• Patterned Shirtdress: Target
  • Red Jacket/Sweater: Cabi, gift from MIL
  • Black Tights: HUE
  • Black Croc Wedges: Stuart Weitzman via Bloomingdales
  • Necklace: gifted
  • Earrings: Old Navy

In the spirit of the season (and, okay, it also might be my favorite color!), I’m featuring a series of red-inspired and red-inclusive outfits this week, with hues from wine to tomato to magenta and back again. For yesterday’s “Everybody Everywear” challenge, I paired bright pink and maroon. Today, I’ve gone for perhaps a more classic combination, the stuff of cute firehouse Dalmatians and newspaper jokes: black and white and red all over.

As promised, I’ve been remixing this shirtdress, which I love for its slightly swishy swirly shape and fun, pop-art-like pattern (for some reason I seem to be collecting Target dresses that invite art-history allusions. I must miss the chics!). It’s continued to impress with its versatility, and with its surprisingly wearable shape: though I can count the number of actually-well-fitting button-ups I’ve had since puberty on one hand, the dress fits well and comfortably, with no awkward gaping or need for crazy fashion-tape experiments. I think it will work well in the spring with bare legs and fun shoes, but I like the slightly modish feel of black tights into black shoes.

This version pairs it with one of the more misunderstood pieces in my closet: this red quasi-blazer cardigan my MIL gave me a few years back. It’s the kind of piece that should be a standout in my closet: it’s my favorite shade of slightly-bluer tomato red, the collar has an interesting shape, it has a built-in belt…yet I’ve struggled to find good ways to wear it. I think that may come from one too many attempts to remix it with pants, since this version seems much more promising. It’s yet another reminder to be mindful of proportions in context: sometimes it’s not the piece itself, but what you pair it with.

Have you had a piece that you’d struggled to style for a long time that just clicked when worn a different way?

However you marked (or didn’t mark!) the occasion, I hope you all had a wonderful, affirming, love-filled February 14th. I’d give you all a big hug of thanks for all your inspiration and insight, but my arms don’t reach that far!

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  • BiblioMOMia

    Perfect with the dress–my guess is that you’ve found it problematic because of the tie at the natural waist, which could end up feeling funny with pants with a lower waist (which most pants have).  But it’s gorgeous and flattering and YOUR color–lovely!

    And why are button ups such a nightmare?