Spring Under $50: Printed dresses, bright maxis & white shift

spring under 50

The past two months flew by for me with lots of work and a record light $20 in shopping, but I’ve been eagerly eying spring arrivals. I’m a little hesitant to share pieces that I’ve never tried on before, as all too often, things look promising online but are disappointing in-person. Unfortunately, almost all of these items are online-only, so your thoughts would be greatly appreciated if you’ve tried any of them!

1) Old Navy wrap dress, comes in 4 color/print choices in extended sizing. I wore their wrap dress last year quite a bit (several complimenters thought it was DVF), and look forward to breaking it out again. The sleeves on this year’s version look more classic (last year’s were poofy and mid-length) and they made petite sizing available. I got a regular XS last year and had to perform these alterations, but here’s how the unaltered dress fit on my 5’2” mom. I’m hopeful the petite version will fit ladies my size right off the rack, but the length might then be short for work.

2) Gap Sateen dress w/pockets (25% off w/GAP25, or 30% off for cardmembers through 3/24 w/ 30GCSTYLE. Thanks Vicky!) – The last time I tried a dress from Gap petites, it was sadly shapeless and roomy. I finally ordered this one after reading reviews about it running small, and will report back once it arrives.

spring under 50-2

*From my past experience, Target’s petite XS runs similar to a Petite 0-2 from AT/LOFT/BR.*

3 & 4) This is veering straight into summer territory, but I’m always on the lookout for a flattering maxi dress. The Old Navy option (lots of color choices) has rave reviews, and can be easily taken up by the straps if the neckline is too low and/or length is too long. I also love the zesty color of the Mossimo one. The shape by itself isn’t very defined, but a waist-cinching belt will fix that.

5) Labworks white shift dress with fun yellow trim – I love a crisp white dress for warm weather, and the sale price of this is good for anyone who is stain-prone. The simple design can be dressed down with a denim jacket and flats, and easily taken up a notch with colorful statement jewelry and strappy heels.

6) This Mossimo striped skirt (3 color choices) looks flattering on the model and has a 5-star review so far. Ponte is one of my favorite materials for comfortable work wear, but I can’t speak to the quality or weight of this one as I haven’t tried it.

spring under 50-3

I’m not in need of another short jacket, but wanted to share a recommendation by a reader, Alexis B. (thanks, Alexis!). For anyone who is interested in a military-style jacket, this one is 100% cotton, has all the basic features plus roll-up sleeve tabs, and comes in petite sizing. While browsing this line that I’ve never heard of before, I also liked the short belted trench (again, thumbs up for 100% cotton) with piping that’s a tiny bit over the $50 mark.
DIY animal print clutches
Lastly, I wanted to share these DIY clutch photos that Kelly D. and Celia C. posted to my Facebook. How adorable is the striped lining in Kelly’s bag, and how professional does Celia’s look? Thank you ladies both for sharing – I am so impressed by your skills!

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  1. Dee wrote:

    I like the rightmost dress in the first picture. Thats so me!


    Posted 4.11.13 Reply
  2. I bought the green Coffee Shop jacket after seeing your suggestion and I absolutely LOVE IT! I've been looking for a utility jacket and was very glad this had the military style to it. I didn't like that Target didn't include sizing measurements. I had no idea if I should get it in XS or S, but the XS ended up sold out so I bought the small petite. For reference, I'm 5'0, 98 lbs and 32A. The jacket fits just right and even better when you pull on the draw strings. The quality is also real good 🙂

    Posted 4.2.13 Reply
  3. Lol, thank you for reading along, Tiff! ; )

    Posted 3.24.13 Reply
  4. Hi there – with something fun like fuchsia flats you shouldn't be afraid to let them pop! I'd wear it with neighboring colors (red, more pink, orange) for an overall bold look, a fun floral printed dress, or just go neutral with khaki and jeans.

    Posted 3.24.13 Reply
  5. Hi Candice! I usually wear flat sandals with maxi's because the longer fabric tends to get caught under the heel of my foot when wearing wedges or heels. You'd be surprised at how visually lengthening maxi dresses are with the seamless fabric and full-length skirt, even on shorties. Just make sure the length of the dress gets hemmed to hit right above your foot, maybe an inch or 2 above the ground.

    Posted 3.24.13 Reply
  6. Thanks for the detailed info, Tiffany! Did you try on regular or petite? I saw the petite sizing is labeled online only and would love it if it were in-stores too.

    Posted 3.24.13 Reply
  7. Tiffany wrote:

    I tried the neon yellow Mossimo maxi dress on this weekend during a run to Target. For reference, I'm 5'2", 135 lbs, and a 36C. Usually I wear a size small for most of the Target brands. This particular dress was extremely long and quite roomy in the bust, even on someone with my proportions. The neckline was very low and simply too billowy. Additionally, the straps were an awkward length and would pose a challenge to alter without ruining the lines of the dress' top.

    Posted 3.24.13 Reply
  8. LF wrote:

    That coffee shop cotton jacket looks great! gosh.. hope it is s truly petite! can't wait to see it on you!


    Posted 3.24.13 Reply
  9. Sienna wrote:

    Stripes are definitely a key trend for Spring-I like Mossimo's collection. Can't go wrong with plain maxis, so I prefer to buy them instead of printed ones.


    Posted 3.23.13 Reply
  10. lin wrote:

    great choices, jean. i'll have to check some of these out.

    the diy clutches that kelly and celia did are really nice. thanks for sharing, ladies.

    Posted 3.23.13 Reply
  11. Joy wrote:

    I love these selections, esp. the outerwear!
    I always feel drawn towards maxi dresses, but the few that I own barely get enough wear that I feel I must restrain myself from making any more acquisitions!


    Posted 3.23.13 Reply
  12. I keep seeing the Labworks brand through Target's website and am pretty impressed! I've yet to try some of the pieces in person but they seem like they're great.

    FashionEdible Blog

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for your recommendation ! Love them. I had bought the target military jacket. Xsmall was a little small for me. But quality and style of the jacket is great. Highly recommend.


    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  14. Love the DIY features of your readers today! And great spring/summer picks!

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  15. Loving this colors for spring! I'm a sucker for wrap dresses. Have a great weekend!


    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  16. andrea wrote:

    Love the wrap dresses from Old Navy…if only they sold petite size in-store!



    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  17. Aubrey Ann wrote:

    I ordered that EXACT green wrap dress the day before yesterday! 🙂 Among other dresses that I want to try on. I bought more than I intended to from ON, but I know not everything will be a keeper.


    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  18. Kholá wrote:

    Love the green wrap dress and the short white dress.


    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  19. Candice wrote:

    Happy Friday, Jean! Thanks for posting these spring dresses. I like the ON printed maxi and wrap dress. I'm 5'2" and was wondering if you could recommend a shoe to wear with the maxi so that I don't look super short. Thanks! =)

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  20. Thanks for these recommendations!

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  21. Christina wrote:

    I recently ordered the Gap Sateen Floral dress. It fits perfectly, size 0 petite. I may have to order more Gap petite, I was very suprised 🙂

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  22. QueenLina wrote:

    Very nice post! I like the dresses you picked! :*


    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  23. Carla Krae wrote:

    Old Navy also has the brand new eyelet dresses, but I haven't been out to see them in person.

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  24. KDot wrote:

    Two of the ON Maxi dresses arrived at my house yesterday, including the orange one you have featured. I love them! I ordered a small to wear with flats and a small tall to wear with heals. I'm going to be wearing them as maternity dresses though; I think there is lots of room in these dresses for my growing belly.

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  25. Naaj wrote:

    Love the White shift Dress. Simple, yet Elegant

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  26. Naaj wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  27. I love all of them but i love the printed dresses the most. This is what i love about spring season, we can all be fabulous! I think these will be good with fashion jewelry.

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  28. Kelly D. wrote:

    Thank you again Jean for sharing my results from your fantastic tutorial! Absolutely love your blog!

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  29. Aloha wrote:

    Hi Jean, I was lucky enough to find a pair of barely worn flats at my local thrift store in my size which is 5, ( which is hard to find in regular stores )and even though they were fuchsia colored I couldn't pass them up. They were only 2.50!! But I'm having a really hard time wearing them and not having them over power the whole outfit. Could you post something on what to wear with fuchsia colored flats? Thank you!

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  30. Jessy wrote:

    Love that white dress <3

    Posted 3.22.13 Reply
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    3 posts in a row!? I feel spoiled! Love these spring dresses – especially the Old navy print wrap dress! Congrats on your record low of $20 spent on shopping!


    Posted 3.22.13 Reply

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