Casual black dress and Part 2 of Aug. Challenge Frock Week ETA: Another dotty dress

1/2: Angie's blog post was timely as I dressed up her casual black dress ensemble for a funeral. EF black dress, layered gold necklaces, Me Too low heeled patent pumps, Ted Baker clutch, Citron Santa Monica silk jacket, EF obi belt.
3-5: a more casual version of the ensemble and variations worn the same day. A thrifted Express black dress, white denm vest added, EF linen cardi and Zulu bead necklaces.
6/7: J Jill aqua dress
8-11: the other side of the reversible dress fron Part 1. 11 is a close up of a Peruvian necklace from a friend. This day, for Angie, I tried something different with my hair, putting in rollers after washing it for more volume.
12: pink EF dress. Worn casually with espadrilles
13: Chambray dress worn over faded rolled jeans.
For Angie and part of my challenge, some of these dress outfits have no black. On the other hand you see that I have several black dresses. They are workhorses and establish a basic to change with toppers and accessories.
Please tell me very honestly what you think looks good and what isn't working. I'd love your ideas for styling too. For me the biggest fail in this group is the pink dress outfit because I don't like it with the espadrilles. I didn't get a photo but later changed into my sapphire blue dress of the same shape and the black ankle-strap shoes. I also felt that I had too much going on in #2. I think a scarf would have been better than the gold necklaces but it wS too hot.

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  • Aida replied 3 years ago

    Wow Joy, you've got some great dresses. The black dress ensembles are all quite smart; really like the obi belt added in #2, that could be fun sans jacket with some casual metallic sandals. LOVE the cheeky white denim vest with the dress as in #4. Aqua is lovely with your hair. Have you tried that one with white accents instead of the muted taupe? As a card-carrying member of Team Color and Team Pattern I am digging the colorful printed dress in #8-11; and print mixing with the animal flats in #10 is right up my alley :D The pink in #12 is also brilliant with your hair! And #13 is my most favorite of the lot. If I had a way to copycat this outfit I soooo would. My kind of denim-on-denim!

    What a FABULOUS week!

  • Beth Ann replied 3 years ago

    Holy cow!  Love these, Joy!

    I try to try on my funeral and concert black capsules at least once a year, and I find the summer months the toughest to make these looks work.  Your are very respectful without being like a shroud -- it's possible to "drape" oneself in black and look rather costumed, I think.  You look is simple, but elegantly modern.

    Aqua is one of favorite summer shades, and the crazy print side of your dress is stunning -- you must enjoy it for travel.  The last look has a bit of the "artist in her loft" look -- terrific.

    All keepers!

  • Word Lily replied 3 years ago

    Gah, I love this side of that reversible dress even more than I did the other side! 

    The obi belt is a really nice touch for the black dress outfit (as is the white vest). 

    They're all good! 

  • carter replied 3 years ago

    Wow! You are killing the dress challenge! I need a reversible dress. I've never heard of one, and now I must have one;-). My faves are 1, 3, 8 and 13.

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Thankyou for looking and for your comments!
    Aida, I love your ideas. I have not tried the aqua dress with white accents. In fact, I need some more modern white shoes, a HEWI for me.
    Beth Ann, I know what you mean about the summer funeral capsule. This unlined silk jacket was perfect for a church service but was too warm outside. I also, for summer, have an older jacket that is black eyelet sort of lace and unlined. I like that it is breezy and adds texture to a black outfit.
    Word Lily, this side of the reversible dress is my favorite too. I reach for the obi belt all the time. It is suede leather on one side and smooth leather with a bit of shine on the other.
    Carter, I found the reversible dress at a consignment shop. I know that TravelSmith carries reversible clothes but their sizing is too big for me. The best part about the dress I have is that it hangs so well and is cool on a hot day . The dress in 3 was a Good Will find that has been a workhorse for me.

  • Firecracker replied 3 years ago

    Well, if I could come up with any suggestions for improvement, I'd offer them. These are all great outfits, Joy. I think you look so elegant in all of the black dress outfits. I really like the casual version with the white vest, too.
    Your denim on denim outfit is so fresh and current looking--love that combo.
    I don't see the pink dress and espadrilles as a fail. I wondered about adding some more excitement, say, with the gorgeous, intriguing Peruvian necklace.
    I'm blown away by how well you wear that wild print (8-11). I'm used to seeing you in more subdued palettes lately, and that look really won me over as a fun change. Surprisingly it does not overwhelm you.

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Sharan, thank you for looking at all these and for your kind words.
    I will have to try the Peruvian necklace with the pink dress. I wear very little bright pink so styling this dress is difficult. I wear it most with chocolate brown pointy flats and cropped cardi and sometimes a brown belt.

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    Joy, you can do no wrong. I agree with all the comments above -- you seem to wear simple elegant solids and wild pattern equally well, the aqua and the pink make your hair glow, the denim on denim is inspired, and you are rocking the dress challenge! I agree with your estimation of the espadrilles with the dress -- not quite the right footwear -- and I like Aida's idea to wear the turquoise with white. Or you could try yellow or hot pink for fun (if you have). The first outfits seem just right for a funeral. Very appropriate and respectful. 

    ETA: and I am sorry you had to dress for a funeral in the first place. ;(

  • Style Fan replied 3 years ago

    I love all of these outfits but the crazy print dress grabs my boho heart.  You look amazing in every single outfit.  No suggestions from me.  I might try the dress over skinny jeans after seeing your look.

    Love your necklace from Peru.

  • Sterling replied 3 years ago

    WOW Joy (aka my style icon).  You look amazing.  Every time I looked at a WIW, I said "this is my favorite."  Then I would view the next shot and realize "no, I like this one better."  It was impossible to say which was your best look because I loved them all so much.  

    I finally selected numbers 3-5 as my favorites, but it was hard.  I didn't even get a chance to look at your accessories, I was so focused on the dresses.  

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    You nailed it in #1, Queen Sleeveless. Simple, elegant and glorious. Killer look.

    I like #4 next. Graphic Fabess. The pattern mix in #10 is very fun. And the turquoise column of colour in #7 puts a smile on my face. Very nicely done. 

  • O replied 3 years ago

    Joy, all these outfits make me want to sing! If I must pick, I'm smitten by #1. #13 is fantastic casual outfit, I want such dress. 
    Off to check part 1 :-)

  • replied 3 years ago

    Wow! You've hit this personal challenge out of the ballpark Joy. I am loving all the iterations. You have a lovely collection of dresses.

  • unfrumped replied 3 years ago

    Jpy, you are queen of the simple, fluid dress. So chic.
    I like the ankle strap shoes with it a lot. Have you tried some of your chunkier footwear for the casualizing as well?
    Not as fond of the dark topper--I think because it's so overall dark, and it boxy's up the sleek dress. What else have you got in your bag of tricks for arty or edgy toppers?

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Thank you all so much for your comments. Angie, you know Queen Sleeveless means so much! Thank you for giving me back confidence to bare aging arms.
    Suz, these dresses show that my style and color likes are all over the place. No wonder I need a large closet. I like it all.
    I added my Saturday evening dress for this week, an old favorite Kate Spade look-alike at the time and different silhouette but more dots. Can I still wear this dress? I used to tie the belt in a big bow. That now seems too girly.

  • Word Lily replied 3 years ago

    Ooh, I really like this one, too!

  • Maneera replied 3 years ago

    Joy....You're rocking the dress challenge! 1,4,5,7 and 14 are knockouts! I think you look absolutely stunning in's one of your best outfits that I've ever seen.

    A reversible dress sounds so damn cool! It would be the perfect dress for vacations when you want to pack less but get more outfits out of them. What a brilliant idea!

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Thank you, Maneera. #14 has been an orphan this summer, maybe just not the right occasions to wear it. Does anyone have any ideas for toppers for this dress?... Actually any of the dresses to carry them into fall?
    I enjoyed the ease of wearing dresses this week. Now on to a week of summer skirts, which will be more complicated.

  • celia replied 3 years ago

    I love all your looks. I really have no suggestions because you seem to accessorize your beautiful dresses just right.

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    Thumbs up on the Kate Spade dress. Pretty and Playful. 

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    Thank you Celia and Angie. I hope the last dress doesn't look too girlish on me. It can strike just the right note sometimes, at least in my mind.

  • Sal replied 3 years ago

    Wow, I am late to this.  You have such lovely dresses Joy and wear them with panache.

    I only have the same suggestion as you wrt shoes with the pink dress.  How about the ones you are wearing with the spotted dress.

    I love your denim look, and the teal, spots and black are wonderful shapes on you.

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