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.



  1. ok I want to know…how do you decide which boots to wear?? free people or Stuart Weitzmans?? do you get as much wear with both???

    • Yes please let me know!!! I’m stuck on which to order!! I have the FP in brown but I desperately need a black sock type boot and was hoping to get more of a stretch style than the FP Cecile so it fits even better at the ankle but still has walkable heel.
      Love the idea of the tapestry dress, thanks for styling it so many ways. Would’ve never thought of the turtleneck.

      • Ok, here’s the thing: The Weitzmans are so insanely fabulous, but the heel is high. So despite the fact that they look good with everything, I almost always wear the Free People, just because we do so much walking for date nights. If we’re taking an Uber, however, then I grab the Weitzman. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I can dress up the Free People boots.

  2. You are killing me. I have been stalking that Anthro dress (with the print up the sides) sine you first posted about it and finally just now bit the bullet (30% off!!) I can’t wait to see if it’s as good in person as it looks on the website.

  3. Where is your turtleneck from? I’m always nervous that it will look bunched up or too thick under my dresses that are sleeveless. Any advice on how to pick the right turtleneck for layering?

  4. I had just purchased this dress (which looks to only be available in plus size now): when this post popped up. I so doubted my purchase for a dressy holiday party with friends until I saw the post. Now I’m sure it’s a keeper, especially since it arrived and I tried it on and got a “wow” out of my husband. I’m going to pair it with booties, grey tights, and a pearl necklace for the party but I’m thinking I’ll dress it down with a jean jacket for my more casual work environment. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

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