I think I’ve finally unearthed the source of my hesitancy when it comes to buying dresses: Dresses can’t be worn with other things as easily as separates.
It’s true – a dress can’t be taken apart to wear just the top with jeans, or just the bottom with a camisole… It’s all or nothing (or layering… which the jury is still out on.) so when you spend $80 on a dress, you better love it, because it is all it will ever be, at least until you manifest some killer sewing skills (of which I have none).
There is a way to cheat, though… Buying strategic separates can include you in the latest trends without people even knowing it.
Heather Graham in Dolce & Gabbana
For instance… The Corset Dress. Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander Wang, and countless others have been reinventing the corset in dress form for years.I love the silhouette of corset dresses – fitted at the top (And a little lift never hurts) and then either fitted at the bottom, or flowy, for a more girlish look.
While those particular brands are likely definitely out of our price range… stealing the look is not.
- Charlotte Russe Zipper Bustier Top – $24.99
- Endovanera Pencil Skirt in Black – $94 (was $187)
- Nina “Desiree” (Black Satin) – $77.63 (MSRP $149)
- Tucker Paisley “Joey” Clutch – $75 (was $165)
Charlotte Russe is a great place to find cute, inexpensive, corset-style tops for this idea. You can pretty much pair one with any skirt (this one is high-waisted, which will make the vibrant, electric blue a little more tempered) and, with the right fit, it’ll completely mimic the famed corset dress.
- Torrid Black Lace Corset Top (weird, silver, necklace-thing not included) – $44
- Old Navy Voile Floral-Print Pleated Skirt – $29.50
- ModCloth Poker Face Heels – $37.99
- Preston & York Leather-Front Woven Belt – $26.60
If you’re loving this look as a plus-sized lady, fear not – this look totally works for you, too! Torrid has a great selection of corset-style tops, some with boning and some without. This particular one does not have boning, so it’s extra comfortable. I love the textural play between the lace top and the silky, shimmery voile skirt. The belt isn’t necessary, really, but it makes for some visual interest between the two separates.
The possibilities are endless with a few, inexpensive corset tops and a decent collection of skirts… Perfect for the end of summer, OR for winter, with the addition of a long, drapy cardigan or boyfriend blazer.