Some of you may have seen my Reel on Instagram on this subject – in fact, it is currently my MOST popular Reel I’ve ever made with over 12k views… what?! However, I wanted to go ahead and blog this too so I can go a little deeper into the subject.
I recently purchased the Sarah dress from NotPERFECT LINEN secondhand. The dress I purchased doesn’t have any modifications, and it’s in the color Olive. In fact, they are still selling the exact dress in the exact color on the NotPERFECT LINEN website for $138.
As you can see, it is a spaghetti strapped dress which is NOT my favorite because I prefer racer-back bras and would have to switch it up to a less comfortable bra in order for it to be less noticeable. BUT, I own a few spaghetti strapped tops/dresses and there are plenty of ways to style them so that it doesn’t impact your bra wearing!
For this exercise, I literally just held the dress up to a bunch of my tops and grabbed any that I thought might look nice. Let’s check them out:
Outfit 1: Striped Tank Top + Sandals
LOVE this look for summer! My striped tank top has a racer-back, so it easily hides my bra straps. Also, it adds a little extra visual interest to the top of the dress. As long as your tank top is fitted, you can throw pretty much any of them under here – striped, polka dot, floral, black, white, gray, pink. You name it, you could literally style this with a different tank top every day of the week. For the shoes, I basically wear Birkenstock sandals all summer and they totally work for this outfit.
Outfit 2: Linen top + Sandals
Lots of girlies in the linen Facebook groups (yes, it’s a thing) are very into the full-linen-head-to-toe look and they totally make it work for them, so I decided to try it. I actually think this looks pretty cute with the fluffy sleeves sticking out of the dress like a pinafore. And I like the v-neck neckline, which is much more flattering on me than a higher crew neck. So, this one is a maybe from me. For the shoes though, I love this shade of brown with the olive dress and will totally wear this combo.
Outfit 3: Striped sweater + Sandals
This was one of my most popular looks according to feedback and it’s a similar feel to the first tank top look since I am back to rocking stripes. I love this lightweight sweater, but it’s a little fitted on my bust and tummy, so this is a great way to wear it and still feel comfortable and confident. Once again, you can try a bunch of different lightweight sweaters or long-sleeve t-shirts under the dress for warmth, modesty, or just to mix it up a bit!
Outfit 4: Grey cardigan + Doc Martins
I thought I’d like this look a lot more than I did… but this is why it’s fun to try on everything in your closet! While other people can absolutely pull off the boots and cardigan over the linen dress look – I’m looking a bit like a sad Victorian child who wandered out of bed in her nightgown for a cup of tea to warm her cold hands. Pass.
Outfit 5: Cream cardigan + Pointed Flats
By switching the cardigan for a lighter color and adding a pair of sparkly pointed flats, this dress is now totally appropriate for the office. I’d probably add some layered necklaces to this outfit and will totally wear this look to work in the spring.
Outfit 6: Denim shirt + Frye Boots
Once again, just because it looks good on other people doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for me and my style. Feeling super frumpy in this combo and it’s totally not doing it for me. Next!
Outfit 7: Denim shirt, tied + Frye Boots
Okay, same outfit but a little styling goes a long way. By knotting the blouse, it gives my body more of an hourglass shape and also makes it look like I tried a little bit. With that being said, the denim blouse and boots combo looks too much like I’m about to go to a hoedown.
Outfit 8: Denim vest + Sandals
YES. This is it. It took me a bunch of tries… but this look feels very ME. The denim vest covers the straps so I can wear whatever bra I want, and it also gives it a little bit of a tougher look when mixed with the linen dress. It looks super cute paired with the brown sandals and I think this would also work really well with a pair of chucks!
Outfit 9: Denim jacket + Doc Martins
Okay, this is also doing it for me. Like the denim vest, the denim jacket toughens the look up a little bit and keeps it from being too sweet. I actually like the addition of the Doc Martins with this since they go well with the denim. I’ll absolutely wear this pairing!
Outfit 10: Moto jacket + Doc Martins
Since I liked the ‘tougher’ version of this dress, I figured I’d try my black denim moto jacket with it. And I like this combo too! Sure, the black jacket and the black heavy boots aren’t for everyone – and frankly not what a lot of people are looking to do when they put on a pretty linen dress – but I like options and this one does it for me.
Are these the only 10 outfits I could find in my closet? Nope! By having a little dress-up-Barbie moment on my own, it gave me a chance to stretch my imagination and see what would work, what works but isn’t me, and what I absolutely don’t like. According to the timestamps on my photos, this entire exercise took me 20 minutes and I ended up with 7 outfits that I will definitely wear!
Oh, and if you want to see the Reel I made with all 10 of the outfits, you can find it here: