I bought this dress probably three years ago from my local boutique in Oberlin. It's a difficult dress to style; it's white so it needs an underlayer to be decent, it needs a belt because it's very unstructured and on me, it looks a little like a potato sack without one. On the pro side, it has an interesting neckline treatment, it's comfortable, and it has some cool textures including lace, mesh, embroidery, and a panel of cotton crepe.
Yesterday it was too cold to wear this dress alone, since it's sleeveless, so I threw on a long cashmere cardigan. After trying it belted over just the dress, I decided to try belting it over the sweater too, and I like the way it looked. I've found that I like lightweight knits the best, and cashmere is great at keeping you warm without the bulk of other fibers. This cardigan has been a surprising garment for me - I usually don't gravitate towards beiges and pale neutrals, since they wash me out, but I love the color of this sweater. It's just far off enough from my skin tone, with a slight undertone of pink.
Lately everywhere I look I see historical influences. This outfit feels part kimono, part Regency-style silhouette. In addition to my history class, I've been checking out fashion and textile history books from the library, and I feel like I'm having "I did not know that!" moments pretty much every other second.
Among the newest things I've learned? It wasn't until the 1960s that the fashionable women's figure was achieved with diet and exercise; before that, it was always the shape of the corset that dictated the body's shape. That would help to explain why certain fashions would not fit a contemporary person's body: not only because bodies themselves were different then, but also because we are missing the foundational garments that shaped the body to fit inside those clothes. And no matter how pretty some of those corsets might be, reading about the injuries they caused makes me thankful that they're not still popular today!
White pieced dress: Dzhavael Couture
Long oatmeal cashmere cardigan: Cynthia Rowley, via Marshall's
Bow belt: Nordstrom
Brown braid-detail boots: J Shoes