A bit of news for those of you who have liked fashion posts… I will be joining Cindy Hattersley and Sarah London on their monthly fashion collaboration. Those ladies have so much style so I hope I can be a valued contributor to their wonderful series!
Today the theme is spring dresses and as there are more possibilities for leaving our homes this spring, dresses suddenly hold more excitement than last year. This year we might be seen a bit more and just the few times I’ve been out the last week or so, people absolutely seem to be stepping up their style game. I for one, am enjoying seeing people who aren’t in their sweats and comfort clothes!
So, in the name of research here, I did some surveying and tried on spring dresses from an array of retailers. As I have stated in previous posts, I am trying to purchase less and shop thoughtfully. What I do buy I want to LOVE, I mean really love. I also want it to be quality. I’d rather have one nice dress that I can wear over and over than 4 cheaply made dresses. That said there is a place in the warm weather wardrobe for a few light dresses that can be housedress/coverup/ market run frocks for those dog days of summer. My go-to for that last year was the light sundress with pockets dresses from Target. They still have a version. and Anthro has almost the exact copy I bought last year, below (more colors too), a bit nicer quality and fit. Most everyone looks great in this and it’s light and versatile..
Spring dresses need to be light and comfortable ! That should, be a given, but doing my investigations, one of the biggest issues is so many dresses are constructed of heavy stiff fabric with overdone layers. It was sad because many cute dresses just felt oppressive on, something we all want to avoid on warm days. Given I’m 55, this hot thing takes on new significance. I know others can relate..
So here’s what I think we can all use and maybe you can use this as a guide shopping:
-Something of quality to wear daytime everywhere, is versatile, can be casual or dressed up.
-Something floral and pretty, a skirt would be versatile.
-Something for dinners out and social gatherings (when they happen.)
-Something for a special dinner or a holiday trip.
Of course those dresses can overlap and do duty in the other categories too. With three or so quality dresses, you can sail through spring and summer with just a few changes of sandals and pretty accessories. Shop well, buy less, and remember better things will give you a lot of pleasure to wear. Once you decide to choose higher quality, you realize you need less, as slipping on that perfect frock makes everything else seem not as necessary. It’s kind of the same when you splurge and get a nice bag. You don’t need a lot of the others and it simplifies life.
You can run out the door feeling polished.. Have fun with the add-ons. The goal is to have all the things in your closet be items you have a crush on. Nothing sub-par should be in there. Make that your goal- a pretty capsule wardrobe for spring and warmer days. Get rid of the extra bulk in your closet gathering dust. Let it go to another home to be loved and have only what you are crazy about.
Dress 1- A nice quality T-Shirt Dress. This is the Tory Burch’s Basket-Weave Dress. I love this as it is comfortable and cute fabric. It’s a bit upscale for a t-shirt dress and I like that. You can wear it everyday, or out for a dinner date. It’s also a nice vacation dress as it doesn’t wrinkle. I bought this on one of her sales and I deliberated about a more fancy dress, but made made myself buy something I’d get a more wear from and this dress will be worn a zillion times this spring and summer, it’s so easy, so pennies per wear.
Dress 2- This dress is called the Daily Practice Dress by Anthropologie and it is a well made dress for casual and could be dressy too. It’s a very comfy and super breathable stretchy cotton that feels great to wear. It could double as a cute cover-up and comes in more colors, some pretty prints as well. It does have a lower open back, but with a black bra, it wasn’t really noticeable. (My tag sticking out you can see, but you get the idea.) Everything in Anthropologie’s new Daily Practice Line is made for the California casual lifestyle and I want all the pieces! They fit the easy life we all have now, but with dresses and feminine top, etc.
Dress 3- An Satiny Embroidered Dress. This is the Viveka Dress from Anthropologie. It’s a dressier look, but still light made of cotton with a layer on the skirt. I like the embroidery and I love a white dress summer dress. This is a creamy white and it’s comfortable too. This would be a vacation dinner dress, for special gatherings and date nights go to – nice to have in the closet. Flattering, not too short or too tight.
Dress 4- An easy little black dress. This Ramy Brook Jo Dress is light and the way they are constructed they are very flattering. These dresses have a casual California vibe to them also. This Jo dress is on sale at the Rack now and I haven’t seen this version before with the gathered adjustable 3/4 sleeve. This dress feels so soft on and I will wear it any chance I can. It’s also light enough a slim black pant or leggings could be worn with it for a chic daytime look- maybe trip to the art museum or a day in the city? They have some other colors and versions on sale at the Rack here. I’m tempted to grab another with those sale prices.
-5- In the floral group, because it is spring and we all need a little flower, I love a skirt that be worn in so many ways. This Free People skirt fit the bill for me as it was nicely made, super comfy with an elastic waist and pockets- and I was crazy about the print. I am wearing a XS here as they are roomy. I paired mine with one of these new Daily Practice T-shirts from Anthro and a sweater over the shoulders for cooler mornings and nights. ( By the way the sweater over the shoulder look is back and so practical.) I also loved the new Daily Practice Boy Meets Girl T, and the Richie V-Neck T.
My Perry Bombe Cross-body here is my favorite small bag- so light, holds a lot, with two separate zip compartments and is still a best seller at Tory Burch. I’ve had mine a few years now and it still looks great. It’s the right length and adjustable. Cute new versions in canvas and woven and the taupe is lovely.
I also have several versions of the Miller Tory Burch sandal on in these photos. I can highly recommend the newest their Cloud version with super comfy soles! I have the light blue. Love them! All of my sandals from her I am still wearing many years on!
I hope you enjoyed this spring dress chat! Please pop over to Cindy’s blog, Cindy Hattersley Design and Sarah’s Sarah London Style to see what they are sharing for spring dresses. I can’t wait to see what they have for us with dresses today!
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LA CONTESSA says
LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE READY FOR SPRING/SUMMER!
MY MOTHER ALWAYS SAID BUY QUALITY NOT QUANTITY!IT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE!
Elizabeth, your mom was right! xo
Oh, I am so glad you cheated too! I look terrible in dresses as a rule. Skirts work so much better for me because I am long-waisted, and my waist is the only small thing on me! Kim every one of these looks is darling on you. You are the epitome of California cool. I was really brave doing this with you two youngsters this month! Thanks for joining us! You are going to be such a fabulous addition. I need to lose weight and up my game!!
Cindy, You looked great in your dresses, but you do have the best skirts! This floral one reminded me so much of the long CP Shades skirts you look so fabulous in! You have no idea how much you inspire me and I am honored to join you two! xo
Excited you’ve joined the fashion fun! Last summer I really embraced dresses and I’m looking forward to doing the same this year. We’ve already had some summer dress-wearing weather … I know we need rain but I’m ready for summer. Love your choices and off I go to shop! xo
Juliet you have the most fabulous dresses! I always want what you wear. I do think they are just so polished and pretty. xo
Kim you definitely are California cool. Each dress looked great on you as well as the skirt. I think the white one is my favorite on you. Great job
Kathy you are so kind. This was fun! i’m not good at this modeling the looks thing, but I do love fashion, so I hope it was helpful. I know the white dress is my favorite too. xo
Sarah London says
Oh wow! What a fabulous post! You look incredible and am envious you can still wear above knee 😍 it’s so flattering and looks modern! I totally agree on buying well made, beautiful dresses in sublime fabrics. It’s what I source now. And as you know, it doesn’t always have to be high end. But you have to LOVE it ❤️ I’d much rather wear something I love each day than something I feel just ok about.
Sarah, You are so nice. I so love the longer dresses and they look fabulous on you and Cindy too. I think I need more of them. I do like the shorter ones for the hotter days. Heat is an issue for me! LOL. Sarah you are so right, clothes don’t have to be expensive, but be something you’ll love! I have to order one of the dresses you showed- they are gorgeous! I think Australia has some fabulous shops and designers and I love discovering them through you. I also have learned so much from all you videos! It’s been an honor to join you ladies! xo
Mary Ann Pickett says
So so cute, Kim!!! I want that basket weave dress!
Mary Ann I can so see you in that dress! You would love it for travel too. xo
Gorgeous dresses Kim, and beautifully styled! You look so pretty in all your choices. Looking forward to your future posts with Cindy and Sarah. You all have such great individual style!
Great advice, to think about how and where we’ll wear a certain dress before actually buying it. A dress that can go from casual to smart by simply changing accessories is such a win win! Especially if it doesn’t crease easily. Love the Tori Burch one for this.
For years, I shopped for clothes as if they were Art to be displayed. I bought what I loved with little thought of how the “display” would actually work.
So they worked in theory but often not in practice. I’d take an item from my wardrobe, all excited to wear it, only to realise that it didn’t look as I thought it would. Now I always try new purchases on with things I already have to be sure I really do love them and they work for me, not just on the hanger!
Also, seeing clothes worn and styled by real women as opposed to models is a huge plus for me. They pretty much always look so much better and definitely more wearable. The Ramy Brook Jo dress is a great example of this, I feel. The way you’ve styled it and suggested wearing it, would definitely encourage me to buy. Looking at it styled on the website, I’d probably think “by the pool only” and move on … Yet, it’s obviously a gorgeous dress and very versatile.
As I’ve said before, ( many times 🤣) I can always imagine wearing the clothes you choose Kim … I love your style! You make great style seem so effortless 💕
Hope you’re having a lovely week.
Thanks Rosemary so much. You’re so spot on here. I have had the same shopping issues- love the item, but it wasn’t necessarily good on me. Also will it work with what I own- and what I do everyday? I am glad this might be a little helpful. I am learning as I go! I agree it helps me also to see things on real people as opposed to the websites, with waif thin young gals sometimes… The Ramy Brook dresses are always showed on skinny and tall gals and worn so short. I would have never ordered if I hadn’t tried it on! You are always so kind. I think we like similar things. Thanks for the feedback I so appreciate hearing it! Have a good week too. xo
Alice Strom says
This is a great post. I really was reminded about being very particular in buying what you love and having it fit in a planned way into your wardrobe. Each of these dresses are absolutely perfect on you and what a lovely feeling you will have wearing them during the Spring and Summer days ahead.
Thank you so much! I am going to look into a couple of these for myself!
Hi Alice, Thanks so much. I do think having just things you love makes you really think hard before adding to the closet! You are so nice. I do think I will wear these a lot! Here’s to more events and things to wear them too! xo
All your dresses are so cute. I love white for summer too. I have a linen craze at the moment and can’t wait to hit the shops when they open up again next week.
Loree, I am envious of all the beautiful linen you have available in Southern Europe. I always try and buy dresses and tops in Italy and Southern France as they are light and so affordable. I think the linen pieces here tend to be heavy and highly structured! The issue may be that Americans don’t know to hang dry linen and also wear it natural without a lot of ironing. I love the ease in which way you all wear it there. Hope you’re enjoying spring! xo
I’m excited you’ll be doing these posts every month! You’re a great addition to the team.
Every one of these dresses looks so great on you! The way you’ve styled them really adds a lot.
I’m going to have to up my game in the dress department! I did get a couple and am waiting for the warmer weather. I love a long skirt, too! Not wearing the short ones as often these days, unless it’s super hot. Trying not to tan and showing my bare legs isn’t that comfortable anymore. Darn it!
Hope to see you in a few of these cute dresses in person this Spring and Summer!
Sandra Sallin says
You look great in them all. Me not so much. But loved seeing you!!!