Friday, April 17, 2015

Applique Bouquet

    Confession:  I was a huge fan of What Not To Wear on TLC.  I only got to be a fan for about a year and then the show ended.   But, true to its name, this Learning Chanel show really taught me some things and I'm extremely grateful for the advice and how-tos from the hosts and more importantly the empowered "you-can-do-it" feeling I got from sharing in the transformations of women who felt just like me.

    Now, that's the big picture.  Let me zoom in for a minute.  In the last season I saw an episode in which a "nerdy" scientist needed to update her look from college to professional.  She tried on this stunning teal dress with ivory floral embroidery at the center...and she passed on it!  She really did need help!  I determined then and there to find that dress and make it mine.  I feel I need to note here that I saw another woman try on the same dress and go home with it in a later (I think) episode, and literally applauded her for her good taste.  Fast forward about two years.  I had long since given up finding the dress when it found me.  I was on Ebay looking for a mint green dress (see my post titled Winter Mint to see what I finally found)  when Ebay suggested some "similar items."  Low and Behold.  There it was...blink...blink...the long desired dress.

    It took another four months and some price negotiating with a cooperative seller before I actually bought the dress, but oh my, oh my, I'm so glad I did.  In case you're searching, this dress is by Studio M and was made in a turquoise color (shown above at the left and middle).  And, while I have found a photo of this dress in a minty green (above right), I haven't seen it for sale anywhere, so it may just be a monitor color difference.

    I had lots of ideas for this dress, so many that I may do another post at a later time.  For now I'll show you my fave four.

 For this outfits I used a lime green cardi by August Silk (from my local mall), nude peep toe wedges, and layered pearl necklaces from Forever 21.  Pearls dress up anything!

Country Club:
First of all, Yes, I did have to look up what "country club" style meant, because I've only been to a country club once.  I was there for a wedding and spent the entire time chasing a toddler while balancing a baby on my hip.  As a result, I have no idea what anyone wore.  So, basically I'm using it to describe an outfit that's a little too dressy to be casual but a little to casual to be dressy.   I swapped out the pearl necklace for a pearl beaded cardigan in a lovely light peach color.  A bit more casual than the necklace and I love pairing turquoise and peach.  Closed toe wedges and a peacock print scarf complete the look.  I'm doing a bit of print mixing here with the scarf and dress.

Mixing Prints:
I really jumped in to mixing prints for this one.  I wanted to use my tribal print scarf from Charlotte Russe since the teals are the same in the dress and scarf.  I used my ivory crop cardi and some raspberry peep toe heels since these colors are also in the same palette as the scarf and/or dress.

With the bright Turquoise color and all the applique, it's hard to call this dress casual.  But when I wear it with a cropped denim jacket and beaded sandals, it's suddenly a very relaxed, Saturday afternoon dress.  If you don't have a little jean jacket, I highly recommend acquiring one; they're a versatile addition to your wardrobe.

Dress Review:  This dress originally sold for $128 but all the listings I've seen on Ebay have it at around $50.  The material is 100% cotton and very light and flowy.  The waist is a bit narrow and the bust is too low for me, so I'll have to make some adjustments there.  The applique accents the narrowest part of the waist and the skirt has a nice flare.

    At the time of this post, there are three of these dresses (one size small and two size medium) still listed on Ebay and all in New condition (one size medium has a defect, so read the listing before buying), and all have Buy-It-Now options.

Ebay Studio M Dress Size Small 

Ebay Studio M Dress Size Medium

Ebay Studio M Dress Size Medium with Defect 


  1. You sound so much like me - I love hunting down items that I love and when I find them it is so rewarding! I love the peacock scarf with this dress! And, I absolutely love the backdrops in your photos. How do you do that? I am so in need of a tip like that because I want to blog more but am rarely in a good picture taking place.

  2. Thank you! I have plain white walls,so I use a photo editor to add a photo of wall paper or sheet music as another layer. Erase the layer off the floor and me, and voila! No more dull, white wall.


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