Saturday, January 2, 2016

How to Dress-Down Your Party Gown

    The holidays are over, but it seems like such a shame to see that lovely party dress go into a box to hide under the bed all year.  Pretty dresses should have more than one evening of wear.  So, in this post I'll show you how I dress down my favorite party gown.  The dress I'm using for this post is called  Saturday Night Pin Up by Bernie Dexter and it's pretty darn fabulous.  I feel like the belle of any Christmas party when I am wearing it. 
    In January of this year I did a couple of posts about this dress.  It's the only thing I own by Bernie Dexter, but my, oh, my, that lady can certainly make a flattering dress!
    I spent the holidays drooling over this dress.  It was so lovely, but so out of my price range.  I came across it by chance on a resale site; it was poorly photographed and ineffectually labeled, so it took a closer look and a quick conversation with the seller to confirm that this was the same dress I'd seen on ModCloth and BernieDexter.  
    I couldn't believe it because the dress was basically new, only worn once to a holiday party, and was being sold for only $20!
    I am so glad I found this dress; it is my go to gown for holiday events and by adding a few key items, it doesn't have to wait for those special events.  It works perfectly for less dressy occasions as well.  
    I think this in in part due to the wonderful colors of the plaid.  The main color is black, which is neutral, followed by red, yellow, and blue.  With a neutral canvas and a palette of primary colors, it was so simple to find lots of ways to wear this dress.  
    I hope that in reading this post, you'll find some creative ways to wear your dressy dresses for everyday occasions too.  But first things first; let's see the dress just as it is.

For this first look, I wanted to keep things simple by using mostly black accessories and burgundy heels just for a little extra kick.  
I tend not to do much in the way of jewelry when the dress is such a strong statement piece, so I only wore some chunky black earrings.

In order to tone down this dramatic neckline, I put on a chiffon blouse with a Peter Pan collar.  Then, since red is the second most used color in this print, I decided to add a little more of it in a much richer tone.  However, since it is such a rich color combined with a bold print, I switched back to black heels to avoid a retinal overload.  As my mother used to say, "I don't want my outfit to look too busy."   

I skipped over yellow (though I may come back to it one of these days) and went to the least used color in the print, which is this lovely, bright blue.  
I kept the chiffon top and belt, but switched to an open front to create a different silhouette.  Then topped it off with navy blue heels, which I think are dark enough to be called a neutral. 

And for the final look in this post, I went off the (color) grid and used a bright green crop sweater from Forever 21.  I added a chunky necklace and all the accessories are in black to keep the balance between this bold print and the bright color of the top.
I hope this post has inspired you to find new ways to wear those dressy dresses this holiday season!


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