Dressed to the Nines (And the Nine to Five), Part One

The holiday season can be overwhelmingly stressful. First, there’s the pressure to buy the perfect gift for your significant other, best friend, and closest family members (and if you’re anything like me, this is often done on a tight budget). Then, there’s the joy of traveling – to grandma’s house, reached by going on a moderate yet claustrophobia-inducing road trip, to your cousin’s new apartment, across the state, or to your great aunt’s country cabin, an epic plane ride away. Finally, the holidays often mean entertaining, cooking, baking, corresponding, gift-wrapping, and general preparedness, which can be a feat in and of itself when attempting to master semester finals, family obligations, work, and play!

You shouldn’t  be expected to endure the additional worry of planning picture-perfect outfits!

Keep reading to find out how to style your favorite ModCloth dresses for the holiday season and beyond!

In my closet graveyard, there are a few formal gowns I purchased for one sole purpose (a high school Homecoming dance, my older brother’s ordination, etc). They collect dust in their dry cleaning bags, anxiously waiting for the day they can make their second glorious debut. On the flip side, I own more than a few fun frocks who desperately want the limelight of a sophisticated occasion. Despite their cotton composition, flowery print, or springtime vibe, these comfortable dresses are vying for a chance to shine.

With that in mind, I’ve created a guide on how to style five diverse ModCloth dresses for two separate occasions – one part fancy, one part casual. My friend Jess Cole, a ModCloth Returns Specialist, has graciously agreed to act as both co-stylist and mod model. Thanks again, Jess!

Today’s dress in question is the Kew Gardens Dress. This charming sleeveless number is a little summery, yes, but it’s also replete with fabulous features which make it an absolute breeze to dress up or down! For holiday soirees, I’d suggest pairing this twofer with the Matte About Sequins Jacket. Wondering how to ‘dress up’ an ensemble? Add sequins. Some may disagree, but when it comes to shiny, disk-shaped embellishments, I say, “the more, the merrier!” With the Matte About Sequins Jacket in place, you can check “glitz and glamor” off your outfit to-do list.

Next, add the Diamanda Tights – their textured goodness will not only protect your legs, they’ll also ensure your effortless elegance and complement the cropped black jacket. To brighten up your gorgeous gams and emphasize the flower buds of your skirt, slip into the Tippytoes Heels. The tantalizing teal suede and gold piping of those heeled beauties will add just the right amount of fanciness to your going-out guise.

For accessories, go with what Pittsburghers know best – a lil’ black and gold. This color combination is a surefire way to put a formal spin on any ensemble. The Magnificent Magnolia Necklace, The Cheshire Clutch, and the Cry Tough Bracelet beautifully complement each other, and add a dose of dazzle to your overall appearance. Finally, embellish your locks with a flair of vintage using the A Modern Fascinator, and voila! You’ve successfully gussied up the Kew Gardens Dress, and you’re more than ready for a winter formal or a holiday gala!

Dressing down this bubble hem beauty is just as simple! First, I’d layer the Betsey Johnson Frill of It Socks in White over the Tights for Every Occasion in Antique Fair. Pairing novelty socks over a pair of opaque tights is an easy way to make your outfit more jocund. Then, accessorize with gold, specifically the Golden Ticket Headband and The Holly and the Ivy Necklace. And since it is technically winter here in Pennsylvania, I’d throw the adorable Snow Angel Coat on over top to accentuate the bits of white in the floral skirt. For less formal outfits, choose shoes of a neutral color. Jeffrey Campbell’s Hole-istic Heel-ers were my final touch, which round out a stellar ensemble that’s cute and chic without being overly extravagant.

Stay tuned for more style posts, ModReaders! This week in ModLife, I’ll feature a different dress each day, with a finale of two featured dresses on Friday!


About Annie

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  1. Avatar
    Natalie 12/15/2009 at 4:08 pm #

    I love this! I wear dresses pretty much every day, and people don’t understand that they’re not just for special occasions – dresses possess daily wearability. These examples illustrate the Kew Gardens Dress’ versatility fabulouslyyy. I want that dress, and I didn’t even know it. Awesome, Annie! 🙂

  2. Avatar
    ModCloth 12/15/2009 at 4:30 pm #

    I never thought of pairing florals and sequins–and I dont know why ever not! It looks fantastic!

  3. Avatar
    emily 12/15/2009 at 4:31 pm #

    This is adorable! You guys should do this every day.

  4. Avatar
    Molly 12/15/2009 at 4:46 pm #

    So adorable. I can’t wait for the next outfit set!

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    EmilyKennedy 12/15/2009 at 4:52 pm #

    Lots of short dresses look great with black tights, but this dress? I think charcoal or teal would have been better.

    Also, granny socks with sandals? Really? So much was so right about the top half!

  6. Avatar
    Annie 12/15/2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

    Granted, the socks/tights/open toe shoe combo is a little strange, but sometimes it’s fun to stray away from the conventional:)

  7. Avatar
    sari 12/15/2009 at 5:26 pm #

    ADORABLE ! Cute looks Annie! Nice work Jess !

  8. Avatar
    aire 12/15/2009 at 5:47 pm #

    I love the socks with the open toe shoe look…I feel like its been a trend that has gotten slightly more popular each season..one day it will take off, I know it. Great work, Annie.

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    Maggie 12/15/2009 at 5:50 pm #

    Very cute – and wearable, too! Great job, guys!

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    sara 12/15/2009 at 5:59 pm #

    I Love this! great outfits for a cute dress!

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    Julie 12/15/2009 at 6:16 pm #

    I love them! I really like the open toe shoe with socks, however when it snows, it won’t work so well, but in that case, I would just wear ankle booties layered with socks and tights. From far away though, they kind of look like high tops, which are one of my favorite shoe styles. Fierce!

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    Maddi 12/15/2009 at 7:16 pm #

    I love basically everything about these (although I always thought the socks/pumps trend was trying way too hard). I looove that clutch.

  13. Avatar
    hilary 12/15/2009 at 11:32 pm #

    my two favorite modcloth babes in one blog entry? be still my heart!

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    jordan 12/18/2009 at 8:22 pm #

    eh i love the items seperately, but i gotta say im not crazy about the outfits you put together. it’s a little to all over the place for me. reminds me of the way the kids in my art school dress… a failed attempt at being “different”. it could be toned down a little bit.

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