As girls that concern themselves with style, it can be a little hard to dress simply when surrounded by so much sartorial goodness. You flip through magazine pages and see fresh faced waifs wearing dresses that look like meadows made out of beads and silk, and suddenly spending all of rent money on that one flirty mini in Barney's window makes perfect sense. Or you pass by store displays and see jackets on top of patterned cardigans on top of sequined blouses on top of sheer dresses, and suddenly the jean and boot outfit you have going on looks a tad lazy, doesn't it? It makes you want to aim your closet a look that could wither a man at ten paces.
It's hard to see at all that playfulness and not want to join in. But for a lot of us- while that's a fun look to dabble in- it might not necessarily be our prevailing style. And we feel bad about it.
But what if simple lines are just as pretty as intricate, map-included outfits? What if, to look equally as eye-catching, you just have to zero in on a few key requirements when playing with a minimalist look? I say, it could be done.
Today I joined teams with Lone Pony Vintage to explore just those requirements. Kristan, the curator, has a knack for finding clean,simple pieces that have the ability to still say a story through their designs. For the longest time I've had a hard time accepting the "less is more" idea, so when she asked me how I'd style a no-fuss navy dress, I drew a blank for an embarrassing length of time. I mean, an embarrassing length of time. Half of my closet ended up on my bedroom floor before I decided I was going about it all wrong. You see, what makes a clean, minimal outfit pretty isn't so much the colors or the pieces you pair it with, but the details of the pieces you pair it with.
Specifically, it has to be sharp and hella tailored.
After I realized that it was like a switch was flipped on, and now I could not only wear simple-lined dresses, but could also see the mathematical truths of the universe. It's why American Apparel looks so good even though it's so ridiculously plain. Why Calvin Klein practically inhales and exhales elegance, even though it's just all clean lines and neutral colors. It's all about the shapes and the cuts. How straight the shoulder looks, how sharp the collar is, how precise the lines of the dress are, and how strong the creases.
Now knowing this, to dress up this simple navy piece I focused on just those details. I paired a sheer, sharp-collared blouse underneath the boatneck neckline of the dress, and then popped on a peacoat vest as the outer layer, really bringing the outfit together with its strong lapel and smart lines. For the details I chose my classic leather booties, and a sassy beret to give me a playful vintage touch.
In less than three moves, I had myself a classic, timeless look that was as far away from boring as those busy mannequins in the store windows. But with far less things to hang up once the day was done.
PS: Want more inspiration on how to style vintage dresses? Why don't you read:
- Embroidery Dresses During Fall
- Lady Like Vintage Outfits
- Styling Process Behind Sheer Floral Dresses
- Styling Denim Jackets for Fall