I Wore My First Dress In 20 Years
I Wore This Dress 4 Times on Vacation and Nobody Noticed
I love its somewhat unexpected color scheme and knotted cutout feature, which reveals some skin without showing it all off. I also like it because I can usually get away with wearing it more than one way (without anyone noticing it's the same style) while I'm traveling — a super valuable aspect in any piece of clothing you take on a trip.
To prove its versatility to you, I embarked on my latest journey — to Cairns in northern Australia — intending to wear this one piece in four very different ways. I enlisted my best friend Megan, who was along for the trip, to document all the looks. Even she, at one point, thought I was tricking her: "Wait, is that really the same dress?!"
Yes it is, and yes, it's awesome. Scroll on to see if any of the styles fool you.
1. As a simple dress, just as the designer intended
This is the go-to way I wear this piece, and it's also the way the designer meant for it to be worn.When I slip it on in its regular form, I take care to tie it in a double knot super slowly, so I can control how the tails lay. I like them to be flat and show the contrasting yellow lining.I also like to show a little leg, so I usually button the skirt only about halfway, but you can button it all the way down, no problem. Slit, no slit — your choice!
2. As a duster
You can completely untie and unbutton this piece, meaning it easily can be worn as a floor-sweeping vest. When I wear it like this, it's usually because I want it to serve as a flowy swimsuit coverup, but you could also use it as a replacement for a duster, pairing it with a cute top and jeans.Just drape it over your shoulders, tuck in the front ties, and head out the door.
3. As a dress, with a sweater underneath
OK, this option isn't the most mind-blowing, but lots of people forget that you can slip dresses over other pieces.At night, when the weather cools down, instead of layering a jacket over this cute look, I pair it with a white mock-turtleneck crop top, which makes the other bright colors in the outfit popand highlights the fun cutout.
4. As a midi skirt
This is the outfit that made my friend think I was pulling her leg, but I swear it's the same dress.All I did was untie the top part, and fold it beneath the skirt to hide it.I then twisted the skirt so the buttons cascaded down one leg instead of down the center. I also kept more of the buttons undone, to create a higher slit. Add a cropped tee, and you've got a cool, semi-casual look for dinner out.
Because this dress is a few seasons old now, it's sold out at most online retailers. But it's still available on Rent the Runway in the colorful pattern I have and in a more neutral pink shade that's also very pretty.
If you're not a Rent the Runway girl, you can try out the same styling tips on another button-down dress. Mara Hoffman actually makes quite a few pieces like this one, and other brands are into this look too. Button-down dresses, FTW.
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