For the Love of Dresses

"Summer Dresses" "Style" "Spring dresses"

The secret to dressing well is keeping it simple. OK, actually that is just the secret to my style, but hey, let’s overgeneralize for effect. During the cold months my uniform is a black turtleneck sweater and jeans. I’ll wear the occasional skirt or dress for speaking engagements, meetings or Church. But most days I’m channeling the simple (boring) style that Steve Jobs was so fond of.

When Spring comes I toss aside my jeans and black turtlenecks and fall in love with dresses all over again. I think classic dresses are so wearable for everyday life and am asked often, “Alli, why are you so dressed up?” Dresses can be perfectly casual and easy to wear everyday and today is a perfect day to debunk two common myths about dresses. Ready? Let’s do it!

1) Dresses are expensive. I can’t just go buy a closet full of dresses!

Beautiful dresses can be super pricey and I’m learning to save up for a new well tailored dress and treat myself each Summer. As long as I can keep the boys’ sticky ice cream covered fingers from using the skirt as a napkin, they will last forever. But buying dresses doesn’t have to break the budget.

I first fell in love with dresses when I lived in Narragansett, RI. Across the bridge on Newport Island was where I learned that thrift stores were treasure boxes. I found everything from Yves Saint Laurent to the Gap. When we lived outside Miami I was obsessed with finding Lily Pulitzer dresses at my local Goodwill. Even here in Nashville, I can almost always find cute dresses that someone bought and decided to give away. Sure, I smell like mothballs after I shop, but I leave with an armload of dresses and never pay more than 5$ each. I keep planning on getting some of my favorite dresses made in multiple fabrics, but life keeps getting in the way. One day…

2) I’m too active to wear dresses. I would ruin them with stains or flash people all day long. And who would have them dry cleaned all the time?

Ok, I may get raked over the coals for this one, but I never dry clean. I wash everything in those mesh lingerie bags in my washer. I never ever ever ever put any dresses in the dryer, I’m not that crazy. So far, I’ve never ruined a dress by washing it.

I understand being worried about ruining dresses. That is where the joy of thrifting comes in. When you buy your dress for $3, you never worry about it. I wear expensive dresses that I picked up for a few dollars everywhere. It’s way fun.

You know how little girls wear bloomers under their dresses? That inspired me to wear dresses in a more functional way. I almost never wear a dress without some bike shorts or shorts I bought when I was shopping for the workouts I was going to start doing. (yeah, let’s not talk about that…) If I need to do a cartwheel, climb a tree or change a tire- I won’t flash anyone because I’m wearing shorts. Now sure, I don’t do any of those things, but if I needed to, I’m prepared.

Below are some of my favorite dresses I have my eye on. I’m already picturing them being worm while doing cartwheels and changing a tire. Enjoy!

  • Navy with a pop of red summer dress 1 of 10
    Navy with a pop of red summer dress
    When I see this dress, I think fireworks. Perfect for the Fourth of July...and it's so hot, I'm sure it will create a few fireworks for whomever is wearing it.
  • Classic dress in a perfect red 2 of 10
    Classic dress in a perfect red
    This is the perfect little red dress for a spring garden party. See those little butterflies flying around the hem? Adorable.
  • Yellow spring dress with perfect floral details. 3 of 10
    Yellow spring dress with perfect floral details.
    If this golden dress doesn't make you feel like twirling in a field (or on a sidewalk, or at a PTA meeting, or just about anywhere), maybe twirling just isn't in your DNA.
  • Is there a more perfect green classic dress? I think not. 🙂 4 of 10
    Is there a more perfect green classic dress? I think not. :)
    You can't be a wallflower if you're wearing this dress with sweet little rosettes on the neckline.
  • A classic navy summer dress is always a recipe for looking fabulous 5 of 10
    A classic navy summer dress is always a recipe for looking fabulous
    This may be a no-nonsense looking dress in navy, but it still has sass.
  • Grey dress and funky flat? I say yes! 6 of 10
    Grey dress and funky flat? I say yes!
    This charcoal grey dress. Pearls. Funky flats. Perfection for a lunch date.
  • Just invest in a great strapless bra for this one. Seriously. 🙂 7 of 10
    Just invest in a great strapless bra for this one. Seriously. :)
    Sometimes a girl just needs a halter-neck long dress. This one fits the bill to a T.
  • This dress is so perfect 8 of 10
    This dress is so perfect
    They won't know what hit them when you arrive in this zippy yellow number. But they'll know you mean business.
  • Picnic anyone? 9 of 10
    Picnic anyone?
    This sweet frock just makes me want to whip up a lunch, pack it into a basket, and skip to the park for an impromptu picnic. Or grab a latte and catch up on emails. One of the two.
  • Swoon. 10 of 10
    Somehow this red dress manages to be simple and sweet but still hint a wee bit at saucy.


What do you think? Dresses as everyday wear or special occasions? I’d love to hear what you have to say!


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