Free People dress / Pull & Bear bralette / Dogeared pearl necklace / Zara bucket bag / Marc Jacobs bracelet / Steve Madden shoes / Free People sunglasses / F21 ring
Delving into retail shopping paradise with your credit-card bearing mom is pretty much a rite of passage. Except 9/10 times I usually trudge outside the immense glass-doors of every store with a looming disappointment after intensely whisking through a chock-full of racks. Hey, I may not be a picky eater but I'm a picky shopper. And I somehow manage to subconsciously scope out the most expensive garment in the store like I'm genetically predisposed to a heart-wrenching case of becoming a shopaholic with maxed out credit cards. Some of you uber-hip & stylish mavens can probably courageously enter a run-down, family-owned, second-hand store in Missouri and leave with a 1987 pret-a-porter Jean Paul Gaultier dress with complimentary Givenchy heels and vintage Prada sunnies for under $80. I would however, leave with a Kimchi Blue dress only to discover the neckline rimmed with old foundation that I was not wearing. You get the idea. So my best bet is to hit the holy grail of forgotten designer pieces camouflaged between polyester, mass-produced prints that bored housewives finger through at my local stores: TJ Maxx & Marshalls. Before I get shamed into the fashion blogger version of Hades complete with generously-studded, bleached denim cutoffs and "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" muscle tanks, hear me out.
Amongst the typical garments you'd find in the closet of a 60-year old Midwestern housewife who tends to her nursery and drinks wine coolers, you'll come across some diamonds in the rough. Case in point: a lavender Versace dress emblazoned with seafaring scrolls that was refreshingly retro and my Free People lace-trimmed dress. It may not be the little black dress according to Mademoiselle Chanel's terms but for the scorching summer heat waves and my increasing affinity for all things black and lace, it was my diamond. Plus, a surge of sheer euphoria hit me when I triumphantly left the store with the receipt clenched in my hand that read $16.99. Robbing the bank never felt so good.
To keep the look as delicate and frothy as the intimate dress, I opted for my ultimate staple: my beloved freshwater pearl necklace. I may love the symbolic connotations of a diamond but I'm more of a pearl gal. It also coincidentally paid homage to Gabrielle Chanel's fondness for the iridescent gemstone. Going along with her influence, the word simple became the dominant influence for my ensemble. Delicate dresses call for delicate accoutrements...but I stubbornly avoided her notorious saying of removing one accessory before leaving the house and stuck to my layering game. Sorry, Coco!