Lessons in Layering: Turn Your Party Dress into…Something Else

Leandra Medine | December 1, 2011

It’s been some stealthy time since the last layering story and while my most typical tendency is to abominate the little black dress, this entire month is more about different hued little dress, enter the LRD. The holidays officially around the corner–oh honey, it’s December!–so I figured you may be able to use a few tips that would turn the dress you wore to your friend’s (my) birthday party, bosses holiday party or fancy family gathering, less about arms and more about actual human life, into less formal affair attire and more of the good stuff. You know, like supermarket shopping or bow hunting or even just something practical, fun and easy to wear while sitting home computer hacking and what have you. So without ado, I give you the quintessential holiday dress.

Mini, red, chiffon, winter friendly with sleeves, henley friendly with buttons, Man Repeller friendly with exposed vagina. I’d likely advise against roaming around town barefoot and tights. It’s cold and dirty out there. I just did it for dramatic effect. It’s my balcony anyway and that shit is cloroxed, I kid you not. So, let’s get layering.
plaid shirt: Fremont Mens (Thanks, Haim)
It’s likely no surprise at this point that the most immediate and effective remedy to a little dress of any variety is an oversized plaid. I’d even argue you may be tired of enduring this step but remember, boys and girls, clothes are purchased (or in this case, stolen) to be worn. And nothing is more gratifying than watching your garment transmute into oh, I don’t know, ten other ones? The plaid stays.
vest: Lublu
And here the party starts! It’s a shame you can’t feel or truly see the brilliance of these three fabrics rubbing up against each other like teenagers at a nightclub but I will redirect your attention to the fancy pockets on layer three! Texture, texture, texture. And nothing says “abominate me” like petaled pockets. I’d have been happy to stop right here, but stopping isn’t in my nature. I’m like a Red Hot Chili Pepper, you know, addicted to the shin-dig. So I didn’t.
bomber jacket: Cut 25
…And instead added a cropped bomber jacket to include but another dimension of texture. The trick about a vest so unique is to make sure you exploit that which makes it unique. This look would have been shot to shit if I’d used a longer jacket over the vest. Unless I’d placed the vest over the jacket which could have perhaps worked with a utility style, but then again, the silk is quite thin. We have to pick and choose that which we layer with what. See, whoever said man repelling was easy lied to you. I digress. Ultimately, we used a cropped style and gave the look some more overall edge. It’s a shame you can’t tell, but from the side, I truly did look like a fancy multi-dimensional tent.
purse: Antik Batik, bracelet: Pamela Love
And now, we accessorize.
booties: Opening Ceremony, necklace: DANNIJO
I haven’t whipped these babies out in a while. They were my most favorite find of 2009. I’d seen them in the “coming soon” tab on Opening Ceremony’s website that summer and at the time, had already devised a payment plan, only to learn OC didn’t ship overseas. I was abroad in France. A couple months after I’d returned, I stumbled into the Wooster Street Barney’s and they were, size six and everything. 70% off. Don’t little anecdotes like this that make you want to cry? No? Weird. Okay now, did you learn anything constructive today? Less about my general jackass-ness and more about diversifying the holiday dress? No? Weird squared. Go win a sweater.