Guys — you’re gonna wanna kill me. OK, that might be a bit dramatic. Let me start over, ahem.
I have good news, and I have bad news.
Worth The Wait: A Sustainable Dress With Pockets (+ Perfect For Sneakers)
The good news: this graphic, striped, voluminous, pocketed Venice Beach Dress from Mrs. Jones (which, you may remember, I have been lusting after since our first round-up of Black-Owned Businesses) — is exactly as good as it looks in the pictures. Probably better, even, because in real life you’re doing more in it than playing soccer with your kid in the backyard. (Oh wait…no, that sounds about right these days…) The bad news? I took these pictures a few weeks ago. And then we went to the mountains for a few days. And then the Anniversary Sale had me all wound up. And then school started. And now…it’s…kinda. sorta. almossst sold out.
I knowwwww. I know. And even if you don’t wish me harm, the thing that tears me up the most is that I let the commercial monster that is the NSale drag me away from celebrating the Mrs. Jones brand and the supremely talented designer behind it, Nichole Moss, who is far and away more deserving of my attention — and my limited fashion allowance. Now, I love the spirit and camaraderie that go along with the NSale — and I’m most especially appreciative of the income it generates — but this feels like a glaring misstep on my part. Talking the talk when it comes to featuring more independent and, specifically, black-owned businesses…and then falling right back into the rat race and only kinda sorta walking the walk. I can do better, guys. Hold me to it.
The Good News (Part 2! — ah yes, the sequel you never saw coming) is that when I DM’d Nichole to confess my blunder, she said she would make more.
And this, friends, is yet another reason to support boutique merchants and manufacturers. She’s taking pre-orders now and is excellent at communicating production times and shipping estimates, so with a bit of patience, I’m so thrilled to report that this Venice Dress can be yours. And folks: it’s worth the wait.
Mrs. Jones: A Sustainable, Black Woman-Owned Business
Every Mrs. Jones piece is so thoughtfully designed — and everything is constructed using materials Nichole sources from high-end designer remnants, so she’s actually taking up the slack where fabric waste is concerned. Admittedly, this dress is more than I would typically spend on a single garment, but it feels like a piece with staying power (not to mention getting stopped on the street is always fun!), and you can tell in the hand and fabrication that these designs are seriously well-made, friends. And everything is made in NYC by a woman-of-color-owned, woman-run factory. Long story short: Mrs. Jones is doing just about everything right.
Oh! And, just to check off my all-time favorite box of combining fashion and function, Nichole includes pockets in all of her pieces and designs all of her dresses with sneakers in mind. It’s like she’s in my head. In our heads. And I’m so glad for it.
Venice Beach Dress Outfit Details
Mrs. Jones Venice Beach Dress in Black (Wearing a S) // I can’t speak highly enough of this dress (or, obviously, all things Mrs. Jones). The generous volume, the substantial 100% cotton fabric, the graphic stripe, the adjustable shoulder ties — the pockets! I love that it’s made using high-end designer remnants, and the quality of the construction is evident from the moment you unwrap it. By my standards, this is a bit of an investment — but I can’t ever see parting with it. And the forgiving sizing is easy and refreshing. A small (which I’m wearing here) fits sizes 0-6; medium fits sizes 6-10; and large fits 8-14. Oh — and guys: it’s machine washable.
Rattan Bag // This easy little bag was an Amazon find from last year, and it’s the perfect price point for a trendier style. Do I typically wear a bag in my own backyard? No. But I do have a whole assortment of smaller bags stashed near the door that I grab for walks around the neighborhood, and this one is big enough for my phone, keys, ID and hand sanitizer, plus a couple of small snacks for Lana. My exact bag is sold out, but here’s a similar one with a more subtle rattan pattern and a similar one that includes a few fun accessories to jazz it up.
Vans Old Skool Shoes // These are the exact shoes the Mrs. Jones model was wearing when I first spied the dress (and genuinely part of the reason it was love at first sight). Vans can pretty much do no wrong in my mind, and I’ve had a pair of Old Skools in my closet since middle school. The black is classic and pops especially well with the graphic vibe of the dress, but they’re also a no-brainer with jeans and a sweater, or a knit skirt and a hoodie. Seriously contemplating adding this cool leopard (what!?) or the classic two-tone blue to my collection, too. Oh wait a minute wait a minute!! This new platform style with gum sole accents!!? (swiftly adds to cart…) My entire adolescence captured in a single pair of footwear. *sigh* Fit is TTS.
Shop More Vans (aka Sneakers Perfect W/ Dresses)
It’s no surprise that I’m a BIG fan of sneakers — and pairing sneakers witthhhhh…just about everything. Vans, in particular, feel decidedly Californian and carry loads of nostalgic vibes for me. I don’t imagine ever being without a pair in my closet. They’re flattering on the foot — even with shorts or dresses, too. And super budget-friendly.
Quick note: Mrs. Jones is about to launch a new collection that has me seriously excited. It’s called Surf Africa, and Nichole’s been touting it on Instagram as “everything a woman would want to wear after a surf session or beach hang at Ngor in Dakar, or any beach you love.” Do I surf? I sure don’t. Have I been anywhere near Dakar? Nope (but you can bet your ass it’s being added to the long-and-getting-longer list of post-COVID travel destinations). But I’m a big ol’ fan of escapism through fashion, and I can think of almost no better description for the type of clothes I want to be wearing as we homeschool our way through the continuing pandemic.
The Surf Africa collection launches later this month. Sign up here now for early access.
Hope everyone is enjoying this tail end of summer, folks.
As always, happy shopping.
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!