Striped Dress, Two Ways

The purchasing of new clothing items happens way more frequently than it should, however, the returning of said purchases occurs just as frequently.  Why?  If I don’t immediately wear the item or can’t figure out how to wear it at least two different ways, it goes into the return pile and back to the store.  Recently I purchased this pink and orange striped dress from Forever 21 even though it had a high return potential due to the colors resembling a watermelon, the tight material, and the appropriateness of this dress anywhere besides the beach.  Fortunately once I got home, I realized this dress could easily resemble a t-shirt with the addition of a skirt and the tightness could be downplayed by layering a loose button-up over the top.  I think it’s a keeper.  Which look do your prefer?  Dressy/professional or casual/bohemian?  Any other styling suggestions for this dress?

239 thoughts on “Striped Dress, Two Ways

  1. Oooo that’s a tough one. I like both on you. Dressy for work and casual for weekend (and an excuse to schedule a trip to the beach!). Love your thought or “rule” on having 2 ways to wear it or it gets returned…I’m going to keep that in mind for my closet!

  2. Wow, both looks look good! You really made that dress work for you–makes me think I need to revisit my own closet and look for new potential in old clothes. :)

  3. I LOVE the first look. It is spectacular. The second one is cute, makes me think of a beach coverup or something. Where did you get your necklace? I’ve been coveting the one from J. Crew but it is too expensive for me!

  4. Very cute! I love the big thick stripes. I think this would be really cute with a cropped trench, white blazer, or some other light spring jacket as well. Love what you did with the turquoise statement necklace and the skirt!

    • ooooohhh I LOVE the idea of pairing it with a white blazer to make it even more springy! I will definitely have to try that combination here very soon! Just need to find a cute white blazer first! Any suggestions?

      • Yes! I found mine at Nordstrom Rack for an awesome price! It’s very tailored and crisp looking.
        Also, I have found some at Ann Taylor/LOFT on the sale racks (I rarely venture elsewhere in a store but the sale racks). Happy shopping! I look forward to seeing how it turns out.

    • The best part is that every item I am wearing is less than $50 (the dress was $20) so it is all extremely reasonable and can be restyled to work with so many different outfits! What items are on your shopping list for this summer?!

  5. You are a beautiful woman, as for the outfit, well. It fits you well as a t-shirt, but that’s about it.. The colors (as least in the photo) are too strong for you. For dressy it would need a black or navy skirt and black heels. Shirt over? No. Doesn’t work as a dress at all. I would cut four inches off the bottom and wear it to the beach with bright green shorts or you could cut a bit at the neck and arms to give it some looseness and wear it with a cute bright thong to bed. The necklace is too much.

    I know, killjoy. But take my word for it, I have the credentials. I will confess I myself wear sweats and a coat over my bathrobe to walk the dog, but that is the priviliege of middle-age. The coat is black, so really, I should only wear the white bathrobe underneath it, but the pale pink is more comfortable. What can I tell you. Have a good time, that’s all that matters. Keep up the pretty smile.

  6. These are both great looks! I can’t pick which one is better because they’re both so great for different occasions. I love the solutions you came up with, too…I think I will try them out for myself :)

  7. Nice dress but i prefer the dressy/professional look it suits you and somewhat reminds me of my mom on a day when she has errands that force her to drag us along to; only you don’t look so tired lol

  8. I like the first look, mainly because the orange and pink of the dress look amazing with that turquoise jewelry, and all three contrast nicely with the white skirt. You have great style!

  9. I like the second one with the jacket though you could have a third look by wearing it over pants or tights and belting it. The first has turned your dress into a top but hey, they all work and look great.

  10. Both look good – love the little colour accents on nails and rings/bracelets that you added for the boho stylee.
    Am I alone in glancing at my screen and thinking the title of this post is “Stupid Dress, Two Ways” ??? Maybe I need to go to bed now… my eyes are obviously tired! LOL

  11. I like it both ways and could see it be worn either depending on where you are going. One is dressy casual and the other laid-back casual.
    Good Work.
    As we are heading into winter here I would wear it with a sweater, tights and boots.

  12. The first look is super creative! I love what you did with that dress! It would be perfect for a business meeting or just a regular day. You could also try a black skirt that is maybe more flowing, that is my style but maybe you could try it? I also really liked your second outfit, but I think it would work better if you were at the beach instead of an outfit for just around town.

    • The cropped jacket was originally my first thought with this outfit but I wanted to cover up a little more of my butt and hips so I switched to the longer denim shirt. Thanks for the butt compliment, I’m always self conscious about its large size! :)

  13. Love both these looks – I try not to buy something unles there is at least three and possibly five ways to wear it. For this dress you could alsotry wearing it as a skirt – tuck the top bit in and perhaps wear with a thick tan belt, cripswhite shirt and tan wedges? I too am OBSESSED with stipes – as seen here

  14. My favorite is the business/professional style. The blue necklace takes away the “watermelon” vibe and adds an extra spark of color! I really like the idea of finding two different uses for the item. I am going to remember that next time I shop. :D

  15. Love the second match so….much. You look amazing. Thanks for sharing! :) I have a friend who is having a same kind of blog with you. I am gonna recommend your post to her. Keep up the good work!

  16. Congrats on being freshly pressed. I think I now have an excuse to go shopping, due to the fact that some of my clothes are not versatile. LOL

  17. i love that dress! especially the “bohemian way”. and that’s a great rule! mine is similar: if i don’t immediately love something when i try it on, i don’t get it. i love both pairs of shoes too. where did you get them?

  18. Love this!!! Where is the gold watch from? I’m on the hunt for a new one. Although, the bangles are wonderful, the necklace is amazing, and I love the way you wore the jean shirt! It’s hard to pull off a jean shirt, but I think you did a great job: )


  19. Thanks for the tip about “at least 2 ways to wear” or it doesn’t get bought or gets taken back. Gives me a MUCH better gift-buying sense and as well I can use it for more versatility with my own clothes. Oh, and the dress looks great!

    • Me too! I usually stick to my neutral colors (black, grey, and white) but am trying to seize the color wheel this summer! Thanks for stopping by!

      P.S. I loved your “Sh!t Healthy People Say to Sick People” video. Unfortunately so ridiculous true!

    • Just checked out your blog! I hope you have fun on your European Capitals Trip! My family and I are actually headed to London this June and went to Italy last year to the majority of the places you are visiting! I’m sure you are going to love it regardless of chaperoning teenagers in a bar :) Thanks for checking out my post!

  20. I love an article of clothing you can get such versitle wear out of. I’m all about being fashionable for less so a piece like that is a must in my wardrobe. Both these looks are simply adorable. I love pink and orange together and with the turquoise necklace it makes for the perfect color blocking experience. Great Look! :)

  21. Oooh that is CUTE ! I always bypass dresses with those shapes in the store, maybe I’ll give one a second look next time. I love both, I’d be more inclined the wear the more dressy version, but both have their place. The second is perfect for weekend shopping, dog walking, barbecues. You’ve got a great eye for outfits.

  22. Super cute both ways! I like the creativity of wearing something two ways… inspires me to be more innovative with my clothing and outfits!

  23. that is a really cute dress! I love your policy of returning an item if you can’t find two ways to wear it! I always end up with a pile of stuff I never wear, but lost the receipts or can’t be bothered returning it.

  24. I liked the dressy one better, partly because the cream skirt was a great foil for the bright colours but also because I think you looked more comfortable in it. The shirt makes it a bit shapeless, although I love the shoes you’re wearing with it! Do you have a cream blazer? Because that might be an alternative ‘second look’, keeping the shape and being kind of funky-dressy. FWIW!

  25. Really nice smile and great styling! The only thing I don’t like are the colors of the dress. I don’t think that pink and orange is a good combination at all. But if the necklace and the bag on the first look are the same hue of blue it will be more stylish. Just my opinion :)

    • Both the necklace ($15) and bracelet ($9, recent) are from H&M. The necklace is no longer available at H&M but you can find a similar one for $150 at J.Crew or for $36 from Pop of Chic! Thanks for reading my post!

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