Jun 13, 2014


I know I've mentioned this countless of times, but whenever I'm standing in front of my closet in the morning, all hip-shot and messy haired, I can't get over how different my style has become. 

I've found that now everything is picked out according to my feels. And not just what my mood is that day, but how do I feel while wearing it. The best way I can describe it is when I was in a Forever 21 dressing room about a month ago, trying on this flaired-leg jumpsuit. It was a simple number, with tiny roses scattered down its length and a deep v-cut slicing through the back. It wasn't a show stopper. It wasn't something that would catch your eye and make you want to press your nose up against the display glass. Which is why when I slipped it over my shoulders and zipped it up the side, I was unassuming. And when I smoothed it down and glanced up in the mirror, I was floored. I felt....gorgeous. Like, I'm pretty sure I could get free coffee today, gorgeous. Or, Yea, I think I'll have that stranger on the train propose to me right now, gorgeous. I couldn't tell you why, but something about that piece just made me feel the way a sigh sounds. And so I snapped it up.

And that's how I dress now. I don't buy a single thing unless there's some sort of zing that follows it. Because if you feel like doing an excited little shimmy every time you look in the mirror, how can your day possibly be anything but overwhelmingly amazing?!

Which leads me to this polka dotted number from the Etsy boutique, Moonchild Vintage. I really like shopping on Etsy because you know that the owners pick every vintage piece with the intention of making some other girl out there feel that exact zing I was talking about. They're not just mass producing cute dresses- they're treasure hunting for you. And I feel like this polka dot dress has waited patiently through its decades to be welcomed into my closet. Can there be anything more Marlen-esque than this shift? No. The answer is no, haha. And I decided to add to it just a little by adding the sleeveless mustard turtleneck underneath. I just can't help myself with those layers ;)


Moonchild Vintage is like this hippie-rocker-country girl hybrid of a store, so if you like black dresses with flower prints, lace trimmings on your maxis, and prairie skirts that flirt with your ankles as you walk, then I would pop on over there and say hi. Here are just some of the items that caught my eye:


outfit-details copy

DRESS: c/o Moonchild Vintage (similar-ish: here, here here, here
TURTLENECK: c/o Voyeur Vintage
SHOES: Urban Outfitters (similar: here)

 photo Untitled-9_zps85ce6b37.jpg


  1. You look perrrrfect for hot summer days in that cute dress!

    Also, can't get over how great your bangs look. You + multiple episodes of New Girl have got me thinkin' fringe for days!

    1. DO IT, we can be, like, honorary sisters then. Because bangs unite girls, right? ;)

  2. Ah I love that description, every woman wants to get dressed in the morning and just feel amazingly special and getting free coffee wouldn't be too bad either ;) I love that you say on etsy you know people are treasure hunting, I really feel like thats what it is, thats what it feels like to me when I go thrifting. Also I must point out I love your new layout/header!!

    1. Yes, exactly! It's not just buying cute dresses- you feel almost like you accomplished something when you find a good vintage piece. And you can just *tell* how passionate and how much fun the sellers are having when you talk to them; it's just a whole different experience on there. I always go into super-girl-mode and start swooning over pieces with them, haha.

      And ahh thank you for the layout compliment! When I first started tweaking it it was a disaster (ha!), so I'm excited to hear it payed off :)

  3. I love your shopping philosophy - that's such a great way to approach it.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  4. Great!:)) xx

  5. Love! Tiny dots are the best, and of course you couldn't resist the layers. ;) I think the shoes are a perfect accent, too; strappy with cool cutouts. They compliment the dress very well.

    I get that super-gorgeous feeling when I wear dresses or anytime I can flaunt my ink. I love the feminine colors in my tattoos and I love not wearing pants, so a sleeveless maxi-dress is like nirvana for me. ^_^

    also, love the new banner! Simple and gorgeous.



    1. ahhh i can only imagine how pretty your tattoos are with a maxi- that contrast sounds gorgeous!

  6. So cute and I totally agree with you about the "zing factor"! Why wear something unless it makes you feel like you could take over the world...or at least get a free donut or something? I love that you added the yellow turtleneck underneath- it really gives it an extra punch! :-)

  7. Eep, you look adorable! Like one of the Beatles' girlfriends! And VERY Marlen-esque indeed :) The collar layered underneath is the perfect touch.

    It's funny, I was also reflecting today on how much my style has changed. My favorite clothes are the ones that spark my imagination and make me feel pretty at the same time. A few years ago, I tended to focus more on how things looked on my body, whereas now I have more fun!


  8. That collar tho! And you're totally right. Clothes can completely transform a person. Sometimes I dress the way I'd like to be. One day, total badass, the next day modern southern belle. These are versions of myself and I have the right to let each of them go free and have fun. :)

  9. I love this outfit, Marien! The retro shift dress is so perfect and it looks absolutely lovely on you ;)
    Hope you're having a lovely Friday!!xx

    ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ GIVEAWAY ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡

    Creme de la Chic

  10. I think that zingy feeling is so necessary with fashion! This dress is super lovely- I'm always partial to polka dots :)



  11. You look stunning! That dress I seriously perfect! Polka dots plus navy and yellow equals perfection!

    <3 Shannon

  12. Brilliant description of what every woman's wardrobe should ideally be. In the past, the ACT of buying clothing made me feel good, rather than the clothing itself. However, as my style evolves, I find that it's easier for me to get dressed and feel positively about the mix and match opportunities in my wardrobe.
    xx Abby a geek tragedy

  13. I love a good shift dress and I love polka dots, so this is right up my alley.

  14. I love your approach to style! My philosophy has always been "if you love it, buy it." A perfect closet is one that is filled with items that make you feel your best, most beautiful, and amazing! Confidence is really what makes a look, in my mind, and if I'm not in love with what I'm wearing, I know the entire world will be able to read how uncomfortable/un-ME I feel. You look incredible, as always, in these photos! xx

    The What's In Between

  15. I love the yellow collar on this dress! Beautiful!

    Check out my style too! xo


  16. Girl, this outfit is perfect. Best color combo, and polka dots too?! And can you just make a bouquet of flowers an accessory, like in place of a purse or sunglasses please? That is the perfect shopping philosophy, I think. You feel a lot less guilty about buying things when you're truly in love.


  17. This is one of the more simple outfits I've seen you in, but so darling (how can one go wrong in polka dots?! Too cute!).

    I think that is a good way to feel about your clothes. I don't often feel that when shopping in person. I HATE shopping in person. I tend to get very indecisive and moody; plus, I like thinking about purchases. When there is something I can't get out of my head because the dress is that pretty- well, you got a winner. Loving all the things in your closet is a must. Don't have what you don't love.

    1. haha i can't imagine you getting moody! though i do like thinking about purchases too, so i get that. i usually like to let something sit in my shopping cart for a day or two before pulling the trigger, because i'm so apt to fall into shopping spree moods ;)

  18. How stunning! I love polka dots! :)


  19. Master layering as always! This polka dot shift dress is the absolute cutest and I love the button detailing on it. It's perfect on you! I have a hard time leaving behind clothes when I try them on and I feel amazing in whatever it was. I've done that a couple times in the past months with different things at Forever 21. Like the late 60s-esque dress I randomly tried on there that I thought would look ridiculous and then it looked awesome and had to come home with me. It's a problem. Anyway, you look wonderful!


  20. the dress is so nice!
    Check my blog http://whatiworebyjessicadelacruz.blogspot.mx/ and hope you can follow viaGFC

  21. Well don't you look adorable in this dress :) I totally thought the turtleneck was attached.. it looks so perfect with the polka dots. And that's such a good motto to have about shopping. I've been trying to be way more selective about what I buy too, making sure that I only buy clothes that I am confident about wearing.

  22. I wish I could get free coffee for the way I dress, but most of my clothes are so man repelling :D
    I know what you say though, I usually associate my clothes with a type of emotion, which is silly...
    I love the dress! Polka dots for the win!

  23. Firstly happy belated birthday, lovey!!! And thank you for sharing your rad & insightful thoughts on my latest post. I was so inspired by your words plus personal experience! And a big YES to wearing things that make you feel and look like you can do the impossible. This shift dress is gorgeous! Happiest weekend! xo

  24. Sooooo cute, Marlen! It is totally "you," and the turtle neck brings it to a whole new level.

  25. I've been trying to do the same too, not buying something unless it makes me feel lovely. There's nothing worse than buying something only to get it home and realise you just don't like it as much as your other items and never wear it. Weeehhh.

    Then you don't want to throw it away because you've never worn it and it just takes up extra space in your closet!

    Anyway, I love this outfit on you =)

    Corinne x

  26. how pretty - the dress, your flowers and you! i love the idea of etsy shop owners treasure hunting for others. and even though i don't perhaps always dress up with the same philosophy as you, i think it's something i'll keep in mind more often now. because why would you not want to wear clothes that make you feel amazing every day:-) xx

  27. I 100% get this! I've been really working on only buying things that I feel "the zing" over, even at the thrift store. This dress is so perfect and I know what you mean about the Etsy treasure hunting. I actually just posted today a dress that I want to wear every day that I bought on Etsy recently. I'm also digging your new blog design!

  28. I feel the exact same way when choosing an outfit! I'm loving this dress, polka dots are wonderful!

  29. Love how you described this feeling! I really need to go try on things more often in store instead of buying things online. Unfortunately, my brain/ heart gets the "zing" feeling (or maybe thats just lust disguised as zing) way too often while browsing online! Also, this polka dot number looks adorable on you!

  30. Ahh this is so cute! I love the shape of the dress! You look so lovely :)


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