Ode to the T-shirt Dress

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Until recently, I had always considered myself an over-the-top, “Add more spots, stripes and sequins,” more is better type of gal. When it came to dressing, my wardrobe was the physical manifestation of Elizabeth Bennet’s personality: “She had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.”

I still delight in the ridiculous, but I’m beginning to warm up to the idea of comfy minimalism. I feel like it makes you shine more brightly in your clothes, instead of letting them talk over you.

Take this T-shirt dress from Forever 21, for example. From afar, it’s seemingly simple enough! Clean lines, a roomy fit–– it’s a tomboy dream of a dress.

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But it’s no Monet! Up-close details reveal cuffed sleeves, a babydoll waist and a single front pocket. These little additions help set the dress apart from other plain janes on the rack, while still keeping the dress a blank canvas that’s perfect for accessorizing.

I had fun playing around with my Tattly friendship bracelet tat by Julia Rothman. Its bright pink, blue and orange stripes had me reaching for my old J. Crew flower pendant necklace and C. Wonder bracelet. I slicked on a fresh coat of OPI’s “Can’t Find My Czechbook” blue and put (two) rings on it.

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But a tomboy dress needs some heavy-duty footwear for kickin’ it, right? I pulled on some sheer black high socks and Mossimo Supply combat boots from Target.

Down-scaling the dress lets the accessories and shoes steal the show, which is a good idea, if you want all eyes on your seldom-worn-in-Florida “cold weather” boots. Piecing them together with the sheer socks was a new one for me, but I liked the mixed textures. It was my own version of fall’s “layered look,” as it’s tough to pile on the clothes in 65 degrees.

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A classic pair of Rab-Ban wayfarers and a vintage Dooney & Bourke (snagged from my mother’s closet a few years back) add the finishing touch.

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