Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How To Actually Winterize Sundresses

I'm running out of things to wear. I've pretty much been living in jeans for most of first and all of second semester because it's just been too cold to wear anything but denim...but I'm starting to wear holes in all my jeans (so frustrating!) and there are piles of little skirts and dresses gathering dust in my not so spacious dorm closet. So on the way to a sorority function tonight, I had no choice but to pull out a little sundress and make it pre-blizzard (no, seriously) weather appropriate. I've put together a few tips on achieving that balance between cute and warm-enough-to-be-alive below.

Emma Watson for Burberry Spring 2010, MoroccanOil Hydrating Masque, $31 for 250 mL at amazon.com: But first, a hair-based digression! I've decided that Emma Watson is my new hair idol. I want this haircut. It hits just below the collarbone, with long, straight layers and side bangs. The straightness and fluidity of the layers keep it going, and it's long enough to do stuff with without being ridiculously long and annoying. On another hair-related note, I may actually cave on one of these MoroccanOil products that I keep hearing about. From my extensive research (Googling) I've concluded that they are mostly Argan oil with a helping of various silicones, which sounds promising as an extensive moisturizer. This cold weather is really sucking the life out of my hair, and this might be just what I need. Plus the tub is in my exact school colors, so I might be a bit biased.

Parker Floral Cami Dress, $187 at shopbop.com, Veda Maximus Leather Jacket, $869 at shopbop.com, Target Merona Opaque Black Tights, $7 at target.com: As for all that winterizing, I'd start with a very springy/summer dress like this Parker version. It shows warm-weather amounts of skin, but it's loose enough and slim enough to be able to layer around easily, and the bright floral print would lighten up all that neutral winter outerwear so nicely. I'm sure this is the 6th time I've posted this jacket, but I can't help it. So purdy. The motorcycle cut is streamlined and balances out the girliness of the dress nicely, and all that leather and shearling lining are actually practical! This coming from a girl who wore flip flops into December. And can we just drool over that dramatic collar? Le sigh. I'd say tights are a must, first off because they give you extra coverage (no one wants to be flashing their February-pale/perhaps unshaven thighs without some preparation first, right?) and second, because they act as another layer that also ties in the jacket with the rest of the outfit nicely. I like these tights because they're cheap, and actually pretty decent. They're not 100% opaque, but they're not so sheer that they're pointless.

Frye Melissa Button Boots, $318 at fryeboots.com, Rebecca Minkoff Love Letter Satchel, $495 at shopbop.com, Ugg Australia Tasman Earmuffs in Black, $59.99 at ebay.com: Why hello there, my lovely booties. I've been wearing these non-stop since January, and they are pretty much the comfiest things ever. They've broken in so well, and I still get random compliments on them. Frye seems to have raised their price about $20, but I'd still say that they're really, really worth it. I think boots are the most practical deep winter footwear choice, but Uggs would totally kill this outfit. Instead go for something sleek and equestrian-inspired, for a bit of extra polish. Obviously these would be ideal (or just perfect for my life in general) but I'm attempting to be realistic. It's hard for me. For some reason the idea of a cross-body bag really appeals to me for the winter. Maybe it's because it lets you easily stick your hands in your pockets. I love this Rebecca Minkoff version because it's big enough to be practical, it's nothing like your dad's handsfree camera bag (it has a nice amount of spunk, no?) and all those trailing zipper pulls are a nice, boho contrast to all that hardware. Now, on a super-practical note, earmuffs! I actually have these, which now seem impossible to find online, and I love them. The pattern on the band is a little folksy, which is always fun, they're practical but not bulky or awkward-looking, and since they're Ugg, they're lined with super-comfy shearling. I have had friends threaten to steal them, and the black ties in with the rest of the outfit perfectly.

J. Crew Refined Silk-Cashmere Wrap in soft dove , $75 at jcrew.com, Gorjana Astrology Charm Necklace, $45 at shopbop.com, Lee Angel Jewelry Eden Chain Bracelet, $99 at shopbop.com: Since the pattern on the dress is such a statement, I'd go with a neutral scarf. There's a lot of black in the outfit, so I chose this soft grey. It spices everything up a bit without adding another color to deal with. It's gigantic, and since it's a silk-cashmere blend, it's soft, warm, and light (and therefore easy to wrap, which is always a plus). I'm really into the idea of small, personalized necklaces right now, and I think these astrology necklaces are a fun twist on the usual initial charms. Also because my roomie and I spent two hours looking up our respective astrology signs (Cancer, wootwoot) and the personality descriptions are creepily accurate. Last but not least, I'd make the piece of statement jewelry in this look a bracelet. A necklace would get lost under a scarf, earrings eaten by the earmuffs, and a ring covered by the gloves that I'd recommend wearing, so a bracelet is the logical choice. I'm obviously crazy about the drapey, chain construction, which looks so casually chic hanging on anyone's wrist, but what I really love is the pattern/color palette. It sorta feels like ombre, and the contrast between the matte, painted sections and the plain, shiny chains is really interesting.

Image Sources:
Burberry campaign: nymag.com, Morrocanoil masque: amazon.com, Parker dress: shopbop.com, Veda jacket: shopbop.com, Merona tights: target.com, Frye boots: fryeboots.com, Rebecca Minkoff bag: shopbop.com, Ugg earmuffs: ebay.com, J. Crew wrap: jcrew.com, Gorjana necklace: shopbop.com, Lee Angel Jewelry bracelet: shopbop.com.

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