Wear it to Work: H&M Crêped Jersey Dress

H&M Crepe Jersey Dress

Key piece:  Dress, $35; Outfit One: Shoe, $25; Bag, $298; Belt, $7; Necklace, $40; Bracelet, $25; Outfit Two: Belt, $68; Boot, $80; Tights, $15; Bag, $450; Earrings, $48; Cuff, $44

Wear it to Work: H+M Creped Jersey Dress

A jersey dress is one of the most versatile items you can have in your wardrobe. You can dress it up or down. It travels well. When you have a last minute event or are running late for dinner out, you can throw it on with little to no effort. As useful as dresses are, they tend to be limited in mix and match opportunities. Not today’s key piece. You can wear this H&M Crêped Jersey Dress (available in xs – xl which translates to about a size 18/20) many different ways. Before we get into the outfits, let’s talk alterations. You will likely need a hem. The skirt will hang straight, but it has some volume to it, so if it hits below your knee it overwhelms your frame and will drag the line of your body down with it. It’s a $35 dress. Some might say it’s not worth the cost of an alteration, but I say you’ll have a fabulous, wearable piece for under $50. I don’t care where you shop for clothes. With alterations, you can have a dress that looks designer for little money.

Monochromatic looks are huge right now. When done well, it can be so chic and easy to pull off. I think this gorgeous plum color is such a current way to work the look. To start, I would remove the tie that comes with the dress and replace it with a proper belt. I rarely do a head-to-toe look in one store, but found this belt (hello! It’s $7!) and the shoes at H&M also. The color is a perfect match, which you want when you do a one-color story. Remember to look around the store you’re in when you’re shopping to see if they have anything else you might need in order to complete your look. When constructing an outfit with just one color, it’s important to incorporate various textures. Here, the shoe is a faux suede, and the belt is a faux leather. Textures = Depth = Visual Interest = A Well Composed Look.

Because the dress is fluid, you’ll want to carry a structured bag. Pay attention to the balance of your outfits. This Kate Spade bag hits all the right notes; it’s structured, has interesting details, and ties back to the dress with color.

Finally, I’m delighted with the jewelry. This necklace is simple, but the pendant is sleek and modern; it fits perfectly into the neckline of the dress.Delicate gold tone bangles add to the movement of the look without being overdone.

Outfit two takes the dress into the cold weather. Here, the belt is the focal point of the outfit. The gold tone knot buckle gives the belt a feminine, airy feel, but it’s still substantial. I paired it with opaque tights and knee-high boots. It’s always difficult to find a decent pair of boots with a pointed toe and slim heel, but I found one pair at a reasonable price ($80) at DSW. You need a heel with this dress. Because the skirt has some swing to it, you want your shoe to be rather delicate. Avoid flats, flat boots, and block heels.

You might recognize the Henri Bendel satchel from a few weeks back. I’m having a small love affair with it. It has fabulous designer details minus the extra zero on its price tag. For jewelry, I mimicked the knot detail on the belt buckle with these earrings. And I almost lost my mind when I found this gold cuff with a simple, subtle black swoosh detail. It ties the entire look together.

Historically, H&M runs on the small side, so try a few options on and keep alterations in mind. You really have a great deal of power over your clothes once you understand that very simple updates can totally change the way a garment fits.

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