Fashion advice...

Sueb20July 13, 2014

In 2 months I am having a big birthday party. I knew DH would have planned a surprise party (he did for my 30th and 40th) and I didn't want a surprise, so I told him to plan a party and gave him general directions as to what I wanted. He has done all the planning and really, all I know for sure is where it is and who will be invited. My input has been three points: (1) nothing fancy, (2) I want dancing and here is my playlist, and (3) dress code: casual chic. We chose the venue together, and it's an old mansion that is rented out for various events, but it's not a super formal place. Now I am left to ponder what "casual chic" means for me! I am a "young" 50 with a somewhat funky style, more so in accessories than in clothing (I have lots of interesting jewelry, for example). My uniform is jeans and t-shirt, but nice t-shirts! I am short, small on top, and big(gish) on the bottom. Pear shape. My most flattering look is probably an A-line dress with a v-neck, but I don't want to be appear overdressed or formal. How about nice dark jeans and a fancy-ish top? Or if I wear a dress, what type would be flattering and give off a casual-but-not-too-casual vibe?

What would you wear if you were me? Or -- If you received my party invitation and saw "casual chic", what would you wear?

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Annie Deighnaugh

I'd definitely wear a dress, esp if there's dancing. And I think you should too...after all, you only turn 50 once!

Maybe something like this with the a-line shape, solid background for your cool jewelry, not to fancy, but flowy enough for dancing.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Sueb20

Oh, that would look awful on me. Looks far too clingy and I need something that will really avoid any clinginess around my saddlebags. Just being real.

But while we're at L&T, this one looks fun to me. Too short for my comfort but since I usually wear a Petite size, the regular might be long enough.

Here is a link that might be useful: fun dress?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:59PM
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Sueb20

This is kinda cute too, and check out the price.

Here is a link that might be useful: bargain dress

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:08PM
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ellendi

I don't like either, but I like the direction you are going in. Definitely a dress. Don't put the word out that jeans are acceptable. Guests can be both comfortable and casual and not wear jeans. This is a special occasion.

I'm a petite too. My go to is Loft or AnnnTaylor. I was lucky to actually find a dress in Ann Taylor, but I usually have to shop online for a bigger selection.
Both sites have lots of cute options. With your body type you would look good in the flare skirted dresses.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 4:25PM
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tinam61

I definitely would want to be more festive than jeans. I'm short also but I can wear certain maxi dresses or skirts. Cut and flow has to be just right. One of my fav casual looks is a long skirt with a top over (can be a nice tee) and a hip slung belt. Of course you could do a skirt and top and no belt. Or a strappy maxi with a cardigan of some sort. If not maxi maybe ankle length. Feminine, festive and still comfy.

Boy - ya'all have been planning your 50th for months! Hope it is a grand occasion!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:39PM
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joaniepoanie

What about a loose, flowy maxi style dress? You could wear flat sandals and be comfy all night.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:41PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

As you are the star, you can dress up as much as you like. I would definitely wear a dress and op for dressier than you are currently thinking. Or at least more festive. Party attire, not business looking.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:57PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I don't think maxi works well unless you are tall.

I would do a linen black a-line v neck, since you may as well go with something that flatters you, with a funky belt, maybe like a beaded one from Anthro, and funky shoes.

Ixnay on olkapay otsday. Too easily skews matronly; though I love polka dots.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:03PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Something like this says casual party to me.

I know it's a Southern/Northern thing, southerners do wear brighter clothes and navy, gray, black, etc. while sophisticated, can be too serious unless the cut is fun. imo. And,of course, it is so hot here...

Here is a link that might be useful: dress

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:05PM
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jmck_nc

Sue, have you ever looked at ModCloth.com? THey have some very cute, retro styles that I think could work well for this sort of party. Many of the styles are more fitted on top and flowy in the skirt...might be great for your shape. Good luck with your search!
Judy

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:23PM
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Sueb20

Tina, I'm just extending the celebration -- you're referring to the Bermuda trip? I was seriously intending to try to do something special every month during the year leading up to 50, but that wasn't too realistic, I guess, since I haven't done it.

My mother died at 55 so, irrationally or not, for the last 20 years since she died, I have assumed I'd probably die in my 50s too. I know that's kind of crazy but I am using it as one excuse to really celebrate this birthday...you know, because I may not see 60. Hey -- any excuse for a party.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Sueb20

Ooh, first thing I saw on Modcloth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dress

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I love modcloth and that is a great dress! ( you do know they sell out fast?)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:30PM
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deee_gw

Around here casual chic would be white ankle jeans and a bright linen tunic. We are still summery here in September but it probably wouldn't work in New England,

Do you shop at White House Black Market? I never have any luck there but I do like the look of their clothes.

This dress is a little dressy but I love the shape.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shadow stripe party dress

This post was edited by deee on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 20:29

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:12PM
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neetsiepie

That Modcloth dress is adorable! I can see it with some great colorful jewelry and perfect for dancing. Have a blast and make sure you take lots of pics.

My DD's threw me a surprise 50th-I knew we were going to meet for dinner, so I wore a jewel embellished T and coordinating capris-fortunately I thought to put on make up! My brother was there taking photos (he was part of the surprise) and he got some great shots, it was the best birthday party I've ever had.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:14PM
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tinam61

Oh I wasn't referring to the trip - just the planning over the last several months. Nothing wrong with that! Like I said - hope it's grand!

I like the modcloth dress too.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:05PM
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Oakley

I was going to suggest the same as Dee. I don't consider wearing a dress as "chic." But wearing cute slacks, top, and a linen jacket is chic to me. Cool jewelry, shoes, etc.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:11AM
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Sueb20

Decided the Modcloth dress was a little too girly for me.

Sept can be pretty warm here. That's partly why I'm looking now. By Sept all the stores will be full of winter clothes and I want a more summery outfit. My birthday is technically still in the summer!

I found a dress at Sundance that I love. Might order it and see.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:19AM
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tinam61

Well show us!

I wondered about your weather there in September.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:15AM
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kswl2

Second vote for a great linen dress that is easy to dance in and looks great with accessories. Maybe a darker or fall color but sleeveless, so you won't get hot on the dance floor? And you can always have a cardigan handy if it is chilly.

.....counting down the minutes until the word "frumpy" appears in connection with cardigan, lol!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:49PM
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hhireno

Didn't they use to yell "show us your shoes" at Miss America contestants during the parade? Well "show us the Sundance dress!"

I love the Modcloth one because it's different and cute and screams PARTY to me. You're 49 & 10 months. What better time to look, in your words not mine, a little girly?

I also like the non-matronly dotted one that Bumblebeez linked. It's cute, and flirty, and doesn't scream PARTY but does quietly assert I'm here for fun and will be worn again at other fun events.

Step a little outside your usual design zone. You'll only get one 50th party, although you can have as many 50th birthdays as you want. Go for something new to you and slightly different. If your daughter hasn't hit the brutally blunt teenage years she can help you go young, but not too young.

We want to see more dresses and some shoes!!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 1:54PM
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Sueb20

Bumble's dress is available only in size 0 or 14.

This is the Sundance dress. Reviews are mixed but I looked at this same dress months ago for another occasion, so I figured it's worth a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sundance dress

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Sueb20

I ordered this one too since it's on sale right now at Ann Taylor. The model has it dressed down but I could see it jazzed up with fun jewelry and shoes...if it doesn't seem too nautical...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Sueb20

Oh, and I like this one,

Here is a link that might be useful: betsey dress

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:23PM
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ellendi

I think the style will look good on you.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:24PM
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peony4

I'm a very tall pear (and, yes, I actually can pull off the maxi look), and I always find that v-necks are flattering. On a shorter pear, I'd definitely recommend it for elongation. I believe the necklines on the Sundance and Betsey dresses, especially, will truncate you.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:07PM
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outsideplaying_gw

I love the Sundance dress (maybe it's the color and the boots!) and the Betsey dress is cute too.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Sueb20

I need to calm down now that I've ordered about 5 dresses!

But just one more for today. A while back I ordered this dress from Lands End in the green and white print. Not my usual color but I liked it better than the other options and I was sure the dress would work for my body type. It fit perfectly and I wore it to my DS' high school reunion. The second time I wore it, a complete stranger complimented me several times, and one of my friends also did -- and she thought it was from Boden.

So I looked back at the Lands End web site and it now comes in a fun black and white polka dot print (ssh, don't tell mtn). I went ahead and ordered it. It might just be perfect with the right jewelry and shoes. Not too dressy but not too casual...and no one needs to know where I got it ;).

Here is a link that might be useful: Lands End dress

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:50PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I love the Lands End one, SueB.

I like polka dots, but just plain polka dots can too easily skew lil' old lady. The hemline rescues this one.

The cut looks great; wrap v necks are super flattering. And frankly, it doesn't matter how cute a dress is, what matters is what makes you look and feel your best.

I'm sorry you lost your Mom so young. I applaud your celebratory preamble and wish you many many years to come.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Sueb20

Aw, thanks, mtn. That's so nice.

But hey, when are you going to show us updated pics of your Maine house?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:23AM
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kswl2

Love the Lands End dress, Sueb!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Faron79

You'll have to get a different sort of dress, though....for the FS...;-)

Faron

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:27AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Sue, You know how it is, still waiting on some of the details... W/T. area rug, etc etc. But so far we are delighted with the changes we made, and really loving the area.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:17AM
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hhireno

Ooooo, the LE one is very cute.

As Faron points out, you'll need some nice dresses for your future trip to the Maui Four Seasons so maybe the others you've ordered will still be worth keeping.

I like the look of the Betsy but reading the material is nylon makes me hot and itchy. You might not have that problem.

I like the theory of the Sundance dress but the color doesn't appeal to me. But I'm not wearing it.

The AT stripe is definitely a keeper, you'll find a use for it even if it isn't this party.

I think you should start the tradition of having a 50th birthday party every year from now on (since you'll have plenty of dresses to wear). It could be the fun, quirky thing that defines you. It doesn't always have to be a rented venue, just a celebration. If anyone questions it, tell them they are dropped from future guest lists. Who doesn't love a chance to celebrate life and wear a pretty dress?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:05AM
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jterrilynn

That Mod site has some cute stuff! I could never buy a dress online though as IâÂÂm the opposite of you, bigger on the top and slim in the bottom. ItâÂÂs hard to buy a dress online unless one is more equally distributed. The dress you picked is cute but IâÂÂd be more inclined to look at the skirts and tops. Plus, you could get more use out of it all by mixing the individual pieces.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:06PM
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