Tag Archives: maxi dress

Return of the Maxi Dress

My maxi dress is making another appearance. Some things, despite not costing a lot, really stand the test of time. I’ve worn this in cooler temps with a blazer, and in the heat of summer. This time, it’s the Goldilocks phenomenon: Not too hot or too cold. It’s just right. So I wore my dress with a light, cotton cardigan.

maxi and cardi

Dress: Forever 21
Cardigan: Best Kept Secret
Sandals: Swapped
Ring: Best Kept Secret

green and blue

I’m glad the weather is nice enough for maxi dresses and sandals again. In fact, we’ve had a pretty dry June in Seattle–a rare thing! They say summer starts on July 5th around here.

simple summer dress

My favorite part about wearing simple pieces is that I can pull out all the stops with accessories. This oversize ring caught my eye when I was in the store where I bought the cardi. I had to have it (it was only $10). The petals match my cardigan and the cloth center matches my dress. Perfect!


What are your favorite summer pieces?

I’ve joined Monday Bloom and Visible Monday today. See what all the others are wearing!


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Layered Black Maxi Dress

It’s Throwback Thursday so I thought I’d share this set of pictures from an outfit post I prepared a few months ago and never posted. The weather got nice and I looked out of season. Well, the weather’s cooled off and this is a look I’ll reproduce for fall.

olive and black

Dress: Lulu’s
Cardigan: Sample sale
Faux leather belt: Ross Dress for Less
Boots: Fluevog
Necklace: Vendor on eBay
Watch: Timex
Bracelets: Gifted

I recently sold these suede Fluevog boots–and with the money I made, I bought a pair of faux leather booties by Cri de Coeur. Even Steven. And aligned to my animal-free clothing pledge!

black maxi

I’ve worn this maxi before, but then I forgot about it. So I’m making a point to get it back in rotation. There are so many ways to wear a black dress. Just last week I wore a sweater over it so it looked like a skirt.

matching accessories

My belt has a brass-tone buckle so I took the opportunity to wear my brass dragonfly necklace and brass-tone watch. And of course I got a small arm party going by adding the bracelets my brother bought for me. Aw, how sweet!

detail of accessories

I’ve joined Style Elixir, Fashion Informant, and Passion for Fashion for group link-ups today. Won’t you see what the others are wearing?


Filed under Fashion

Polka Dots for a Picnic

When the weather’s nice, people in Seattle take advantage of it–you never know how long the sun will stay out. On a recent sunny day, hubby and I packed a picnic basket full of goodies and headed over to Gasworks Park.

picnic and polka dots

T-shirt: Tahari via consignment
Dress (worn as skirt): Swapped
Shoes: Payless
Sunglasses: Old Navy
Purse: Crystalyn Kae
Basket: Santa Fe Farmers Market

Gasworks is a great location. From there you can see South Lake Union and the Seattle skyline. The Space Needle is visible behind me on the right. Everywhere we looked, people were kayaking, playing Frisbee, flying kites–it was really fun to watch the world go by.


We set up our picnic on a hill near a guy with an easel. He was painting landscape of the Seattle skyline. From this spot, we could take in the scenery (natural and otherwise–I like the urban feel of the gasworks. If you don’t, a simple turn to the left or right will have you looking at water, trees and hills).

picnic goodies

I cheated a bit because I went to Whole Foods and bought prepackaged goodies instead of making everything myself. We even sneaked a bottle of wine with us. We’re adults! Besides, it was a rosé and looked like juice.

I bought vegan potato salad (made with egg-free nayonaise), a quinoa salad, avocado rolls, diced fresh fruit, and the best wrap ever! It was made with faux chicken strips by a company called Beyond Meat. Delicious, healthy, and good for the chickens!

picnic spread

We actually ate too much. So we loafed around for a bit (I had on sunscreen–don’t worry) before wandering back to our car. On the way, I found a neat mosaic. Each of the metal designs was fabricated from kids’ drawings. How cool would it have been to see your childhood drawings permanently installed in a floor mosaic?


I’ve joined Not Dead Yet for Visible Monday and Color Blind for Thrifters Anonymous. Check out what all the others are wearing today!


Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Healthy Living, Thrifty

Hawaiian Getaway

Mr. Jean of all Trades and I took a quick Hawaiian vacation recently. We left Seattle on a Thursday morning and came back on Monday. It was a long-long weekend. Probably too short in retrospect, but any time away is better than none.

It’s a five-hour flight to Honolulu, and that gave us the afternoon to wander through Waikiki, the busy, touristy part of the city. I was thrilled when The Pacific Beach Hotel upgraded us to an ocean-view room. Those little dots in the water are surfers waiting to catch a wave. The water seemed calm but every now and then, they’d ride a wave to the shore.

view from the room

Hotels in Waikiki are pricy so I picked a less expensive, no-frills place to stay. It was clean and close to everything. That’s all we needed. This picture is of the hotel next door.

Waikiki hotel

The beach was beautiful and it was a treat to see palm trees again.


The last time I saw any was in Florida last year, when I met up with my parents who were staying in Pompano Beach.

Evening in Waikiki

We savored the sunset and watched the ships along the horizon. It was hard to believe we’d been in Seattle that morning.


When the sun lowered, the glow was gone.


But it stayed light later than it does in Seattle this time of year.

pre-valentines' day dinner

Best of all, it stayed warm! We wandered the beach before heading off for a Valentine’s Day dinner.

I picked up this maxi dress at a clothing exchange this past fall. I jokingly said that I didn’t have anywhere to wear it but I’d take it for my next trip to Hawaii (not knowing I’d be heading there so soon)! We ate in an Italian restaurant where I found a delicious vegan pasta dish and a drink made with sparkling wine and hibiscus juice. Welcome to paradise!

Next up is our first full day on Oahu: Exploring Honolulu.


Filed under Architecture, Fashion, Photography, Travel

Navy Maxi Dress and Organic Top

I’m getting more wear out of my dark blue maxi dress. You might have seen me style it for winter. Here’s the full dress, sans blazer. I wore it out for drinks with friends.

maxi dress

Maxi dress: Forever 21
Necklace: Swapped
Cuff: Claire’s
Sandals: Payless

I added a long necklace to keep the vertical theme going. It’s elongating. Earlier in the day, I wore this dress with a loose t-shirt over it, to change up the look.

t-shirt and dress

This isn’t just a plain shirt though. There’s a neat silkscreened pattern on the back of the shoulder.

top detail

The top is from Wildlife Works, a wonderful, sustainable company that employs workers in Kenya. By being gainfully employed in textiles, they don’t have to survive by killing wildlife or working in industries responsible for deforestation. Wildlife works has established sanctuaries for endangered animals, and has helped reduce poaching. They’ve created schools, funded healthcare, and helped improve agriculture practices.


Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Thrifty

Replacing My Long-lost Black Maxi Dress

Years ago, when maxi dresses were simply called “long dresses,” I had a short-sleeved, long, black dress. It was a cotton jersey knit (t-shirt material) and it was so comfy. Yet it made me look pulled together and stylish. I wore it with statement necklaces, cardis, blazers, scarves (not all at the same time). This one dress was so versatile. And then I gave it away.

I’ve regretted it ever since. I’m sure if I still had it, I’d see that it’s not the right fit or length or something. But in my mind, it was perfect. It was surprisingly hard to find a replacement. I’d looked high and low for a (reasonably priced) substitute, to no avail. Finally, I saw one at Lulu’s (and I wasn’t even looking).

Lulu’s also had the dress in burnt orange. So tempting. I thought I’d start with the neutral though.

black dress

tartan and leopard accessories

Dress: Lulu’s
Jacket: Macy’s
Belt: Forever 21
Purse: Thrifted
Boots: Prada

Yes, you read that right. The boots are Prada. But I didn’t pay $600 for them. I found them a few years ago on eBay for $50. I’d really wanted a pair of Prada’s microfiber ankle boots and I was thrilled to find a nearly new pair for less than 10% of the original price.

Also, you might not see it, but the belt is leopard and my jacket is plaid, which means I’ve successfully mixed patterns again! I have trouble taking the pattern-mixing plunge and I’m happy with baby steps.


Filed under Fashion

Let the Sun Shine: Styling a maxi dress

Here I am on the way to happy hour with my friend, Dianne. I just loved how the sun came out at the perfect moment. I had to soak up a few rays before I left my place. I’m not a sun lover, but a minute of warmth does feel nice.

dress and scarf

navy and turquoise

Maxi: Forever 21
Scarf: Walgreens
Sandals: Payless
Bracelet: Street vendor in Santa Fe

I wore this maxi dress in the spring with a blazer and boots. Now, I’m wearing it in summer with sandals and a pashmina-type scarf (it gets cool after sunset in Seattle; I can easily wear this as a wrap if I need to). Best of all, the entire outfit was less than $65 (including the jewelry)

Maxi dresses and skirts look so elegant, and they are also comfortable. I highly recommend adding a maxi dress or skirt to your wardrobe. Do you have one in rotation? How do you style it?


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

Dress Up, Dress Down: Maxi Dress

Getting bang for my buck is important, and so is packing light. I took a look at a maxi dress in my closet and decided to dress it up and down to see how many looks I could create. By adding different pieces with this dress, I stretch my fashion dollar but I also lighten my suitcase. If you’re going away for a long weekend, a dress like this could keep you going for days. Throw in a pair of jeans, some white capris, and you’ll be mixing and matching like a pro.

I’ll start with the dress. It’s light cotton, was under $30, and is a great poolside dress or beach coverup.

beach look

Dress: Fred Meyer’s
Clutch: Crystalyn Kae
Sunglasses: Target
Sandals: Naturalizer

For an afternoon of sightseeing or shopping, pick one of the colors in the dress and find a T-shirt in that shade. I tucked the top of the dress into the waistband, which gave me less bulk under my top and added length to my now-skirt.

shopping and sightseeing

T-shirt: H&M
Bag: Shiraleah
Earrings: Claire’s
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

Time for lunch? Find another color in the dress and pick a tank top and blazer to match. The light cotton blazer is great for summer. It’s cool in air-conditioned restaurants. Eating on a patio? Ditch the blazer and rock the tank.

lunch date

Blazer: Forever 21
Tank: Charlotte Ruche
Necklace: Santa Fe street vendor
Belt: Roxy
Shoes: Payless

Fancy dinner in a dress from Freddy’s? You bet! I added a wrap for a more elegant look. Choose your shoes and accessories to fit the venue.

dinner and drinks

Wrap: Michael Stars
Earrings: Claire’s
Purse: Shiraleah
Shoes: Payless

Most of the items I used to change the look of the maxi dress are very affordable. The lunchtime heels were on sale for $3 at Payless. The blazer was $20. The T-shirt was $5. With all of these pieces (and jeans and a pair of capris), you’d have loads of mixable options for travel. How would you style a maxi?


Filed under Dress Up Dress Down, Fashion, Thrifty

Days 19 to 21

Day 19: It’s finally nice enough to wear this Edun dress on its own (I wore it on day 6 as a tunic). It’s really comfortable, loose, and airy. I think this will be terrific no matter how hot it gets. I wore my nude heels for an elongating look and matched my bag to my shoes. I don’t usually do that, but the bag picked up the creamy tones that run through dress.

day 19

Dress: Edun
Purse: Shiraleah
Shoes: Nine West
Necklace: Premier Designs

Day 20: I’m wearing the polka dot dress today, and not as a skirt like I did on day 16. It’s made of a stretchy polyester and is really comfortable. I’m not sure if it has a 50s vibe or a French feel; either way, I like it. It was a thrift store find and it’s great for travel (wrinkle-free). I threw on a scarf/shawl type cover-up because it was a bit cool.

day 20

Dress: Thrifted
Wrap: Michael Stars
Shoes: Flexx
Bracelet: Claire’s

Day 21: Here’s the maxi from day 9. You can see why I didn’t wear it like this to the office. It’s a bit revealing, but for the Fourth of July, it seemed perfect. A relaxing outfit for a relaxing day. My sweet husband knows I’m not a sun lover so he found a shady park for us under Interstate 5. I hope all of my American readers had a good one! Here’s to independence!

day 21

Dress: Fred Meyer’s
Clutch: Crystalyn Kae
Earrings: Claire’s
Sunglasses: Convenience store
Sandals: Naturalizer


Filed under 30 for 30, Fashion

Days 7 to 9

Day 7: I chose white jeans today because they’re so summery. I love the crispness of white and how it makes the other colors I’m wearing really stand out. White is nice because they look dressier than blue jeans, especially in a trouser cut. And since they’re thicker than a trouser, they’re not see-through. Always a plus.

day 7

Top: Macy’s
Jeans: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Aerosoles
Earrings: Target
Bracelets: Claire’s

Day 8: Today really felt like summer. It was almost 80 degrees. I wore the same shoes as yesterday, but paired them with a reversible skirt. Wait until you see it next week! I feel like I’m cheating on the 30 for 30. This twofer is a great travel piece. It’s one-size-fits-all because it has an adjustable snap waistband. I wore this lower on my hips so it wouldn’t be too short for work.

day 8

T-shirt: Victoria’s Secret
Skirt: Zand Amsterdam
Scarf: DIY (I made it)
Shoes: Aerosoles
Sunglasses: Convenience store in Santa Fe
Purse: Vintage Frye via thrifted
Bracelets: Claire’s

Day 9: Tennis anyone? I was on my way to work when I saw this miniature tennis court in a local park. Of course I didn’t play a game. I was alone. With a coffee. Wearing a maxi dress. I bought the dress at Fred Meyer, which is mostly a grocery store. I find that amusing. I styled my dress as a skirt by wearing a t-shirt over it. The dress is really low-cut and not office-appropriate. But it will be fine on the beach later in the challenge.

day 9

T-shirt: H&M
Jacket: Betsey Johnson via thrifted
Dress: Fred Meyer
Belt: Steve Madden
Sandals: Naturalizer
Earrings: DIY (and I have a spare pair for sale)


Filed under 30 for 30, Fashion