I am not a girl who puts much stock in those “wardrobe staple” lists that insist that every female on the planet should “invest in” (code for: pay way too much for) certain items that will stand the test of time and serve her well in every scenario.

Here’s why: every single one of those lists includes a pencil skirt, a crisp white blouse, and a trench coat as 3 of the best, splurge-worthy purchases you’ll ever make. But even before I had 5 kids (heck, even 1), none of those items was a very practical addition to a college student/turned high school Spanish teacher’s wardrobe. Especially when said Spanish teacher lives in the kind of climate that would allow for the wearing of her oh-so-necessary trench coat approximately 12 days out of the year.

So, take it with a whole container’s worth of salt when I say that I have recently decided that every girl should have a pretty white dress in her closet.

And by recently, I mean last week when I spotted this one at Old Navy, fell in love with it immediately, and realized—much to my surprise—that I have nothing like it in my closet. They only had one fairly near my size left, so I scooped it up, even though it wasn’t on sale and brought it home for my husband to make the call. He liked it, though not nearly as much as I did, so I decided to try my luck online. And there, I discovered that, not only did they have more sizing selection, but the starting price was lower, there was a 20% off coupon code available, and I had some rewards cash I’d forgotten about. All of which meant that I paid approximately $0.86 for this dress. (Not that that factors in the years off my life when I have to return the one I bought in the store with a cranky toddler and screaming babies in tow).

So yeah. I heartily recommend owning a pretty white dress. Especially if you can get it for less than a dollar.

And to prove its versatility, I decided to style it 3 different ways. (If that isn’t enough, you can also check out: Pink Pants {3 ways} and Flower Power {3 ways}).

First up:

the girl next door  

Pretty doesn’t get much easier than this. The dress’s lace detailing does all the work, and the necklace and shoes just make it pop.

IMG_5701 IMG_5700

And then we have:

the sweetheart

It’s the same dress, but this time it’s working as a top since I tucked it into a frilly thrifted skirt. Throw on a belt to tie the two together and a pair of heels, and you’ve got an ultra-feminine outfit for your next date night with your husband.



And finally, I give you:

the shopgirl

Please take it as proof of my love for you that I donned a scarf, a jeans jacket, and leather knee-high boots to take this picture. By the time I got done hitting the button and running to my position (and yes, my remote is broken), even my ears were sweating.

IMG_5712  IMG_5714

{Good thing I’ve got lots of hair to hide my sweaty ears}

So, what do you think?

white dress collage

Have I convinced you to “invest” (hey, this version’s only $27 without any discounts at all)  in a breezy white dress?

Which version did you like best? Oh! And can you think of something else I could have done with it? I’d love to hear your ideas!

P.S. That scarf is $7 from Walmart, believe it or not. (But I didn’t find it online).

P.P.S. If you’re in for Project Elephant, be thinking about 5 projects you’d like to tackle this month (you know, one extra for if you’re feeling especially productive) and be ready to share them tomorrow for 5 Things Thursday. I’ll be doing the same.

{linking up with Lindsey}


  1. You know, even when my inbox has 3000+ emails and I’m forced to delete a lot of things without reading them, I still come over to see what you’re wearing! As you can see I was late getting to this one, but felt compelled to comment…I love shopgirl! I absolutely LOVE that look! Have a great day! 🙂

  2. It’s official….I need a stylist. I don’t even think I should be allowed to look at these great pics in my questionable pjs. Love the last look.

  3. So cute and creative! I would never have thought to put a skirt over a dress. Genuis! My favorite is the shopgirl–I could wear that (almost) year-round here in the NW.

  4. So true!!! “Investment” pieces have always left me wondering if I will actually use them (or even like them). I don’t look good in pencil skirts and white blouses bore me. Love the white dress!! Denim jacket combo is my fav 🙂

  5. My white dress came from Coldwater Creek years, I mean YEARS, ago! I love this dress and get so many compliments. Yes, every girl should have a pretty white dress as well as a little black dress.

I love hearing from you guys!