Another Halloween has come and gone for another year. Did you dress up?
I didn’t dress up this year, but it used to be something I did every year.
These days, I put that energy into creating modern styles using elements from past decades of fashion. My goal is to create real style, something I would feel comfortable wearing any day of the week. Because I’m working with iconic trends, those elements are often associated with very specific looks or images. As a result, it can be a challenge to create an outfit that doesn’t look like a costume.
This week, though, in honor of Halloween, I gave myself a little leeway. This week, I created an outfit I might wear out somewhere, but it definitely bumps up against being costume-y.
Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby.
If you’ve read the book, you may have in mind your own image of what Daisy looked like. Below are two Hollywood versions — one played by Mia Farrow in the 1970s and the other more recently played by Carey Mulligan.
My version is Daisy on a budget.
Almost everything in this outfit is thrifted, a gift, inexpensive to start with, or something I’ve had forever.
The fur, for example, is so soft and stunning, but it’s completely fake. It was a birthday gift from my sister.
The dress is also Banana Republic from a year or two ago. I thrifted it from eBay and noticed there are a bunch available in different sizes out there. I created a search link for you, if you’re interested in purchasing one as well.
As you can see, this dress is truly inspired by the unstructured flapper outfits of Daisy Buchanan’s era. The material is silk and it’s fully lined. It is extremely comfortable, even to the point of feeling luxurious. Oh! And it also has pockets!
My one complaint about it is that it has a tendency to billow out in an unflattering way at the hips, making me appear wider than I am. The extra fabric from the pockets contributes to this.
I’ve found if I wear something over it, the dress doesn’t billow out so much.
The necklace is costume jewelry I inherited from my grandmother. Strands of fake pearls can be found almost anywhere these days. Nordstrom has several options, many of which are on sale now. Click here to see all long-strand, faux pearl necklaces at Nordstrom.
My other jewels, although bright and shiny, are rhinestone bracelets from Dainty Wrist Jewelry. As I wrote about before, their jewelry doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, but it sure can spruce up an outfit!
The hat and shoes were bought new a million years ago. I got the hat at Goorin Bros. in San Francisco. They have stores throughout the US and an online presence. If you’re looking for a similar style, this link takes you directly to their selection of cloche hats. I also did a search on eBay for this style. Click here to follow that search. Finally, this link will take you to a search on Etsy.
The shoes are Stuart Weitzman from about 10 years ago. Out of all the elements in this outfit, these were the toughest to track down in searches on eBay, so I did a search on Nordstrom for newer but similar styles and here’s what I found:
But wait, there’s more
This dress surprised me in how versatile it is. It got me on a roll. I wondered if I could change things up a little to take the look from 1920s costume-y to more casual streetwear. So I added booties, a denim jacket, and a head scarf.
Is the headscarf too much? I’m not sure. I kind of like the look.
I kept the same dress and jewelry, but I paired them with some very modern pieces, like a denim jacket and suede booties.
The headscarf was inspired by Carey Mulligan’s portrayal of Daisy Buchanan.
It’s just a long scarf I draped over my head and tied in the back. I’d have to figure out how to tie it better, and probably add some bobby pins to secure it, if I wore this out.
Generally, I wear the scarf around my neck. It’s a lightweight, thin wool with a sort of roughly sketched plaid pattern. I picked it up about five years ago at a Cole Haan shop in Las Vegas.
Nordstrom has a similar one from Echo for about sixty bucks, but you can find all kinds of fun scarves on Etsy. Just be sure to look for lighter weight material. The thicker wool scarves meant to keep your neck warm won’t work.
Finally, how about bringing back the fake fur and adding knee-high boots?
The boots are a couple of years old from the Cole Haan Factory Outlet store. Here’s a link to a similar style by Ugg.
I also got rid of the hat and switched to a different necklace and nude hose. Talbot’s has some similar style necklaces available. Here’s a link to one under $50.
When I started experimenting with this dress, I had Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby in mind. But the comfort of it and the style kept me playing. (Plus, it has pockets and we can never underestimate the value of that–even if they do create a little billowing around the hips.)
Other pieces from my closet called out to be paired up with the dress and real, wearable outfits started to come to light. In fact, I wore this exact outfit (below) last week to dinner.
What do you think? Would you wear any of these looks outside of a costume party? If so, which one?
Local Fashion News
On November 19th, I’ll be attending Fashion District NW’s Fall Fashion Show in Bellevue. Fall Collections for Kahini Fashion and Simply Chic will be showcased and Cornerstone Studio will be there to preview their upcoming Nutcracker performance. Registered attendees will also have access to some great discounts from sponsors of the show.
Tickets for second and third row seating start at $6. VIP front row tickets are $14. Standing room only is free.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the show’s page on Eventbrite by clicking here.
I hope to see you there!
Affiliate link disclaimer: Please note, some of the items linked may be affiliated with companies I am associated with, like eBay, Talbots, and Nordstrom. By clicking the affiliated links and purchasing from those stores, I might receive a small commission. By purchasing from these stores, you support the work I do here and I greatly appreciate your support!