Hi, friends! And welcome to week 2 of the Summer 10×10 Challenge. Are you ready to flex your creative muscles a little more this week? The second week is generally my favorite of the challenge, because at this point in the challenge, I’ve likely used up most of my go-to looks (aka outfits I’m comfortable putting together) and have moved into a phase where I’m forced to try new ways of wearing my pieces–whether that means pairing them together in unique ways or simply wearing a piece in a completely different way (on its own). Today’s look in particular focuses on the first, but I have a pretty cool idea on the latter for later in the week. 😉
In today’s look, I used one of my favorite out-of-the-box moves (last used here in the fall and here in the winter) to layer a sweater over a dress. And while this move is not exactly new to me, it was actually quite challenging to find the right combination of summer-weight sweater and dress sleeve width to accommodate this type of layering. So coming up with a summer-approved layering technique like this felt like quite the achievement!
For instance, because the sweater tank has thinner straps, I needed to be able to pair it with a dress that had similarly small straps (which can actually be quite difficult considering most of my dresses are sleeveless but still have a significant ‘strap width’). At any rate, incorporation of this sweater tank (and knowledge of the fact that I would want to layer it over a dress) led me to make a last minute change in my 10×10 picks. And I’m happy to say I’m glad for the change, because this outfit was a slam dunk!
On the agenda today was an entire day of touring the major research labs, wind tunnels, and machine shops at NASA Langley. And while I knew I didn’t want to wear a constricting pencil skirt on these tours, I also wasn’t keen on wearing my long drapey pants with lots of material all day long. So this thinking naturally led me to wearing this drop hem floral dress that I could move in and be comfortable in walking around in the heat/humidity of Virginia.
Since I had already styled my dress by itself the previous week (here), I needed something extra to set the look apart. Enter in this summer sweater tank (that can be styled right into fall btw!). In layering this sweater tank over the dress, I was able to style my dress as a skirt, which really accentuated the ruffles and volume of the hem. And I loved the end result! So flowy and freeee!
I talked a little about it here, but sweaters can sometimes be a little bulky, depending of course on how you style them. Because I was already adding bulk by adding a layer on top of the dress, I styled a belt around the smallest part of my waist to give my body a little shape. Plus, the belt helped to hold the sweater in place, since the silky material of the dress can be a little slippery.
I also mentioned last week that I was getting a little bored of all the white and black and beige in my 10×10 picks. So today I added on a bright purple cardigan and an electric red-orange purse for pops of color that really amped up the look, color-wise, to my liking.
Also…a confession! This was also the first day in the challenge that I had to switch out my shoes. Because the lab tours required closed-toe shoes, I just couldn’t get away with wearing these cute sandal flats. But I managed to wear these other black flats that kept my toes covered while also keeping within the same style genre as the originals. So it didn’t really feel like cheating to me. Sometimes there are things that just come up that you have to be flexible with. And this was one of those cases! Nothing to feel bad about, especially since it was a one-time (and spontaneous!) thing. Just something to account for and move forward with.
Anyways, I was super happy with how classy and sophisticated this look turned out to be! I was afraid it wouldn’t feel like me at all, but ended up LOVING it (and how comfortable it was for a full day on my feet)!
What about you? Have you tried layering a sweater over a dress?
You might also like…Layering A Dress in the Spring and Layering A Dress in the Winter.
Photos by Noah Berg
Get the Look…
Dress: Banana Republic (similar here, here, here) | Top: Madewell (similar here, here) | Cardigan: J. Crew Factory (similar) | Shoes: Madewell (similar here, here) | Purse: Target (similar here, here, here, here) | Belt: J. Crew | Necklace: Madewell (similar) | Bracelet: J. Crew Factory (similar here, here)