So I've had this paisley dress for a few months now, but I haven't really worn it anywhere yet. I had concerns about how dated it can look, which is something to think about when you're wearing vintage clothes. Sometimes going full-on retro can be fun, but it's tricky to do without looking like you're going to a costume party.
With that in mind, I decided to try to style this dress two ways: Miss 70s Fantastico and then a more modern iteration.
The mid-to-late 70s is one of my favorite eras in fashion. Just after the bell bottoms calmed down and the 60s flower power fashions faded from the racks, there were DVF wrap dresses, loose button-ups, wide-leg pants, and Jane Birkin was the end-all-be-all. Clothing seemed effortless in a way the prim sixties New Look couldn't touch.
|Also, there was dancing.|
So this is my take on an easy 70s look: floppy felt hat, long necklace, big sunglasses, and DUH PLATFORM SANDALS. And can I just say how comfortable these shoes are? The thick heel and ample platform means I'm not walking on my toes all day, and since these are real leather, I can count on them only getting more comfortable as the season rolls on.
I got these sunglasses at a thrift store ages ago. Thrift stores almost always have some cool ones in stock, so keep your eyes peeled next time you go! You might find something really special or wacky.
This is a really great dress for my chest, too. I imagine that on an average-sized lady, this dress would be more blousy up top (which I love), but where there's extra room up top, my Girls will take it over. They're like the Napoleon of boobs. So there's ample room up top and no worries about straps--great! BUT! This dress is also very sheer. A black bra and shaper cami keeps things looking sleek, and black shaper shorts keeps people from catching a glimpse of my hiney. Unless you're at a high-profile music festival, no one wants to see that.
I decided to keep the make-up light, because that's what Jane would have wanted. Easy breezy!
So for the second take of this dress, I had to plan it out in a hurry as we were losing light. I had a much harder time of trying to modernize this dress than I thought I would! I think if I could take the sleeves off it would have been easier to layer a casual tee over it like I wanted, but oh well. Here's what I came up with:
I figured layers would be my best bet to hide the puffy shoulders, and print mixing in the same color family breaks up the paisley. I also wore these combat boots to toughen it up a little. I tried wearing some faux leather leggings under the dress, but decided at the last minute that my shins needed to be freed, and so they were.
|Booty beauty boot boots!|
Accessories help, too! I figured a big ol' man watch and a statement necklace would do the trick.
I'm not entirely sure I pulled it off, though. In retrospect, I think I would have tried some sharp pumps with this. The boots just make my legs look short when paired with a midi-length dress. A cautionary tale, shorties!
I changed up the lip color for a brighter pink, too.
So what do you think? How would you modernize this dress?
Dress: Thrifted. My dress originally had long sleeves, but the forearms were excessively tight, so I cut them off and rolled the sleeves to elbow-length. This "angel sleeve" number at Alloy goes up to xxl, this Dorothy Perkins dress is still available in a 16 and 18 for less than $30, and this Forever21 dress is a really pretty sage color.
Shoes: Allison shoe at ShoeMint, and Candies boots (old). I found a super-cheap version of the boots on Amazon and a better quality pair by Frye.
Accessories: Crystal pendant necklace from Forever21 (similar one at Target). Hat is thrifted (similar here). Silver statement necklace by BaubleBar (old), but check out their other statement necklaces and I'm sure you'll find something you'll love. Watch from Asos.