March 18, 2012

Shop Your Closet: Wear a Dress With Pants

Yup.  We're here again.  Anyone as old as I will remember this trend quite clearly.  First we donned dresses over bootcut denim, then gravitated to skinnies.  Remember?

Now…I'm really liking dresses over flares.


There's such a fab 70's vibe going on (still), that a flowy dress over flares just feels…right.  

And I think this combo works best when the flares are true flares: tight to the knee, then flaring out…rather than wide-leg pants which have a fuller silhouette all the way down.

A little heel never hurts either.


(wearing: a very, very old Clu dress originally worn over bootcut denim….but also think that this dress or this colorful one would work, J Brand Lovestory flares, Dansko boots, Stella and Dot Alexa fringe necklace and bracelets c/o Becky McBride)

Surprisingly, a short, fitted shift dress also works really well over flares.  Like the outfit that Vogue's accessories editor, Selby Drummand, rocked:

Screen Shot 2012-03-18 at 10.10.40 PM

(photo credit: Marko MacPherson from Vogue's Five Days, Five Looks, One Girl Series)

Granted, she's roughly ten feet tall, but the proportions are the important part.  As long as your shift dress is mini rather than mid-thigh in length, this look would work for a shorter gal.  

In summary:  Dresses over pants = yes.  You?




  • Crunchy Con Mommy
    March 19, 2012

    It looks super cute, but I think I’d vote no for comfort reasons (plus I carry my weight mainly right at my waistline, so adding buttons/zipper/belt loops would just add bulk)Leggings and skinny jeggings are so much more comfortable around my waist. Maybe that just means I need new jeans!

  • Kay
    March 19, 2012

    I love this look, but my husband does not. Any loose, flowy top = maternity to him. I try to dress to please myself, but can’t quite get that thought out of my head.
    The funny thing is that he comes to ME for fashion advice, so I really should take his opinions with a grain of salt.

  • April D
    March 19, 2012

    I must say that I LOVE this look but have never tried it myself. If I can ever get my children to nap today, I may skip cleaning and shop my closet instead. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • srg
    March 19, 2012

    I love dresses with pants. I am currently wearing a boden wrap dress with ankle length navy long and lean gap jeans. They have a prominent flare on me. I think there’s a lot of room to play with proportions (though I like a defined– but slightly higher– waist). I often love the look with a bright pair of flats. It has the overall effect of funky poetry priestess. Which is, I think at least, a good thing…

  • Megan
    March 19, 2012

    Oohhh!! I adore this look but haven’t tried it. I don’t think I have any dresses that are short enough though… Might be worth a look at target or kohls juniors section for some mini dresses that would otherwise be too short for my 30-something-mother-of-4 self 😉

  • S
    March 19, 2012

    Thanks for the comments, girls!!
    Kay – guys are weird. It’s true. Have you seen the man-repeller? Her blog is all about the outfits that men just don’t “get”. It’s hilarious.
    April D – Yeah….I almost always skip cleaning in lieu of closet stuff. 🙂
    Srg – I’m totally intrigued!! Send a pic!
    Megan – a long tunic also works….but yes: good idea!

  • Beth
    March 19, 2012

    I love this look, but for some reason haven’t been able to pull it off. Either the dress flares too much and emphasizes my hips or the mid section is just bumpy.
    Srg- I agree with Shana – I think that look might work for me – can you please send in a pic???
    Thanks again for such good inspiration – and LOVE the flares. Think I might need to buy these this spring…

  • Amy
    March 20, 2012

    Yep, I’ve totally worn this! Twice in the last month, actually. Love this look. 🙂

  • Kay
    March 20, 2012

    srg, I want to see the funky poetry priestess look, too. 🙂

  • Sara
    March 20, 2012

    I have loved this look FOREVER! I’m talking since the 90s, LOL. I remember Edie Brickell rocking this look on stage at a college show. It looks so…kind of casual/artsy-bohemian, maybe a little hippie-rock’n’roll. Some dude thinks it’s frumpy?? WRONG. This look is cute and comfortable and all that other stuff I said. I like Shana’s choice of a dark fabric here, which steers this in the direction of sophistication.
    And the man-repeller is hilarious.

  • cheralyn
    March 21, 2012

    Heck yeah! Been holding my breath waiting for this silhoette to return!

  • Angie @
    June 5, 2012

    Ok, I need some flares now…

  • wearwithchinos
    July 13, 2012

    I love this look, this looks super cute!

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