Outfits & Such

Monday at the Shops: Dress Hunting

I don’t do shopping posts much, because honestly, I hardly ever buy clothes.  My closet is small, and I don’t mean ‘small in comparison to my makeup stash.’  I’m strangely picky about the clothes I buy, in terms of price and quality.  I don’t have the budget to pay that much for my wardrobe, but at the same time I prefer pieces that I’ll get a lot of wear out of, and won’t fall apart in a week.  I also tend to gravitate toward basics.  If you were to peek into my closet, you’d see a neat pile of white button-downs, neutral cardigans, 2 pairs of jeans (the $10 ones from Forever 21 are surprisingly good), some colorful dresses, black blazers, etc.

The title ‘Monday at the Shops’ isn’t entirely accurate.  This is a small sampling of the dresses (my favorite thing to wear) I’ve tried throughout the month.  The rejects pile was much bigger than what I’ve showed here too, but I often forget where I’ve put my phone (I don’t know why.  It’s always in my handbag).

Banana Republic is my go-to for daytime dresses.  I found this fitted white sheath dress at 70% off, and immediately snatched it up.  The belt was awkwardly stiff, but I knew I could easily swap it out for another.  Plus, it looked fine sans belt.  Take my $30, please.

Ann Taylor Loft was having a $25 dress sale this past weekend, so I peeked inside.  Loved: the perfect, bright poppy-red hue of this dress.  Didn’t love: the empire waist.  Back it went.

Q is one of my favorite shops for unbelievably cheap basics.  The quality isn’t always there, but for the prices, I’m willing to let it go.  I fell in love with everything about this taupey, blush-pink dress, except for that seatbelt-looking buckle.  The fit in the armholes was a bit tight, though, and the only other size they had was a Large.  An unfortunate no.  I believe this was somewhere around $20.

Last but not least, this fun little $20-something one-shoulder number, also from Q.  I loved the beautiful color of the lace, and the length was just right.  The fabric on the sleeve did feel scratchy, but since this is a night-out dress rather than an everyday one, I took it.

I swear…I go out in the sun and actually get paler.  Wonder how that happens.

Which of these dresses is your favorite?  What does the inside of your closet look like?  What’s your favorite store for everyday dresses?

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28 thoughts on “Monday at the Shops: Dress Hunting

  1. I love that white dress! Awesome find :) I like to stalk department stores (JCPenney and Macy’s are the biggest ones in my area, sigh) for dresses on major sale, and a good half of my dresses came from secondhand stores. TJMaxx also has nice stuff sometimes. I have a pretty big clothing collection since I haven’t changed size in, like, 9 years, but I’ve found myself wanting more dresses for this summer. Never too many dresses! (Or lipstick.) Thanks for sharing your finds (and rejects!) :)

    • Lucky you! I have things in my closet from 4 years ago that definitely do not fit me anymore. I’ve never shopped TJMaxx clothing before (although I do go there for kitchen supplies LOL. And they had some awesome makeup awhile back, but it had pretty much been cleared out by the time I got there). Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll go back and do some more dress hunting!

    • Agreed on the belt, thank god it’s detachable. I have never heard that particular adjective used to describe me, people usually fixate on the ‘tall,’ but thank you!

  2. I’m with you on the belt. Good call in switching it out. I do however, think that’s my favorite dress out of the pile. You could totally wear it with a pair of cute flats for brunch, or dress it up for a day at the office. Or maybe…. a more stylish brunch ;) My closet is exploding. Yet, I feel like I have nothing to wear, and I can’t decide which pieces to give away. And a lot of the time, I wish I didn’t buy half of the things I have. I just think about how much more $ I would have. So good on you for being picky!!!

    • It’s definitely the most well-made dress out of the pile. I was thinking fancy brunch ;) Now who on earth is going to go fancy brunching with me…hmmm.

      I love your closet though! Or what I’ve seen of it on your blog at least.

  3. It’s so funny, but I loved the two dresses you DIDN’T get. I’m with you on empire waists, but that orange dress looked awesome on you. And too bad about the armholes and weird belt buckle on the other dress, because it had tons of potential.

    • hahahha! I really loved the color of that dress, it’s a little more red than it’s showing up in the picture. The cut just didn’t do it for me. Agreed on the other dress, the belt wasn’t a huge issue but the fit was a dealbreaker.

  4. I think that orange dress should have been purchased, MM! But the ones you did buy are also good choices. It’s funny, because as a teenager I never liked dresses (I guess I was maybe rejecting the girly-ness?) but now I love them – they are so easy! And I only need to pick one thing to wear, versus a separate top and bottom and what not. I need more dresses, too!

    • I just knew I wasn’t 100% happy with it, and the waist isn’t something I could have changed (unlike the belt on the first one). I agree, I love that slip-on-and-go aspect of them :) I’ve always loved dresses, but rarely wore them on weekdays while I was in high school, mostly just on weekends and vacations.

  5. That last dress looks amazing on you! And I agree with Larie, the orange dress looked amazing. All of them did! I have more dresses than I really should. My closet looks insane. Half of it is basics and preppy things (think gilly hicks etc) and the other half looks like Katy Perry and Alice Cooper got together, had a baby, and that baby threw up in my closet. Pinks, frills, studs, lots of black party dresses with lace. Really funky stuff. But alas, I buy too many clothes.

  6. Loved 1, 2, and 3 (1 for the fit and style, 2 for the color, and 3 for the overall cuteness!!!). My style is super simplistic as well–I wear jeans all day every day. I prefer tanks and tees that are mostly neutral (black, white, grey, etc.) so I can just throw anything together easily. Not to say I don’t like color–but the majority of my closet is jeans and neutral tees/tanks

  7. Uwahhh that white dress looks awesome! Definitely ditch that belt — I still don’t understand why people (or brands, for that matter) still use big bulky belts. The blush-pink dress looked so cute on you! But then I saw the armholes…not so cute.

    That reminds me…I needa go dress shopping soon.

    • ahahah uwahhh? I’m going to start using that. The difference in quality between the dress and the belt was kind of depressing. Yes, you should go! Dress shopping is good for the soul.

  8. My favourites are the white Banana Republic and gray? Q dresses! I looove skater dresses, they are so good at hiding bulging tummies hahaha

  9. In the summer dresses are the best. You just throw one thing on and YOU’RE DONE. For work I wear sheath dresses like the one from Banana you got (good pick!) and during weekends I like stuff like the orange one from Ann Taylor. But I also despise empire waists so I hear you. I’m very impressed by the last pick! Nice legs. ;) ;)

  10. As I already noted, the last dress is super-hot – LOVE IT – but probably if I picked one for myself I’d go with the Banana Republic, that is SO my kind of dress! I’m also a huge dress-wearer, and opt to buy those more then pretty much anything else, which is good and bad – they’re so easy to create an outfit with, but the rest of my closet is SERIOUSLY lacking :( I think we handle shopping very similarly, as I also am pretty picky about what I wear, and my closet could use a whole lot more in it. I don’t think that’s a terrible thing though – I like to think I have mostly items that I really like than just filler, and also have a well-edited wardrobe…kinda like how I handle makeup!!

    • LOL yes I saw that! I buy a lot of (well, not a lot of, but the majority of my closet is comprised of) dresses and white button downs in different shades/cuts. I think it’s a good thing too, and then when I see something new I like, I’m able to call up every single piece in my collection because it’s tiny…and then in about 5 minutes I can gather whether or not this new piece will work with what I already have.

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