It can get a bit boring always choosing your own clothes, right? Ahaha, what am I saying, every outfit is an adventure and I love it. However, what is also interesting is getting a peek into what your friends and loved ones think you dress like. Thus – I asked my friend A to buy me an outfit.
The rules were simple: I provided the cold hard cash, and some opinions on fit, and she did the rest. The location: Savemart Waitangirua, near Wellington (I think we can assume I was not prepared to throw down thousands on this experiment). The brief: whatever you legitimately think I would wear. Had to clarify that last one after she spied a rack of wedding dresses as we entered.
Now, I should mention at this point that A dresses very nicely but would not, by any stretch of the imagination, describe herself as a stylist or fashionista. In fact, earlier that day we’d been sifting through her wardrobe, putting together outfits for her, and then taking polaroids – something we do together a couple of times per year. A also has two kids and a pretty practical lifestyle, whereas today I had five outfit changes (for the blog, but still).
In a side note: I don’t know why Savemart got rid of the trollies but I can tell you it was inconvenient for this challenge. I assume because it meant people took too much stuff to the fitting rooms and (a) spent too much time in there and (b) left too much stuff for putting back again. Both eminently sensible reasons but I was not the only customer rueing their life that day.
A has learnt from the master, and so it was shoes first. If I were to do this again, I’d split off at this stage because the urge to shop for myself was so strong that it threatened to overtake the totally neutral stance I was supposed to be adopting. A found a few pairs of potential shoes, and then was off to find an outfit. Left to my own devices, I found myself two jackets and her a skirt.
In a stroke of total genius, she went for a dress – it’s a single item but a complete outfit (with shoes). Interestingly, when I asked A what was guiding her styling decisions she pointed to a few key factors:
- I love a statement shoe (so true)
- I have told her many times that fit and flair dresses are a flattering style (also true)
- I like bright colours and lots of prints (also true)
Ultimately, after a dress that was awesome but too big, this dress was the clear winner on the day. A had to do another lap of the shoes to find something that coordinated, and with these Novo heels we were away, having spent a princely $12.99 on the dress and $9.99 on the shoes.
I think this dress is pretty flattering on me, and with these shoes it feels very much like a fun party dress. It has a tulle underskirt, which I would have steered away from had I been shopping, but actually I love the extra bit of shape it gives the overall dress. It’s short – it might not look that bad here but I sat down to change shoes and it barely covered my backside – so IRL I’d probably wear it with tights or with lower shoes. Overall though, a good choice by A! Thanks poppet!
The shoes are my favourite bit though, and it is with chagrin that I realise I have to put these away pretty soon for the colder months. Again, I would not have tried these on had A not picked them, but as soon as I put them on we agreed they looked a million times better on than they had on the shelf. I can definitely see these getting a good bit of wear as soon as we have warm enough weather, and with the small platform and fully strapped-in style, they feel super secure and comfy.
Adding some extra elements
However, there’s definitely some autumn in the air, plus I have very little call for “fun party dress” in my life (this is the sad song of 34-year-old-Megan). I thought I’d see if I could bring it down a notch for the season ahead using elements that were already in my wardrobe.
My first instinct was to layer up so that this was more of a skirt than a dress, so I added this sleeveless chunky knit, a blazer, tights and some statement shoes of a different style to give myself a chance in the cold weather and to take the dress down a notch or two for winter. I definitely felt more comfortable with the ultra-thick tights on underneath (especially when I got hit with a rogue breeze) and I can see wearing this in a more casual setting in winter. It’s definitely still too short for work though!
I loved this game, and I’ll be looking for willing volunteers to play again – any takers?
In second outfit: blazer from Forever New and no longer on their site. The Camilla and Marc option is here, and if your budget doesn't reach to a casual $700, there's this one. Shoes from Merchant 1948 (on sale here), knit from Glassons about three years ago, satchel is Lavand, available here.