Every year, my family goes on vacation to Cape Cod in the early summer. We walk on the beach, go on a whale watch, stroll through the small towns that pepper the outer Cape, and eat a ridiculous amount of fresh seafood. I end up packing the same clothes each time: denim cut-offs and v-neck t-shirts. Although there's absolutely nothing wrong with wearing those on vacation, ideally I'd like to see our family photographs one year and not look like an extra from Dazed and Confused. At Louisa Ellis, I found several outfits that would be more stylish for summer trips. Check 'em out:
Dress: Bailey 44
Confession: I've always been a little scared of maxi dresses. When I see other ladies rocking them, I thought they looked comfortable and chic. When I would try them on in stores, I ended up looking like a scary hippie or a potato sack. They never looked age appropriate either. I'd finally given up on finding anything that would work. This dress earns magical points for being both hip, mature, and flattering.
Melissa, the owner of Louisa Ellis, explained that the placement and width of the stripes are the key to my success with this dress. The thickest black section, at the waist, highlights my smaller measurement. The thinner stripes sneak along my hips while the wider ones create a column. Instead of dramatically swooping in after my knee, the whole appearance is balanced. I can see myself doing a little vacation strolling/window-shopping/lazy ice cream eating in this colorful number.
Dress: Plenty by Tracy Reese, Shoes: (my own) J.Crew Outlet
After I saw myself in this dress, it instantly reminded me of the ongoing Miss Underpinnings dialogue about "empire waists" and whether they're flattering on full busts or not. I asked Melissa what she thought and the clarification was helpful. She said a true "empire waist" cuts directly below the bust line and that she'd consider the waist on this dress to be a "higher waist", not necessarily an empire. She also said that it can be a flattering feature since it's so close to a woman's smallest measurement, but that if the cut doesn't allow for enough room, it simply ends up sitting on the bust.
Waist matters aside, the material of this dress is ridiculously comfy and the flirty open-back detail is unbeatable. It'd be a great dress for right after the beach when I'm all sunburnt and sand-y.
Hat: San Diego Hat Co., Trousers: Fabrizio Gianni, Watch: La Mer
Just like the annual whale watch, a big restaurant dinner is one of my family's vacation rituals. There's no strict dress code exactly, but I've noticed it feels more comfortable to match a beautiful surrounding with a classier ensemble. This outfit fits the bill without question! I adore the cobalt blue with the white and the blouse reveals the perfect amount of skin:
Astrid, a fellow blogger, recently commented that her go-to minimizing look was a pair of white pants or a skirt with a black top. Once she suggested it, I feel in love with the combination. I've never owned a pair of white trousers and that needs to change. I couldn't get over how classic and chic this pair was.
Dress: Bailey 44, Shoes: Earthies
LACE!!! I'm going to try my hardest to control my enthusiasm about this dress. Of all the items I tried on at Louisa Ellis, this one was probably my favorite. Even writing that makes me feel torn; it'd be like picking a favorite child. I'm considering buying this dress for a wedding I'm attending this summer (It's not technically a vacation, but it'll be the first time I see Chicago up close!). This dress feels like something I could wear forever.
This number did me in for several reasons. It's a little difficult to catch with my phone's camera, but the lace itself was gorgeous to behold. Secondly, I firmly believe this color flatters brunettes and olive/yellow-toned ladies like myself. Finally, the cut is ridiculous. The sleeves are ever-so-slightly bell shaped, the v-neck is great for my G-cups, and the midriff is nipped. The best part? There are godets, or extra panels subtly added to the bottom half, that accommodate my hips and cause a delicate flare after the waist. I had to look that term up, but now that I know what they are, I'll be on the hunt for them everywhere I shop.