fancy & festive


I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t have a strong desire to repeat my middle school dances. But, there’s something about a full and shimmery dress that just speaks to my middle school heart. This dress is reminiscent of those fancy and festive dresses from many moons ago, though in a grown-up way. I call this my fancy and festive look for work, minus the awkward arms extended dancing, gym mats, and 98 degrees slow song. If you ask me, this is how you do fancy without the middle school awkward. #grownup


Dress: Mad Men for Banana Republic (gift)
Head scarf: Mad Men for Banana Republic (gift)
Cardigan: Banana Republic ($18 marked down from $70)
Shoes: Sam Edelman via Nordstrom Rack ($50 marked down from $90)
Necklace: Anthropologie ($14 marked down from $70)
Fashion Huntress tips:
1) As you know, I really enjoy a good Banana Republic “additional markdowns on sale items” sale. They often have these sales on the weekend and generally involve an extra 40% off the sale and clearance items. Different dresses, colors, and styles are all marked different, so it pays to look through the entire sale section to find the best prices. As with many places, I generally look at least one-two sizes up and one size down from my usual size, as you never really know about fit, and may miss a good piece if you don’t check additional sizes! I subscribe to the Banana Republic emails so I always know about when the “additional markdown” sales occur. 
2) Speaking of emails, I have a separate email address that I use as my “shopping” email. That way, store emails don’t fill up my entire inbox, but I still know about the sales as they are occurring. I generally go through the email once every couple of days; many stores send information about new pieces, but I also get various coupons (Kohl’s, for example), and special offers on “free shipping,” etc. I think it’s worthwhile to have an email that just collects these emails for you (and it’s free!); you won’t get overwhelmed by them in your daily inbox and can pull up the coupons on your phone, if you have a smart phone, while you’re shopping. This is definitely easy peasy coupon and sale organization! 
Anyone else have email tips? Banana Republic finds lately? Thanks so much for stopping by, readers! I appreciate it so much; it’s almost mid-week! WOOT!

34 replies to “fancy & festive

  1. Oh my word…this dress. Stunning! The color, the cut, everything. Beautiful styling. I, too, have a shopping email and I love it!

  2. Banana Republic markdowns get me every time! I have found so many amazing pieces for $10-$20. Seriously though this dress looks like it was made for you and I am raiding your shoe closet tomorow!

    xx Cara

  3. Such a cute outfit! Every time I see a super cute necklace in your pictures, it’s yet again Anthropologie. You have impeccable taste!

  4. Still LOVE those mint heels! Who would have thought that color would be such a great investment? It’s practically a neutral.

  5. I almost LOLed at the “98 Degrees slow songs” comment… gah, so true. Anyways, love the color and cut of the dress. Looks like it could be worn for a lot of different occasions! And I definitely agree about the emails… Although I do have some that bombard my regular email address its nice to be able to have them on hand when they are needed! Great tip 🙂

  6. My mouth is watering, I would love to have a dress like that. How I wish I could turn the clock back, oh, a good 10 years. Maybe 20. I used to LOVE getting dressed up for any occassion, for a dress especially one like this, made me feel just so sexy and beautiful. You look wonderful, Melissa. Your posts always make me smile. Thank you! Love, Amy

  7. oooh, love the dress! you totally managed to “tone it down” so it’s not over the top to put on for work. oh, and that’s a great idea about having separate email just for shops… why didn’t i think of that?! 😀 thanks for the tips!

  8. I totally agree with checking the other sizes! This is a GREAT tip. Having worked as a tech designer for a clothing company for several years and having to QC items as they came into the warehouse, I know how bad the sizing can be. I’m quite lucky having worked in fit for so long, I’m pretty good at gauging whether something will fit me or not just by holding it up (and to hell with whatever size the tag says), but I know not everyone is quite so lucky.

    Idealism never goes out of fashion

  9. Great idea about having a separate email address for shopping email….can’t stand how full my inbox gets.
    Beautiful dress and colour, and I love the madmen theme you’ve going on.

    xo, Jackie

  10. Can I describe the shoe ensemble I wore to my first dance? Actually, it was called a “jam”. Chunky White socks tucked into black patent leather shoes. I wore jeans with a button down cardigan. This blog is def a more sophisticated take on the middle school dance. Love it!

  11. I love BR clearance and sale racks and there sale on sale events..always get suckered into getting stuff I really can live withouth only to realize I couldnt! this dress on you and the way you did your hair!! That is so freaking pretty on the bandana style!!

  12. Good email tip! I just finished unsubscribing to a bunch of shopping sites because I was tired of my inbox being glutted.

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