Before I continue on with this post, three things:
- Yes, we did win the Toast of Music City Contest for Best Blog and we are thrilled! It was equally thrilling to be in the top 3 with the powerhouses of Section303 and Nashvillest.
- Our site is getting a MAJOR overhaul this weekend. Elizabeth, Terry Bailey of Bailey Graphic Design, and I have been working tirelessly and we are all oh-so-tired. But, we are ready and excited to show off the new blog. Check back and let us know your thoughts!
- If today is your first day to visit, welcome. We cover all topics relating to style: home & garden, the arts, city happenings, fashion, food & entertaining, gifts, travel and health & beauty. Our categories will be far more obvious with the overhaul this weekend.
Now, back to our post for today. It’s Friday, so you know it’s all about Fashion:
A good friend sent me a question on packing for her Italian get-away. Now, Italy is really one to fret over in the packing dept as they are sooooo stylish. Italians spend a larger percentage of their earnings on clothing and accessories than any other country in the world. AND, my sweet friend would be traveling with a high profile couple…meaning that the other lady in the foursome would have her bags packed by a personal stylist. Talk about pressure!
Anyway, the reason I tell you this background is because it really made me think long and hard about our summer wardrobes and what I would do to ensure daily style, with not many clothes to choose from (i.e. walking around in Italy for 2 weeks but only wanting to bring one suitcase.). After making list upon list, I boiled it down to one basic item: the dress. I had that Aha! moment when I realized that for summer, more than any other month, a closet with a few great dresses really could get you through any situation. So, my advice to my friend was this: pack 3-4 dresses that can be rolled up. Have them be dresses that have the versatility of day to evening. Pack a couple scarves and cotton cardigans. A couple great shoes that are stylish and comfortable. A great pair for dinners out. Plus, in Italy, you’ll want to shop, so don’t load yourself down with the clothes you are hauling around from the get-go. While I’m featuring some patterned dresses here today, I would suggest solid colors for travel to Italy or long travels where you don’t want to pack much.
I suggested shopping at two stores that would guarantee the look and ease she was wanting: Athleta and www.jmclaughlin.com. Lots of other stores have great packable dresses as well. But, when pressed for time, these two places have such a high probability of scoring, that they should be your first stop.
I’ve already featured two J McLaughlin dresses in this post and I’m about to show you a 3rd. Why are these so great? Well here’s why: the fabric was modeled after a French swimwear line. Think of the softest most luxurious swimsuit you have ever felt and know that this material is better. It is breathable on hot days and super easy to pack. Plus the fabric is thick enough to drape in the most flattering way, while concealing flaws, and yet because of this swimsuit material, it won’t stifle you in the oppressive heat and humidity we are having. Better yet, with a simple hand wash or gentle cycle and a drip dry (again, perfect for travel), it will look brand new.
There are several more styles to choose from at the store including a stretch cotton dress, called the Harbor Dress (runs $99-$165), which I’ve mentioned before as I’m a huge fan. Hands down, if you want some dresses, and ones that are easy to travel with, head to J McLaughlin, in the Hill Center.
As a side note, they have lots of other pieces made from this same material. They have tons of tops and some pants made out of it. Isn’t great to have clothes that are just as stylish as they are comfortable?
Athelta. I love this catalog. I have a black dress, called Sizzle from Athleta, which I wear ALL THE TIME and would love to be able to put on my mannequin and take a picture of for you. BUT, I left it in North Carolina and won’t get it back until next week. So, I have to use the catalog picture. But, here is the history on this dress:
My husband Jay loves this catalog probably more than I do. When one arrives in the mail, he makes sure that I see it. “See anything you like?” he asks. Well, last year he ordered me this Sizzle Dress without me knowing. This is highly unusual. I love it and I love him. I have thrown this dress on after a crazy tubing expedition, worn it to the grocery store with flip flops, thrown a cardigan on with those flip flops for a put-together late afternoon jaunt to the movie theater, AND worn it to a rehearsal dinner with heals, a cardigan and great jewelry. Impressive, no? Perfect for travel.
Here it is:
And to prove to you the versatility of the Athleta dresses, for any nay sayers in the midst, here is a picture of me LAST NIGHT getting ready to leave for the Toast of Music City Awards. My daughter was my date, and all her clothes were purchased Thursday at Snap Kids (they are having a huge sale and I just love that store. The dress she has on can also be a skirt. See, I’m training her on versatility, too!).
I actually changed my dress in the last minute before leaving as while the Kokomo dress has a heavily padded bra (think padded swimsuit type thing), I just felt it made my boobs hang weird. I know everyone is looking at the picture again. Believe me that this is not the dresses fault, ha!, and I quickly changed so that I could wear a bra and thus hold my head, and chest, high. But, for someone else, you can see that you can wear this daytime and nighttime with ease. And, it’s super easy to care for. It will not hide bumps and bulges though. For that, stick with the Sizzle Dress, or the Little Travel Dress:
So, embrace the dress and only buy ones that you LOVE. I think then you, too, will have your Aha! moment. Dresses are easy. Easy, breezy dresses.