Style Stories: The Little Black Dress & the Sweater Dress

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Style Story: The Little Black Dress

We’ve all got one likely more but TLBD is one of the most important pieces to any fashionable woman’s wardrobe. My vintage sheath, St. John Knits, is very simple and basic and since I do fall into the “likely more” category of TLBD owners I thought I’d refresh it by adding black ostrich feathers, Amazon, to the hem. I ordered 2 running yards of feathers and had my tailor fold it in half then attach it at the hem so it would look full and luxurious. My long black gloves, Amazon, have a little bit of shine which looks great against the flatness of the fabric from my dress but stylistically works with the lux and whimsy of the feathers.

My stunning vintage raspberry cashmere coat with a dyed to match fox collar, Bre’-Mont, was my Mothers and it’s a total show stopper. It is what inspired me to add the feathers to my dress. I actually visualized how dreamy the movement would be of the bright pink coat, the pink fur over the black dress, the black feathers…I’ve gone with a classic mid-heel satin pump, Martinez Valero, because of it’s pure elegance. My look may be dramatic but I’m using restraint in my accessories with a chunky rhinestone bracelet, J Crew, some vintage pave’ rhinestone earrings, and a rhinestone ankle bracelet, Melinda Maria Jewelry.  Happy New Year Tomatoes!

style-tip: before you buy another black dress have a look at what you have to see if you can reinvent and elevate it.

Style Story: Don’t Sweat It

A sweater dress is the perfect “go to” item for an easy comfortable look. My bright Navy blue sweater dress, Zara, has a relaxed and a somewhat oversized fit that without the help of a few good supporting pieces, I could look like a sloppy oompaloompa…not a good look. The first thing I want to do is create balance through weight distribution. My black lug sole boots, Gisele Tune, bring some heaviness and weight downward to my feet to balance the heaviness of the dress. Whether you’re tall medium height or short like me, having as few breaks in the line of sight is always the goal and if you’re small and or plus size creating the illusion of body length is key to a great look.

My black opaque tights, Hue, together with the slim leg of my boot trick the eye to see them as one long line. My cross body bag, vintage Hermes, plays right into my balancing act with its heavy leather and hardware as well as it being oversized. To complete and elevate my look I’ve taken a vintage silk scarf, Mondi, with a polo print in shades of blue and tied it into an ascot under the turtleneck part of my dress. It’s a little extra, something, that’s innocuous enough to not draw much attention but displays just enough of an effort that’s all, STYLE. My classic aviator sunglasses, Ray Ban, complete my easy comfortable look.

style-tip: a desire for comfort does not mean we have to look sloppy. We can look effortlessly put together and chic in spite of our desire to be comfortable.

*please treat your wardrobe well. many people worked very hard to get it to you





  • Felicia Arlin

    Felicia Arlin’s work as a stylist and costume designer has been featured in print, tv, film and on the red carpet. As a 20+ year veteran designer/merchandiser in the LA/NY garment industry her work has graced the racks of every major department store and specialty chain in the country. She is passionate about helping women look and feel confident no matter their age, shape or socioeconomic status. Her hope is to empower other women by sharing some of the things she’s learned along the way to better cultivate and express their own individual and ageless style.

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