Fit and Flare Floral Frock

fashion style floral dress

Though spring florals aren’t exactly a new trend, each season they get a refreshing makeover. Whether it’s big bold watercolor florals or tiny micro print flowers, no springtime fashion would be complete without mentioning these petaled pretties. And if there was anyone who admired the natural elegance and beauty of nature’s blooms, it was Dior.

Along with flowers as his muse, Dior pioneered the “New Look” in the 1950s, which is the fit and flare silhouette we know today. A far cry from the austere minimalist look of the wartime years just the decade before, the “New Look” embraced fabric fullness and a woman’s feminine shape. With a fitted bodice and a flared out skirt, it creates a flattering outline with a retro vibe.

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fashion style spring trends floral dresses

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fashion style floral dress

I bought this gently used, fit and flare handmade house dress at one of my vintage haunts in San Francisco. I imagine that it was once worn by an elegant lady of the house. She was probably a gracious host too, coordinating the perfect dinner party for her guests.

Although time has not been kind to this handmade beauty, I bet it was in living color at a time when Americans were still watching episodes of I Love Lucy in black and white. With a touch of sheen that has lost its luster over the years and a bejeweled belt with a few missing rhinestones, I simply adore the faded violet roses blooming on geometric square tiles. They tumble about in every direction like roses thrown on stage, as if I just gave the best performance of my life.

If April showers bring May flowers, then this dress must be it.

fashion style floral dress

A Sixties Summer


I’ve had many summers I loved, but none more than the one I’m presently in.

This is my summer of love around the world. For the past few months I have been roaming away from home. Whether it is climbing a mountain, exploring a village, or eating local specialties in another country, I am fulfilling my heart’s desire of wanderlusting.

Although my surroundings are always changing, one thing remains constant: while summer has barely began, I’ve been feeling the heat for some time now. I don’t particularly like sweltering and turning brown in the sun, but I do look forward to saying aloha to my collection of summer dresses when I return home.

pashmina turned headwrap (similar) / vintage maxi (similar) / mixed bangles (similar) / Urban Outfitters sunglasses (similar) / Ecote heels (similar)


From the archives is one of my faves. This 1960s maxi begs for a fun time at a tiki bar where I can cool down over a flaming scorpion bowl. The stinger in this outfit? A head wrap in the same punchy bright fuchsia that matches the bold watercolor haze of the dress. I had a little too much fun over accessorizing the outfit, stacking on more bangles than I would normally wear. But when one channels the 1960s, one must go with a bang, or several.

This dress is definitely made for a summer of love.

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Sweater Weather

Darkness now encroaches earlier each day in the northern hemisphere thanks to daylight savings, and the weather is changing whether I like it or not. Yet I still refuse to succumb to this sweater weather. How will I transition my dress wearing ways with winter on the horizon? All hail the sweater dress as the heroine for this style conundrum!

Sweater dresses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you prefer a chunky longer version of a sweater top, a fit and flare silhouette, cable knit, or fine gauge, there’s a sweater dress for every body shape.

Try wearing a sweater dress with bare legs and a pair of heels for now – if you dare. It won’t be long until boots and tights are needed to stay cozy on a dreary winter day. It’s a cinch with a belt if you’d like.

What other dress can boast to keep you looking stylish, while staying warm and comfortable? You’ll want to wear these cozy beauties until they’re threadbare.

Sweater Dresses


1. Alfani cable knit cowl neck 2. Merona drop waist 3. Belted cowl neck  4. Calvin Klein ribbed & belted
5. Calvin Klein ribbed fit & flare 6. Jessica Simpson cable knit 7. LAmade colorblock 8. MINKPINK Chalet Girl
9. Eliza J fit & flare 10. Topshop 11. Treasure & Bond 12. Betsey Johnson plaid fit & flare

The Green Dress

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? I do not have a green thumb, but a green dress I do.

This dress was a lucky green find at Salvation Army and it has quickly become a favorite of mine to wear in the spring and summer. The solid color and simplicity of its design serves as the perfect blank canvas for me to create a styling masterpiece. Whether I choose a statement necklace, a scarf tied around the neck, or a big fancy belt, there are an infinite amount of ways to accessorize it into different looks.

The rich green color is as lush as the rolling green hills on which I had these photos taken. Indeed, this dress is fertile for a mighty garden to sprout, so I accessorized accordingly with pink floral accents. This upcycled one of a kind leather belt I often neglect, but for this dress it was a match made in heaven. And of course, the bodice of the dress wouldn’t be complete without a giant flower pin. Although there’s not a single silver bell or cockle shell on me, I still think Mary would be quite pleased.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Unless of course, you don’t own a green dress.

J.Crew cardigan (similar cardigan) / thrifted dress (similar dress) / thrifted belt (similar belt) / Natural comfort wedge shoes (similar wedge shoes)

I’m on a Boat

Although I was born and raised on the BWest Coast (the Best + West Coast!), I am a terrible swimmer, and much prefer to be sittin’ on the dock of the Bay. However, I shouldn’t let my fear of the ocean deter me from dressing for a maritime occasion.

I fell in love with this fabric when I first laid eyes on it; I waited for the perfect sewing project to turn it into something magnificent. Luckily my mom had the perfect dress pattern. Under her watchful eye, with her nagging guidance, and my patience tested, I transformed the fabric into a summery dress that’s ready to set sail. The seafaring look would not be complete without my nautical rope belt and my yellow peep toe Mary-Janes help accent the pops of yellow in the dress.

I’ll look fresh on the boat for the America’s Cup opening ceremony. Dare I say my cup runneth over with style?

home-sewn dress (similar) / U.O. belt (similar here & here) / J.Crew Mary-Janes (similar here & here) / vintage straw clutch (similar)

When in doubt, crop it out

There are just 14 days until the start of summer and I’m already experiencing hot flashes. How can I keep my cool during these heat waves? When in doubt, crop it out.

I’m not inclined to bare it all unless I’m in Vegas. However, when the temperature reaches the mid 80s, a cropped top is a perfect way stay cool and shows off a little skin without feeling too exposed. Not to mention it’s an excellent solution to get some color in your midsection, if you don’t mind a funny tan line.

My aunt was cleaning out her closet and I became the lucky recipient of her groovy 1960s two-piece dress. The openness of the sleeves is not only stylishly cute, but has a functional purpose, for it serves as a much needed ventilation to my overheating body. This photo shoot was taken in the late afternoon, with the sun beaming down on me, and not a shady spot in sight. I think I might be too hot to handle, quite literally.

Is it hot out here or is it just me?

two-piece vintage dress (similar top & skirt) / vintage heels (similar here & here)

Go Rouge

Mary wore her red dress, red dress, red dress. Mary wore her red dress all day long.

Miss Mary, you were so stylish for your time.

Red is not a color to be taken lightly; its intense hue is known to raise blood pressure and heart rate. For these reasons, red is often associated with many things, such as love and passion (Valentine’s Day/Singles Awareness Day), or good fortune and happiness (Lunar New Year), and even the fight against heart disease (Go Red for Women). February is definitely the month to go rouge in your outfits. My closet has so many pairs of red shoes and red dresses it would put the ladies of the Red Hat Society to shame.

I found this classic beauty at my monthly visit to the antique faire. Lucky for me, the dress fit wonderfully and the vendor was ready to make a deal for $15. This dress is likely from the 1960s due to the ruffle bell sleeves and is all sorts of awesome. I told you I was going to get a bit groovier, but you didn’t think it would be so soon, did you?

This dress is a whole lotta red and doesn’t need many bells and whistles especially because of its color and sleeve detail. I kept it low key with nude fishnets and low-heeled leopard pumps. Jewelry was kept to a minimum, but I did wear a feather headpiece for some added drama, and skipped my usual red lip. The dress was missing the matching red belt, so I added a black one with some hardware detail to define my waist.

Oh Henry with the green sneakers, I think I’m ready for my roses and candlelight dinner now.

Happy Lunar New Year and soon-to-be Valentine’s/Singles Awareness Day!

Red Dress

Seeing Red

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