Week 17 :: of basic black, booty shaking, and making it work

Pretty Woman was to my high school self as Star Wars was to my elementary school self.

Both played seminal roles in my formative years and go a long way in explaining the fashion geek that I am today.  So I guess it makes sense that I know when an outfit is golden when I do the Vivian booty shake.

Yeah, that one.  In the black cocktail dress, hair askew, face focused and deliberating in front of the mirror.  The little shimmy she does to – I don’t know – determine if it’s Edward-seducing material?

Anyhow, for reasons only known to my psyche, doing that mini cha cha signals that I’m done creating and the outfit is ready to go on a hanger.  Last night, I timed myself and it took me 35 minutes from the minute Style Up posted to my inbox to the moment I finally executed the Vivian booty shake.

That sounds like very little time in the grand scheme of things, but when you consider the simplicity of the inspiration pic, it’s actually pretty sad that it took me that long.  After all, how difficult is it to

Pull out a black dress — bright wedges make it hot weather ready.

Style Up Wednesday

Apparently very difficult.  I think there are several things potentially unsatisfactory about this ensemble:

  1. The dress is a ponte fabric and theoretically figure-flattering since it skims instead of clings, but because my eye is just so used to bodycon pencil skirts that are a good inch above my knee, the fabric coupled with the modest length of this dress makes me feel frumpy.
  2. The wedges, although a sunny yellow, actually add to the frumpy feeling because of the heaviness of the heel.
  3. My bare arm wattle issue.  ‘Nuff said.

Style Up Wednesday

So I had to really think about revamping the outfit to suit my hang-ups but still keep within the parameters of a recognizable dupe of the inspiration pic.  I opted for an au courant bubble necklace to address the frumpy factor of #1; I threw on a light bolero to deal with #3; and I told myself to get over it and just wear the darned yellow wedges, making #2 moot.

Style Up Wenesday

A few of the comments on Style Up are pretty negative about the inspiration pic, which makes me wonder: do I continue to dupe looks even if they get bad press or can I opt out?  Then again, had I opted out this time, I wouldn’t have attempted to make my iteration work and this dress, bolero and wedges would’ve remained closet orphans indefinitely until the next closet purge.

What say you, my friends?  Yay or nay for this outfit?  Yay or nay for opting out of “disliked” Style Up looks?

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Dress – Apt. 9 @ Kohl’s
Bolero – Marshall’s
Wedges – Breckelle’s
Necklace – eBay

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12 thoughts on “Week 17 :: of basic black, booty shaking, and making it work

  1. […] detail to the top itself, and I did wear a patterned skirt. But I didn’t do my Pretty Woman booty shake with this […]

  2. This outfit is great sans bolero. And with the necklace, wow. Not the least bit frumpy. SU’s outfit was fine but you elevated it.
    Leave out the bolero, a little frumpy over the dress, the arms truly are fine. If it makes you feel better, maybe a few yoga planks. Not to get preachy but I sadden to hear your fret about the arms when you pulled off such a great look by taking all the best from the style up and made it better.

    • mtsedwards says:

      I’m actually vowing to stop talking about my arms from now on because it is not my intent to whinge and seem ungrateful for my healthy body. After all, these arms helped me carry my two kids throughout their infancy and currently helps me do things like swing a hammer when we renovate or throw tennis balls when I run my dog.

      I think it’s surprisingly gratifying to receive so many positive comments about an outfit that I didn’t have high hopes for. Gotta give props to Style Up for forcing me out of my comfort zone.

  3. jenortega says:

    I love, love, love this outfit. Not frumpy at all. The yellow made me soooo happy!

  4. Elba Ortega says:

    Mujer, I don’t know what you are talking about — There is nothing frumpy about your outfit. I love this look. It’s simple chic and easy for any of us to dupe. I even prefer the non-bolero look. (I’m trying real hard to find any arm waddle) And, if YOU like and want to dupe a look – who cares what the original commenters on Style Up say!

    • mtsedwards says:

      Hi, Elba! Long time! Thanks for the vote of confidence on the arm wattle thing. I guess we all have our body issues; I’ll just try not to harp so much about mine here.

      And yes, I think I’ll just ignore comments and go with the flow. It IS the week’s theme after all.

  5. sarahtaylorisoneword says:

    When you’re sitting down, the outfit looks really cute. But when you stand, I can see the frumpy feeling.

    I don’t think the idea is to “opt out” of bad StyleUp advice, but give it your opinions (however you do that?) and let it get to know you. Maybe you could do a round 2 Style Up week after you’ve yay’d or nay’d outfits and it has a better idea of what you like?

    • mtsedwards says:

      Oh, I think Style Up gives me a pretty good variety of outfits that suit me. I was talking about other commenters’ opinions on my suggested looks.

      And yeah, you’ve got to give me tips on how to photograph black. People say it’s my signature color but it does read flat and boring in pictures.

      • sarahtaylorisoneword says:

        Eh, my experience is that it’s all about the lighting. Being outside/using natural lighting will help with that. I wish I had fancy wording for that, but not tonight, apparently.

        You are going to have some crazy fun with MCC photos at Yale! Such a beautiful campus. And if I was going, it could’ve been my debut to your blog. Damn…. For next summer?

        Am I going to see you before you’re off for Yale??

  6. Selah says:

    The dress is a beautiful, simple LBD, and there is nothing wrong with the length. The height of the wedge adds to the loveliness of your legs – nothing frumpy about them. Your arms are FINE! As to the negative comments on Style Up – very few of their outfits have zero negative comments. People are super picky and opinionated on that site. I think there are a lot of Style Up users who don’t understand that inspiration doesn’t necessarily mean exact duplication.

    • mtsedwards says:

      “I think there are a lot of Style Up users who don’t understand that inspiration doesn’t necessarily mean exact duplication.” Hear, hear! That’s exactly it, isn’t it? You’ve managed to articulate what was so obvious now. Forest for the trees, eh?

      Put that way, I set aside my reservations about Style Up and will boldly go where no MCC theme week has gone before. ;p

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