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Louisa Ellis Series: Vacation Style

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:

1. Promenading

                                                                    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.

2. After-the-Beach

                                  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.

3. Dinner with Family

                             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.
4. Wedding Guest

                                                      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.


  1. Oh my, I love that lace dress! I can never find lace dresses that fit me at all, and it drives me crazy because they're so beautiful.

    San Diego hat! That's where I'm from :)

  2. I'm loving the hat, too--and the balance of skin in that blue top.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Darlene! The hat was all Melissa's idea (She's a genius.); I'm not usually that daring with accessories. I adore this top too - perfect amount of skin for me!

  4. I love your dinner with the family outfit! I'm trying to get away from living in jeans and Ts (because they're the easiest things to find that fit), and this is both classy.

    (Found you on Twitter, and hope you don't mind if I pin this - I need visual reminders before I go shop!).

  5. Thanks for commenting. That outfit is definitely a winner! I loved the look of the white pants.

    Feel free to pin away! I'm on Pinterest too and I'm so addicted.

  6. I've had great luck with Bailey 44 -- Anthropologie also stocks several of their pieces and sometimes they just are spot on for full busts! LOVE Dinner w/ the Fam ensemble; that hat! Great finds!!

  7. Completely, Bailey 44 pieces were consistently stellar for me. The Dinner outfit was the fan favorite - everyone seems to love it! Thanks for commenting, Sarah.

  8. [...] you tell I’m into white pants after my Louisa Ellis series? The ones in these pictures desperately need the expert hands of a tailor. I also vaguely remember [...]


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