Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women "over a certain age". Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.
Hello and welcome to a new Ageless Style challenge and link up. This month's theme was chosen by Leslie and she picked. "Back To School". Leslie challenged us to:
"Plan an outfit that would be something you would have worn for the first day of school. Did you dress up? Dress to impress? Or go casual and comfy? Maybe you had a new backpack or purse? New glasses? New 'do? New shoes? I think what I would hope we could all do is just have fun with this prompt."
As has been the case with most of my style group challenges lately, I found this challenge to be, well, challenging. I honestly don't remember what I wore when I was in school. For grammar school, I remember we always went back to school shopping, but it was never extravagant. Just a few new pairs of pants, a new pair of shoes, and a couple of tops. I don't remember trying to impress anyone in my dress. I came from a lower middle class working family so there was never a lot of "extra" money lying around to buy clothes just to impress people. The only thing I remember wearing all the time was denim. In high school, the Levi brand was the most popular. I remember spending $20 on my first pair of Levis (ha ha, they'd cost about $80 now) and thinking that was a fortune! I could only afford one pair, so I wore that same pair EVERY SINGLE DAY of school, because to wear any other brand would be considered "uncool". I can still remember my dad saying "You paid $20 for a pair of jeans! Are you nuts?" Ah, times were certainly different then.
So for this month's challenge, I decided to do "An ode to denim". I didn't want to dress up like I did in high school, that would be silly. I don't wear Levi jeans anymore (although I think I might have one black pair in my stash), but I still do have a love for denim. My love for denim has broadened over the years to more than just jeans. I now own denim jackets, denim tops, denim skirts and dresses...you get the idea. Therefore I pulled this old chambray (softened denim) dress out of my closet. You've seen me wear this countless times on my blog. It's one of my stand by favorites. It is so comfortable to wear and very easy to style.
I was going to have my picture taken by our small town's high school but hubby suggested this cute old one room schoolhouse in a nearby park instead. I thought it was a great idea.
It was a warm day on the day these pictures were taken, but because it's supposed to be a fall post, I grabbed a lightweight taupe jacket to wear over the dress. I also switched my bag from the white one I usually carry all summer long, to this brown one.
For footwear, I chose comfy ballet navy blue flats; also more appropriate for fall instead of sandals.
For jewelry I went with natural colors of blues, taupes, and browns.
I also learned a little trick in styling this shift dress. It comes with a matching fabric belt. I've always worn this dress with the belt tied in front, no belt at all, or a leather belt. But this was the first time I tied the fabric belt in back. I absolutely LOVED it this way and couldn't understand why I never thought of this before. As most women know, shift dresses can sometimes make you look heavier because they have no shape to them. But by tying it in the back, I cinched in the waist, making it more form fitting.
What a difference tying the bow in the back made. It looks like I actually have a waist. When I tied it in the front, the bulk of the bow fell right on my tummy accentuating my tummy.
And now, be sure to check out what the rest of the ladies are wearing for this challenge and link up with us below!
I really like this dress with the tie in the back; very flattering indeed. I don't really remember much of what I wore in school either. I know we always got a few back to school outfits and I was always so excited to wear them the first week but that's about it.ReplyDelete
Thank you! I only wish I would have thought of it years ago. What a great fashion hack.Delete
Oh, what a perfect spot for the pictures! This is such a cute dress and a great idea to tie it in the back. Love it! And I enjoyed your story about your first denim pair of jeans you bought. I was always wearing hand me downs and never anything in style so definitely not what I was going to share today lol!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I think buying/spending is so different today than it was when I was growing up. No one had major credit cards, if they had a credit card at all it was just a store credit card. I also remember the Kmart Layaway program being very popular. People just didn't spend more than they earned, so they didn't buy as much.Delete
I love the ode to denim and this dress seems like one of those that would work for every season. With a turtleneck under it and tights for winter, and with sandals for the summer.ReplyDelete
The belt idea is brilliant. It's funny how these tricks sneak up on us. It's like an "aha" moment!!
Thank you! Yes, that's the beauty of this dress and probably why I wear it so often: it is very versatile.Delete
I too felt like I spent a fortune on my first pair of Levi's jeans but how much I loved them!! Fun times!ReplyDelete
I am really loving this dress on you and what a great idea to tie it in the back! And your hubby had a great idea for the background! Just perfect!
It's funny how our opinions of $ changes as we go through different phases of life. Thanks so much!Delete
Oh so cute style darlingReplyDelete
Awesome article guys :)ReplyDelete
I love your back to school memories! The photo shoot setting is very charming and I love your ensemble! My family didn't have much money either, but my mom can sew very well. We were allowed to buy pants and look at tops. Then we would purchase fabric and mom would sew our shirts. -Marci @ Stone Cottage AdventuresReplyDelete
Thank you. I don't think most families had much money back then, or at least the families I knew. But I also think credit has a lot to do with lifestyle. People did not live above their means like they do today. If they bought a house, it was paid off as soon as possible, and they didn't flip it for a larger/better one, they lived in it until they died. No one had a credit card. Every family had only one car. etc. etc. etc.Delete
The photo of your flats you have on with the school sign on the ground is so neat!! That dress is so lovely and the neutral jacket is the perfect layer! My kids both wear uniforms, it makes life so easy!ReplyDelete
Thank you! I was so excited to see that sign in the ground because I knew it would be perfect for my footwear shot. Uniforms sounds great to me! I fully support that!Delete
That chambray dress is beautiful on you, I like the brown with it :) Good outfit for the theme! Schools here require school uniforms so there's no special back to school outfits!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the link up!
Hope your week is going well :)
Away From The Blue
Thanks Mica. That's good to hear about the uniforms. I think all schools should do that.Delete
What a fun spot for your photos! Your dress is darling! Growing up we didn't get much for back to schools shopping either - just a few pairs of pants and tops and one pair of shoes.ReplyDelete
Jill - Doused in Pink
Thank you! Yes, I think that was the norm for everyone back then. It's a lot different now what parents spend on their kids.Delete
Your husband was right to take the photos there! What a lovely building and you look great!ReplyDelete
awww, thank you!Delete
I am so sorry that this prompt was a bit of a challenge. But look how you rose to the occasion!! And even discovered a new trick to breathe new life into an old favorite dress. Love the idea of tying the belt in the back. Very flattering. And you have the perfect backdrop in that one room school house. A+ReplyDelete
Yes, sorry, it was a challenge. I thought "I'm not a student, I'm not a teacher, I don't want to dress in an outfit I wore when I was in high school, and I just did a "Back to Work" challenge with another fashion group I'm a part of a week ago, so what do I do?" But, as always, I came up with something and my husband helped a lot with the location setting. Thanks so much. That's so funny. you graded me!Delete
Lovely photos, I have a dress like this style and it is so comfy and stylish to wear.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for hosting and sharing your post at this week's Weekend Link Up :)
Thank you! I love comfy and stylish!Delete
Nice dress and it looks good on you. :)ReplyDelete
Love the story about your jeans. Your dad sounds like every exasperated dad. LOLReplyDelete
Such a cute dress... I removed the belts from my denim dresses, but couldn't remove the loops so I haven't worn them. I'm going to try tying them in the back. Cute.
Ha ha! Yea, they were all about the same back then. Dad's today are very different. Yes, try the belt in back. I never liked tying it in front because I felt it just accentuated my tummy. Thanks so much.Delete
love that old schoolhouseReplyDelete
Isn't it the cutest?Delete
Nice outfit ❤ReplyDelete
You look great.ReplyDelete
Great photos and the schoolhouse was the perfect spot too.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much!Delete
Cute dress, old school was perfect location. Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 32.ReplyDelete
Oh so cute styleReplyDelete
Very cute look, Amy! And I’m with you about tying my dresses in the back.ReplyDelete
thank you! Here I thought I discovered something new, and you do it too! I wish I would have figured it out sooner.Delete
Lovely outfit and photos! The belt tip is great - I'll have to try it. Thanks for linking up!ReplyDelete
thank you, and you're welcome!Delete