Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Northern Exposure: How to Cover a Plunging Neckline

    Did you ever see a beautiful dress (probably on the internet where it's most difficult to tell how something will fit) and you were so excited to get it home and try it on, only to discover it was much more revealing than you realized?  Rather than wear it and expose more of "the girls" than you're comfortable with, that dress sits on the shelf gathering dust or goes back to the store for some braver soul to wear.
    A few weeks ago while browsing ThredUp, my favorite resale website, I came across a cute plaid dress that looked a little short in the skirt, but I figured, "hey, it's a wool dress and the temperature is dropping, I'll only be wearing this dress with tights.  So, literally and figuratively, I'm covered." (Just a little side note here:  if you're new to ThredUp, use this link to sign up and you can save $20 off your first order http://www.thredup.com/r/WKVOY5
    The dress arrived and true to my initial assessment, it was a very short skirt.  What I hadn't expected was the very low neckline on this strapless dress.  So low in fact that I have no idea how this dress is supposed to stay up.  
    I was pretty down about it; I don't like feeling that I've made a bad purchase.  After all, who makes or wears a skimpy wool dress?  It's absurd!  If it's cold enough for wool, it's too cold to show skin.  But, it was also a sort of challenge, and I love a good challenge.  Could I do something with this silly dress?  
    I knew I could return it, but I decided to put it in the "idea" closet and think on it for awhile.  After about two days the light bulb went on and I had not one but two ideas to make this difficult dress a keeper.
    This piece leaves so little to the imagination that I wasn't terribly comfortable doing "before" pics.  The fabric is so thick and yet I'm so exposed that I feel like I'm wrapped in a towel.  Not to worry the ideas came and I'm going to use this dress to show you a couple of simple ways to cover up that unwanted northern exposure.
     The natural tendency is to use a lace camisole to cover cleavage.  I use this trick all the time and I really think that every woman should own at least one black, one navy, and one ivory or white lace camisole for this reason.
    However, since this dress is strapless, a camisole just wouldn't work, but it did put me in mind of something in lace as a solution. After a quick dig in the dresser, I found the perfect top.  
    So, for this first outfit, I simply put a lacy three quarter sleeve blouse underneath.  The neckline on the blouse could have gone a little higher and still worked with this dress.  I also brought some balance to the color palette by adding a burgundy heel and some extra warmth by adding these black cotton tights.

     For the next look, I started with a sleeveless chiffon top that has a peter pan collar,  The black bow brings the eye down to flow into the dress, and the mustard yellow cardi, while not part of the plaid color scheme provides a great pop of color.  I kept the shoes black since I didn't want to over whelm the eye and make the outfit too busy.

Shop the Look:
Fox Earrings from Claire's
Dress is by French Connection from ThredUp.com
Long Sleeve White top is by TopShop
Peter Pan Collar Top is by Forever 21
Burgundy Heels & Black Heels are by Qupid and Purchased from ModCloth.com
Black Flats are by Soda
Yellow Cardigan is second hand


  1. I absolutely 100% adore this look! That first outfit is my favorite. Can you tell me a little more information on that gorgeous long sleeve white top from the first outfit? I just love it!

  2. Absolutely! I got it from TopShop about 3-4 years ago, but I see similar tops all the time. Here's are a few I've been looking at on Ebay.




  3. Love the mustard with the plaid! So fun!


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