MyShingle Fashion: When Black Dresses Get A Little Boring…

I’m with you ladies – I love a little black dress. (A little black work-appropriate dress; it’s not like I’m recommending you wear your cocktail dresses to the office.) Black dresses are incredibly versatile and can be worn any different number of ways, and if you’ve got a couple that are knee-length, possibly with sleeves of some sort, so much the better. They’re great for those mornings when you’ve got big, important, fancy things to do during the day, but through no fault of your own, you’re running a little late.

When I’m running late I usually blame the backyard neighbors. They raise chickens and have noisy children and like to hammer on the roof at six in the morning and scream at their three dogs in baby-talk at midnight. It’s been throwing off my sleeping patterns for months. I’d complain to the Town Council about the chickens, since the coop is within 25 feet of a residence that is not that of the owner, and that’s a violation of the town code, but I don’t want to be a jerk.

But on mornings when clucky chickens and loose shingles on the roof and noisy children have you scrambling to get out the door on time, the black dress is quite the time-saver. Pull it on, toss on a cardigan or a blazer or a scarf with cute shoes and you’re done. It’s fool-proof!

Sometimes, though, black dresses get a little boring. I know, it’s almost blasphemous to say that. But … sometimes you just need a change. And that’s why I love grey dresses. They are generally just as versatile as black dresses in terms of what colors you can pair them with, and they’re a nice change from the same old black. Let’s take a look:

Calvin Klein Banded Sheath Dress ………. $80.10
Paisley Cardigan ………. $88
Bandolino Yelson Pump in Black ………. $49.95

I picked this grey banded sleeveless sheath dress from Bluefly, which I’ve always found to be a great place to buy dresses. They’ve got stuff like this that’s appropriate for work, and they’ve got casual dresses, and dresses that are fancy enough to be worn out at night or to weddings, and high-end things, too, like pretty Pucci dresses.

(I love Pucci. The prints, iconic in their own right, remind me of my art projects as a kid, like when I’d do that thing with swirling those thin oil paints over a tray of water with a toothpick and then carefully placing a sheet of paper there to catch the colors and the swirls. I … did strange art projects as a child.)

But the dress is, of course, sleeveless, and I always have to throw in something extra when it comes to sleeveless tops or dresses. So I went with this blue, black, white, and somewhat grey cardigan from White House | Black Market.

The shoes were easy enough – I went with black patent pumps with a low 2.5″ heel. Is it bad that I think 2.5″ is a small heel? It’s not a kitten heel, which can be about 2″ at most to still be considered kitten, but still. 2.5″ is nothing … compared to the 4-5″ heels I like. In my defense, though, I am short. Very short. Just a shade over 5′, so I feel like I can occasionally get away with ridiculously high heels. But 2.5″ is a good height for shoes that look professional and fancy at work, work well with dresses like this one, and still let you walk around without falling and breaking your neck.

And everything comes together for just a little over $200. In the future I’ll put together a more cost-effective outfit for new associates who may not have that much to spend on a single outfit, even though I don’t think $200 is too far out there, generally speaking. I do, after all, try to hit different price ranges and find things that will work for all sorts of different budgets.