F(5) Dress Edition

For many Easter is the kick-off to Spring…and Spring is DRESS season!  So that is what I bring you today…a day earlier than our normal Friday finds…with plenty of time to shop before Easter Sunday!  I vividly remember my first Easter at J.Crew.  I worked the Saturday night before in a rare occurence…though looking back I think they scheduled me on purpose because I sold more dresses in that one night than I had in a month!  Girls were coming in left and right in a near panic thinking they weren’t going to find anything for church the next morning.  Enter Jen…not on my watch, ladies!  At closing time the store was a disaster and my fellow co-workers weren’t so happy…but the store manager sure was!  I love myself a dress…and Easter is a celebration…Jesus is ALIVE!  I choose to celebrate wearing nothing other than a dress…a traditionalist at heart I suppose I always have (with the exception of once when I was pregnant and last year because none of them fit postpartum…total bummer)!  So here is what I’ve found for you!

Every single time I put on a Lauren Conrad dress the compliments come out of the woodwork.  This rising fashion designer knows what she is doing!  I have an asymmetrical design of hers and it never disappoints.  This one is absolutely gorgeous and my absolute favorite dress in her new line.  Available at Kohl’s be sure to take advantage of discounts on top of sale prices…my motto… “Never pay full price for anything”…especially at Kohl’s! 

This Eyelet Tank Dress from The Limited has all of the makings of a fantastically designed dress in a fabulous Spring fabric.  I love eyelet in Springtime!  The deep V-neck elongates the neck and the A-line silhouette flatters almost every single woman out there not to mention it has a well-defined waistline…who can’t use that!?  AND The Limited is hosting a sale of 40% off all dresses and cardigans right now…just in time for Easter! 

Some of my most favorite pieces have been found at Banana Republic…but always on the clearance rack.  I can think of 3 right off the bat!  There isn’t a woman on the planet that can’t be flattered by a wrap dress and the feminine ruffles…perfect.  This short-sleeve wrap dress is a great option for Spring!  Can you tell I really like purple by the way? 

For a little bit more structured look I love this grey cap sleeve draped asymmetrical design available at Macy’s.  Grey is a great option year-round and what I love most about it is that it can be paired with so many hues and pops of color as one of my favorite, less expected neutrals.  While it is structured and a great length, the draped neckline give it wonderful feminine detail that make this a unique piece that will stand the test of time. 

A classic, refined dress is one that every woman should own…and it will last for years to come.   This Portrait Collar Sheath dress is the essence of grace and beauty.  Think Audrey Hepburn!  The color is an impeccable choice for Spring and Summer.  What I love about Dress Barn, my mom’s favorite store, is the amazing selection in EVERY size!  Having been a personal shopper and a previous size 20 I know from experience that it can be hard to find extended, tall and petite sizes.  A good fit and shape no matter what size God made you is sure to make you feel beautiful and Dress Barn can deliver!  All this dress needs is a string of pearls and a pair of peep-toe d’Orsay heels…A-MA-ZING!

I could shop for dresses all day…so what am I going to be seen in this Easter?  One of the best bargains on a dress I’ve found in a long time!  A generous friend gave me a gift card to Old Navy and while I was buying clothes for my little ones I spotted this adorable cross-front floral dress for just $15!  Paired with my favorite cropped white denim jacket for a more casual look or a silk wrap to take it up a notch, this dress I just couldn’t pass up!  And yes, even with a gift card, I resisted shoes!  AND…check out my latest Simply-Created Etsy piece from Chrissy!  PERFECTION!  Now…which shoes….hmmm….

If you’re wondering what to pair with a dress if it is cold where you live…as it is certain to be on Easter in Michigan…remember the 40% off sale on cardigans at The Limited!  My favorite is this Shirred Sleeve Cardigan!  You’ll get much use out of a cardigan…especially if you live in Michigan…so don’t hesitate if you don’t already have something to go over your dress!  Remember my J.Crew Jackie Cardigan?…I’ve worn it hundreds & hundreds of times…some of which are on sale nowI personally found an adorable and sophisticated bolero at…where of all places?  Why Meijer of course!  It’s a Derek Heart for only $14,99!  I have it white and got it at the Rockford location…and based on precedence anything I’ve ever found in Rockford is almost always available at Knapp’s Corner.

For little girls, what can I say…I am a sucker for seersucker!  Emalynn’s first Spring was spent in a plethora of it.  For a Baby Girl’s first I suggest a splurge my friends!  This Ralph Lauren Eyelet Seersucker dress is ADORABLE!  There is a reason I had only one girl by the way!  And older girls don’t have to miss out on the epitome of girly-ness with this absolutely precious ruffled version and a Bubble variation for girls sizes 7-16.   Again…a traditionalist at heart…seersucker = Easter!  And if you’re worried about the cost…Ralph Lauren brings in the big bucks at consignment stores and garage sales from my experience…not that I could part with much of it though!  I still have all of Emalynn’s seersucker including her first pink Ralph Lauren from Grandma and I won’t be parting with it for anything but a granddaughter!

There is just something special to me about an Easter dress.  I think because for a very long time when I was little my grandmother in her amazingly gifted talent made us our Easter dresses.  The time and effort she put into them was not only because she loves us…but because she loves Jesus.  She knows what it means that our Savior lives and wanted to celebrate in the most special way by giving of herself in a way that was so special to us.  I know that’s why I feel so strongly about looking my best on Easter…and dressing my little girl all up!  My boys always look dapper in the seemingly replaceable collared shirt, sweater vest and khaki dress pants but the prettiest of  Sunday dresses…those to me are so unique and I just cannot pinpoint why…especially in the smallest of sizes…which are all downstairs in a tote that this girly girl just cannot let go of.  Perhaps someday my little girl will have a little girl of her own? 

While I vividly remember my first Easter with J. Crew, I will absolutely never forget my first Easter with my sweet and precious daughter.  God ever so graciously changed my life with this little girl and I celebrate Him everyday in the gift he gave me in her…peace, freedom and complete and utter joy that only HE can give!  He didn’t have to pull me out of the deep, dark valley I was in…and look what He chose to do it with!?  I will never understand why in His mercy and grace He chose me to be her mother and created her so distinctly.  Only He can do all of that!  My first Easter with Emalynn Elizabeth was so remarkably special.  I was overflowing with God’s overwhelming love as if it was oozing from my pores because HE is alive…and he made me come alive again. 

I pray you have an overwhelmingly joyful Easter weekend celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reflecting and praising Him for all of the glorious splendor of His love and greatness He has so graciously poured into your life!  Remember while it is fashionably fun and (at  times traditionally sentimental) to look beautiful on the outside, true beauty that shines through from the inside is what really matters!

“Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us!” Psalm 90:17

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