Layered Like an Onion

Aug 8, 2013

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I know I always rave about how much I love sleeveless dresses because they're so fun to layer with patterned tops, but you know what I love even more? Strapless ones. I'll show you why below- follow along as I style this The Wandering Ruby Olive number!

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Step One: Put on ze dress (baby steps, friends). There's something so Marilyn Monroe-y about a strapless number. It just makes me want to put my hands on my hips and shake them from side to side while looking up all vixeny. But then on the flip side, I have about as much sex appeal as an oven mitt and not dear Marilyn, so instead I feel like I have a fancy bath towel wrapped around me. And one does not feel comfortable walking outside in a bath towel. So I jump into some layers to remedy that situation! See what I mean below. 

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Step Two: Layer a collared blouse under the dress. I LOVE how this looks. Instantly your shoulders and cleavage are tucked away and you don't feel too in-the-spotlight. And this is a perfect way you can dress down those fancy dresses you keep ear-marked for fancy situations. That itself doubles your closet! (Or at least one-fourths it, but that doesn't have the same ring to it.) And a chambray top goes with everything. I love how, with this particular case, it brings out the reds and yellows and makes the sweet little bow stand out. 

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Step Three: Add my all-time favorite article of clothing: the vest. I'd usually stop at number two, but if you want to look even more put-together, pop a vest over the ensemble and cinch it with a belt to tie it together. I usually like to do this when a dress is a tad too tight and I want to unzip the zipper some. Then it's just my own little secret because the vest hides it ;)

And there you have it! Not so hard, right? I've also started really liking this series because it shows you how you can style vintage in a modern way step by step, so it's not as intimidating. And speaking of vintage, if you've fallen smitten with my The Wandering Ruby Olive dress, why don't you check out some other dashing pieces Tracy carries:

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1/ 2/ 3

PS- Be sure to enter my $40 Gilded Gypsies giveaway HERE, and my $30 Fancy Lucky Vintage giveaway HERE. Can't hurt, right? ;)

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  1. I LOVE this idea! And I love the dress - so cute! I didn't think I could pull off wearing a shirt under a strapless dress but you've just inspired me to try :]

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, Pretty Clothes

  2. Oh, Marlen! I love your writing style, and I haven't mentioned it before, but your graphics, whether text on pics or your collages for vintage shops are awesome.

  3. While I would bed to differ on your Marilyn-esqness (totally a word) - you look amazing; I LOVE this layering one! The chambray blouse under is the perfect idea for an everyday look and that dress really is an amazing print!! I’m looking at her shop now too, she has some really great and affordable pieces. Oh and once I did wear just a towel in public, but I had a hidden tank and shorts under and it was my Halloween costume. It was funny because everyone was staring at me when I was actually more covered than most, but that was college….
    Cuddly Cacti
    Mitla Moda

  4. You're the queen of layering! Love that idea of layering a button-down under a strapless dress xx

  5. I've always veered away from strapless dresses due to how exposed I felt in them, but this is a perfect way to make me feel less self conscious in them! :)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  6. I love your vintage style!

    I am loving the #3 dress- great color!


  7. GOsh I love that dress!! It's too cute..

  8. Love the print on that dress! So cheery and colourful, right up my alley. Love how you've layered it on top of the denim shirt. Would have never thought to do that- looks great! xo


  9. You crack me up! I like strapless dresses, but I always worry about the top falling down. Not that I really have anything to see, except for my couch cushion-like padded bra.

    I was sooo happy when Piper beat up that girl "Ralphie in A Christmas Story beating up Farkus" style. I've always hated that actress and she's even worse in that show. That part when she was topless in bed with that guy made me physically ill.

    As for your TV suggestions, I watch ALL of those shows and I'm all caught up on them lol. Except for maybe Veep? What is that?

    I also feel like one day Mindy and I will be best friends. I follow her on Instagram, but for some reason she hasn't followed me back?!! lol.

    Life of Mabel

  10. "as much sex appeal as an oven mitt"
    asdhasjkdasdajsf I can't wahsfJG I LOVE YOU

    gah d damngirl

    always makin' me laugh n stuff YOU'RE PERFECT K. YOU AND YOUR OVEN MITT SEX APPEAL.

    That vest was an unexpected twist but I totally dig it. It would be so nice for some extra warmth in cooler months, too, 'cause my sides always seem to get cold. Perhaps it is just meeeee..

  11. whenever i hear something about layers, i nearly always think of shrek.

  12. I wouldn't have thought to layer a dress this way, but it totally works!!

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I'm following you on Bloglovin' now. I hope you'll follow back :)

    xoxo Jackie

  13. What a cute dress! It seems very versatile with the multiple styling choices!

  14. Awesome post! Layering is something I always have trouble with...I always do an outfit shoot and realize after that it would've looked better with a cardigan or something. :P

  15. Wow, this is a great way to transform a strapless dress into something more wearable for every day life. You are so clever with layers :)

  16. I was all like, "how the hell do you layer a strapless" and then I continued to read on and was sold. This is a pretty genius idea, so thanks for sharing your trademark secrets girl. I hate strapless dresses and tops because I have broad shoulders and they just don't look good on me. I'm always having to pair it with a cardigan or jacket otherwise I can't wear it. I just feel weird and large shouldered in it! I do like the idea of the vest, not sure if I could still get away with the shirt, might still pronounce my shoulders too much but the vest is definitely something I'll do!



  17. all hail the queen of layering!

    at this volume

  18. even thought all the colours and patterns contrast it works surprisingly well together!
    Lovely blog

  19. I love this feature. But I have to tell you, you are much sexier than an oven mitt.


  20. Love how you remixed this dress!!

    Xo, Hannah

  21. I love love love love the layered look and have been playing with it myself. I never would have thought to add the vest as a third layer. I adore it! Hope your weekend is fab!!

  22. Very cute! I love that dress!


  23. Do you have a tag for layered like an onion or a page with all your LLO Posts?

  24. You're seriously a layering wizard. I hardly ever wear strapless dresses let alone casually but this works perfectly. You inspire me to live up to your layering wizardry!


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