Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 5

This is the last week of my marvelous maxi dress series. It has been fun, and good for me to pull these beauties out of my closet, and think about how to wear them. Let's face it, most of us will reach for the same pieces over and over, because we want things to be easy. I am finding that growth as a person does not happen by doing everything the same way. Sometimes you need to do something differently for your brain's sake, even if it is something as simple as starting your washing routine on the opposite side of your body. With these maxi dresses the easy way is to just throw them on, after all most maxi dresses can pretty much stand alone, but taking the time to think about adding a fun belt, fancy jewelry, the right shoes or a statement bag can take the outfit from boring to bold. 

This last dress is one of the very first maxi dresses I bought years ago. It is Sonoma brand. As I have mentioned before, I don't wear dresses very much, as I am more a jeans kind of girl, but I do like to have options and when I saw this particular dress, I thought the pattern and color combo perfect for summer and the empire waist hides many a bulge. I am showing you two ways to style this piece. 

Look 1 - Casual

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

For the first look, I simply threw on my  black Mossimo shrug, a pair of beaded MIx-It thongs, a gold and silver necklace, charm bracelet, and carried my woven bag. 

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

I know what they say about horizontal stripes that hit at the hips, but you know what? I don't really care. Ha!

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous Maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

Look 2 - Dressy

For the second look, I decided to do a bit of print mixing by removing the black shrug and adding an elegant, floral, rectangular scarf that serves as a wrap. I swapped out the casual thongs for a pair of Kenneth Cole - Reaction, patent leather wedge heeled sandals and exchanged the jewelry and bag for something a bit fancier. 

Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous Maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress
Marvelous maxis - black and white dress

Just a few simple changes can take your look from every day to date night. Here are the outfits side by side 

I hope you enjoyed this series on the maxi dress. It might be fun to revisit these in the fall and see how I can style them for colder weather. What do you think? Is that something you would like to see? I love hearing from you.

Be sure to leave some love in the comments box. My comments box disappeared last week for some reason, but the next day it was back, so if you ever have an issue and want to leave a comment, just wait 24 hours and try again. Technology!

I've included a few shopping links just for fun. These are affiliate links, but all opinions are my own. 

Have a great day.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 4

If you are just joining me on the blog, this is week four of my Marvelous Maxis series, where I am looking at various maxi dresses and how to style them. The first week I styled a dress with a fun fluttery bohemian vibe (Week 1), the second week revolved around a comfortable blue and red number (Week 2), and last week I wore my Christopher and Banks dress with a columnar skirt (Week 3). You can click on each of the weeks to view the other posts. 

This week's post returns to a simpler maxi dress with a tank top bodice and straight skirt. This is a tee shirt type knit which pulls on and off just as easily. The waist is gathered elastic. This dress has no bells or whistles and most often I would not pull this out if I wanted to get dressed up. This simple black number says beach and lounge wear all over it. Of course that made me curious to see if I could actually dress it up.

Marvelous Maxis - black knit maxi

I really have no idea what I am doing with my face. Just being goofy, I guess. Now that I am looking at this, I wish I would have tied the gray shrug higher up on my waist. The dress is more baggy by nature, so leaving the shrug more baggy, just makes the whole outfit look frumpy. There's that word again! Ha, ha.

Marvelous Maxis - black tee dress

Yes, my little photo bomber was still around for these photos, since these were all shot on the same day. To dress this up, I put on the gray, sheer shrug. I added some jewelry with bling, a sparkly clutch and my flat, thong sandals with sparkles. 

Marvelous maxis - black tee dress
Marvelous maxis - black tee dress
Marvelous maxis - black tee dress
Marvelous maxis - black tee dress

A simple black maxi like this could be a versatile piece to have in your wardrobe, but as I talked about last week finding a dress that fits well and looks good on you is worth paying a little extra for. I may try to make a few adjustments on this dress to make it more wearable. I feel that it is too long and I had some issues with the top being to loose and bulging in a few places. 

Marvelous maxis - black tee dress

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this outfit. Leave me your ideas on how to style a maxi dress like this.

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Have a great day!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 3

Here we are again, taking another look at why maxi dresses are one of the funnest summer staples you can add to your closet. It really doesn't matter if you are short or tall, narrow or wide, there is a maxi dress out there that will look fabulous on you. My BFF back in NY mentioned that she has a hard time finding maxi dresses that are not too long. She is petite, and so often maxi dresses are sweeping the floor, even on people over 5'5". I have a few suggestions. 

1. Search stores that have a regular petite's section.

Macy's, Penney's, Christopher & Banks and Talbots all cater to petites. You can also read this article by InStyle, which lists 35 other retailers that have petite offerings. If you are a plus size girl check out stores like Catherines, dressbarn or Eloquii. All of these stores have a nice selection of maxis and good return policies, so if you order it online, try it on and still don't like it you can send it back or just return it to a store nearby. 

2. Find the one that fits.

Maxi dresses are not just about length. Find a dress that feels comfortable all over. In the heat of the summer, the last thing you want is to wear a dress that is pinching the love handles and gaping at the "girls". Try dresses on. I mean lots of dresses! Sure it is work to shop, but you only really need one or two good maxi dresses to get you through the summer. Shop online and try on at home, then you can take your time trying on and have the option of listening to music while drinking a tall glass of iced tea.

3. If the perfect maxi is too long, have it hemmed.

If you find the dress that fits perfectly, but don't like that it is dragging on the floor have it hemmed up, either by doing it yourself or taking it to a tailor or seamstress. A good seamstress won't charge that much for a hem. 

4. Instead of a maxi, look for a midi or tea length dress. 

If you are still concerned about length, try shopping for a mid length or tea length dress. These usually fall at mid-calf or just above the ankles. You will still get the coverage and the ease of a dress, but won't have to be fearful of tripping over the hem.

I hope that helps, for those of you who might be having issues with the length of many maxi dresses. I'll include a few shopping links at the end with a few petite and plus size maxi dress offerings. 

As you will see, my maxi dress this week is shorter than the last two. I got this simple navy number from Christopher & Banks a few years ago. I need to add something here. When I say a few years ago, that means I can't remember how long ago I got it, but it has been hanging in my closet for a while. Ha, ha. It is scary how fast time goes by. My husband has a much better memory than me and he also remembers dates and years better than me. I'm often shaking my head thinking, "Wow! Has it already been that long?"

Marvelous maxis - navy dress

I couldn't resist throwing this black and white photo in. I love black and white pics and whenever my daughter posts black and whites from photo shoots, I am always drawn to them.

You can see this dress has a straight or columnar type skirt. It reminds me of something worn during the ancient Greek or Roman period. 

Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress

I decided to dress this up, just a touch, with my silver accessories. The necklace is from Charming Charlie, while the bag and belt are thrifted. The gladiator type sandals are old and No Boundaries brand. 

Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress

This maxi is so easy to throw on and I don't have to worry about shape wear, slips or hose. The material is a medium weight knit and is basically wrinkle free. 

The beauty of a columnar type skirt is that you get coverage without adding bulk. If you are bigger on the bottom, like I am, usually sizing up helps keep the skirt from being too tight. However, trying things on is always the best way to find what fits and what doesn't. For another look at columnar type skirts, take a look at my Marvelous Maxis post from last summer on skirts. This one is specifically about straight skirts

Here are a few more photos just for fun! I can't help but put a plug in for my talented daughters. If you live in the Toledo area and need a photographer, I would recommend Rebecca Trumbull Photography. She not only does my fashion photography, she shoots pets, weddings, high school seniors, commercial photography and manages social media accounts. My younger daughter, Rachel, not only produced my silly photo bomber, but she is an amazing make up artist. She is not currently a practicing MUA, but if you follow her on IG you can see what products she recommends. 

Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress
Marvelous maxis - navy blue dress
Marvelous maxis - navy blue dress

And this is me at the end of the day! Ha, ha. 

Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress

What did you think of this dress? I love to hear from you. I have learned so many new things from other bloggers and from all my wonderful followers who take the time to comment. I know life is busy, believe me! Your comments are appreciated and do help my blog to grow. I do not actively seek out collaborations or advertisers, just because I am very busy, so I rely on my followers to let others know about my blog. Your input helps me to become a better blogger. 

Marvelous Maxis - navy blue dress

I've included a few shopping links, just for fun. These are affiliate links. If you click on a link, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through one of the links on my sight, I get a little commission. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Makeup Rachel Christensen

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my weekly faith post, and Thursday for another Old Becomes New column. 

Have a great week.

Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 2

I wasn't intending to take last week off from the blog, but that is the way things turned out. On Monday we left for Indiana to meet my husband's Aunt and Uncle from Wisconsin. We have been trying to meet up for several years now and it finally worked out. We met in a small Amish town called Shipshewana. This little town is known for its flea market which runs through the summer and into October. During the warm weeks of summer this peaceful Amish community turns into a busy metropolis with mobs of people, cars and the familiar black buggies. 

We spent two nights in our pop up and discovered that it leaks. Ha, ha. Of course our luck continues as it rained every day we were gone! What is it with the rain lately? Is it rainy in your part of the country? This spring and now summer we seem to be having more days of rain and clouds than days of sun. However, even with the rain, we had a great time. Our days were spent shopping and eating and our evenings spent in our relatives' lovely motor home playing cards. 

This week's outfit features a  maxi dress that I bought a few season's ago at Kohl's. I have never worn it! I love the colors, the empire waist and the easy, comfort that this dress allows, but for some reason, I just don't seem to reach for it. Once again, I decided to feature it on the blog as a way to style it and give me ideas as to how to wear it. 

Marvelous maxis - red and blue dress

The weather has been unusually indecisive this summer so I knew the sleeveless top may not be warm enough for certain situations, whether, just the cooler temps or air conditioning, so I added a dark wash chambray button up.

Marvelous Maxis - blue and red dress

I tied the shirt to give it a casual flavor. You can also see I chose a blue metal and bead cross, and a red bracelet for my jewelry. 

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

I wore my Comfort Plus wedge slip on sandals. I've had these for a long time and got them at a thrift store. They are easy to get on and off and very comfortable. 

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

I also thought it would be fun to add my MixIt straw hat and my oversized Sonoma tote bag for a casual, summer, beach vibe. This is an outfit I would wear to the beach. It would be easy to slip my sandals off so I could get my feet in the water. The large tote offers plenty of room for a book, sun screen, keys, sunglasses and a towel, while the hat offers additional sun protection.

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

The day we took these photos I had come to help my daughter with her packing. She, her hubby and their dog are officially in their new home. On this day I had my grandson with me, so here are a few of his photo bombing shots. Beatrice was happy to photobomb as well. 

Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress
Marvelous Maxis - red and blue dress

He's such a ham!!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you have  maxi dresses in your closet? How do you like to wear them? As always I love to hear from you. Remember to check back on your comments, because I always try to respond to your input. 

I've included a few shopping links, just to give you ideas of what is out there. If you click on a link, I get a few cents because these links are through an affiliate program. Believe me, I have not made enough to warrant them even sending me a check, so I won't be quitting my day job, but every click does help. Ha, ha. All opinions are my own. 

Have a good week. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Marvelous Maxis - The Dress Edition - Week 1

Last summer I did a series called Marvelous Maxis. In that series I focused on the maxi skirt, which is a wonderful year round staple in many women's closets. You can revisit those posts by clicking on the title of each: Pleasantly Pleated, Playing It Straight, Wearable White, and A+ A-lines, This year I wanted to revisit the maxi idea, but instead of skirts, take a long lean look at the maxi dress. 

Today's featured dress is a new purchase from Nordstrom Rack. For Mother's Day my daughters gave me a few gift cards. They know how much I love to shop! When my hubby and I were on vacation we discovered a Nordstrom Rack near the hotel we were staying in and we stopped in to see what I could find. I found this fabulous floor length maxi dress with a country bohemian vibe. 

Marvelous Maxis  - Bohemian maxi dress

What immediately caught my eye was the colorful eclectic pattern. When I pulled the dress off the rack, I fell in love with the silky light weight fabric, the ruffles on the sleeves and the crocheted details on the sleeves and bodice. 

Marvelous maxis - bohemian maxi dress

The waist falls at my natural waistline and for this post, I used one of my daughters fun belts to further accentuate the dress waistline. 

Marvelous maxis - bohemian maxi dress

The neckline is scooped with a tie detail. I chose to leave it tied, but you could wear it open as well for a little more casual, sexy look. 

The bodice and the top half of the skirt are lined with an ivory slip type lining, so no need to wear a slip underneath this sheer colorful fabric.

Marvelous Maxis - bohemian maxi dress

With so much going on in the pattern of the dress, I kept my jewelry extremely simple. This is a plain velvet choker, but you could also do a string of pearls or beads or a few shorter gold or silver chains. 

Marvelous Maxis - Bohemian dress

My daughter and I got to laughing, because in all the shots up until this point my purse was facing the wrong direction. Many bags you can carry either way, but some have details on one side and are more simple on the other side. This is the side I wanted to have showing, so we were amused when I finally realized it was facing the wrong direction. I went for my mustard yellow Elle tote, to bring out the yellow in the dress. That's the beauty of this dress. There are so many accessory options to choose from because of all the fabulous colors.

Marvelous Maxis - bohemian dress

Due to the length of the dress, I opted for a wedge heel. These coppery slip on Croft and Barrow sandals were perfect.

I added the black and white photos because I am a big fan of black and white. It allows the eye to appreciate the textures and depths without the distraction of bold colors. 

I am excited to have found this fun dress and it will be great piece for spring, summer and fall. The colors will adapt well to the seasonal changes of fall and I can make it warmer by adding tights or leggings underneath and jackets or sweaters on the top. 

I've included a few shopping options, but there are a slew of maxi dress options on line and in the stores right now. If you have time, do a little looking. You might find something you like. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Have a great day.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots

Awesome Accessories - A Spring Bag

I love purses, just like many of you love shoes or jewelry. I love it all, really! I just have to try to curb my buying for two reasons. I don't have that much money and I don't have that much room. It is a good thing that I live in a small house and that our income is not that of a Hollywood star or NFL player. Ha, ha. 

A fun purse can make an outfit even more interesting. Last summer I did a whole post on styling an outfit around a bag. The idea was inspired by Janeane of Designing From my Closet. You can see my original post here and her original post here. The thought is, if we can plan an outfit around a jacket, a pair of shoes or a scarf, why not plan an outfit around a bag. There are so many colorful, interesting bags out there, so why not make one the focal point of your outfit. 

I would first like to show you the bag, then I'll show you the whole outfit. 

floral bag

Of all the places to find a bag, I got this cute little clutch on a Barnes and Nobel Bookstore clearance table. In all honesty I think it is supposed to be a case for writing instruments and other school type supplies, although B & N also sells Vera Bradley bags and wallets, so I guess this could have been an actual clutch. My thought is, there is plenty of room for a phone, wallet and a few other necessary items, so it makes a perfect spring bag. It even has a wristlet handle in case you need your hands free. Here is a look at the pretty pink lining.

floral bag

Obviously, there are plenty of colors to chose from to plan an outfit. I decided to use the green in keeping with the Greenery color from Pantone and add my favorite color purple. 

floral bag, easter outfit

I took these on Sunday, which was a beautiful day, but the wind was blowing, so my dress got a bit billowy. This is a maxi dress that I have styled before, in my Denim Days series last summer. The top and half of the skirt are lined. The sweater is a simple cardigan and the purple sash which matches perfectly was something I kept from one of my daughter's old pj's or bathrobes. 

floral bag, easter outfit

Sorry that my toes aren't painted yet! I thought these sandals were the perfect foot wear for this type of outfit. Plus they have a purple tinge to them!

floral bag, easter outfit

Here you can see the top of the dress without the sweater. I do have to wear a strapless bra with this one, although these days you could wear a natural colored bra with straps and no one would think twice. Or wear a bright colored bra and you'll be trending. I prefer the old fashioned no-bra strap look. 

floral bag, easter outfit

For my jewelry I threw on this three layered gold necklace with beads that border on purple. The three layers all connect in the back. It is an easy way to provide visual interest to an outfit and with all three strands connecting in the back you don't have to worry about each individual one sliding out of place. 

floral bag, easter outfit

Here is a quick close up of the sandals. These are your basic thongs, but I slip into them, then zip them up the back. Part of what drew me to them was the bling!

floral bag, easter outfit

I hope this inspires you to think about that fun bag that is in your closet. You know the one. You loved the colors and how it looked, but now you don't know what to do with it. Plan your outfit around it. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.

Have a blessed Easter!

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style.  Friday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, JoLynne Shane in the Fashion Friday link up, and Laurie of Vanity and Me. Saturday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. 

Chasing Away the Winter Blues - Week 4

In this series I have been sharing with you, some of the ways I try to beat the winter blues. January, February and even into March can be a long, cold and dark time for many people. As a fashion blogger, I wanted to come up with a few outfit ideas that might help to lift our spirits. I also posted about getting out for a day, just to have some fun and a change of scenery. This week, I thought, why not create an outfit using a summer item. 

The focus behind picking a summer piece to wear in the winter, is to see and handle and remember a warmer, lovelier time when you might have worn the piece and to wrap yourself in that memory, to help you get through the long winter days.

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

This maxi is actually a dress. I threw a crew neck pullover sweater over the top, to give me a layer of warmth.

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

My daughter kindly pointed out, that next time, I may want to use a dress that didn't have a horizontal line right around the hips and butt. She's right! Now that I have that out of the way, I do like the color of this dress. Since it is more of a fair weather palette I decided to add a touch of maroon, to bring us back to the reality that it is still January.

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

I also added a black jacket that has tiny white polka dots on it. You can better see the dots on the jacket below. I didn't even realize until we were taking pictures that the black flowers on the dress also have tiny white polka dots on them. Go figure! 

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

I really like the maroon color with this outfit. 

chasing away the winter blues - summer maxi dress

Due to the thin fabric of the dress, I decided to wear a pair of black leggings underneath. I also wore my black ankle boots. It is still winter after all, even if we don't have snow. 

I'm wondering if you have a summer maxi dress in your closet. Would you style it for winter? How would you add layers of warmth to that summer clothing piece to make it wearable in the colder weather? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. 

If you haven't already subscribed to my blog and would like to receive weekly emails when I post new things, just go to the subscribe box and click.

Check back on Thursday to see what colors I am combining in my Color Crash Course column. Have a great day.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, and Shelbee in the Spread the Kindness link up. Wednesday linking up with The Perfect Storm. Thursday linking up with Nicole of High Latitude Style. Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, JoLynne Shane in the Fashion Friday Link Up, and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge