Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dear ESB: Can I combine classy and funky?

so here's my dilemma.

I want to wear some brightly colored, oversized, bordering on clunky jewelry for our upcoming june wedding.  I was looking for a very simple dress (had to seek outside help on that one too), and figured they would compliment each other.

on sunday I bought this:

(mine will be cotton, not silk, and does not have that blingy brooch at the shoulder)

I love it, and it is still very simple, but is it too much of a classy-type dress for big and bright jewelry?

(background: fashion has never been my forte. I have been known to leave the house wearing outfits that would make gay men cry. figured I'd seek outside opinion before any major faux pas are committed.)

even though the dress seems a bit formal, the wedding totally is not. it's in the mountains of new hampshire and we will be splitting our time between dancing, drinking beers, eating delicious food and playing lawn games.

I am hoping to keep the whole ensemble very casual/non-bridal like. I'm not wearing a veil, am currently on the hunt for bright yellow shoes, (which apparently also are difficult to find. I am hoping when the spring kicks in so will the colorful shoes) and am seriously thinking of hemming up the dress to mid-calf to give it that audry hepburn vintage-y feel. 

so in my mind you say "hells yeah it works! go for it!" all is right with the world and I spend the rest of the day on etsy.

but if you say "ummmmm, no." your superior fashion sense will be deferred to.

my extended family thank you in advance


show me the jewelry. etsy makes me nervous.


haven't set my heart on any one piece yet, but maybe something along the lines of these?

(both anthro)

or this?

(the green is my fav elva fields, but I don't think it's available anymore...) 

there were a few others that I know I have seen somewhere, though couldn't find, and etsy was taking too long to sort through, but that should give you a rough idea.

I hadn't been looking too specifically as I didn't want to fall in love with something, and then not have it work with the dress. (my way around that was going to be just buy it anyways and wear it every other day but the wedding. but then I would still be looking for the wedding, so problem still not solved).

anywho, does that help?


hells yeah it works! go for it!

(But you realize nothing for sale at Anthro is actually funky, right?)


  1. I love this idea. Try selecting the necklaces section of Etsy and searching for "vintage brooch"...I've seen a lot of stuff similar to that Elva Fields necklace.

  2. Love love the green necklace and think it would look great paired with your dress and yellow heels.

  3. Love it! I'm planning on wearing a simple chiffon slip/sheath dress with large chunky onyx and colored glass jewelry from Mars & Valentine.

    Also, if you hem the dress it would really show off the kicks. Love me a bride with bright heels.

  4. Love it! I think your dress is lovely, would look gorgeous either as is or hemmed and being partial to a bright chunky necklace on occasion myself, think your dress necklace combo is a good one.

    Elva Fields necklaces are utterly beautiful - get one of those - there'll be another you like. It'll be a one off and you'll wear it loads after the wedding.

    Love the thought of yellow shoes too. Worn with red lipstick perhaps?

  5. i love the teal piece on the left and think that could casual-down your dress and add the yellow to match the shoes. definitely works.

    it's manufactured-funky, but still awesome nonetheless and rocks your outfit.

  6. I wouldn't hem the dress if you are going to wear flats at any point (which, maybe you would if you are playing lawn games). I think mid-calf dresses are tricky.

    The necklaces are all very nice - although the one on the right of the two anthro ones isn't very bright.

    Another thing that will be key is getting something to be the right length with the boat-neck of the dress. You can easily length any necklace by putting in an extender. Shortening them can be a bit trickier, but can be done.

    This stuff is awesome but EXPENSIVE:

    You could also layer necklaces to get a similar effect (like, this would look cool layered with a bead necklace:

  7. Classic and funky DO mix! Check out this bride who made her own necklace and wore it with a traditional white gown:

    But the thing about accessories is that they can easily be overdone. A rule of thumb is to look in the mirror before you leave your house and remove one of your accessories. They should enhance you- not cover you up. If you have a long, slender neck and a soft and pretty décolletage, a big necklace will cover up that feature. Just something to think about.

    My opinion is to pick two of the three accessories you mentioned. Either bright shoes and a veil/hair accessory OR a big necklace and great shoes OR a different combo. All three together could possibly upstage you and that pretty dress of yours.

  8. Go for it! You obviously have better taste than you think. I'd support the dress hemming plan also I think it'll suit the jewellery more, if that makes sense.

    And send esb pics? Pls?

  9. awesome! let the shopping commence!

    and yes, anthro is not honest to goodness funky per say, but in my defense I was trying to find images covertly while my boss was either looking the other way or on the phone...

    I had seen some images of bigger, chunkier jewelry somewhere, but for the life of me I could not find them.

    nevermind...just found em thanks to hillary.
    oh, if only I had the money for the gemma redux pieces, they just rocked my world.

    (though still in love with the elva fields as well)

    and tonia, that necklace if fabulous! love the layering effect.

    any more jewelry ideas, send em my way!

    cheers buys!

  10. this one's pretty:

  11. Go for it. I vote turquoise and coral, for the record. Something like this: or this perhaps:

  12. Personally, I'm always afraid that those big chunky things will look plasticky and cheap. I love the chunky art deco style, though I don't know if you'd like it with your dress.

  13. i think some hunky-chunky mustard or green marbled bakelite would look rockin with that dress. go to some antique stores and look around -- you may find something WAAAAY cooler than anthro.

  14. I have a random idea-
    what if you look at Frida Kahlo for inspiration? Like, don't wear a demure white flower in your head but wear some fucking BIG BOLD BRIGHT FLOWERS on your head. Might give you the same effect as a chunky necklace but do double duty as a veil replacement too.

    And maybe you don't need to hem the dress short- just shorten the front to show off your shoes. This photo is good inspiration (sans crazy chick on the right:

  15. All I could think of with this dress and yellow shoes was a HUGE dripping necklace with some kind of turquoise something on it. This link won't be helpful for shopping, but it will be helpful to understand my idea: And please understand that I am in no way implying anything with the subject of the picture :)

  16. LOVE IT - especially that green necklace.
    Someone on Etsy could surely do something similar.
    BUT - I think you should cut them hem of the dress to tea-length. 50's style. Its more funky than long and your shoes will shine through.

  17. I'm with Sophia - a big ol' flower accessory in your hair. But that might just be because I have a hard time finding necklaces with the right length to flatter a boat neck

    Dont hem it. Dont touch it. Leave it. Gorgeous.

    I love 50s dresses - tea length in particular but just dont see this working at a shorter length.

    Also, you're too smart for getting it in cotton - top idea.

  19. I say hem it. Gorgeous necklaces, the first one is my favourite.

  20. LOFT (Ann Taylor) has some awesome chunky necklaces. I know, you think of Ann Taylor and you think business wear, but they hired a new fashion director at LOFT and now their jewelry kinda rules (and it affordable). Go check it out.

  21. GIANT FLOWERS. SRSLY. That would look cramazing with that dress.