Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Warming to Dresses in Winter

True confessions...I did spend a lot of this weekend in sweats. 3-day weekend? Oh yeah. Not really Saturday since I had to get up and out the door to pick up E at her cousin's (bday party and sleepover the night before) and get her to basketball not-too-late. She loves it...who knew?

And p.s....those of you like me with older boy and younger girl who don't get to pass much down other than snow pants...it's amazing what a little elbow grease and new laces can do to athletic shoes. E voluntarily wore M's soccer cleats this past fall, with new sparkly silver laces. For basketball, she's got his Nike Air's from last winter, outfitted with black/white graphic shoelaces as well as the promise that she can decorate them with stickers this week.

So I did shower and get dressed that day - but I spent a good portion of the weekend working (house-working and real-billable-hours-working), so I felt justified in sweats. Love love love the 3-day weekend!

I did have to get dressed in normal-ish clothes Sunday evening for church since it was my turn to do Vestry welcome. So I got to try out an outfit I had been contemplating ever since I got this dress dress at the Loft last spring (size M)...but didn't have the black turtleneck to do it.

I just love this dress. I always feel chic - whether with bare legs and sandals or tights and heels. It is so stretchy and comfy. And I loved it layered - much like my Christmas Eve outfit with black tights & turtle as a backdrop for one stand out piece.

So...J Crew black merino turtleneck sweater, size M - the important thing here is not to go too large, you really want something fitted, but not tight, otherwise you lose the whole comfort thing. Then silver hoops, black tights, black boots. And a ponytail so the neckline isn't too cluttered. And by the way, not only was this insanely comfy...it was warm! I will definitely do this again.

Polyvore of Sunday(evening)'s outfit:

I really do love dresses in winter. Well, let's be honest...I love dresses all year long, but summer and winter are easiest. (I always have a hard time with bare legs when it's not quite warm enough.) Yes, you aren't wearing pants, but tights and boots are usually pretty warm to me. And when you've got a sweater dress...that's just about as cozy as you can get. And it helps get me out of the jeans/Winnie rut.

Let me tell you about this dress that I stalked last year at Banana Republic. I think it started out around $98. I kept trying it on in the store realizing that alone, it was just blah and really needed the right piece to bring it together. I wanted it. Stripes...sweater dress...gray and tan...But I just couldn't justify it. I believe I even ordered it twice from BR (free shipping, natch), once at FP (when I kept my black BR sweater dress - yes, I was on a major sweater dress hunt last year) and then again when it was further on sale for about $35 or $40. But again, returned it. Finally, I found it again in store in late January or February, I think, marked down to about $15, so then I snagged it. Patience does occasionally pay off, ladies.

But I still had the styling issue. Just plain, it's a bunch of big old stripes. Not great. What it needs, is a great big old scarf to cross those big old stripes. And that's how they usually had it styled in their print ads. Just a necklace, even some of my chunky pieces weren't enough. When I went to put it on last Tuesday, I realized that the BR cashmere wrap that I got this year was the perfect color to go with the dress...and it had the visual impact the dress needed.

Especially since I've lost weight and the dress is looser than it used to be...definitely need something to cut the horizontal of the stripes. Considering that I was absolutely miserable on Tuesday with that icky "starting to come down with something because of lack of sleep" think, I believe I did pretty well. It perked me up and kept me warm.

Other than the big old scarf and a pocket watch necklace, I just had my dark brown boots and tights. I think brown works with this better than black. If I had lighter boots, I would probably try them. And next time I wear it, I might even have a Polyvore since I'll be clipping the pic above.

How often do you wear dresses in the winter? And how do you make them work for you?


Anonymous said...

I don't wear dresses a lot in the winter, I am trying to do it more often though. If I wear a dress I usually do it with leggings. I love your dresses and you look so comfortable and warm.

dinagideon said...

Oh, yes, love it!!! That top dress is stunning on you. BTW, bite your tongue, Winnie must never be paired with the words "in a rut." ;)

Can you cinch the belt of the striped dress or get it taken in? It definitely is too big, which is great, but a pain because it is something you love and would probably like to keep!

I have to wear the Campo dress tomorrow, hmm...maybe some styling tips from this post???

NoJCrewinJapan said...

Very cute black and white dress! Very chic!

Pamela said...

I love BOTH dresses on you. The print and neckline on the Loft dress are so unique. And I like the wide stripes on the BR dress. Patience totally paid off for you! I love layering short sleeve dresses over a turtleneck or throwing a cardigan over it. Dresses are not only easy dressing, but they always looks chic and are COMFY! It's comfort in disguise!

AudreyAllure said...

great dresses!

love your blog! :)
- Audrey Allure <3

Summerilla said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the two outfits and the scarf works great with that striped dress. I do the same and usually layer leggings and a black turtleneck under my dresses to wear in the winter.

AppGal said...

Oh, I adore wearing dresses, all year round. Honestly, they are so much more comfortable (IMO) than wearing pants. I actually had a conversation with one of my male friends the other day about how comfy they were. He admitted that if it were socially acceptable, he would wear skirts and dresses all the time! haha...but yes, I do love a good sweaterdress. They are oh-so-cozy and warm. And even though I am very cold-natured, tights and boots will do the trick at keeping me warm most of the time.

Love both of your looks. The pattern on the first dress is just beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

Both dresses are fantabulous! Esp. love the BR one--looks sooo comfy! Agree with Dina a belt would look great with the BR dress!

tres tippy said...

hi~! thank you for commenting and visiting my blog :) i love the striped sweater dress, it looks fab on you!

C said...

I wore a skirt today because it was supposed to be 40F.... maybe it was for a second. A few years ago I made myself wear a skirt suit (in January) for an important meeting. I still remember being cold. For me it is tough to wear anything other than heavy pants in the winter; I like the polish of a dress, but even with tights, I am usually cold. Instead of my long down coat, I wore a lighter trench and I suffered in the morning.

Stylestance said...

Both are gorgeous on you; the first is stunning! I agree, I like dresses all year round too. I don't really like tights on me though, so I go with old-school stockings. I just like being able to see a little bare skin to lighten the look a little.

Emily said...

I have only recently come to like wearing dresses in the winter and I attribute it to rediscovering my love for tights. I love Loft dress on you and how you layered it with a t neck!

Emily said...

I have only recently come to like wearing dresses in the winter and I attribute it to rediscovering my love for tights. I love Loft dress on you and how you layered it with a t neck!

Chasing Davies said...

I love wearing my summery dresses all year long by just layering in the winter! Looks cute!

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HeidiG said...

Rosa - thank you!

dinagideon - oh shoot, I mean Minnie, not Winnie. Because I live in jeans and Minnies. No no no no no, Winne the Pooh Coat is never a rut. Not sure how a belt would really work with the style of the striped dress, esp since I wear it when I want that "big sweater" feel, but having it taken in is an option, definitely.

NoCrewinJapan - thank you!

Pamela - well you know me, I am ALL about the comfy!!

AudreyAllure - thank you! and thanks for visiting!

Summerilla - thank you! and yes, I know, you are a layering queen!!

AppGal - thank you! I think we've had the "dresses rule" conversation before, haven't we? I love them for winter and summer - I have a harder time figuring them out for spring/fall - I never mind bare ankles with my flats & cuffed jeans, but a bare leg below 70 degrees always gives me chills...must work on that.

yogagirl - I agree, the striped dress needs something. Since I lost weight, it's my I feel cruddy but think I should dress up dress.

tres tippy - thank you! love your blog.

C - oh nooooo, I hate being cold!! I really only do the dress thing if I know I can keep myself really warm.

Stylestance - ooooh, stockings, how glamorous!! :) I opt for the tights because they keep my legs warmer (see note to C above about how I hate to be cold)

Emily - thank you - yes, I do love tights!!

Chasing Davies - I don't think I've quite got the hang of layering with mega summer dresses - although I love that look on others. I always feel like a bag lady...but it looks so good on eveyrone else. I guess, as with all else, you have to own it.

OneFashionistaDiva said...

you look adorable and warm in these dresses. i like the touch of scarves and boots. very cozy.

HeidiG said...

OneFashionistaDiva - thank you! I love boots & scarf - I am all about staying warm in the wintertime!!

Anonymous said...

You can try to get used to wear dresses bare legged cos you have very nice legs. I started to wear only shorts year round and now I never wear long pants only shorts - bermudas.

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