This Might Be The Only Dress You Need


What if I said that one of the most versatile pieces in my closet was a dress covered in giant, embroidered flowers, and made from a material that reminds one of tapestry?

I know, I know.  You clutch your pearls (ironically of course), and laugh, because OBVIOUSLY I’VE LOST MY MIND.


But here’s the thing:  when it’s time to be….festive….or dressed up….or when it’s time to slip out of our everyday uniform of slept-in sweaters, dirty jeans and well-worn sneakers (please tell me this isn’t just me)….it’s always fun to wear something that makes an impact.  Something that provides a sharp contrast to the everyday, something fun and sexy and different.

And patterned dresses provide the punch I’m looking for.  Not only that, because they’re Bringing The Fun, they pair easily with classic standbys:  black boots, leather jackets, your old faithful wool coat, etc.

Even better?  There’s something about a patterned dress – at least a gorgeous, richly patterned one – that looks just as good with fur and heels as it does with denim jackets and boots.  Dress it up, dress it down – it’s all pretty effortless.

Keep reading to see how I recently styled my patterned shift dress for a wedding weekend.  I wore it first to the wedding itself…..and then to the horse races the next day, with denim and boots and turtlenecks (of course, if you follow me on IG, @shanachristine,  this is old news).

Lastly, I’ve also included a HUGE round-up of my favorite richly patterned dresses (at many different price points).














Outfit Details

dress: Alice + Olivia Clyde Shift dress (wearing a size 0 for reference) – only sizes 2 and 6 left…Amazon has the same dress in a different print in additional sizes, or check my round-up below.  There’s a TON to choose from.

leather jacket: so old, but I rounded up all of my favorite leather jackets here

pumps: Vince Claire Pump (50% off at Nordstrom Rack)

feather bag: old, but found a similar one!  (in gray)

denim jacket: similar

boots: Free People Cecile bootie

backpack: similar


Shop My Favorite Richly Patterned Dresses

Soooo…the thing with patterns is that there are a ton of really terrible ones out there.  As a general rule, the higher-end designers do better patterns than fast fashion brands.  For this reason, I spent a good amount of time scouring sites like The Outnet and Nordstrom Rack for options.  However, I was happily surprised to find that there were some affordable options from Abercrombie, LOFT, etc.