The Power of a Chambray Shirt

May 1, 2014

how-to-style-maxi-dressesfringe-pursenew-old-fashion-vintage-shoeshow-to-style-formal-dresses-casually

outfit-details copy
DRESS: Zara
CHAMBRAY: Forever 21 (similar: here and here)
SHOES: c/o New Old Fashion Vintage (similar: here and here)
PURSE: H&M (old)
LIPSTICK: Revlon, Black Cherry
Dividers

This is what I wore while taking my brother out for his 21st birthday! He's a bit of a straight arrow and never even had the urge to drink before this golden milestone (ahem, the complete opposite of his big sister), so i decided to make this outing into a huge deal. Simon really likes dressing up like Don Draper and has a bit of an old school soul, so I wanted his first bar experience to be in this suave speakeasy we have tucked into one of Chicago's neighborhoods. On the outside the building looks abandoned, and when you step in through the door you're met with a dark room with huge, heavy velvet drapes acting as doors. It's all very hush hush and mysterious. He ended up loving it and we sampled our way down the fancy drink menu as we lounged around and goofed off, throwing out Gatsby references and reminiscing about hilarious memories. He kept trying to be manly and insisted on suffering through whiskey and brandy cocktails, even though I warned him time and time again he'd hate it. It was an acquired taste! I cautioned. You're not Ron Swanson, I reminded. But no, he wanted to be macho. And so he sipped and cringed through a straw for a good part of an hour as he downed a tiny glass of the stuff. Very macho, indeed ;)

As for the outfit, this is an evening dress I bought at Zara a few years back. I bought if for a wedding and it's insane how much play time this piece gets. You would think I'd only dust it off for special occasions, but it has so much styling potential! A great tip to dress down your evening dresses is to just add a chambray blouse on top. It magically transforms it into a maxi skirt, and the contrast between the denim and the lux material is really playful. The way I wear the chambray is to knot it at the bottom and then tuck the knot underneath the skirt so it looks like a crop top. It's a very handy tip! And I wore my trusty New Old Fashion Vintage loafers with this, making it equally chic and casual. I like that they're sleek and dainty enough to look fancy, but are still flats. I look like Bambi while wearing heels so I'm always on the lookout for pretty, none-threatening footwear, haha. 

And New Old Fashion Vintage is brimming with classic summer dresses, full midi and maxi skirts, and really cute loafers and sandals that will go with everything this summer. Amelia, the owner, used to be a teacher and then turned into a full-time Etsian after she discovered she had a knack for hunting down vintage treasures. And she really does- a quarter of my closet is from her store. I just can't resist her skirts and dresses! Be sure to say hello and check out just what I'm talking about by popping over here.

how-to-style-evening-dresses-casually

And here are some of those pieces I mentioned that I have from New Old Fashion Vintage, just to give you an idea of what you can find:

new-old-fashion-vintage-midi-skirt


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new-old-fashion-etsy-skirt


Gems, right? And here are some that are in stock right now, for your browsing pleasure!:


Coffee
anthro
salt-valley
Dividers

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42 comments :

  1. Great idea to combine your dress in this way! Gives me ideas for dresses hanging in my closet for tooo long. :) Love your look! xo

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  2. Ah did you go to the Violet Hour ? If not then thats the first thing I thought of when you said shrouded in secrecy and large drapes for doors. Either way hope you had a great time!

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  3. Love how you styled this outfit. Its dressy but not too dressy. Just perfect!

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  4. Haha, love that story about your brother! Until january of this year it was allowed to drink as from 16 here. They just changed it to 18, but my brother is 17 so he WAS allowed to drink, but not anymore. Haha, the poor kid! My parents feel so sorry for him that they still allow him to drink at home ;-)

    I love the dress! Love that you wear it as a skirt! Looks great!

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  5. Ahh, this ensemble is PERFECT! I love the mix of the casual shirt with the more formal maxi, a great combination! And the fringe bag definitely gives the look a boho vibe.

    And what an amazing way to spend a birthday! There's a speakeasy in my city and it's on my list of things to do before leaving. They sound so awesome.

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  6. You look fabulous! That dress-turned-skirt has such a unique and dreamy look to it. It sounds like you and your bro had a great time ("You're not Ron Swanson," hahaha!) My sister turns 21 soon, and while it won't be her first time drinking, it'll probably be her first chance to enjoy a fancy cocktail - I should take her out!

    adventuresinhel.blogspot.fi 

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  7. i love the chambray shirt, but that dress, though! it looks so lovely and flowy! your brother sounds amazing, haha. but then again, anyone who likes to dress up as don draper must be amazing. it sounds like the birthday outing was lovely:-) also, in only one post you have time to reference all the things i like: don draper, gatsby and ron swanson! xx

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  8. The first outfit looks amazing! Happy birthday to your
    brother as well ^___^ Xx

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  9. Sooo lovely! Thank you for the valuable tip as well, I'll remember it. :) Love seeing your old posts too - it's so much fun to browse your blog!

    Happy Birthday to your brother! Sounds like a fun experience, your description of the place is quite enchanting.

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  10. I love that skirt! It's just so dreamy!
    Lisa | c/oMKE

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  11. amazing outfits as always!
    You live up to the word vintage!
    I really love the Zara dress and the purse together, it gave a unique illusion!

    http://enticedspice.blogspot.ca

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  12. I've never been totally confident in my abilities to pull off a chambray shirt but you've gotten a ton of great looks with yours!

    I have been to Scotland before and I seriously never get tired of that place - it's beyond beautiful.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

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  13. That skirt/dress is gorgeous. It looks like stormy weather. I really like the playing it down with the shirt angle. I have a chiffon grey dress that I keep wanting to find more ways to tone down. Might just try for it with the husband's shirt and see if that isn't too shocking.

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  14. Love these outfits - the dress in the first outfit is so pretty! :)
    theemeralddove21.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. Chambray shirts are certainly powerful! I love wearing just about any type of button up shirt knotted, though.

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  16. sounds like an awesome way to enter into adulthood. i would love to go to a speakeasy! i love layering more casual pieces over dresses, and i think you did it so well with the chambray :)
    xo jac
    thesunshinedistrict.blogspot.com

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  17. You're such a rad sister! And that bar sounds so gorgeous! The whole night in fact. I love your outfit and can't believe that is a gown you've got going on. Amazing. I was thinking it was one of those Tibi maxi skirts. Genius girl!

    SDMxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  18. haha at first i was like DAMN what a gorgeous maxi skirt! but i should never assume anything just is with you. you are THE QUEEN of layering!!! love love love how you dressed this down with that chambray top. everyone needs a good chambray top, or three! haha.

    --Leeds
    at this volume

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  19. Aaaah! I love this outfit! And agreed about the chambray! Perfect for dressing down. Loving that skirt!!

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  20. The zara skirt is GORGEOUS! I love how you reworked it with the chambray top. Happy 21st to your brother-- sounds like you guys had a good time!

    Mili

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  21. What a great dress! I love the way you styled it as a skirt & the speakeasy sounds like a great time. :)

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  22. Weird... my brother just turned 21 last week too haha. He lives in Seattle though so I wasn't able to take him out for birthday drinks. Chambray shirts really do work wonders on dresses. I think this outfit is very festival chic and would be perfect to wear to Outside Lands. You look stunning :)

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  23. Hahaha, oh man, your poor brother! All in the name of machoness...sigh. I'm honestly pleased I'm a girl so I don't have to worry about that ridiculousness. Give me all the fruity alcohol drinks available! ;)
    Well, next year...
    Then again, I haven't exactly been the straightest of arrows in the past year either sooooooo...ahem. I don't like tasting my alcohol though, that's for sure.
    Aaaaanyway, I always love when you bust out this pretty Zara dress! It's been an amazing investment, and I adore how you mix it up. The chambray on top is perfect, and you know I love a good fringe bag :D

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  24. hahah, I loveee reading your posts - they make my mornings, always making me laugh. I would love that - sounds amazing! I hope he had a great 21st! My 21st was last year and my boyfriend took me to the cocktail bar at our hotel and he was drinking whiskey cocktails with 7 different types in it ... safe to say he wasn't great the next morning haha! I hope your brother was fine and had a fab b'day!

    I love the outfit - denim is the best, and the fringed bag is just perfect. I hope you's had a great time and have a wonderful weekend :)

    Have a lovely day :)
    Lucy xxx
    www.floralsandcorals.com

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  25. That Zara dress looks so dreamy! Congrats with your brother, I wish men over here would like to dress like mister Draper as well...

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  26. Those photographs turned out so great;) You keep surprising me with your original style and I've got to say you are beautifully gowned as always) That amazing skirt is such a great find:)! I enjoyed it very much)
    Wish you a great day ahead!

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  27. Where did you get that granpa cardie? I am in love, its getting colder here and I long to be covered in a wool blanky at all times..I know exactly what you mean about the maxi dresses, dressing down embroidered silk maxis are my thing x

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  28. Your evening with your brother sounds delightful. I find whiskey repulsive to be honest, and haven't acquired a taste for it despite many attempts. So I'm pretty impressed he successfully drank any variation of it on his first night out.

    I love how you styled your evening dress in this. It's amazing what adding a little denim will do to a piece.

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  29. Love the way you've styled this! Such a great idea to layer a chambray shirt over a fancier dress. I should give it a go! And sounds like you gave your brother such a nice birthday outing. Have a lovely weekend, Marlen! :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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  30. Love love love this outfit! The dress.. and the chambray shirt!

    Drinking brandy is pretty gross/tough. Just thinking about it makes my face twitch haha

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  31. No comments yet ?!
    Oh my thats not possible ... I could not leave without sending few Words before.
    I think your style is perfect.
    I Love the Way you assemble clothes and it seems to mean some thing to you and this is à good point!
    Will follow your blog From now :)
    Xxx

    Lorna

    Http://lornasharp.blogspot.com

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  32. Oh, how much do I love this? SO MUCH. A gorgeous look (and a funny story to boot!)

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  33. Great post with lovely looks!
    I love the first maxi skirt!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Have a fab weekend!

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  34. I love this too! And it sounds like you and your brother had fun. I hate whiskey so much =P

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  35. Aw, that birthday sounds wonderful! Your brother sounds dapper! Love those loafers and fringe purse, would wear in a heart beat xx.

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  36. I reallllly love this outfit! What a pretty dress, and I'm with you on layering chambray over nicer dresses to casualize them a bit. I've never been to Zara but it seems like it has some good stuff. Sounds like you treated your bro to the perfect night out- I love that he likes to dress up :)

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  37. Your hair is getting so long! And I love how chambray shirts look over dresses. So pretty (;

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  38. I can't believe how versatile this gorgeous dress is! This might be my favorite way you've styled it though. The chambray shirt looks fantastic with it. Also, your brother and I need to be friends. I too did not care about drinking at all until my 21st last year, and I SO wish I could have gone to a speakeasy! That sounds amazing.

    www.room-334.blogspot.com

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  39. You've been killing it lately! There's not one outfit that I haven't loved. The Zara dress looks amazing. :-)

    Laura
    www.lauraneuzeth.com

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  40. OOOOH my goodness, this has GOT to be the best outfit ever. I LOVE wearing fancy schmancy dresses for day or more casual looks. You definitely are inspiring me to do it again reeeeal soon...

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