Thursday, November 5, 2009

Layering Required

I have no idea why, but I've had "My Kinda Lover" by Billy Squier stuck in my head ALL DAY. Oh brain, why must you torture me so?

I bought this dress from the Forever 21 site awhile back, and knew when I did that it would be challenging to wear and would require layering. And I was right; I simply cannot wear clingy knit dresses as dresses because they are unflattering in every way. However, the basic shape of this one, with the tapered ruffles down the sides, is quite good as a tunic. The elastic belt came with the dress, and I like the way it sneaks through under the ruffles and looks like it just appears out of nowhere.

In order to prevent the dress from accentuating every lump and bump, I scrunched up the bottom part over a simple black A-line skirt. The tie-neck top is another way of breaking up the larger expanses of flat knit fabric. This takes away the clingy appearance and allows all the emphasis to be on the pretty ruffled accents. I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can do with this dress.

Top: La Redoute
Dress: F21
Skirt: a 'hand-me-up' from my sister
Boots: Fly London


Jennie said...

*slaps hand on forehead*
that's a great idea! Why didn't I ever think of that? I have issues with clingy knit clothing -- but always covered them up, instead of layering them on top of something else.

Sheila said...

That is such a creative way to make this dress work for you! I love the top layered underneath. Very classy!

I wore my "tux-inspired" look today and linked to you. :)

gina said...

Great dress. I love the way you layered it to make it more wearable. Looks good!

Jenniferocious said...

Okay, so I've only just discovered your blog, and am immediately in love with your style. I love how you blend unique pieces that some people might find unusual with more conservative things to make them totally wearable. I think you have a fantastic eye for putting outfits together, and I've already gotten some inspiration for outfits of my own! For example: I can't imagine I never thought of doing something so simple as layering a skirt under a dress that's a little on the short side before. I'm really not into the "dress with jeans" look, so I'd thought I was stuck whenever I'd find something in a store, only to try it on and find it too short.

Anyway, I plan to check back often! Thanks for all the tips and great outfits. :)

Healthy and Homemade said...


You seriously just taught us how to wear our skanky, college day clothes hanging in the back of our closets . . . or wait, was that just me? Anyway, I have a couple dresses that might get to see the light of day again ;-)

Marley said...

You are a fashion GODDESS. This is so creative. I get a ton of inspiration from you- I've always been really simple, but I'm experimenting with layers and colors more because of you.

Anonymous said...

I'd never guess that this piece would be unflattering on its own ... since the outfit you've created around it is SO fantastic. You really are a master of layering, lady.

Some Like it said...

Such a great outfit! And love your post about online shopping, great tips and great vendors :-) Glad to have found your blogs!

Nana Erin said...

Genius layering as always!~

Muddystingbee said...

Great outfit. I just found your blog this week through Sally's, and I too love your style. I actually tried this with a clingy knit tank top I have - I tried layering it over a white button-down shirt, and I mostly liked it. I have a question though - do you find that the layer underneath bunches up under the clingy top layer and looks lumpy? Maybe the top I tried was TOO clingy.

Audi said...

Jenniferocious: Welcome to the blog! I'm glad you're finding some inspiration here.

Marley: How great that you're trying out some new looks!

Tricia: Yes, I've had that happen too, where something lumpy and awkward-looking underneath a clingy knit. Usually in that case I'll stick to layering other flat knits underneath, because sometimes the extra thickness can take away the clingy look. It also allows you to ruch up the top layer, because it will stick to the other knit garment and stay put. With this dress I ordered a larger size, knowing that it would be clingy and that I'd want to layer it.