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.

mess the dress

We are off to a quiet start to the week which is much needed after this weekend.  It consisted of a lot of fall festivities with friends and family plus a photoshoot, a milk paint demo, a girls night out, a Halloween party & parade and a baby shower.  Well now that doesn’t look like that much listed here but I can assure it was and I’m beat so let me just tell you all about our photoshoot on Friday.

Earlier this year I met Philadelphia wedding photographers Cathie and Al from BG Productions.  We chatted about our mutual love for all things vintage and repurposed as they dig that style too.  Then I started following their fun and active facebook page where Cathie posts lots of gorgeous wedding and family pictures.  I love her shooting and editing styling.  She captures a certain mood and depth in the colors.  That is the best way I can describe it.

When they posted a contest for a Mess the Dress session, I was all in!  I particularly like the fact that BG Productions calls it Mess the Dress as opposed to Trash the Dress because I really don’t want to trash it, tear it, paint it, burn it or do anything crazy to it.  I love my wedding dress and look for opportunities to wear it again like, say, out canoeing.

Mess the Dress canoeing - Photo credit: BG Productions

Or fishing with my husband.

Mess the Dress fishing - Photo credit: BG Productions

Hiking past a covered bridge.

Mess the Dress hiking - Photo credit: BG Productions

Or people watching in the park.

Mess the Dress in the park - photo credit: BG Productions

Cathie and Al nailed our Mess the Dress session and they are fun to work with!  We’ll certainly treasure these along with our actual wedding photos.  That concludes our year of posing for professional photos as a couple which began last fall with our engagement shoot.  Now we just have to get around to creatively framing and displaying our multitude of photos.  I wonder how many pictures of yourself is too many to have in your own house?

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.)

BHLDN_Ebb&Flow_Grey

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.

BHLDN_CalliopeDress_Coral

BHLDN_WingspanDress_Sapphire

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.

BHLDN_CandyDotDress

BHLDN_Marguerite_Shift

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.

BHLDN_SEASIDE_01_006

BHLDN_SEASIDE_02_055

BHLDN_SEASIDE_04_118

BHLDN_SEASIDE_05_182

BHLDN_SEASIDE_08_236

 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.

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.

Idlewild_Rose_Boho

Idlewild_Mint_Boho

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.

Feria_TigerLily_Tailored

Feria_Aquamist_Tailored

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.

NewNeutrals

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.

Ebb&Flow_ItalianPlum_FluidSilk

Levity_Grey_SilkGazar

ThaliaMaxi_Sage_SilkChiffon

Calliope_Yellow_SilkCotton

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.

TeaRose_Taupe_Sleeves

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.

SeaGlassSpread

BlushTones

ClassicNavy

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!