Fashion Friday: DRESS up, DRESS down, DRESS all around!

“Hi Patty! I notice that you love wearing dresses and long skirts when you travel. I’m the jeans and t-shirt type so I find skirts and dresses quite intimidating. How can I pull them off without looking like I’m going to the prom?”- Ana, Davao City

Hi Ana Banana! Yes, I just gave you a nickname even if we’ve never met! I feel you. It took awhile for me to get into the whole skirt-dress phase too. I’ve been so comfortable in my shorts and flip-flops for many years, it was hard for me to transition into wearing something extremely ladylike. When you think of dresses, you think of princesses and proms, Sunday church service or weddings. But thankfully, maxi dresses and skirts are now more acceptable as casual wear. And for the past 5 years, I’ve discovered that dresses and skirts are actually perfect for traveling!

1. When you wear separates, that’s 2 items in your luggage (top+bottom)..a dress instantly cuts that into half because a dress serves as your top+bottom in one.

2. Dresses and skirts are also very easy to pack and usually come in low maintenance and light weight fabrics which don’t wrinkle easily.

3. Dresses/Skirts are also very appropriate for any time and occasion, you can easily transition from day to night affairs without feeling under or over dressed. Unlike when wearing jeans or shorts, it automatically spells “CASUAL” which violates some dress codes in certain establishments.

4. Dresses are very versatile, it’s just a matter of playing with your accessories (belts, chains, necklaces, earrings, bags) and creating that fashion vibe you’re gunning for.

5. Any dress can be dressed up or down, but it all depends on your footwear and bags. Sounds simple right? But believe me I’ve seen girls looking overdressed and inappropriate simply because they didn’t have the right accessories to match their dress. Here’s the formula I’ve been using which is very basic:

DRESS UP: Dress+Small Bag (purse/clutch)+Strappy/Stiletto Heels
DRESS DOWN: Dress+Big Bag(hobo bag/shoulder bag/sling bag)+Flats/Wedges+Jean Jacket/Scarf/Cardigan

Dresses by Shopbop and Accessories by Chicify

6. For printed dresses, choose jewelry and accessories in solid colors. You can pick one color from the pattern (I like picking the less dominant color in the print) and use accessories that follow that color scheme. But it’s always safe to just use gold/silver earrings or a simple long necklace.

7. For solid dresses, play with contrasting accessories. If I put on an orange dress, I’d probably put on a gold necklace with a big purple or aquamarine pendant. You don’t have to be intimidated by color, be playful and experiment!:) There are no rules when it comes to color combinations!

8. Choose the right length that flatters your figure. If you’re vertically challenged, don’t shy away from maxi dresses and maxi long as you get the proportions right and accessorize properly, a maxi dress can actually give you the illusion of height. Just make sure you don’t look like you’re drowning in a sea of fabric, pick a dress that highlights your favorite features (your waist, your shoulders, your legs).

Images from Shopbop
9. Dresses are incredibly comfortable and after you get used to wearing dresses more often, you’ll start rethinking your jeans and t-shirt outfit! Especially when traveling within the metro, where it’s very hot and humid. Dresses allow your legs to breathe! 
10. If you’re not that confident yet and more of a tomboy, start with a romper first. This will give you the feel of putting on a one piece dress, but since they’re technically “shorts”it might make you less uneasy. Then gradually work your way towards wearing full skirts and dresses 🙂 If your friends make fun of you for wearing a dress, brush it off gracefully..friends will always tease you for doing something different but don’t let it get to you. It’s always nice to try something new once in a while!:) 

I’m giving away these stylish dresses from Chicify
to some Lucky Blog Readers!
Check out their new fashion finds here.
1. Click LIKE on the Facebook button and TWEET button below.
2. Follow @chicify on Twitter.
3. Send your name, your dress size and address to by November 10, 2011.

8 Responses to Fashion Friday: DRESS up, DRESS down, DRESS all around!

  1. For skinny girls, it’s easy wearing a dress. I am on the heavy side & I’m having a hard time wearing dresses. Any tips for those on the chubby side? 🙂

  2. Thanks a lot for these helpful tips, Patty! I’m also hesitant to wear dresses because I’m afraid of looking overdressed and drawing unnecessary attention to myself. And it’s true that they are more convenient when traveling because unlike jeans, they don’t take up a lot of space in the luggage. 🙂

  3. Hi patty, thanks for the tips! could you also please post samples pics of you wearing maxi dresses..pretty please? 🙂 btw, I finally joined twitter because of this..hahah!

  4. Hi Ms Patty! I have to thank you because I learned about SUELAS from your blog. I love their shoes! Allow me to share with you Cocun shoes. They’re water-proof (tried and tested!) Bought mine when they launched in Ateneo. You might like them too! Perfect for your travels 🙂