I had a real hankering for a wardrobe update last week and fully intended to satisfy my sartorial craving with a pretty top of some sort. I had my eyes peeled for something off the shoulder or printed, you know, anything that felt new & now. I gave it a real good effort but for whatever reason, price point or dissatisfactory fabric, it did not happen. However, in my travels I came across this dress, above, that did everything I asked of it. My demands were: easy-to-wear cut (ruching = buh bye belly), not-so-basic detailing (asymmetrical reads as cool) and budget-friendly price (under $100). I wore it out the next day, which is always a good sign. In fact, Jenn Rogien, the costume designer for Girls AND Orange is the New Black (NBD!), once told me that if you buy a garment and don’t want to wear it immediately that you should return it. It’s just not speaking to you strong enough and will end up being a waste of space in your closet. Wearing my winning frock (you’ll find the particulars below) only made me want to have another budget dress, or 10, STAT. So, that brings us to the following gems…
A humble chambray dress in an oh-so-trendy shape? Sold!
Express Denim Off The Shoulder Trapeze Dress, $60
Stripes with figure-flattering strategy are a DO. The play of skinny and wide bands, plus the knotted detail, create a dress that resists adding width.
Topshop Stripe Knot Dress, $60, Hudson’s Bay
Love that this one offers a breezy layered shape in a rich colour, a major day-to-night winner.
H&M Satin Dress, $40
I tend to avoid deep V-necklines, so this halter style is perfectly pretty yet modest in my eyes.
LOFT Marina Tie Waist Dress, $94
Oh, hi there, oversize check, nipped in waist and slit skirt! Thanks for giving preppy gingham a cool quality.
Nasty Gal Walk in the Park Gingham Dress, $105
What’s a spring wardrobe update without a lil’ bit of eyelet? I very much enjoy the refined hemline detailing and the pleated top half, too. P.S. Old Navy consistently turns out some stellar dresses that are a total steal, always worth a look-see.
Old Navy Eyelet Slip Dress, $50
A lace dress that’s in relaxed t-shirt dress shape and an unexpected colour works for me.
Zara Lace Midi Dress, $119
Brightly coloured stripes are a big deal this season, people. And it doesn’t get much easier than wearing them in this simple t-shirt dress.
Joe Fresh Print Crepe Dress, $39
Considering the lacy texture, sweet shape and pastel stripe bonus, this is a whole of pretty for not a lot of money.
Endless Rose Contrast Lace Midi Dress, $92, Shopbop.com
P.S. The dress in opener image is Willow & Thread, $85, part of the new-ish upscale collection from Reitmans. Really.