playing dress up

Winter could also be dubbed elastic pant season.  At least for me.  Tell me I’m not alone in that admission.  Monday runs into Tuesday and Tuesday into Wednesday, all while sporting thick sweats or yoga pants (on a good day), usually paint covered and topped with some sort of crazy cat lady house coat.  The joys of working from home in a vacation community in the dead of winter warrant cat lady wardrobe status.  As soon as the season changes and I find my style senses again, please dismiss that image.  Until then, picture my XL men’s flannel and paint sweats topped with a Waldo-like beanie.

Now that you have that visual, let me tell you about what I’m working on.  I’ve got a number of pieces in the hopper in various European colors  including a secretary in Arabesque, a nightstand in Layla’s mint and a Marzipan/Schloss layered drum table, to name a few.  I can’t wait to get them finished up, photographed and posted.  The pretty pastels all hint at spring.

European colors

In the meantime, I did a little window shopping.  Clearly I’m dreaming of warmer days when I will remove some layers, wear proper wasted pants and bare a little skin again.  Eliza J dresses are modern but with a hint of vintage style which is exactly what I like.  I found a fantastic range of new dresses that correlate to the new European colors in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint line.  I never stray far from paint and I thought this was a fun way to translate the new colors…

Eliza J

“Arabesque” is definitely a feminine, soft ballet pink just like the skirt on the right.  I’d say the skirt has a shimmer of “white wax” to it as well.

I wouldn’t mind wearing this “Schloss” faux fur now in lieu of my flannel.  Definitely no need to wait ’til spring for that greige number.  Both Schloss and the jacket are equal parts gray and brown and a bit of a chameleon depending on the surroundings.

“Marzipan” is incredibly creamy and flowy.  It is light and breezy just like this gown.  Not quite white, though I wouldn’t wear it to a wedding.

“Mora” is definitely my favorite and so is this lace dress.  That sheath really captures the spirit of the new paint color which is a light silvery gray with more than a hint of blue.  This one changes a bit with the lighting.

“Bergere” is kind of smokey blue.  Well maybe not smokey but definitely not sky blue either.  It is as if light blue has a gray finish to it similar to that flirty little dress.

“Layla’s Mint” is the final new color in the line.  I can’t quite put my finger on a description for that one nor could I find a dress to relate to it.  Stay tuned.

Please feel free to come to our next Milk Paint Demonstration on Saturday, February 27th at noon at Serendipity Shops.  Unfortunately I will not be wearing one of these elegant Eliza J dresses but you can check out the lookbook here.  Nor will I be wearing a house coat and elastic pants.  Thank goodness.

accessorizing the bridal party

Hello!  Hello!  How was everyone’s weekend?  We are enjoying some unseasonably cool weather here.  It is like a fall preview.  I LOVE it.  But enough of the small talk.  I’m sharing more pics and deets from our wedding along with another DIY.

© Love Shack Photo

Today we are chatting about accessorizing your peeps with flowers.  When to go fresh and when to go fabric.

DIY Fabric Boutonniere

In the name of organization, we knocked out a few boutonnieres months prior to the big day.  If you are a Circa Dee diehard, you may even recognize some of the fabric used.  I didn’t get crazy about sourcing the perfect fabric for these flowers.  Instead, just pulled scraps from previous upholstery projects in blues and neutrals that would complement the color scheme.  Bridezilla?  I think not.

© Love Shack Photo

Hunter, our ring bearer, and Wilson’s escort has a more playful color palette with a splash of pink and aqua – kind of like the centerpieces.  His seersucker vest is from crewcuts.

© Love Shack Photo

Wilson opted for a more traditional look with a matching seersucker bow tie and leash from etsy.

© Love Shack Photo

He decided he’d like to take a seat during the ceremony rather than stand up front.  Seriously, I know.

© Love Shack Photo

I’m obsessed with this dog.  Judge me if you want.  But first, just look at that face…

Dana & Ryan Cape May Wedding

Oh, hey!  Look at these dapper guys.  They went fresh in the flower department.

© Love Shack Photo

Shawn, the best man, sported a throwback baby’s breath boutonniere that matched Leigh’s bouquet.

© Love Shack Photo

That was a bit of a vintage spin on the personal flowers.  The baby’s breath bouquet and boutonnierre were easy to DIY.  I gathered a bunch and constructed them with floral tape covered with ribbon just a few days prior to the ceremony.

© Love Shack Photo

What’s a wedding without a little air guitar?  Huh?  I can only imagine some Journey was being belted out of my gaping open mouth.  Don’t stop believing, friends.

© Love Shack Photo

So Ryan and I went with fresh flowers.  (I’m really tempted to say “fresh to death” here because we were at the Jersey shore after all but I am refraining.  Or am I?)  Anyway, a fresh flower bouquet of with a pale color palette of thistle, roses, lisianthus, sweet pea, ranunculus and seeded eucalyptus…

© Love Shack Photo

to match Ryan’s ranunculus boutonniere.

© Love Shack Photo

These I cannot take credit for.  Our flowers were created on our wedding day by my very talented friend, Renee.

© Love Shack Photo

She also helped construct the fabric boutonnieres months prior (among many other things!).

DIY Fabric Boutonniere

Now for the DIY… we simply cut long fabric scraps – say about 2 feet x 2 inches.  Twirled the fabric tightly round and round, hot gluing with each pass and strategically folding the fabric over to create the look of a blooming rose.  We garnished each a little differently with either lace ribbon (left from the invitations), mossy green wire or green raffia wire to create “leaves”.  Once complete, it was glued to felt backing and then to safety pins.  Easy.  And not just for weddings.  This DIY can totally be used to deck out kids backpacks, hats, etc.

I leave you with this image.  Aqua chucks.  The must have reception accessory for my dad.  For those who know him, you know Chucks are absolutely his style.  The aqua part is all mine.

© Love Shack Photo

Photos by Love Shack Photo

wedding wednesday with BHLDN

Most brides hope to select a dress their bridesmaids will actually wear again.  BHLDN fashion guru and stylist, Angela, offers some tips to increase the odds of making this hope a reality in the last installment of our guest post series Wedding Wednesday with BHLDN

BHLDN, the two year old sister brand of Anthropologie, provides attire, decor, and accessories for any special occasion from an enchanting wedding to a sweet birthday soiree. With a selection of delightful gowns, stunning party heels, delicate jewelry, vintage-inspired wedding decorations and more, BHLDN is a one-stop shop for brides-to-be…or really anyone planning a fete!

You can review the first post on choosing bridesmaids’ dresses here and the second post on accessorizing bridesmaids’ dresses here.

Check out HOW TO RE-WEAR BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES!  I have a closet full of bridesmaids’ dresses so I will definitely be taking some notes… 

Be Realistic

Brides and bridesmaids alike should be realistic with their expectations about re-wearing a bridesmaid’s dress.

Keep It Simple

Since most women aren’t gallivanting at formal affairs every weekend, selecting a tea length or shorter style automatically opens up the opportunities for bridesmaids to wear their dresses again.

The better fit, the more likely they’ll wear it again. An easy-to-wear style such as A-line or fit-and-flair is more universally flattering to different body types. (To that note, bridesmaids: the key to a perfect fit is professional alterations.)


Pictured Ebb & Flow Dress

Fabric choice is also important to re-wearability. Lighter and more casual fabrics such as cotton and silk are often used in everyday dressing. Shinier fabrics like satin or fabrics embellished with metallic threads or beading may be more difficult for the average woman to incorporate into her regular wardrobe.



Pictured Calliope Dress, Wingspan Dress

…Or Mix it Up

Bridesmaids’ dresses with a print or interesting texture are more like the dresses you’d find in a store and more along the lines of what you’d see women wearing on the streets.

Or, go the mix and match route and allowing your bridesmaids to choose their own attire; if she’s picking it, it’s very likely she’ll select a dress she’ll want to wear again.



Pictured: Candy Dot Dress, Marguerite Shift

And for the bridesmaids…

It’s All in the Accessories

Have fun playing with the accessories and add-ons that already live in your closet to extend the life of your bridesmaid’s dress.

If it’s a shorter style, simply adding a cardigan can take a dress from aisle style to Sunday brunch, a fitted blazer and basic pumps can transform it for the office, and a lightweight leather jacket and ankle boots can toughen it up for a night out.

Swapping out your sparkly jewelry for more everyday accents – a patterned scarf, chunky jewelry or ballet flats – can transform the look, too.






 Loving all of this dresses and ideas!  Thanks for all of the great tips, Angela!  Which is your favorite?  I’m digging the Ebb & Flow Dress.

round two with BHLDN

We’re back with Angela, stylist from BHLDN.  She offers some Dos and Don’ts for choosing accessories to coordinate with your bridesmaids dresses! HOW TO CHOOSE BRIDESMAIDS’ ACCESSORIES in our guest post series Wedding Wednesday with BHLDN.  Don’t forget to check out last week’s post on choosing bridesmaids’ dresses here.

BHLDN, the two year old sister brand of Anthropologie, provides attire, decor, and accessories for any special occasion from an enchanting wedding to a sweet birthday soiree. With a selection of delightful gowns, stunning party heels, delicate jewelry, vintage-inspired wedding decorations and more, BHLDN is a one-stop shop for brides-to-be…or really anyone planning a fete!

A great way to personalize your bridesmaids’ attire on your big day is through accessories.

DO trust your bridesmaids and give them some freedom to select accessories that express their personal styles, especially if you are choosing the same dress for each.

DON’T be afraid to set some parameters. For example, choose color for your girls to work with when shopping for bridesmaids shoes but leave the rest up to them.  Soft, neutral colors or metallics are easy to find in a variety of styles and price points.




Pictured: Sterling Peep Toes, Rosebright Peep Toes, Supper Club Sandals

DO use accessories to add texture and shimmer to your bridesmaids’ ensembles. If your bridesmaids’ dresses are simple, adding a beaded belt or sash in a contrasting color is an easy way to turn an ordinary bridesmaid dress into something extraordinary.

DON’T go overboard with accessories for your bridesmaids. If you select more unique bridesmaids’ dresses with lace detailing or other embellishments, a simple pair of studs or small drop earrings adds that “just enough” touch.



Pictured: Sorbetto Dress and Gerbera Studs

DO gift wedding-day accessories to your maids. Your bridesmaids’ jewelry is one way to allow for personalization and is a great way to say “thank you” for their roles on your special day. A sparkly clutch is another gift that your ladies will look forward to using again!



Pictured: Cupola Bracelet, Deco Beaded Clutch

DON’T forget to consider the setting of your wedding. For an outdoor summer wedding, especially if it’s in the grass or sand, a wedge or flat sandal is the best option. A pretty cover up is a must for a winter wedding or to cloak bare shoulders during a modest ceremony.



Pictured: Maroma Sandals, Crème de Menthe Topper

Thank you Angela!  I’m obsessed with that deco beaded clutch!  Which accessory is your favorite?

wedding wednesday with BHLDN

The fine folks over at BHLDN heard that I’m getting married this weekend!  So we’ve decided to team up on a mini-series here at Circa Dee called none other than the totally original ‘Wedding Wednesday with BHLDN’.  (I know, I should patent that one!)

BHLDN, the two year old sister brand of Anthropologie, provides attire, decor, and accessories for any special occasion from an enchanting wedding to a sweet birthday soiree. With a selection of delightful gowns, stunning party heels, delicate jewelry, vintage-inspired wedding decorations and more, BHLDN is a one-stop shop for brides-to-be…or really anyone planning a fete!

Our first topic is HOW TO CHOOSE BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES.  It can be challenging to coordinate your bridesmaids’ looks but BHLDN fashion guru and stylist, Angela, offers expert tips for choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses to suit your best girls and your gown!

Take it away Angela…

Use Your Gown as Your Guide

Your bridesmaids’ dresses should complement, not compete with, your gown. Use the style of your gown as a guide for selecting attire for your bridal party. If your gown is romantic or Bohemian, dress your girls in breezy, free-flowing styles with a little texture. The Idlewild Dress is a great example.



If your gown is more structured and sophisticated, your bridesmaids’ dresses should be more tailored. Keep fabrics clean but look for architectural details such as pleating, like that on our Feria Dress.



When selecting color, it’s all about personal preference and the old rules no longer apply. Brighter, punchier shades are still popular for spring and summer but pastels have been popping up in fall and winter weddings where richer colors used to reign. Neutrals, including shades of blush, nude, champagne and grey, work year-round.


Consider the Comfort Factor

It’s important to consider comfort when selecting bridesmaids’ dresses. Look for styles that are easy to wear, a comfortable fit and in fabrics that will hold up through hours of photos – and dancing!  Fluid silk, silk gazar and silk chiffon and even silk cotton blends (see trend?) are great options that breathe well and are relatively wrinkle-resistant.





Also, the season and setting of your wedding should be a factor in bridesmaids’ dress options. Sleeveless or strapless styles with shorter hemlines are ideal in warm weather, especially if your wedding is outdoors. Longer hemlines work well in more formal settings or during cooler months. Dresses with sleeves are also great options when there’s a chill in the air.


Allow for Personalization

It’s always great to give your bridesmaids options to express their unique personalities. After all, that’s why you love them, right?

Mix-and-match bridesmaids’ dresses are very on-trend for this very reason! In addition, mix-and-match dresses add another layer of texture and visual interest to your overall wedding scheme and look pretty in person and in photos.

Give your girls some guidance with a color palette or a specific hue and allow them to select a style that makes them look and feel their best. Some of our favorite color combos this spring are shades of sea glass, blush tones and classic navy.




For a more streamlined look while still accommodating different body types and personal styles, select dresses from a brand that offers multiple dress styles in the same exact color and fabric. BHLDN’s Jacqueline Dress and Levity Dress, both by Coren Moore, are examples of two different styles available in the same color and fabric.

If you prefer to dress your maids in one style, allow them to personalize their looks through accessories. A simple silhouette like the Niceties Dress is a great “blank canvas” for this option.

So which dress is your favorite?  Be sure to stop back next week for our second installment of Wedding Wednesday with BHLDN!