Tuesday, August 16, 2016

{ PERSONAL STYLE } THE LITTLE NAVY DRESS...


There's something about a good sale that tends to bring out the crazy in all of us, am I right? Suddenly all rationality goes out the window because this deal is too good to pass up. Days later you find yourself face-to-face with the guy from UPS, unsure just what is in that little brown box you're signing for. You rip it open, pull back the tissue and tada—wait, what?

I do fashion things for a living, guys, and I still can't stop myself from making irrational sale purchases. The above Elizabeth and James dress is one such piece, and it has hung in my closet—tags on—for months. A long-sleeve mini dress? When does one wear such an oxymoronic thing? 

The answer, it turns out, is lunch at The Maidstone in East Hampton on a sunny Monday. New York City's humidity takes on a particularly ugly quality in August, but about 90 miles East, out towards the tip of Long Island, cool breezes and swaths of lush green grass provide sweet relief—and the perfect setting for frolicking around in said impulse purchase. I grasped that opportunity with both bell sleeves and held on tight.

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The bell sleeve trend blown up this summer, and perhaps that's why I was so keen to add this little Elizabeth and James number to my Shopbop cart all those woeful months ago. I think I had dreams of trotting off to brunch in the West Village and strolling arm-in-arm with some tall, dark and handsome man on a balmy spring evening—this improbable mix of short and long being just the thing for just that moment. Well spring came and went and Mr. T, D and H is still MIA, so... 

Here we are! I unearthed this little navy dress last week and decided it was perfect for a fantasy come to life: A Monday spent out of city and mostly on the beach. But before Meghan, Bekka and I took to the ocean, we took a quick tour of the gorgeous and wildly eclectic Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton. After peeking behind guest room doors and ogling the many claw foot tubs, we sat in the hotel's casual, shady and utterly blissful backyard for lunch.

Now I'm sort of obsessed with this dress, and can't wait for things to cool down a bit so I can wear it in the city. I love how it looks paired with these Steve Madden sandals which—spoiler alert—I literally cannot stop wearing. Not unlike the magic Forever 21 dress I wrote about for InStyle, these shoes do it all: work, weddings, dates, lunch adventures on Long Island... You get the idea. They're incredibly comfortable and come in four colors, so I think I'm going to get the tan ones next. (At just $80, how could I not?)


How cute is Meghan? I think we need to do more photo shoots together, no? You can see her post about our outing here, but meanwhile I'm just going to keep talking about myself. I've decided that while this particular dress is wonderfully impractical and therefore *special* — I am actually quite drawn to the idea of the little navy dress in general. Deep, dark blue feels just a touch more casual when you need it to, but it's also just as wearable as black. 

If you're curious about the rest of my outfit deets, I'm wearing Celine sunglasses, a simple collar necklace like this and you can just barely see my favorite Julie Vos cuff peeking out from my sleeve

On that note, I am sad to report that due to my delay in figuring out how and when to wear this dress (I blame the lack of Mr. T, D and H), it has sold out. However, I did my due diligence and scoured the Internet to find you a selection of cool and pretty navy mini dresses that you will have no trouble figuring out how to wear immediately. So, sorry—and also, you're welcome!

// SHOP MY 9 FAVORITE LITTLE NAVY DRESSES BELOW //

Photography: Bekka Palmer

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