Ask Kimmie | Polka Dots & Ruched Frocks

When I worked on my beauty shoot last week, I met with my two models/friends Jenice and Candyce a few days prior to the shoot to pull looks they could wear from their closet. The beauty looks I tested out are for regular women, not celebrities, so I wanted them to wear clothing that they would be comfortable in and ACTUALLY wear, as opposed to an overly stylized look that they would never wear in real life. I mean, I love a fun editorial as much as the next person however, I’m all about taking what you have and remixing it in ways so that you can maximize your wardrobe.
At Jenice’s, she had a dilemma with two dresses she’d never worn:
A pretty black and white polka dot halter dress with a flair skirt that she really wasn’t sure how to wear,

and a pale pink ruched number that she needed more style options for.

I had her bring both dresses with her to the studio with her so we could play around.
Dress 1: Polka Dot Halter Dress
With this dress, she was ready to give it away but I quickly snatched it out of her recycle pile. Polka dots are on trend this season, and a halter style is a classic silhouette, so this was a dress that Jenice could get many miles out of. 

I topped it with a white Banana Republic blazer (pop the color and push sleeves up to keep it cool) that she’d recently purchased as well. Jenice is a schoolteacher, so adding the blazer makes it appropriate for work, while also allowing her to wear it on these pre-fall days when there’s a slight chill in the air. For shoes, I went with a basic black platform pump (you can never go wrong with it).
With her accessories, she can keep the look classic (think diamond stud earrings and a men’s watch), or funk it up with some chunky bangles.
Alternative Apparel: The dress comes with a yellow sash, but she can switch it (and the white blazer) out with similar options in red, teal, or pink.
Dress 2: Ruched Party Dress
On its own, it’s sexy and sweet, but she wanted a look that was a little more edgy while still being feminine.

A black motorcycle jacket that she’d thrifted while on a trip in Atlanta. I added a studded black belt to give her waist definition, but not take away from the dress’ overall look. My stye inspiration was Ashley Olsen, so I knew the combination would work well together.  

For shoes she had two options: her classic black pump (again) or a pair of peeptoe heels by Bebe (these were used in another shoot but that didn’t stop her from trying to take them, lol).  

A boot or full on bootie would weigh this look down.
For accessories, she can add a large cocktail ring and a cuff or completely edge it out with layers of black rosary necklaces.
Alternative Apparel: Jenice can switch the black jacket and shoes out with a tan/caramel jacket and cutout heels.
By putting together pieces she already owned in new ways, we were able to create looks that are modern, on trend, but most importantly, still reflective of HER personal style!
Got a style or shopping question? Email me at  Include your city, and pictures (if needed). Your questions may be featured on the blog 🙂
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