The Return Of Date Night: 2 Seriously Lovely Dresses from Saks OFF 5TH

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Thank you to Saks OFF 5TH & ShopStyle Collective for sponsoring this post.

We made it, friends. After more than a year of blogging about date nights being something that we will eventually return to, we’re here. Returned. Fully vaccinated, and on the very cusp of dining out alone together — and maybe even…*gasp*…indoors. Much like I told my dentist when she invited me to take a seat in the waiting room this morning (where the chairs were previously upturned and piled in a corner), times, they are a-changing.

2 Summer Dresses To Celebrate The Return Of Date Night

And the timing of said…changed…times…couldn’t be better. In the span of just about a month, we celebrate my birthday and our anniversary (it’ll be 11 years, but we missed celebrating our 10th last year, so it feels like a big deal) — and Father’s Day is in there, too. Plus there’s a whole year’s worth of miscellaneous date nights to make up for, and now that we have a heap of fully vaccinated grandparents eager for more Lana time, we fully intend to sneak away as often as possible.

Which means, of course, a wardrobe update.

Right now, Saks OFF 5TH is running a Friends & Family event! Take 20% off $100+ with promo code FANDF

left: dress | sunglasses | gold bracelet right: dress | shoes | bag | earrings

After a year of celebrating the versatile House Dress (honestly, I’ve dressed up more in my own home this past year than I ever did out in the world), I was ready for a really freaking pretty dress that’s not designed to perform as anything more than a really freaking pretty dress. I mean, yes, by default, you can (and I will!) wear both of these dresses with sneakers, but I bought them first and foremost with date night in mind. As such, they’re a little louder, a little flirtier, than what I usually gravitate toward. And shockingly, I am loving it.

Less shocking is the fact that I picked up both of these from Saks OFF 5TH for a stellar price. As you may have noticed, the whole team has developed quite the penchant for Saks OFF 5TH lately, and it’s for good reason. It’s a nearly identical online shopping experience to Saks, with a genuinely exciting variety of favorite brands (French Connection, Free People, Vince, rag & bone, Rebecca Minkoff, FRAME — they’re all there) at a serious value.

And their selection is luxuriously vast. I usually start narrowing things by category — dresses, let’s say — then by size. And if I’m still faced with more results than I have time for (though let’s be real — half the fun is taking the time to browse), I might narrow it further by brand. That’s how I scored my most-worn rag & bone jeans in a hard-to-find wash and the Free People dress I’m wearing in this post. In fact, I’ve yet to visit the site without finding at least one item that feels like a rare gem. For someone who revels in the hunt, it’s an absolutely freaking joy. Oh, and their men’s selection? Also excellent. And even a little more curated, which makes finding just the right piece even simpler. (Keep reading for some of my date night picks for Chris, just in time for Father’s Day.)

But first, about that Free People dress.

Free People Perfectly Victorian Dress:
Gorgeous Details, Totally Vacation-Worthy

I'm ready for a really freaking pretty dress that's not designed to perform as anything more than a pretty dress....a little louder, a little flirtier than what I usually gravitate toward.

dress | shoes | bag | earrings | gold bracelet | sunglasses

This Free People dress stopped me mid-scroll when I was browsing the Saks OFF 5TH site. I couldn’t decide how I felt about it. I had a feeling the pictures online just weren’t doing it justice — that it was one of those dresses that needs to be appreciated in person. But another perk of shopping Saks OFF 5TH is that I’m a little more prone to take risks knowing that the investment isn’t as substantial. And this risk? Paid off.

Free People got this one so very right. The details are impeccable. The tiny pleats adorning the sleeve, the inset crochet bits, the embroidery. It’s fully lined with light cotton, too. And for someone who almost always gravitates towards neutrals, the color is stunning. I felt like I was on vacation the second I slipped it on. Oh, and let’s not ignore the fact that it’s blissfully comfy and would be ideal for warm weather. One hundred percent cotton, and it hangs away from the body. (I especially appreciated this fact when it started lightly drizzling in the middle of this shoot. Bring on all the tropical humidity.)

Sizing notes: I’m 5’5″, usually an XS-S, and went with the S in this, but I think I could have probably gone either way.

I'm ready for a really freaking pretty dress that's not designed to perform as anything more than a pretty dress....a little louder, a little flirtier than what I usually gravitate toward.
I'm ready for a really freaking pretty dress that's not designed to perform as anything more than a pretty dress....a little louder, a little flirtier than what I usually gravitate toward.

dress | shoes | bag | earrings | gold bracelet

Shop More Red Dresses

And now I’m eyeing all the red dresses. Red is a color I previously reserved for Lunar New Year and the occasional holiday party, but it was so unexpectedly fun to pop on. Below, a few others that feel exceptionally wearable.


This French Connection Floral Dress Is So Freaking Flirty & Fun

I'm ready for a really freaking pretty dress that's not designed to perform as anything more than a pretty dress....a little louder, a little flirtier than what I usually gravitate toward.

dress | shoes | bag | earrings

Apparently I’m just a sucker for flirty details these days (I know, who am I??), because I also picked up this tailored, belted number from French Connection. It’s got a bit of an Alice In Wonderland-goes-vintage-Havana thing going for it, and as much as I usually stray from sweet silhouettes, turns out I’m powerless to resist tropical tea party vibes.

The puff sleeves, voluminous skirt (you can juuust see the back of it caught in the breeze in the pic above — quite the Marilyn moment) — and that belt! I was instantly intrigued. It gives me shape where I have none and feels deliciously different from anything else in my closet.

Sizing notes: I’m 5’5″, usually a 0-2. I’m wearing a 2 here, and it just fits. If I were any bustier (I’m a 34C), I think I’d prefer sizing up to a 4.

I'm ready for a really freaking pretty dress that's not designed to perform as anything more than a pretty dress....a little louder, a little flirtier than what I usually gravitate toward.

dress | shoes | bag | earrings | gold bracelet | sunglasses

Shop More Unapologetically Flirty Dresses

Crediting the past year (of schlepping around in all the shapeless things) for my new attraction to all things flirty, gathered, drapey and feminine. Here are a few more sweet frocks that are refreshingly outside of my usual.


The Easy, Elevated Bucket Bag & Braided Sandals I’ll Be Sporting All Summer

I have to give a special nod to the shoes and handbags sections at Saks OFF 5TH, too. I’ve somewhat banned myself from browsing there too frequently, because their handbag selection is outta control. (They even have vintage classics that are the epitome of treasure.) This Staud bucket is a prime example. Its size makes it genuinely functional (it’s a little larger than some of the hand-held bucket bags out there), but it’s still relatively compact and totally playful. And while the linen fabric lightens the overall look, the bold, stitched leather will carry well into fall. The craftsmanship is lovely. And under $100 (usually $325). See? Score. (Oh hey, it’s available in navy, too.)

I'm ready for a really freaking pretty dress that's not designed to perform as anything more than a pretty dress....a little louder, a little flirtier than what I usually gravitate toward.

dress | shoes | bag

I’ve told myself over the past year that the first pair of post-lockdown shoes I’d buy would be heels. Not heeled booties. Not platform wedges. Heels. So adding these BCBG braided sandals to my cart felt like a symbol of freedom.

They’re even more gorgeous in person — more special (and elongating) than an espadrille while still feeling unapologetically summery. The braided rope detail is so well-executed, and the cherry on top is that they’re actually comfortable. As in, the sole is actually flexible, and even though they don’t have an ankle strap, they don’t slip. (The lack of ankle strap also means I’m far more likely to wear them — they’re just too easy to pop on.)

They remind me of something my exceptionally stylish, 4’10” Paw Paw (mom’s mom) would have worn with a house dress or mumu, which feels like a tiny gift in itself.

You know, in addition to the whole dressing up to experience the world again thing. Hurrah!


Shop More Date Night Shoes & Bags

Shop Date Night + Father’s Day Finds for Him

It would feel like a disservice not to include a nod to Saks OFF 5TH’s men’s section, so here are a few favorite finds, all of which pass muster with Chris — who we know needs not a thing because he buys himself what he wants when he wants it…and is therefore infuriatingly impossible to shop for.

A specific note about the watch, below: Chris selected this, himself. Unsurprisingly, he is very particular about timepieces, and as such, invests a fair amount in them. His take, when it comes to gifting a watch: “If you’re not looking to truly invest in a timepiece designed to last a lifetime, go with a piece that’s not trying to mimic something else. You could pay more for a flashy name brand, but if they don’t necessarily specialize in timepieces, the movement is probably going to be the same. This one is sleek, minimal and won’t draw attention by trying to be something it’s not. Understated and cool. It’s a good one.” There ya have it.


Cheers to the return of date night, friends. The flirty dress. The gold heels.
And, if you’re at all like me, the joy of the hunt.
Em

Thanks to Saks OFF 5TH and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post. You know I appreciate scoring a particularly good find, and their selection makes it only too easy (and fun) to search for scores late into the night. It’s just such an enjoyable experience. And thank you for reading along in this space and supporting our brand partners, friend. We genuinely appreciate it.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I have older versions of the Free People dress in ivory and black. They’ve shrunk in length a bit over the years, but I love them and even though I haven’t worn them in a bit… I just can’t donate them yet. They look great tucked into jeans and/or over jeans as well. Great choices and that color red looks awesome on you

    • Ah, thanks for the tip. I will definitely get wear out of this if it can double as a boho tunic of sorts — it’s pretty much pants weather here all year long (but then that’s what makes a short dress feel so celebratory!).

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