Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Silk floral print dress 2 ways - for work and for a wedding

ellayellow
On the Mark necklace c/o Stella & Dot, Ann Taylor perfect pointy pump

Before purchasing this dress on final sale, I had some doubts. Strapless pieces are historically not the most comfortable nor versatile items in my closet, but I was convinced to get my worth of wears out of this one. I wore it to work paired with a slim blazer and waist-accenting belt, and a simple necklace plus neutral pumps. If you never take your blazer off at work, you can even wear a non-strapless bra for full comfort throughout the day.
ellayellow1
Nordstrom rack faux-pearls (similar), H&M neon heels (from last season)

For a party or special occasion, I would let the simple yet elegant silhouette shine, and just add some strappy heels and a necklace to fill in bare chest space. A neutral or cognac brown sandal would work fine, but I loved how these bright ones brought out the neon in the print. I look forward to wearing this outfit to a hot-weathered wedding later on.
ellayellow5

ellayellow2
ellayellow3
For almost every purchase I make these days, I have grown accustomed to making tiny tweaks at home in order to perfect the look. The dress, blazer, and shoes in this post all worked fine without alterations, but each underwent some adjustments that (in my opinion) really elevated the look or perfected the fit. I hope to share some behind-the-scenes photos for this post soon.

96 comments:

  1. You look gorgeous in this summery look!

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  2. The dress looks great with the blazer!!

    pinktistic.blogspot.com

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  3. I love the lighting you used. The first picture is stunning.
    bohoclassicrock.blogpost.ca

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  4. I love how you styled up this dress. Prefer the work look myself, but they are both great.

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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  5. so beautiful!

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  6. You look so beautiful in both versions! I really love this as a special occasion dress - and I would never have thought of getting my money's worth by making it work attire as well - 2 very amazing looks - I love it :-)

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  7. Can't wait to see what adjustments you made. I also love that blazer. I have a feeling if I had seen it in the store I would have passed over it, but once I see it on you I want it for myself!

    veryamy.com

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  8. I have this dress and I absolutely love it!! I am also very short (5 foot exactly.) The Ella dress from J Crew is my favorite cute and I think I have it in every pattern that J Crew has made it in. I suggest not wearing a bra at all with the dress.

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  9. I love the combination of colors on this dress. It's perfect for day to night! I love the neon yellow heels you paired with it!

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  10. Very beautiful dress, love it both ways!

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  11. GORGEOUS! i really love it with the blazer and belt! great print!

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

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  12. jean, you look so good in both outfits. i'm normally not a fan of that yellow, but you look amazing in it. i like the blazer without the ruching.

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  13. I love your makeup and lighting in the first picture - what lipstick do you have on?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's a very old one that I should probably throw away but I love it too much...Clinique soft bloom soft shine (discontinued)

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    2. Haha, I know that feeling too! : ) Do you happen to remember what shade you have on, it's really pretty.

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  15. Gorgeous dress and the way you put it all together is beautiful!

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  16. You look gorgeous!! I loveeee your yellow blazer!

    I have this dress too and I just wore that to my aunt's wedding. I matched that with a yellow necklace and silver heels (got a pic on my blog if you're curious =p), but I really like your pearl + yellow heels combination! I've been very tempted to wear that to work but unfortunately my company is more on the conservative side...

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  17. beautiful. i love the jacket!

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  18. i WISH i could wear that to work hah!! great dress...im lovin florals right now!

    Laura x

    demure-porcelain.blogspot.com

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  19. I'm certainly not brave enough to wear a strapless dress to work (nor do I think I could get away with it)! Both looks are lovely and I'm glad to see those neon shoes again!

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  20. You look gorgeous with your hair so effortlessly curled/waved!!! BTW love that you make your own little tweaks!!! Maybe next you'll do a whole look from scratch? Jean the designer!! lol :D

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! My prom dresses were all made from scratch and I think they were a sign that my future does not lie in fashion design ; )

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  21. i'm impressed with those neon heels! i never usually look at h&m footwear, but now i will :)

    katie x

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  22. I love the jacket! Just got one last weekend at HM. I will post it soon at Fashion Koketi ( http://fashionkoketi.blogspot.com/).

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  23. damn girl, i hope my medallion ella dress will get this much wear. I hope to be inspired by this post for my upcoming wedding plans.

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  24. love the dress! the pattern is amazing! with the blazer on emphasis more the dress...

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

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  25. nice and stylish look!love the dress!
    хх

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  26. Love it! The dress is so versatile it's great :)

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  27. Beautiful and elegant. Love your blog!

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  28. Love this look. It's a beautiful floral dress, and the yellow blazer and strappy heels really add to the outfit! Can't wait to see the behind-the-scene post!

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  29. This dress is so great and truly works both ways! You are gorgeous!

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  30. So pretty! I'm trying to get as much use out of my clothes as well wearing them to work and on weekends. Luckily I work in a more casual environment anyway. Your new job seems to allow you to be more creative and wear more colourful things!

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  31. How did you learn to do your own alterations? I'd love to not have to pay for someone to hem pants that are always too long, etc.

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    Replies
    1. You know, if you want to hem your pants (straight hem, nothing fancy), you can buy this kind of no-sew fusing tape, which is like dried glue strands in a ribbon. You cut the length of the no-sew tape to your pants to be hemmed, and iron with a lot of steam.

      I never take my pants in for simple hems, only for major alterations, it's saved me a ton of $$$$

      http://sewing.about.com/od/fusibles/ss/fusibleoptions.htm

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    2. I took a class when I was a young teen...I'd recommend a beginners class to anyone seriously interested in learning.

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  32. What size are you wearing?

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  33. I'd love to wear strapless dresses, but they NEVER. EVER. work out for me. Even with a strapped bra, they manage to slide down because my lack of a bust.

    It looks fab on you!

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  34. What a gorgeous dress, I love the colors. You look beautiful. Love the yellow blazer.

    xo, Yi-chia

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  35. Simply stunning! The colours are so beautiful I'm sure you'd be cheering up the whole office if you are wearing that lovely set to work! :)

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  36. gorgeous photography! you look fab, too!


    Stella

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  37. LOVE the floral/pearls!

    Check out our latest blog, The Glitter Life: http://theglitterlife.wordpress.com/!

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  38. The print and colours of your dress are absolutely gorgeous! These posts just remind me of how disappointing the CDN price of J. Crew is, :(.

    http://www.xjole.com

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  39. I agree with you Jean I always try to avoid strapless also. In recent posts I notice you get a lot more brave and adventorous with colors and prints! :)

    Jean if you don't mind me asking what's your monthly budget for clothings and shoes and accessories? Please don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be nosey or judging you. I just know you work in the finance field and probably are pretty concious about your money while maintaining your style! So I want to know if you have any advice to give. I would, of course, like to add new pieces to my wardrobe every month but the fact is, I normally go 3-4 months without getting anything. I know other girls also have to consider money for make up or hair, etc and they add up quick! Maybe you can considering write a post about that? Thanks!

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    1. Hi there - I have a post in the workings after my last monthly spending post http://www.extrapetite.com/2012/05/spring-wardrobe-shopping-spending.html but as a monthly rate, that is deceptively low because I usually a few planned bag or shoe splurges each year.

      I don't have a monthly budget but I do keep an annual cap at 10% of post tax, post retirement contribution income.

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  40. Wonderful summer ensembles and great way to showcase the dress! I've had my eye on those Theory blazers for some time; but, I had no idea H&M had a similar (presumably cheaper) version!

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  41. Looks gorgeous with and without that blazer!

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  42. I like how you are looking to add versatility to all your pieces-- it helps us stretch our dollar, buy more quality pieces (for more wear), and cough up the money to get our pieces altered perfectly. In one of your earliest posts you talk about wanting to add more accessories to your look. I like how you are helping us see how a few key pieces (chunky necklace, pop of color belt) can bring the look together. And, your look is elegant but isn't trying too hard.
    It's easy for us to just stick with basic black/grey suiting for work. I may try to add some color or work in a dress too. Great job. When you have "time", would love to see the DIY on those H&M shoes.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Janki! You've been such a longtime reader...I remember setting that as a goal in Jan 2011, and since then, a few specific accessories have certainly popped out as worthy, versatile purchases.

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  43. That dress is absolutely gorgeous!
    The flowers are so vivid and bright. I feel a little happier just looking at them :)
    I was just at J. Crew the other day but unfortunately didn't see this dress. If I had, I don't think I would have been able to resist buying it!

    I love the outfits you created with this dress Jean!
    The yellow blazer you used really complements the the vibrancy of the dress but the nude heels and belt definitely tone things down a little. This outfit would be absolutely perfect for a formal occasion (like work) during the spring or summer. I'm sure it would also be a nice change from the usual boring pantsuits and whatnot found in offices :)

    As for that outfit you created for parties, I am in awe.
    Those highlighter yellow heels are amazing. I must have them! They look so funky and happy next to the dress. Everything about your outfit makes me want to jump up and dance like a lunatic but I shall spare my poor felow humans of that awful sight. Hahahaha.


    All in all, I must say that this dress definitely works for you.
    You made two amazing outfits out of it that I definitely need to draw inspiration/learn from.

    You are too amazing Jean.


    ~Alice


    P.S. Hold up. That dress has pockets?
    Okay then. Time to go hunt it down....

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    1. Thank you, Alice! Yes it has pockets and is surprisingly versatile...worth the shipping price in my opinion, for a $24 dress.

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  44. Love those neon heels! What's your nail polish called?

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    1. Thanks! This was mixed at a local salon, but the one I usually get that is super similar in color is Essie Turquoise and Caicos : )

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  45. This is a great post. I'm actually looking for something to wear both to work... and of course... to a wedding :) Saw this outfit on you on Instagram! Loved it then too!

    kat
    aneyeforfashion.blogspot.com

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  46. Those shoes are the perfect choice!!!
    XOXO

    http://www.princessmartha.com

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  47. I like the yellow blazer with this dress. : ) The sleeves on that blazer look good! Is the length too short or just right after you removed the ruching? I hope you make a post about that soon! I have similar blazer from H&M (black) that I'd like to un-ruch as well.

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  48. you look great in that dress. i love everything about the outfits. the colors, the springy-ness of the dress, your neon heels. the blazer looks so much better without the ruching. i like how you can switch up the dress for work and for parties. this inspires me to try wearing prints for work.

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  49. The dress looks like it fits you perfectly! I love the look for parties! You will certainly stand out in that dress!

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  50. Very cute dress! I think the dress will get lots of wears. It's a flirty number for parties but can be dressed for work by adding simple pieces.

    Helen

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  51. gorgeous dress!

    lots of love from the c&p girls,
    www.casperandpearl.blogspot.com
    xx

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  52. Beautiful! I love it.

    octoberchic.com

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  53. Firstly, Jean in the "wild" = love! Such a pretty backdrop! Secondly, would have never thought to pair with neon yellow, but you make it work so effortlessly. Thirdly, loving how you're doing a work vs. play option for each featured garment - very helpful!

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  54. This is a perfect summer outfit. I wish people at my office liked dressing up like you, so I wouldn't feel out of place if I wear a skirt or dress.
    Oh & I see that your dress has pockets. yay!

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  55. You look especially gorgeous in the "For Parties" pic. And the neon shoes complete the look for this summer.

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  56. I love the yellow blazer! I need to hit H&M to see if they still have that in store :)

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  57. I never thought of wearing a dress dress to work, but it works so well with a blazer!

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  58. love the floral dress and yellow blazer! def. following =)

    <3 Kelly
    SavvySelections.blogspot.com

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  59. I really like your work look in this post - it's great to see colour in the office and it encourages others to dress up too!

    http://www.tstyledme.com

    Tien xo

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  60. Jean, you are glowing in that first photo!

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  61. that yellow blazer is amazing!!

    xoxo
    Cassidy

    http://norebeccaforayear.blogspot.com/

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  62. I've become accustomed to buying tops and dresses that will be versatile for work and other occasions. Get more bang for your buck!

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  63. Love this with the yellow blazer! You look fantastic!!

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  64. I love the choices you present for day and night. The dress is amazing on you and I love how you played up the yellows in the dress. Xox P

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  65. I think I forgot to write earlier that I love this dress - so glad you're keeping it! ;-)

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  66. I love this dress on you! I avoid strapless and tube tops and dresses because I just don' think they're very flattering. Plus, I hate having to adjust constantly throughout the day! I've found a few styles that have additions to them like rubber to help hold it up and a built in shelf for added support help too.

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  67. I love this jacket especially in yellow, everything you wear with looks better. I bought the black one also. But I prefer it with the original sleeves

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  68. The dress is awesome! I love it:)

    http://theprintedsea.blogspot.de/

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  69. i love your floral dress!! sooo pretty!!

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  70. Love that dress unfortunately it was too expensive at the time...
    You make it work well!

    happymedley.blogspot.com

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  71. i love this! you have amazing style. cute blog girl :)

    www.sultanassanctuary.blogspot.com

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  72. I love how versatile this dress is. It looks amazing with the yellow jacket!
    xo,
    Carolina

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  73. Love this blazer on you, such a great piece for summer! Elegant styling as always <3

    www.NoStrictDressCode.com

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  74. I love the way your hair looks at the first picture.

    www.victoireannie.com

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  75. Love the dress with those neon sandals

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  76. I love how you style the dress with the yellow blazer, which I love, but I can't seem to find it anywhere :( Anyways, I adore your blog and look forward to your posts.

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  77. Love this outfit particularly the work version with the delicate necklace. :) It's so cheery.

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  78. I love this dress and blazer! Looks so stylish. Is this an HM blazer from new collection? I saw a yellow one in the store, but it had gathered seams along the sleeves.. It looks like you have regular sleeves - did you alter your blazer or it is just a different model? thank you!

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  79. Dang, I wish I went to parties classy enough where an outfit like that wouldn't look horribly out of place! Really dig the peals an neon pumps, it's an interesting combination of trendy and classic styles- that's something that can be tricky to pull off, so nice job there!

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