step on the gas (aka shirt dress gone shirt)

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Readers, I know how to drive, but I spent many years not driving. One of the joys of living in an urban area is that you can survive without a car. Recently, I started driving more and found myself not feeling all that comfortable behind the wheel. I mean, I can get the car from point A to point B, but that was basically the extent of it. Don’t even get me started on the expressway (aka a terror of people moving at insane speeds or a complete parking lot). Anywho, so, last weekend, I took a car control class; the bf and his dad are instructors and gently encouraged me to come on down. On the days approaching the class, I kept thinking, “…I’m going to really embarrass myself out there.” So, I get to the class, and it’s a full day event. The instructors teach a small class, and then you hop in your car with an instructor and take it out to a mini course that is wet down with gallons upon gallons of water. The goal is to learn how to get your car out of control and then bring it back under control.

At first, I was super timid and basically refused to get my ABS brakes to turn on. At the “stop light” exercises, I would chicken out, go slow, and then try not to run things over (mostly cones). After the lunch break though, I busted out my gym shoes (unheard of in the world of the Fashion Huntress), put my hair in a ponytail, ditched my coat, and got out there and just hit the gas, then hit the breaks, then hit the gas, and tackled the course. And you know what? I had fun! I went fast! I didn’t embarrass myself! I’m even going back for the next class! There’s something about trying new things that is very empowering. I’m not a racecar driver, but I can officially drive with some confidence, and I know I’m going to feel more and more confident over time. First sewing, now driving? What’s next? Okay. Well, this is fashion blog, so let’s bring it on home with fashion. Today, I wore a dress as a blouse. I layered on greens, blues, and yellows, and added patterns and prints and animal print shoes. I mean, why not? Why not try a new outfit? Why not try doing something different? Why not step on the gas? Worst case scenario? You drive over some cones, or you go change your outfit. Let’s do this.
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Shirt dress/shirt: Gap ($22 marked down from $60)
Pants: Ann Taylor Loft ($2.50 marked down from $60) (yep. 2.50)
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($15 marked down from $110)
Scarf: Gap ($15 marked down from approx $25)
Heels: BCBG via DSW ($11 marked down from approx $100)
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Fashion Huntress tips:
1) Thin shirt dresses can definitely be worn as tops. If they are a little bulkier, I recommend wearing the shirt dress with a skirt. For less bulky tops, you can tuck the shirt dress right in to your pants and make the dress into a blouse. This is a great way to get more use out of your dresses. Here you can see how I wore this dress as a dress versus the look today:
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2) If you’re not already a member at DSW, I definitely recommend signing up. You get coupons for your birthday, and accrue points to earn additional gift cards. I’ve already gotten a few gift cards, and I’m not there all that frequently, so it shows you that it’s not that hard to accrue points. My strategy for DSW is to start one half size down from my shoe size, in the clearance section, and then go from a half size down, to my size, to a half size up (all in the clearance section). The sizing there is so varied, you can often find shoes slightly up or down from your standard size. Don’t forget that the yellow sticker isn’t on the signs, but it means 80% off the sticker price. I’ve found some real gems there for around $10! 
Anyone else have dress/shirt tips?  Hope everyone is having a good start to the week! Thank you so much for stopping by!
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44 thoughts on “step on the gas (aka shirt dress gone shirt)

  1. Love this outfit! I’m terrified of mixing patterns like that(It fascinates me when people can make it work) and don’t usually step out of the ‘over-simplified’ fashion zone. I’m a stay-at-home-mom who manages a ranch, owns a dog training business, and substitutes at the school my boys go to. I rarely, if ever, get a chance to wear much besides my work clothes or t-shirt and jeans. My feminine side screams to get out, and I’m hoping one of these days I can just turn her loose! Thanks for entertaining another fashion illiterate girl and way to go on the driving course, it sounds like it was a blast!

    • Aww I hear you! Dressing up for work is how my feminine side does come out! I’m guessing that managing a ranch doesn’t really call for stilettos too much :)!! Thank you so much for visiting the blog- I’m headed over to yours now!

  2. Smart idea! Why not? it’s not a crime to make experiments in our own blogs with our own wardrobes:))) I love how you pull all together, vivid colors and such great way to wear dress shirt! I have one and usually wear it on top of the leather leggings bcz my is longer then yours. Congrats on your driving class!

  3. Ah! Smart cookie! I have also worn shirt dress as a shirt before..works like a charm and feels like a totally new outfit 😀 Love the print of your dress and kudos to you for getting the better of your driving fears!!

  4. My favorite thing about visiting le hubs when he lived in Chicago was that we NEVER had to drive. I wish LA had good public transportation!

    That being said this outfit is fab, when do we get to see the post with sneakers and a ponytail;)?

    xx Cara

  5. That does sound like a lot of fun. I have to say though, I don’t mind taking the bus to work…it’s a good time to read. Love the outfit, especially the shoes.

  6. such a fun story/memory 🙂 i lived in chicago for a long time, and i was pretty committed to the bus and the train, so i didn’t really start driving until i moved to minneapolis last year – now i love it 🙂 windows down and music up and open road is all kinds of happy.

  7. Absolutely love your ‘lemon’ top. Why, why am I not this bold? I’m gona shop for brighter colours this weekend when I fly back home from work. Thank you for inspiring us!

  8. Good for you! I must confess, I’m terrified of driving in the States! Your freeways scare me!lol! Our speed limits are much lower in Canada…
    Anyhow, cute shirtdress and I love your yellow cardi!! I’ve never thought about wearing it as a top. Such a simple but brilliant idea, I have a shirtdress that I haven’t worn in a couple of year…this would be a perfect way to work it back into my rotation 🙂

    xo, Jackie
    http://www.stylemydreams.wordpress.com

  9. First congratulations on your class! I love your that idea of wearing a dress as a shirt. Love the look too! Can’t wait to hear about the next class. Xoxo

  10. Trying new things can be empowering, and we doubt you don’t do everything well, judging from your fabulous fashion sense, of course! Have a great weekend!

    XOXO N & N

  11. Trying something new is nearly always fun! 😀 Haha… yes it took me AGES to get comfortable driving on the left. Now I’m sure I’ve forgotten how to drive in snow and ice…

    BTW, love the scarf! 😀

  12. I am so darn proud of you!! You go, Girl!!! Face those fears and as you do, you realize you have nothing to fear at all!!! High 5!!!! Wishing I could reach in to hug you … Amy

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