red dress 14 ways is awesome! Thanks

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  16. I love dresses!!!!
    Yes to a grey dress please.
    thank you for all your work in inspiring/ developing our abilities to be our best every day.
    Irene

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  17. These are my favorite posts...the one item worn all year. In this case, the red dress worn many ways. I am curious. The LE dress is fairly inexpensive as dresses go. Does it really "play well" with your lovely accessory selections? In other words, when paired with the Hermes scarf, does it look cheap or does the scarf "carry" the dress? Thanks. GREAT post!

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  18. Janice, I am loving this series. One request,only if it amuses you: Mindy Kaling sometimes rocks a pretty print blouse under a sleeveless sheath, might you consider that for this dress also?

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    1. That's entirely possible, but you've got to have just the right dress to make it work. This one might be too fitted for that, but if it were cut without the darts above the waist, it would be ideal.
      Also, the blouse needs to have reasonable high/tight armholes. This is the kind of versatility that makes it worth looking for the right garments, though!
      thanks for the ideas,
      hugs,
      Janice

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