Saturday, September 27, 2008

Need Fashion Help!!!

I mentioned on my other blog that I'm going to Beverly Hills courtesy of Suave. I'll be going to the premiere of the Glamour Reel Moments films by Courteney Cox, Demi Moore, and Kiwi Smith. Then we'll be hitting the after party at Chateau Marmont. Oo la la, right?

NO! I'm really stressing out about this trip. I mean, I'm looking forward to it and I'm really excited, but I don't know what to wear! Well there's that and the fact that I'm afraid I'll embarrass everyone by yelling out, "Hey Monica! How's Chandler and Joey? Can I buy you a cup of coffee at the Central Perk? Please! Be my friend!"

I am seriously fashion-impaired. You know, I wear jeans, t-shirts and Crocs. Yes, yes, I'm the epitome of glamor. The only good thing about my stress over this trip is the fact that I've completely forgotten about my class reunion and I'm not the least bit worried over what I'll wear there.

Being a stay-at-home mom, I've kinda, um, well, I've sort of let myself go. My daily beauty regimen is pretty much just taking a shower and putting my hair in a ponytail. Voila! Ready to go. I've never been into fashion. I've never cared about name brands. At all. I don't understand why someone would pay 4, 5, 20 times the amount of the generic brand just to have a particular name on their clothing. I'm not saying it's wrong; I just don't understand it.

For example, I had never spent more than about 20 bucks on a purse. When I got my first advance check for my book, I totally splurged and bought myself a Coach purse. Here's the thing though - I was so embarrassed for spending so much on a stupid purse, that it just sat in my room for almost 2 months before I got brave enough to use it. How lame am I?

Well I finally started using my purse and you know what? I liked it. I really did. Until yesterday when the little leather zipper pull came right off in my hand! Now I can hardly open my purse. I have to kinda push the zipper along with my finger and hope I don't pinch my skin in it.

So I went to the Coach store today and a flock of helpful sales people pounced on me asked if they could help me. I showed one of them my purse and said, "The zipper pull just completely broke off. Everyone told me this purse would last forever so I was disappointed to see it falling apart so quickly. It's not that old."
The associate said, "Oh I know it's not old. That's from the spring collection!"

"Um ok, so can it be fixed? Is this under any kind of warranty? Is it normal for it to break so quickly?"

"You'll have to get it fixed."

"OK, so do you guys fix these? Do I have to pay for it?"

"You'll have to send it out to be fixed. I've got to warn you though, it usually takes 6 - 8 weeks."

"Ugh. And you cover the repairs?"

"Well, you have to pay $20 for it. So, do you want to see any new purses?"

"Sure! Please show me some more overpriced bags that will break in a couple months." "Um no. No thanks." Thanks for your help!

So paying more for designer things doesn't always mean you're getting better quality or better service. I guess the extra money just pays for a name and I don't personally think it's worth the money just to have "Coach" written on my purse. And this is why, although there's a totally cute, hot pink bag there right now, I will SO not buy another one. Ticks me off.

This is a perfect example of why I like Suave. Why should I pay 4 times as much for shampoo sold at a salon when I can buy Suave and get the same end result? And as lazy as I am when it comes to my appearance, I have to admit that I feel a hundred times better, more confident, prettier when I do take the time to do my hair, put on make-up and dress nicely. Don't you feel like you could take on the world when you're having a good hair day? And don't you feel like a slug on those ponytail days? I know I do.

So, I'm really trying to make an effort, but I'm completely fashion-inept. When I go shopping, I see what the mannequins are wearing and then I hunt around the racks for the same items. If there are no mannequins at the store, I'm outta luck.

Here's where you come in. I'm sure I've got some readers who have a clue about fashion and I'm begging you for your opinion! I really need help! I bought a few things today, but I have no idea what goes with what? What should I wear? Pretend like I'm your paper doll (only, um, puffier) and come up with a couple outfits for me. What should I keep? What should I return to the store? What goes with what? Do I have anything doable or should I start all over?

I found this scarf-shawl thingy and I loved the variegated pink - dark rose color so I got it. I have no idea what to wear it with!

Hmmm, it's a little hard to tell how this looks from the picture, but it's a cute little black jacket. I like the short cut of it. And the sleeves don't come quite to my wrists (on purpose). What do I wear it with? Do I wear it buttoned or unbuttoned? What kind of shirt should I wear underneath it? Do I wear it with black pants? What if the blacks don't match? Why did I get this???

Or maybe this blue/green jacket would be better? It makes me eyes really green. But what on earth would I wear with this though???

Hmmm this one's kinda low cut and makes me look um, boobish. Definitely keeping this one despite the fact that I'm not a fan of purple.

I don't know what possessed me to get this one. I like pink? I don't know if I like pink on me though!

Likewise, I'm not sure what to do with this. Seriously, I feel like a dork on What Not To Wear. It's sad that a grown woman can't manage to put a couple pieces of clothing together to make an outfit that wouldn't blind a person.

I found 2 pretty black dresses that fit and are (I think) flattering on my pear shaped body.

This one comes with a little bolero jacket. Of course, I could always get a pretty wrap to go over the first one though. Hmmm, I can't decide between the 2. I like them both.

Ugh, and don't get me started on shoes!!!

Please help me! In fact, I have 4 (6packs) of Cadoozles mechanical pencils to give away to the comments with the best fashion advice for me. Cadoozles from Zebra pen are fun and funky pencils that never need sharpening. They have big erasers that work well and erase cleanly. Zebra even has an Eco division. Their eco-friendly pens use 70% post consumer waste including headlights, cell phone material and CDs. Cool, huh? So leave me a comment, help a girl out, and be entered to win one of 4 packs of Cadoozles pencils!

*****Edited***** I wasn't clear about some of my clothing choices there. I need one of the black dresses for the premier and after party. That's supposed to be fancy. I need some "casual chic" clothes for a couple other events. I'm clueless there.


My Semblance of Sanity said...

DEFINITELY the first black dress with the pink shawl!


Anonymous said...

I asked my fashionable 16 year old daughter who was sitting beside me while I read your very funny post what she thought (okay, I actually try and buy whatever the mannequin is wearing as well). She voted for the first black dress - the one with the little sheer sleeves. She called it 'very pretty'. You should wear it with the pretty pink shawl in your first photo.

The trouble with all the pretty tops and jackets is that I don't think separates will end up looking as dressy as a black dress will (safe, pretty, age-appropriate, and sexy). As for shoes I would go with a low heeled black sandal so that your feet don't give out too fast.

Enjoy your evening - I would be totally freaked out as well, but what fun as well.


BandK said...

You know what would be cute, would be the black dress with the spaghetti straps, with the rose shawl over it rather than the bolero. The splash of color with the black would be really pretty.

And treat yourself to some Jimmy Choos. If you feel ridiculous paying hundreds (thousands? I have no idea) for a Coach bag, you'll really love paying $600 for a pair of shoes, right? LOL

Anonymous said...

Do you have a dvr or On Demand programming? I would get a bunch of What Not To Wear episodes and pick and choose what they say works best for your body type. Are they snarky? God love 'em, yes. But they know what they're talking about. I walked into a store the other day and said, "I want the What Not To Wear Jeans" and the Gap guy took me right to them. Voila! Dark wash, straight leg, Not low rise jeans. Laaaaa!

Call the Suave rep and ask her opinion about what everyone else will be wearing. Cause you don't want to go red carpet glam only to find out the celebs and everyone else wore jeans and white button down shirts... you know, to "connect" with us moms. Ppppffff, right?

Remember good accessories can make an ok outfit really (sorry for the pun here) sparkle. So you could do a little black dress and infuse color with your jewelry and your shoes. Oh, the SHOES.

Realize they will be "dinner shoes." This means they will be unbelievably gorgeous (art!) that will only be comfortable for about as long as it takes to go out to dinner. But Come On - It's Beverly Hills!

One things for sure, this Midwest girl will be livin vicariously through you, and counting on the photo recap post.

More than anything though, be confident, because that's always classy, no matter what you wear.

plainprecious said...

God you are so like me and I am sorry for that!!!! I dont have any dos really but I do have a few dont's Do not wear your bathing suit as an undergarment. Do not wear socks!!! I have heard that nylons are out personally I would think your feet would sweat and stick in your shoes!!!make sure you shave your pits!! We arent in France!! I personally love the black dresses!!! Classy hope you have a great time!!! Think of me!!

Bella Modiste said...

the little black dresses are perfect! I would suggest bright shoes, say maybe red heels or flats. I think the pink and blue shirts would look pretty good under your black jacket...maybe take your jacket along to match the black to a pair of nice pants or a skirt...anyways...maybe that'll help you...
~The Bella Modiste

Jilly Bean said...

First black dress with the shawl.

Blue jacket with some nice black pants and a strappy black sandel

black jacket with a floral skirt buttoned with a bright colored shirt underneath.

Rick said...

Dawn, the only reason that I'm here is because you begged me to link over. I'm am NO source for fashion advice. I say slap on my blue jeans, and whatever blouse suits you, then go show Beverly Hills what the real world is like.

Good advice?

P.S. Put me down the the pencil contest. I use pencils

Stella said...

I have a green jacket similar to that black one. I love it! I wear it with a tank..a white tank and black pants. Usually I button two or three of the bottom buttons and leave the top open so that you can see the tank. The outfit, with a pair of black shoes- heels or dressier loafer types- looks dressy casual. I wear it to work as well as out!!

LOVE the first black dress!!

Jake said...

I can not give you any advice on the fashion stuff, but I do want some of those pencils. Almost all of the pencil sharpeners in school are broken and I need some mechanical ones.

Anne said...

I think the first black dress would be really pretty with the rose shawl. Also, any of those shirts would look great with a pair of black or charcoal gray pants (or a nice skirt) for the more casual events.

The only thing I'm not sure of is the black Jacket. I'm not a jacket gal myself, I just don't wear them. :D

You did well on your shopping excursion, all of your purchases look great!

Anonymous said...

I really like the 1st dress: those little sheer sleeves help hide the wiggles that a few excess pounds put on in places we don't notice. The pink shawl with it would be spectacular. Add similar toned shoes, and simple black earrings OR black heels and similar pink-toned jewelry. The cropped black jacket would work over about anything. Surely there's a pair of tan or red pants in your closet. (Cleaners and medium starch can make just about anything "dressy".) Add a tightish t-shirt in a matching (to the pants) color, and there you have it. I love bright colors, so the pink, while LOUD, can work. Black or grey skirt? Khaki pants? Just about anything neutral works with the colors, just use some accessories to pull the colors together. Earrings, hair clippy, shoes can pull it all together.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I won't even try - it would be the blind leading the blind. I urge you to check out Big Mama's blog and send her an urgent e-mail - she can help you.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I am the proud owner of a "pear-shaped body" also so I know just how you feel.

LOVE the little black dresses! Just adorable! I would choose the first one with the beautiful pink shaw and some pink shoes in one of the tones on the shaw.

My favorite shirt is the purple one. I'd pair that up with some simple black pants and a really interesting necklace. Also, make sure you choose some pretty shoes that are also comfy (I know they're hard to find, but it'll be worth it in the end).

Remember that we're all here waiting to hear an update and see tons of pictures when you get back. How else would this East Coast Girl ever get to visit Beverly Hills but through you????

Donna in PA :)
P.S. Where did you get the black dresses? I can NEVER find anything that cute!!!

TinaJewel said...

Wear something black....skirts or pants with those bright tops!

Harrisons said...

Because I am a big fan of "What Not to Wear", I think you need to find a practical pair of black, straight leg trouser pants. You could wear these with several of the shirts you pictured. You could probably even buy a really cute pair of black heels for the dress (which I also thought immediately that either black dress would be great with the pink shawl) and wear them with your trouser pants. Fit is everything so find some that fit very nice. Stacy and Clinton would also tell you not to be afraid to take them to a tailor if necessary. And definitely don't forget the details of some super fun jewelery. Try the website Cute jewelry for killer prices!

KraftyMommas said...

My 2 cents worth: The first dress, as everyone else agrees, with the pink wrap. Strappy heeled sandals would be spectacular in Hollywood!!
For the daytime, I would pair the black jacket with a white spaghetti strap tank, preferably with a lace trim, and silver or grey dress slacks. (I got a pair SPECTACULAR silver infused silver capris at ROSS and the fun I have with matching things to them are endless!!) which opens you up for classy silver flip flops for day, or the strappy black heels for dinner. The other 2 jackets/shirts would also mingle well with the silver pants. Or wait, maybe a silver pencil skirt?? Ohhhhhhh, that would be cool.
Gosh, Dawn, I wish I lived close so we could go shopping together. I could have so much fun mixing and matching things for your trip.
As for jewels, simple is best. Pretty much anything you choose from James Avery is classic and stunning.
I agree with one of your other readers, wear your confidence, and be proud of who you are!!! If you cannot find the *perfect* outfit, just wear your smile. IT fits you perfectly and everyone will be attracted to it.
Have fun!!!!
:0) Trevor

Jen said...

I'm currently wearing maternity clothes so my fashion sense is on hiatus. I love both black dresses with the pink shawl. Low heeled black strappy shoes would be cute with those. Maybe pick up a copy of In Style magazine. You can match the designer tips with knock offs. Good luck and have fun!

My husband is snoring and there is a cookie sprinkle under my "C" key. If you have any tips for that stuff let me know.

Sarah H said...

I really do love the first black dress, but from my experience, if you don't wear dresses all the time you're just going to be uncomfortable in it. If there's some party or event you're going to that you're only going to be there a short period of time that would definitely be my favorite.

Otherwise, I say the grey coat. Wear it with comfy black pants and a white or pastel colored (pink, yellow, blue) button down shirt. Get a simple black belt and some kitten heels and not only with you be comfortable in what you're wearing, you'll look great,

On the topic of kitten heels, I know you're always writing about how you struggle with what every normal woman struggles with. You want cute shoes, but you want to be comfortable. So I welcome you to the world of kitten heels. They are short little heels, so they make the awesome clicking noise when you walk on hard floors, they are super dressy cute in a Jackie-O sort of way and they aren't 4 inch heels.

Here's some links to some good cheep ones:

I have these in black and hot pink and I wear them almost every day to work and in jeans:

These are pointy-toed like you like:

Here's a whole mess of them at DSW:

And here's what Nordstrom's has to offer:

Hope that helps!

kirine said...

The blouses would go really well with a black skirt, or black slacks. As far as shoes go, I'd opt for some low heeled strappy pumps that are comfy. If you go with black pumps then you have 1 pair of shoes to match at least 3 outfits ;). combine that with some neutral gold toned jewelry and you'll have a classic look, which IMHO, is always chic.
~Jennifer F.

trousseau4 said...

The first little black dress with the pink shawl, strappy black shoes and fun jewelry for the formal, classy look. For the more casual look, the purple top with dressy black slacks and less dressy black shoes. Most of all hold your head up high. You are too hard on yourself. Good luck and have fun. We cannot not wait for the pictures and update.

Bec said...

I liked both black dresses, you can't go wrong with the one wardrobe essential EVERY woman should have. A little black dress. The only other advise I can give you (as I too am a pear shaped puffy person lol) Is make sure you are comfy. If you go way out of you comfort zone it will show. The boobie top and black panys with heals will look great too for the more casual events. Another tip from Trinny and Suzanna. Your pants are perfect length when they are about 2mm off the floor when wearing heals. GOODLUCK!!! and HAVE FUN!!!

Sue R said...

I was wondering if you ever figured out your color "season". Some years back, Color Me Beautiful had a system for helping women figure out what colors look good on them. They have an online test now - at . After someone helped me figure out what season I was, I bought a set of swatches, then went to thrift shops and started buying things in my colors. It helped me figure out what I liked, and I did find that certain colors really do work for me. You may already have the color part figured out. I have been much more comfortable in my own clothes choices since I did that.

The other thing I do is try to get clothes that bring more attention to the upper part of my body than the pear shaped bottom part. I'm lucky that I have a waist, even though I'm not a thin person. So I try to wear things with a bit of shape, and a nice neckline, with a necklace that goes well with the color of the top. I wear a lot of polished semiprecious stones - bought on e-bay, cheap.

Good luck with it all!

Tami said...

I am going to have to say the black dress with the spaghetti straps and the pink shawl (which I love by the way)!!! I think that would look REALLY pretty!!

Kris said...

I am no fashion person myself; however, I personally think someone looks more beautiful if they are comfortable in what they are wearing. I love the black dresses, so if one is more comfortable than the other, I say go with it. Not a pretty look to have somebody pulling and scratching!

For shoes, again, I would say comfort over ANYTHING (well, no Crocs or Birkies...); I say strappy and flashy...

Christine H. Cortlandt Manor, NY said...

I so left my comment for this under the Safety Tats Winner blog. Please check there for my idea. SOooo dumb of me. Must be the distraction of my 4 harping on me telling me the timer is going off but not doing anything about it another screaming at me that he's hungry but doesn't want anything in the house. Or the other 2 that are fighting over what they are going to watch. AND it's only 1:01 in the morning....who needs sleep????? Sorry for the dumb moment. :) Christine H Cortlandt Manor, NY

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the first black dress. You should totally wear that. It would look nice. As for the "casual chic" outfit, no offense, but I think it's a little hopeless. I kind of do like that blue/green jacket though. You could find a shirt to wear underneath, wear some black and/or tan pants, and you'll look great!
Amanda R. from WA

Kari said...

Very cute choices! I like the first black dress better, if you have to choose between the two. That first black jacket is so cute, you could wear that with either of those shirts (the blue or the pink) under it, or just a tank or a black turtleneck under it depending on the weather. That blue/green jacket is beautiful, where did you get it? I would think it needs something dressier under it, like a flat black or shiny black tank or long sleeve shirt (no collar). The pink shawl can go with anything really. You could do jeans or black pants/skirt with any of those shirts, depending on if you need dressy or casual. The blacks do not have to match to the top black. And on a swing coat like those, I would wear either all buttons closed, or just the top button. Have a great time!!

chris said...

Try the black bolero jacket with a white tank top and jeans for a happy hour-type look. Also, I'm sure you have a black v-neck tee; that would look cute with a chunky necklace.

Jeb said...

Can we get pics of you in the items to get a better idea? They look great on the hanger. Everything does. Maybe some better pointed advice can be given if you can see the "whole enchilada" to speak.

Dream of Scrappin' said...

Dawn, I love the first black dress and think it will look fab on you. The green jacket will look nice with black pants, especially flowey ones with big legs and stappy sandles. Since you are going to CA, sandles will be fine. The rest of the shirts will go nicely with black or grey tailored pants, chunky pumps or nice flats. The pink shawl will look really nice with dark jeans and a fitted t-shirt. Maybe it is something you could wear on the plane. Have a blast! You are going to look awesome! (Oh and I agree, don't pay extra for the name, buy more clothes!)

Marcia said...

you need to get a pair of Greyish, silver pants, for those boring shirts. It will dress them up. I liked the second dress better with the pink shawl, and paired with some black heels, you will do fine on the carpet.

you should contact someplace like Merle Normans in the mall and see if they can "do" your make up for that day, and splurge on getting your hair done also. I think you are beautiful now, with no make up, but you dont want to be in any magazines (by chance) and not look hollywood!

Marcia said...

ohh i forgot to mention, sandals in the fall are a nO NO!

chris said...

Also wanted to add... Wear whatever you enjoy and are comfortable in. It's not necessary to look like a socialite just because you'll be in Beverly Hills.

Hot Chica in Me said...

If there is one thing I have learned from watching What Not To Wear is that you don't match anymore and bright colors are in. I personally like the 2nd black dress. The sparkly thing on the first one is I think too thin if you are "boobish" on top. Not proportioned. sp? That is why I like the 2nd one. The sprakly is a bit wider. The pink scarf with black dress and some wild shoes. Leopard, Zebra, go for it! and for heavens sake, DO NOT match your purse to your shoes. that is so a major NO No these days! Finally, it doesn't matter what you have on if you don't feel confident in what you are wearing. If you think you look HOT, you will act it! BTW you can always google images of previous movie premiers and see what they wore.

Anonymous said...

Did you know crocs come in stylish choices...
They make a shoe called you...
Or how about these...
As for the black dress my vote is the first one. Very cute.
Not sure on the more casual without your choices of bottoms. Although I seem to remember you owning some slimming black pants. :)
Congratulations on getting to go. Can't wait to see what you decide.
Prairie Lady

Kim said...

A lurker coming out (and a SoCal one to boot) ...

Strappy black dress with the pink shawl for sure (ditch the bolero jacket). Wear a strappy black sandal with a heel (doesn't have to be high) or if you can find it a metalic sandal would be cute that would pull the rose color ... maybe beaded? I'm sorry to the previous poster, Marcia, but this is Southern California and we wear sandals year round (even in the rain) so it's definitely not a fashion no no to wear sandals in the fall. If you have a DSW Shoe Warehouse or the the like check them out .. they often have designer shoes for a lot less money. Problem is you're going to have a hard time finding any sandals in your neck of the woods this time of year I would think. Try

As for the blue/green jacket ... get a pair of shiny black dress pants. The black jacket is going to be tough to match a pair of black pants to (yes, the blacks need to match). See if you can find a pair of colored or a pinstriped pant (that would off set the black). If you find a colored dress pant then put a black tank underneath. If you by chance find a pair of black dress pants that match then put a colored (bright pink, lavendar, baby pink, blue, lime green is even in this year) tank underneath.

The "boobie" shirt ... that would look cute over jeans! :)

Good luck!! You'll do fine!! If you can you might want to ask your rep what they think most people will be wearing.

Have lots of fun!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn - I like both dresses,the first is nice with the sheer sleeves (good for the upper arm). Wear with some nice pumps or strappy sandals - maybe a fun color with a pattern, not black. Or metallic, if you have them. Some jewelry to dress it up, maybe some sparkly, dangling earrings and a necklace. Regarding the casual attire, you have a few options. The blue jacket is super cute (so is the black, but as you said, matching blacks can be a problem). I'd wear the blue jacket with a black camisole under, and black slacks or skirt - maybe a pencil/narrow skirt to show the lines of the jacket. I'd just button the top button and let the rest stay open and swing a bit. Or wear a black top/cami and slacks with the pink wrap over it. Wraps are a bit of a hassle unless you pin it together at your shoulder, with part over the front and the rest hanging down your back (loose and a bit droopy/swaggy). The purple/black print shirt is cute, also with black slacks or skirt. The black jacket would work with black (or a color) silk slacks (again with a cami under it, top button done). Black silk works because of the sheen and texture. And heels for everything, no flats! Have a great time!

Bri said...

I'd suggest one of the black dresses with the shawl and get yourself a nice sparkly brooch the hold the shawl across the shoulders.

For the casual outfits, I'd suggest the blue/green jacket with black pants and a black top. Bringing out your eyes is always a good thing.

I also suggest the purple top with black pants and a snazzy necklace.

Anonymous said...


If this was me......I would be looking towards the dress department. Casual dresses are fun to wear and you feel pretty.


Sila Lumenn said...

You and I have the same housewife wardrobe. It must be the uniform of the stay-at-home mom.

I would take the first black dress and pair it with the pink shawl for one outfit. And, how about that purple blouse you like so much with a pair of black dress pants? A fancy little black pump would work with both outfits.

Quality Chick said...

First of all, as a longterm Coach lover I am shocked that they want to charge you to fix the bag. My husband bought a wallet. It came apart twice. Both times he walked in the store and they replaced it on the spot. Something is wrong here. Try again and show them your blog. I hope they make it right. If not please post again - Coach may lose my business if they are no longer treating their customers as well as they should.
Ok - on to the clothes. I love the LBD with the sheer sleeves. So cute! And I can totally envision you in it. Also with the pink shawl. Stick to some simple black shoes.
All the tops are adorable but I love the purple. With the purple, some drapey black pants would be nice. I think the pink top would look great on you - again it is cute. I think with that you could safely go with some jeans - Lane Bryant has some great trouser jeans that are a little dressier but oh so comfy. A little heel and you are all set.
Ok - for shoes. I am personally a big investment shoe buyer (I buy good, spend a lot, keep em for years but only buy like this once or twice a year) and I have to say if you are looking for quality shoes that are comfortable buy Prada. They are the most comfortable heels I have ever owned. I can walk all day in my Pradas. Try online for great prices on Prada. Buy half size larger. For a more reasonably priced good pair of comfortable shoes - you will be in these for awile, try the Walking Company. However, these are not LBD stylish.
Ok -so suddenly I feel like we are totally BFF. Too funny. Good luck and have fun!
-Quality Chick

mushroom said...

I think a stormtrooper costume is very fasionable. You can get one here:
Think about it: You would rock the party and your kids would be proud of you (at least if they're Star Wars-Fans).
Plus: You can wear it everywhere. Sundays in church, on birthday parties, for work, as pajamas... And you're ready if one day a clone war breaks out.

Anonymous said...

Dawn - If you're more comfortable in slacks, you can never go wrong with a black pants suit styled like a tuxedo (for the fancy thing). Stick a frilly white blouse under the jacket and simple black patent leather shoes on your tootsies and you're all set. Simple, classic attire (no gaudy prints or weird colors) for the other events will serve you well beyond the events.

Brenda said...

I love both of the black dresses. Either one with the shawl would be gorgeous. I'm typing this in my jammies. What do I know?

Megryansmom said...

You're asking ME for fashion advice!!??? HAAAAAAAA, do you see what I'm wearing? Of course you don't it's a blog silly. I'm wearing bright orange jammies from Walmart, awfully stinking cute though. I dunno, I'd have to see it on you. Can't you head over to that HUGE mall over there to your west and go into one of the fancy schmancy dept stores and ask the plastic sales consultants for help. I mean it is what they get paid minimum wage for right?

Joanna said...

Okay, I was voted "Best Dressed" in high school, so I'm the right one for the job! (Of course, I've always thought some of my friends nominated me for it as a joke...uh oh, did I just say that out loud?)

In my opinion, for the premiere and after-party, I think you should go with the first black dress (the one with sleeves) and wrap yourself in that gorgeous pink shawl. I think it will look very classy, but not like you're trying too hard.

Next, your casual outfit...I love that first little black (it looks charcoal gray in the picture) jacket. It's cute and dressy enough to make the rest of your outfit look nice and classy. Now for the rest of your outfit. I think I would put that jacket with a pair of black pants, being careful to match the colors as best you can (is it gray or black?). Underneath the jacket I would put a bright color, such as bright pink (yay, you can wear pink!) or bright green (because being eco-friendly is so posh!). I'm really not one to wear heels much, but for both outfits, you should wear some cute stylish black heels, preferably HIGH heels. Good luck with that!

I can't wait to hear how it all goes! said...

The first black dress looks the best in my book. After that I don't do well picking things! Sorry and good luck! I hope you have fun at the premier. :)

Anita in Indiana

Teach said...

O where to begin.....First off, wear the second black dress, without the bolero, with silver accessories (silver shawl, silver shoes, silver purse) if LBD is the attire for the premier. Keep the green/blue jacket, pair it with a simple black tank/tee with black pants and try to find either a belt or ballet flats that match (patterns are not just ok for the shoes, but would be FABU!)Love the purple top, get a pretty "drop into the boob area necklace" throw on the multipurpose black pants and go. Throw away the pink and green/blue tops. Now. Find a pair of patterned capri pants (black and whatever color, or gray and something) to wear with the black jacket. Put something simple underneath the jacket, but for the love of all that is fashion forward, don't try to match the black....Pair high boots with the capris, and voila. And pick up a Star magazine and look at the'll feel much better after seeing what some of those people in 90210 wear..Happy Shopping!

Denise said...

Spaghetti strap dress with the rose shaw for the premiere. Then for other events on the trip pair the pretty tops with black pants or even a nicer pair of jeans. Go to someplace like Kohls and buy some nice flats. They have some really comfortable yet dressier flats right now that would look cute and would be comfortable.

Steph said...

I would wear the pink shawl with the sleeved black dress. That would be really cute.

The purple shirt would look great with some black pants. Actually, all the shirts you bought would look great with black pants. For the solid pink and blue you can pair those with the black jacket you bought.

If you have a white shirt or tank you can wear that with the pretty blue/green jacket.

amy said...

The pink pashmina- you can wear that with anything. I like wearing it with black pants or dark wash jeans and a neutral colored shirt, but not as a shawl- I think the most stylish way to wear it is as a keyhole-

I would avoid satin-y shirts and bottoms. Satin is really hard to wear well, and shows every lump and bump. If you have a satin bottom, I would recommend getting some spanx to hold everything in.

I wouldn't worry too much about blacks matching if you have something in between them. So if you wear black pants and the black swing jacket, just make sure that you have a long, colored shirt breaking it up so the blacks aren't together. Black with a pop of color is very cute as well.

I like the black dress with the borolo jacket.

As far as shoes, get a pair of cute black flats or kitten heels, and wear them the whole time. Something like:

Good luck and have fun!

Anonymous said...

Not on the fashion side but the "repair my overpriced purse" side, take your bag to a local shoe repair place and see if they can replace your pull. It might say "couch" or something instead, but it'll open your purse without causing you bodily damage and not cost you $20! Just a thought!

Cheryl said...

First black dress. THe scarf can be worn with either. If you choose the second dress, nix the bolero.

I like the pink shirt. How casual are the events? Can you put it with a nice pair of dark wash jeans? And Dawn, you have to get those feet into some sexy heals! If no jeans, then a nice pair of black pants or a black skirt. What about adding a nice black suit jacket to it.

My second choice is the Purple shirt with the same choices above.

I don't like the others, Dawn... um... too frumpy.

Have a great trip! Just be your normal bubbly self and everything will be fine!

Niki said...

I read thru the comments.. and I agree 100% with what Jilly bean said.. But make sure you get some good looking (ie; painful) shoes!
Good luck and have a blast! Say Hi to Monica for me!

Anonymous said...

Those tops are all great! I would do any of them with black pants; if you don't have a pair that looks good on you and is comfortable, I suggest going to Express (I know, Savannah will be thrilled) and splurging on a pair of Editor pants. I live in mine, and they make different lengths and cuts to fit even those who aren't rail thin.

Also, go to like Target/Kohls or something and get an array of inexpensive strappy, lace trimmed, bra-top tanks/camisoles in basic colors (black, white, red, pink, whatever you like) to wear under the tops. The low cut/purple-y one would look cute with lace showing at the neckline, if you're worried about showing too much chest.

As for the black jacket, I don' do cropped jackets, being 5'9'', but you should definitely get a color OTHER than black to wear with it (unless I buy the pieces together, I never wear a black jacket and bottoms, because they never match once you hit sunlight). I'd do a black/grey tweedy combo, or I don't know how you feel about a nice plaid; the suggestion of the silvery grey option (but not metallic, heaven forbid!) was nice, too.

Finally, chunky, fad-conscious jewelry can turn anything you think is ho-hum into a winner. Kohls is good for that, too, as are any of the major deparment stores. Beads with hanging pendants add interest to plain blouses, and if you're going more sophisticated (black), dangling earrings can really dress it up without lookint like you're trying too hard.

As for shoes, Aerosoles makes some great, comfortable basic black shoes lately. I'm on my feet all day as a teacher, and I got a great pair on clearance last year that are cute and stylish, but super-comfy too. Just don't go too high with the heel, or you'll be in pain before your fabulous events are over.

Have a great time! Show us pictures when you get back!


Veggiemomof2 said...

I say pick the best fitting black dress & pair it up w/that pink shawl.

For the casual outfit, wear any of the tops w/a pair of nice black slacks & dressy shoes.

Kelly R said...

Hi Dawn-

Like everyone else, I say the first black dress is the winner. You are young enough to wear it and the second one looks a little dull. The pink wrap is really beautiful, but I would not use it with the dress. The density of the fabrics do not match. I would use the shawl to dress up jeans and a blouse or turtleneck with a pair of low heals and your Coach purse of course! One of your readers suggested contacting the Suave rep. I would highly recommend that because often times a movie premier is in the late afternoon. It is still VERY warm here in Los Angeles and you do not want to be overdressed for the weather or the occasion. As far as your blouses and jacket choices...The Bolero style jacket will make your upper body look wider and you are smaller on top and should accentuate that. Also, I never have luck trying to piece together an outfit when I buy a bunch of separates. I would highly suggest going back to the stores that you like and pick out entire outfits that are 1) Comfortable 2) Make you feel good 3) represent the better dressed version of who you really are, and 4) affordable (you don't want to feel like a jerk every time you see it hanging in your closet. Have Joe watch the kids for awhile and head back to the mall. I hope this helped.

Anonymous said...

That's supposed to be fancy. I need some "casual chic" clothes for a couple other events. I'm clueless there.
Go with the black dress w/ sleeves for the premier. DO NOT wear a necklace if you wear the shawl which I would. Bracelet and earrings are a must as are high heels, nothing over 3" and make them black with either gold or silver accents to match the base of the bracelet. Tame that mane into an easy bun and refrain from using any of Brooklyn or Savannah's hair bows as well. That green jacket is great for turning that second dress into an interview outfit but not for premiers. The booby dress (multi-color) would be better for the after party keep the heels on if you can, if not try for some low kittens. Do not wear your leopard crocs, that is just a no. It will make you look younger and you can let your hair down for that and take the earrings off along with the shawl. Leave the bracelet on if you like again no necklace. Wear the pink shirt (you'll look fabulous) w/ some slimming black designer jeans (Levi's work) or twill pants, same kittens you wore from the after party or some plain sandals work. Turquise(sp) is very in this year and though your shirt is likely more aqua then turqouise it will still work with khaki or black pants. I am hoping the two events with the shirts are a day apart or so otherwise the comment might be about the closeness of the shirt. Both shirts are very in fashion with their cut though so you should be fine. If you are going for fall those flunk but it's warm enough to get away with them. Hope this helps!

CDS said...

Dawn give yourself some long overdue credit!! You have great taste. I know the staff at Ann Taylor Loft (New Barrington Location) as well as myself would love to help you coordinate your outfits, with some trousers and simple accessories.

Alicia From De said...

I like the first Black dress, With a great pair of Heels and a clutch purse Dont forget to excesorize to really pull the outfit together!!! And to comment of the Coach purse, I have one, I bought it in Febuary, I loved it,And It broke 3 weeks later, The leather that held the straps to the purse Ripped and now its hanging by threads!! I love coach, they are cute, but for the money, its not worth it!

AuntyM said...

Put some Colors with the black. Color is "in" and from what I understand by watching "WNTW" the colors don't even have to match each other.

My shopping advice is to go with a friend who will tell you honestly whether or not you should buy something. Clothing may look great on the hanger, but may not look so great on you. Sometimes clothing looks awful on a hanger, but looks great on you.

Try on everything. You just might find something that is perfect for you.

As for your purse, did the whole zipper pull fall off? Find some ribbon or leather strips (at a fabric store) and thread it through the hole in the zipper, tie it in a knot and use that for a zipper pull. I did that with a jacket I had and it works great. When it wears out, just put another one through.

Jennifer said...

I think the dress with the little sheer sleeves would be much better. Unless you have super skinny arms, it's generally more flattering to have a little bit of a sleeve, and those look like the perfect length too. The other advantage is that, since it doesn't have its own little jacket, the pink wrap would be lovely with that dress.

The black cropped jacket would look great with a colored shirt that is longer than the jacket, as long as the hem is finished in a way that's clearly meant not to be tucked in. I have a jacket just like it and I wear it with a blue sweater-y thing that has a nice hem, and I button the jacket up. Depending on the color of the shirt, it would look great with a pair of dark gray trousers and snazzy (like, patent) black heels (not 3 inchers if you're not into that - just some little kitten heels would be fab and really dress up the outfit). The turquoise jacket is a lovely color. I would put it with muted neutrals - khaki, cream, bone, light brown (like a latte sort of color). Black or white would be too harsh I think. If you picked up some cheap jewelry that had a little bit of that color in it, how awesome would that look! I think the bright pink top is a lot of that color on one person, but it you put it under a more mild colored jacket that would look great too. Also, peep toe shoes are really in right now, so you could look for a reasonably priced little patent peep toe with a low heel (if you want) and that would really dress up your outfits without being outrageous. You're going to look terrific! Have a great time.

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

I love the short jackets...and solids near your face are better for photo ops. Do you have any tanks (brights or neutrals)? If not, get some....they are cheap and make a whole different outfit every time. Also easy to pack. With the black jacket, a cute skirt just above youy knee with a little pattern...pick up a color from the pattern with some kicky little shoes and hit those clearance bins @ Kohl's or Penneys for some really bold could do the scarf with it too....I think for more casual, hit jr. shoes for a fabric wedge with a print, and maybe get some flashy slingbacks for dressier. Mix your textures and prints (remember a small print like pinstrip or houndstooth comes off as a solid from a distance. Kohl's has some GREAT Vera Wang shoes that add bunches of style without totally breaking the bank, too. And I think if you called or emailed Coach( corp cust svc), they'd do something about your bag. As I type this I am wearing a big black walking boot a la "Halo" with a broken foot and a huge splint from wrist surgery Thursday. I may never wear cute shoes again, much less bangels. Just call mr 'lefty.'
p.s. Get some great fitting dark wash trouser jeans (Sevens--from Kohls or Mervyns--or Limited brand fit me best, but find the brand that fits you best) and have them tailored for your height..they will never let you down). Just say no to capris. Sigh...did plainprecious really think she needed to remind you to shave your pits? I mean I know you're busy and all, but from reading you daily I wouldn't think that shaving your pits is a reminder that you'd need!!! ;-)

Jennifer in Wisconsin said...

I think and feel we could only give you a good thumbs up or down if we actually saw these pieces on you to see if they go with who you are. Probably not the answer you were looking for but it always looks different on.

Jennifer in Wisconsin said...

I think the purple/black top with some black pants and heels would be great for the class reunion. The "girls" want to have fun every once in awhile too.

Anonymous said...

OK, I suck at fashion, but I know purses. I have purses from Rack Room Shoes, Burlington, and Payless that are way cute, I've had longer than my kids, and they're still in good shape. And they were a fraction of that Coach purse you bought. I also get my "designer" bags from the little Chinese guy at the flea market for $20. They look real, and that's the only thing that matters, right?


Jenn said...

I would keep the first black dress (although the second is cute too and you really can't go wrong with a little black dress). Keep the boobish purple shirt. The pink shawl thing is cute. I have a couple. I never wear them though but I like the way they look. I, personally, would take the rest back. They are all too .... um ... shapeless. I think that us ladies who have had more than one kid and our bodies don't magically pop back into size 2, should stay way from that kind of shape. Especially if we are short because it ends up making us look the same shape from the shoulders down. I like to call it barber pole. Maybe try some more of the boobish type tops. I do not mean any offense to this post. I am short and .. um ... shapely ;) mostly round though.

Karen said...

I like the first black dress. I also like the black jacket and it would look really nice with nice gray pants and a camisole of a nice, rich color like blue or lavendar.
The shirts are a little bright except for the booby black and purple one which would be another nice use for those grey pants (the ones in my imagination) for a less formal occasion.

Christine T. said...

Dawn, for the premiere and after party, I would wear that first black dress, with the little cap sleeves. If you can, get a cute pair of sexy dressy shoes that are silver or silver sequeined to go with it. (something strappy!) And use that pink shawl (isn't it a pashima or something like that?)

For the casual look, that black jacket would look awesome over the purple top, and you can wear a cami underneath the top, if you feel too exposed. I would wear a pair of wider straight leg pants (not palazzo pants), and you can wear a cute purple shoe, or go with the unexpected and put on a contrasting color shoe (like red!).
That aqua jacket is beautiful, and why not mix up the colors and wear it with that pink blouse? If that is too much for you, try a cream colored, closer fitting top, over cream colored pants.

I have 2 coach purses. My first one, my sister bought for me, and and interior zipper did break, and i haven't sent it out to be fixed, yhet, but, thinking I will. Otherwise it is holding up well, and is over 5 years old, and still looks brand new. (this is my black one)
The other, I just got this August. I, hmmm, bought it as an anniversary gift for my husband to give to me. I was out in the outlets, and it was 40% off the outlet price, and instead of $400 I pain $150 for it. I love it, and it isn't too heavey- I am the chick who buys purses on deep discount- the last 4 I bought were all $10 and under. So, this was a huge splurge for me, but, I LOVE it, and hope it last for a long time. Send your purse in to get fixed, it will be worth the 20 bucks and maybe our purses will be purse buddies.

thoughts and ramblings said...

I don't like the pink one...and I don't like the first black jacket. Sorry...I'm honest.

The blue jacket would look hot with black pants and black strappy(read: totally uncomfortable) sandals.

I love the first black dress, but don't use the shawl with it because it already has those sheer sleeves. Instead, wear the SECOND black dress(with the strappies) and the pink shawl with that.

I think the purple shirt is pretty but I don't think it's a very flattering cut if you're pear-shaped.

um...what else....OH...that blue shirt is pretty too, but really not necessarily your choice for this trip, but I'd keep it in your wardrobe.

I don't like to spend a ton of money on clothes/shoes/purses. I think it's rediculous. My co-worker got a coach purse at a coach OUTLET for $150....this thing was TINY!!!! She was so excited that she got such a "good deal" on it. I just laugh and think about how many outfits I could buy for my kids for $150!

Here are a few "staple" items that should be in your wardrobe.
1-obviously, the little black dress...classic!
2-DARK jeans that fit well and flatter your shape. Dark is always flattering. This is one item I think we should splurge on.
3-strappy black sandals
4-black high heeled boots

there's more, but I can't think of it at the moment.

GOOD LUCK and have FUN!!!!!!

Can't wait to hear all about it.

ps-the pencils are cool, but you can leave me out of the running. I'm sure someone else can benefit from them more than me. :)


Charlotte said...

As far as your coach bag, shoe repair places fix zippers. I am not sure about where you live, but I have often had to put new zipper pulls on my kids coats. It costs only a few dollars and voila! a working zipper.

I like the first black dress and a shawl.

AndiWrite said...

I like either of the black dresses, and I agree that the pink shawl would look nice with them (if it's dressy enough--hard to tell from the photo. But if it's silk or a silky type material, I think it would look great!)

Here's what helped me--I had a friend who had the book What Not to Wear by Susannah Constantine and Trinny Woodall (the originals). It's really amazing when you learn that you should not wear this kind of collar, this kind of sleeve, etc. and find out what does look best on you. I've become a firm believer that if you buy things that suit your body, it all looks more pulled together and stylish. They have another book that talks about what colors you should wear--maybe more books but those are the two I've used. They can help you feel more idiot-proof when you shop! Good luck--please post pictures of the outfits you end up wearing!

Tammy said...

Hi Dawn,

I agree with everyone’s suggestion of wearing the pink shawl with the first black skirt.

I LOVE the blue/green jacket. Stacy & Clinton say you can wear pretty colors with any neutral, so you can pick any neutral to go with it – I’d suggest some pretty slacks or fancy jeans. Browns, tans, beige, navy, black, gray…

And I’d definitely go with the purple blouse; black bra and wear a prominent necklace with it, so the attention is drawn to IT, instead of the girls. Like the Roree necklace and earrings from Chicos. I like the black crop jacket, leave the top button buttoned – you might look at’s fall look book for ideas. Dress barn always has nice separates – you could take your items there to look for something that coordinates. You could wear that jacket with a patterned skirt or a solid colored skirt or pants – maybe a burgundy? Or you could wear it with a gray pant or skirt, so you don’t have to be worried about the blacks matching. Then find a cami in a cute color to wear under it.

Not to be critical, and it may just be the picture, but the last shirt (tealish color) looks a bit cheap? And the pink is nice, but is it clingy? It looks like it could be. Remember the “rules” - empire waist and “float away from the body”. I am built very similarly to you, and have wide feet, too! I’m not sure if you have time, but I find some very nice shoes on They have wide, XW, and XXW shoes and free return shipping. Check out the Hillary Pump with Tassel or the Regina Open Toe Pump – which would look fab with the black dress and pink shawl. I’ve found with a wider foot, sling-back pumps seem to flex wider, and open toe shoes seem to relieve some of the pressure from being cramped as long as the opening doesn’t cut into your toes!

Hope this helps! Good luck!

AndiWrite said...

First black dress with the pink shawl, if the shawl is a dressy (silky) material. I would go with metallic shoes. They're still a neutral, but will instantly look more stylish than just about any black shoe. And you can wear them with other things later. For the other outfits, I'm going to say the greenish jacket is the cutest and I'll go out on a limb and say not black pants but charcoal gray. It's still a neutral but will make you look like you're more confident. Definitely a wide-leg pant with dressy material. If you've never read What Not To Wear by Susannah Constantine and Trinny Woodall, now is the time to get it from the library. Choosing clothes that are a flattering style for your body is more important than buying things that are the "hot" style right now. You'll look pulled together and more stylish with things that are flattering to you. Plus, you'll feel better, and it will show! If you wear heels, take ibuprofin before you start standing--it will help! :)

Anonymous said...

Wear the first black dress, with the shawl, but as your evening goes on it will drive you nuts and you'll be glad the tiny sleeves are covering your arms. Plus I think the girls will look better in that, bolero jackets just aren't great on we shorter women.

For casual, try nice fitted black trouser type pants that work well with sandals. It always looks so pretty...
With the black/silvery jacket look for pants with a line running through it, not pinstripes, but with something that adds texture. Tank underneath or a simple tee.

Keep in mind, I've been a Mom for 20years and a nurse for 18 so I wear jeans and scrubs 99% of the time. But I dream too!

Just Batty said...

I also think the first little black dress. When in doubt, its something that is not going to shout for attention but it will also look very classy if/when someone wants to critique you. I too originally thought about using the pink scarf as a shawl with the black dress, but I don't know if I'd pair just the two. You would need something to bring them together, like a little hand bag or something. And, really, wear what you're comfortable in because confidence is beautiful. And that's what will be noticed most!

JenJen said...

The last black dress minus the jacket, ya got it, flaunt it. and the casual..go with the purple one you dont like...its funky and fun and you can pull it off in Cali..anything goes here! I mean if the Olsen twins can wear garbage bags and $500 shoes while Britney, Lindsay and Paris forego panties you can wear anything from your closet!

Jessica said...

As a regular What Not to Wear watcher, I am an expert, so here's my advice:

For the dressy outfit, do the first black dress with the pink shawl, but avoid pink shoes -- you're not 15 and you'll never wear them again. Find a great pair of classic black heels. Every woman looks better in heels and you'll look so sophisticated. Find a pink necklace and earrings and you'll look totally put together.

For the chic outfit, definitely wear the blue jacket -- so cute and jewel tones are flattering on all skin types. It's hard to tell in the pics, but does the blue top match the blue jacket? If so, wear them together. Then find a gray, knee length skirt to wear with it (either a-line or straight, whichever works better with your hips). All of the runways had gray for fall, but not as much black. But you can wear the same black heels from your previous outfit -- so that will save you some drama! I would wear gold or bronze jewelry with that beautiful blue.

Please promise me you will wear mascara and lipstick.

I'm so jealous. Please post pics and tell us all about it!

Lisa said...

Dawn - Here's my advice for what it may be worth lol! The first black dress has sheer sleeves, which is sexy, yet comfortable. Being comfortable with how your clothes look and feel on you, will also make you more confident in them, and enhance the look. The beautiful pink shawl would go perfect with the black dress, and to dress it up a notch get either clear or pink rhinestone accessories to give the outfit some jazz! I'd also buy a pair of black "strappy" satin shoes to go with it.

For a casual chic outfit, I would love to offer you any belt we sell at Three Chickadees free of charge. We have some great Fall selections that will look fabulous with a pair of nice Khaki pants.

Also, do you have a Talbot's nearby? They have a great selection of nice black pants, and a good pair of black dress pants is worth its weight in gold! I have a 20% off coupon from Talbots that I would be happy to send you.
I know what you're thinking...this nutty woman doesn't even know me and wants to send me a belt and a coupon -- maybe she's a stalker?? No, I'm not, I swear! I am very happy for you and your success and a blogger wannabe. :o)

Good luck! Go with your gut instinct on what suits you best, and don't forget to have lots of fun!!

madridmom said...

I signed up for a weekly newletter that is personalized by body type. I was getting ready to do some major shopping to update my wardrobe and I didn't want to waste my money buying stuff that really wasn't going to make me look good. I think it was worth it and she always includes several pictures of outfits (kind of like your mannequins) and links to online stores to order the clothes or info about what store the items are sold in. Check out

Diane B said...

You've got some great picks but I would suggest you need a few "bones". Staple items that would pull every piece together. You need 1 pair of trouser cut, dark washed jeans (They can be dressed up or down), one white shirt (button down, not a t-shirt) and one pair of metallic peep toe shoes (these don't have to be high, Ann Taylor Loft had some great silver, low peep toes this year; remember that heel spurs, high heels will not be your friend).

Then, you could where either jacket with the jeans, white shirt and sandals. The black jacket could be worn with a white or I would actually suggest a pop of your favorite color cami (if you are ok with adding a few t-shirts or camis; wide strap for us busty gals thankyouverymuch). Trouser jeans with a metallic shoe and button down shirt is chic and casual.

You could even do jeans, t-shirt and that fabulous pink rap.

I have to disagree with Marcia (sorry Marcia). You can wear sandals in the fall in California. It's one of the benefits of living here. That and you don't have to wear pantyhose. I don't even own pantyhose anymore thank god. Seriously, check out the mags...they don't wear 'em on the red carpet.

Online shopping can be your friend...

Hope this helps; good luck

Amanda said...

I dress my mother all the time...she has the housewife fashion sense that seems to plague so many others out there. I don't know what I would do without my shoe collection so it just isn't genetic.

Okay, black dress is always the safe bet. More expensive items are made with better fabrics, and when I say better, I mean the stretchy polyester types that tend to be cheaper do not cover all the bumps and flaws that I know I have. Just a thought. Either black dress would be fine with the shawl (and a broach keeping it secured at the shoulder). Don't wear flats--you want to lengthen your legs and flats will make you look wider. More expensive shoes tend to be more comfortable for me. Check out DSW and get some nice metallic or black strappy sandles.

For all the tops, you don't want to mix bright colored tops with black pants. It will cut you off in the middle and draw attention to your waist. the purple shirt could use a nice cami underneath. It will make you look more polished. The jackets seem a bit boxy from the pictures and the last thing you want to do is make your top half look wide if you have a pear shaped body. Try getting some that are more fitted with an interesting collar to draw the eye upward. Anyway, just some thoughts. Have funon the trip!

Smiller said...

OK Dawn, I totally feel your pain. Here's the deal--all this conflicting fashion sense is going to make your brain hurt.

My fashion advice? 1) Take any of them back you don't LOVE. Love= it fits well and you feel awesome wearing it. 2) Drive into Chicago and find a Saks or Nordstrom's or some other store you wouldn't dare visit other times, find a well-dressed associate and say "dress me". Take the LBD of choice with you and take it with you to the shoe department. Make sure what they suggest makes you feel fabulous then buy it.

OR Take your best dressed friend and have her help dress you.

Not everyone can write hilarious blogs, it is OK that you don't have great fashion sense. (What does it mean if I can't do either...?) You are beautiful and charming and just need a little shot of confidence to be able to walk in showing it off.

Good luck!

little.birdy said...

I am kind of boring, but I really like black pants, especially ones with pinstripes. Black skirts are also awesome. You could wear those tops you posted with either, I think. I'm also a big fan of camisoles to wear under tops. I'm in school to be a speech therapist and I'm always scared that I'm going to flash a kid leaning over to play with him/her! That purple top would look nice with a black cami under it, and you wouldn't have to worry about cleavage. I'm jealous of your glamorous trip! Have a good time!

Anonymous said...

The first black dress. The pink shawl is a pretty, but if you think the blue/green jacket brings out your eyes, then a blue/green shawl would be better. Black heels.

The pink shirt with the black jacket is cute. Would look great with a pair of jeans (that fit you great) and black shoes (don't forget the belt).

I'm not a fan of the blue shirt. It's too baggy (at least in the picture) and will make it look like you have no waist.

The purple dress is cute.

Don't forget to pack accessories (necklaces, earrings, etc.)


Wild Things said...

The first black dress with the shawl!!

The purple top with black jeans and comfy pointy toe shoes would be chic.

I would call Suave rep and talk to her. Throw yourself at her mercy.... she may be flattered!

Wild Things said...

Oh, as for the boobish look, wear a pretty tank top under the tops.

Anonymous said...

I left a comment this afternoon, but as of now, I do not see it. I hope it's because you haven't had time to approve it. Just in case it didn't post, here's in a nutshell what I said:

Be comfortable, take basic stuff that can be interchangeable. It's So Cal, you can wear what you want, whenever you want. If sandels are comfy, wear them! Just remember to take a wrap of some kind as the ocean breezes do cool down the atmosphere at night.

Just be your wonderful self, with your beautiful smile and that zany personality. Have a wonderful time!

Table for Seven said...

Be sure to get a spanx undergarment to hide any flab or rolls that you may have. It's very slimming and smoothing.

Julie Gowan said...

I am for sure not the best dressed mama in Naperville but I am going to be totally honest and say nix all of your casual choices. Honestly(PLEASE don't think I am a jerk....I am really a nice person) you will stick out like a sore thumb in them. If you are willing to go out and do some shopping I would try Ann Taylor Loft. It seems like it is in line with your style and the prices aren't totally outrageous. The sales women are really nice and helpful in both the Downtown Naperville Store and at the Bolingbrook Promendade. You can go to the website and see a bunch of outfits put together through the homepage. That being said I think the strappy dress with the pink wrap instead of the Bolero. Just go to DSW and get a pair of strappy sandals that you would never otherwsie buy:) A cute clutch from Kohls and you are on your way. I am so jealous!!! And that totally sucks about the Coach bag. I can't believe you had to pay 20 bucks to have it fixed!!!!

Jessi said...

I think the sleeveless dress with the pink shawl will be a wonderful match, and allow your body look 'balanced' by drawing the attention up.

The purple 'boobalicious' top under the short black jacket, unbuttoned with slacks that are maybe grey/silver pinstriped.

Pink top~ I would suggest you add a top of the knee cap length skirt that is somewhat fitted and a 'flare' at the bottom. Casual but nice looking.

A way to 'dress down' the one of the black dresses would be to add that blue jacket.

The blue shirt is all that's left. I think paired with a pair of chocolate slacks it would look chic.

Also, with black dresses and slacks, punch up with some wonderful colored pumps.

I hope things work for you. Have fun! Take pictures with the outfits on so we can see your winning looks!

Emma and Natalie's Mommy said...

I like black dress number one, with either the pink scarf as a coverup or maybe a cute little crop sweater thingy. as for causal event i like the boobish looking shirt, with a lacey tank underneath and either a dark wash jeans with some sexy ankle boots (or ballet flats), or a nice pair of dress slacks with sexy ankle boots or ballet flats.

Paulette & Melissa said...

Can we get some pictures of you in the clothes? It's hard to say what looks good on you while it's hanging on a hanger.

Megan said...

Is this event super dressy? First of all, make sure you know what everyone else will be wearing. If it's not too dressy, my advice is this: as a t-shirt and jeans girl myself, I can tell you that you can really dress up jeans. Get them fitted in a dark wash, and wear a dressier shirt with a boot or a small-healed sandal.

If it's dressier, I think either black dress would be beautiful with the pink pashmina/scarf and some simple black heels. If you're going to wear jewelry, I'd go with either gold or silver, and a small black clutch would really complete the outfit.

Karla with a K said...

Hi Dawn,
You definitely don't want my opinion on what to wear, because I wear the same mom uniform you described for yourself.

What I will say is I agree with the comment that mentioned black pants to go with the tops you picked. I love all the tops, especially the pink one.

I think both black dresses would be great on you (but will you model them for us?) Might be more partial to the 2nd one.

And finally, just an observation. Is there a gem on the band of the first dress? The "sparkle" in the photo of it reminds me of cartoons of say, a suave detective (get it, "suave?") and the artist makes his tooth twinkle when he smiles. Made me laugh. Nothing against the dress, though. Like I said, I like 'em both.

Boy, good luck!! Can't wait to hear about Monica and Chandler and...oh, nevermind!

Serial Mommy said...

can i ask you to take pics of you wearing the items? i can tell you what i like laying on the bed and all, however that doesn't tell me how it fits YOU and whether that dress or shirt or jacket on the hanger/bed will look as fantastic or better than i thought when it's on you...the pink scarf is heavenly...and like i like both black dresses, though the 1st one has funny sleeves...

ShellyBlake said...

Not sure if you're interested in doing some shopping - but I just did a group shopping thing at Dress Barn & the associates there are so great. They will help you put together an outfit including accessories...and if you're interested I even have a coupon (just email me Dawn!).

car1224 said...

We were watching What Not to Wear this evening -- the episode with Jennifer who is a fashion show producer. When she was in the 360 mirror, my 8 year old just casually stated "I can imagine Mommy on What Not to Wear." Love that girl!! It made me laugh that this was your blog topic when I read it tonight. So, although the pencils are great, I think as a new reader my prize is to read all of the advice from the other moms this time. I just want to say that I feel your pain and hope you have a great time! My only advice would be to grab your very best, honest friend or family member and let them help you!!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

You are going to Beverly Hills? Wear simple but stylish. Black, cream, very little color. Get the best fashion magazine and give it a good look. Nothing bright, I'm thinking. You want to be the focus, not your clothing. You could wear jeans for casual IF they were great looking--translated to expensive--with a cute little top of some sort. Again, look at fashion magazines. Everything will be exagerated but you will be able to tell what is "in." Good luck.

betsey said...


The best advice I can give you is to wear what makes you feel good.

For the party, wear the strappy dress with the pretty shawl. And get the most comfortable strappy high-heeled black shoes you can find. And nude hose.

For the "casual chic" things, go buy a new pair of jeans. Not mommy jeans, nice jeans. Wear any of the tops with them and some funky shoes.

Amanda said...

The two black dresses-adorable!! Put the pink shawl with the 2nd black dress.

Your gray bolero jacket with some wide leg black dress pants paired with some flat black mary jane style shoes.

The teal jacket would look great with a spagetti strap black tank, and black capri dress pants, again with the black mary janes.

The other three shirts are great as well! I like the low cut shirt, pair it with some black pants or capris, heels if you are comfy in them.

Have a great time!!

Latte said...

Okay I am so not a fashion queen, but I have a swarm of ideas in my head. I love the first black dress, screams safe and yet it's super yummy looking (like my fashion designer words...yummy snort I crack myself up) well anyho some mentioned the pink shawl thing, however...not sure that would work if your pale. instead pale women should go more for red like a red shawl with red shoes. or red shawl with black shoes or black shawl with red shoes.

Oh one last thing that jacket in picture # two screams jacqueline Kennedy I actually did a search to make sure I spelled her name right and sure enough I saw her in two outfits that look just like that jacket you have so if you like it a lot you could go for the Jakie O look. You could wear a 3/4 skirt (yah know whear it goes just past the knee) in a form fitting style (think early 50's like this a black or grey skirt would be best with matching 50's shoes and of course you could really go big with large sunglasses and big hair but sometimes it's best to represent the 50's not *be* the 50's .

I pray this helps

Adrienne said...

I am definately with the majority. The black dress with the pink shawl. Although I like the second black dress.

Marcea said...

Black dress with the sheer sleeves.
As for your post party, I probably would wear nice black pants with the boobish purple shirt you have.

Good luck!

Carrie said...

K - For the formal event, wear the first black dress (has short sleeves) with the pink shawl to take along in case you get cold! Then, for semi-casual wear the teal-ish top with DARK jeans (wear heels if a want a more dressy look! And, use either big earrings OR a LONG big necklace to accessorize that outfit. Also, could pair the black jacket with a printed skirt (and neutral color shell) with fun hoop or dangly (sp?)earrings
Gotta be honest - I'm not such a fan of the rest of the items...I bet they just don't photograph like how they look in real life!

Lise said...

I decided I need to revamp my wardrobe, too. I spent 4 1/2 hours on Friday looking for something to wear to a wedding the next day. I tried on alot of clothes and I gravitated to the purple because I have a nice amethyst necklace. I'm a little older than you and I realized even though the short top was cute, I have too many scars from my baking mishaps to wear short sleeves. I finally bought a long sleeve purple tee to go with a purple/black paisley jacket which will do triple duty with a black skirt, black stacks or jeans.

My advise to you (and I can use alot myself) is go plain with the basics and dress it up with the accessories.

mrssuth said...

either back dress with the shawl for a punch of color, the blue t with the green jacket and black pants. also be careful with that pink top that crinkly fabric tends to hug and bunch in all the wrong places. get some spanx and wear the pink top with the bolero and black pants! also sorry but I'm not a fan of the black jacket maybe its a bad pic but it looks like it wrinkles easily as well.

Winona said...

Several have already said it, but 2nd black dress (strappy one) with the pink shawl. Go with sensible-heeled-but-still-awesome black shoes and silver accessories.

Cari said...

I like the second black dress with the pink shawl for the Premier. (Black heels, if you can find a pink clutch that matches the shawl it would look good too.)

FreeSpirit said...

I would go to J.Jill and tell them that you need help. They have great, unbelievably comfortable, expensive-looking clothes, accessories, and shoes! Also, first black dress with pink shawl is a must! Wear black strappy sandals or JimmyChoos

I have set you up a website with pictures and links for EXACT clothing. You asked for it!

Dr.L said...

Keep both dresses. Ditch the bolero and wear that gorgeous pink wrap.

Keep both jackets. You can wear the blue/green one with black pants and a black blouse (even a cami or tee would work fine). You can wear the black one with just about anything. Don't worry about the blacks not matching just so--no one will notice.

I think ballet flats would be your best bet for the non-dress clothes (shoe-wise), and a cute pair of kitten heels for the dresses.

Have fun.

pam said...

Hi. I see you have about a gazillion comments and everyone seemed to love the pink scarf/shawl. I love the black and pink contrast, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of the shawl. I've never seen it pulled off w/o being "frumpy". Classic, tailored looks are always good. Just my opinion :)

Mary said...

Love the black dressed w/the pink wrap.
That little black jacket that I think was in the 2nd picture, if you plan on wearing it with any outfit, replace that button with something shinier and more stylish. It will change the entire look of that jacket.
As for shoes, on The View, they are always talking about these plastic shoes they are wearing that look gorgreous but are super-comfy.
After some searching I found the website for them:
Maybe you can find a place that sells them near you.

Hope that little bit helps.
Mary B.

Maureen in MN said...

You've got a good eye, and I think you would look wonderful in pink. That being said, I really think you need to go to Chico's. In spite of the fact that they are a little pricier, all of the clothes are designed to go together. Additionally, they offer the "travelers" line, no wrinkles, no ironing, no worries! I received a few pieces (tres fashionable way to say "clothing", no?) and get to wear them to weddings, funerals, church, out with my husband, and for entertaining at home. As if I haven't bragged them up enough, most of the pants have elastic waists, and are made wonderful, stretchy material. Now here's the great part: I know you have Chico's there, because I am originally from Illinois. Check out their store, try a few things on, then look on eBay! All of their sizes are either 1, 2 or 3. You would be a size 1! You can shop online at, but I really recommend going and seeing it for yourself. As you noted, clothing doesn't always photograph well. Congrats on the premier, and remember to enjoy yourself! Thanks for all you do....

Martha said...

I live in LA and my 18 year old daughter is an aspiring actress which means she is a hostess at a restaurant in Beverly Hills! Not a cliche, everyone she works with is an actor or actress (or trying to be!). Anyway, she has to dress nicely for the job (no uniform) and she has very little money right now. So the other day she was home and got a call into work. She had nothing appropriate to wear so she went into my closet. I have no fashion sense and am size 12 to her size 5. She pulled out a $10 fushia Target shirt (babydoll style) that I bought this summer. She wrapped an old belt around it and wore it over black pants. I asked her if the outfit worked. She said she got lots of compliments. If only all those Beverly Hills people knew it was a $10 Target shirt!

Goes to show that cost isn't everything. It also helps if you are an 18 year old, cute blond:)

Have a great time in BH!

Jake said...

Am I the only one that wants the mechanical pencils!?

Becky said...

My mom has a couple of those swing jackets and she wears them buttoned up with a shell underneath and plain dress pants.

I'll offer my advice on shoes: I used to have all kinds of cute shoes as a teen, but then I got older and way fatter, and I found I couldn't balance as well. So I figured out that I can wear any height of shoe I want it just needs to have a wide heel, not necessarily a thick, clunky one, just wide.

Mystii said...

For the first black dress event, I agree that the first dress and the pink shawl would be pretty. You don't always have to wear the shawl, you can just drape it over an arm.

For the casual chic events, get pretty blouses, dressy jeans (or black dockers), look at wearing heels with the pants and if it's chilly enough, add a jacket or a scarf. If it's warm, you won't need either of those, obviously LOL.

Take some comfy clothes that you like too. You may find things to be more casual than you expect so you want at least one or two casual outfits that you really like.

Ugh Coach. I've looked at their bags and always thought they were too high priced. I used to buy one type of leather purse that I loved at Wilson Leather but I don't even know if that store exists in the midwest! LOL. It did in Virginia. The purses were about $100 each but I practically wore them out before they needed to be replaced. Well, except for the one I ruined when we were unexpectedly dumped into the Chicago River!

You're going to have a wonderful time!

amy said...

Oh, I almost forgot. The Coach stores will do nothing for you because the sales team works on commission. Get on the phone with their customer service people, or try this: