Day 1: In My Little Black Dress

Posted on | August 1, 2009



What is The Little Black Dress Experiment all about? Read the introduction here.


Did you see an item of clothing or belt you love, at a price too good to pass up, but the size was too big? Ask a salesperson to check other shops for your size or weigh the price with the cost of tailoring the piece to fit you. Today I wore a St. John belt that I picked up for $18. Sacrifice? I had to buy it in a bigger size and have it altered to fit me. Cost to alter it? $4. Worth it? Absolutely! I paid just $22 for a $145 belt by one of the most respected design houses in the world.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What percentage of your wardrobe do you actually wear? (Be honest.)

LOCATION OF THE DAY: MICHELE VIP Preview & Trunk Show at Nordstrom Northpark


THE DRESS: “The Valerie Shift” designed by Elli Grace. Black cowl neck, sleeveless, knit dress.

WHERE TO BUY:  Available online, beginning August 7, at

PRICE: $150


MODEL: Extreme Couture

WHERE TO BUY: Stainless steel version available beginning August 25 at MICHELE retailers include Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Gold version available only at MICHELE trunks shows nationwide.

PRICE: $1895 Stainless Head, $250 Stainless Bracelet



ABOUT THE PIECE: I purchased this top at The Ultimate Exchange, a great consignors clothing swap we participated in back in May. Price? Just $10. Yes, I paid just $10 for this ESCADA top. It was in like new condition and though this was my first time to actually wear it, I think it was a fun addition to my wardrobe.

SHOES: Miu Miu Strappy Sabbia Sandals

ABOUT THE PIECE: I picked these shoes up at Nordstrom South Coast Plaza as a day before my birthday gift. Funny story…after trying on quite a few pairs of shoes and selecting these for their style comfort and versatility I was flabbergasted when after fifteen minutes the salesman told me he couldn’t find the other shoe, there were no more in the country and couldn’t I just find another shoe. Solution? A salesgirl. LOL. One thing I have found when shopping, you must find salespeople as motivated as you. The salesman couldn’t see why I wouldn’t just pick something else while the girl realized (as of course you will as well) that once a woman has selected a shoe, its time to find the shoe. So what happened? The girl went in the back and reappeared not two minutes later with my shoes. This is the second time I have worn them and though I don’t recommend them for long walks in the woods or a day in retail they are comfortable and certainly a great neutral footwear solution. Celebrity sighting? Lauren Conrad has these shoes. I purchase the shoes for approximately 60% off retail at $236.90, MSRP $595.

EARRINGS: Classic cubic zirconia teardrops by Nordstrom

ABOUT THE PIECE: I believe every woman should have at least one pair of basic CZ or diamond stud earrings. I am too afraid of losing an earring to wear real diamonds but either way this look is very classic and worth investing in. The standard shapes available include round, princess (square), emerald (rectangle) and pear/teardrop shape. Today I selected to wear the pear shaped earrings that are one of my classic go-to pieces. I purchase these earrings in the Spring of 2008 at Nordstrom NorthPark (while gift shopping for someone else…haha) for about $75.

BELT: St. John White leather/burnished brass wide belt

ABOUT THE PIECE: While accompanying my husband to San Antonio for business in January I got to indulge in one of my favorite past times, outlet shopping. We made a brief stop at the San Marcos outlets where I discovered a St. John outlet with Target prices. I’ll be wearing a number of pieces from that amazing shopping trip throughout the month. I picked up this very versatile belt for just $18, MSRP $145.

CLUTCH: Marc by Marc Jacobs

ABOUT THE PIECE: My normal use for this piece is as a carrier for my gift certificates, coupons and discount cards. I find if I don’t carry them around with me I let thousands of dollars in savings slip through my fingers each year. This caramel brown is my favorite color of brown leather and you’ll see I have quite a few pieces from various brands in a coordinating color. I purchase this piece from Nordstrom NorthPark in the Spring of 2008 for about $125. In spite of the fact I was making this my “savings” pouch, I splurged and paid full price.


So today was the first day of my “31 days in my little black dress.” I guess I might be crazy to do this and maybe that’s a bit of a good thing. I am excited to start this experiment not just to show that it’s possible to create endless unique styles but also so I too can find all those treasures in my closet that I love but never wear. (Yes, it happens to the best of us.)

I started out the day with a trip to the nail salon where a gal I’d never seen before “recognized” me from the Max Factor Face of Dallas spread. Kind of funny but she was so super nice and flattering it was a great pick me up for the dreary rainy morning we were having.

Then I was off to the MICHELE VIP Preview and Trunk Show at Nordstrom North Park. What a fun event. It was so great to see so many people excited about the MICHELE brand. One thing I found to be consistent, MICHELE owners are very loyal to the MICHELE brand.

For those of you unfamiliar with the brand the number one selling point is that you can purchase the watch heads and the straps separately. Once you purchase a watch head you can select from dozens of colors and style of watch straps, each season to change the look of your watch. You can also choose to purchase multiple watch heads that can then be interchanged with your collection of straps. The entire concept is very similar to what I am doing with The Little Black Dress Experiment so each day you’ll see me pair a MICHELE watch with my look to illustrate how changing your watch strap can not only change the look of your watch but a pop of color can often change the look of your outfit as well.

Getting back to the show it was great getting to work with so many MICHELE fans and help them select new strap styles for their favorite MICHELE watch. I found MICHELE owners have an average of four straps and almost everyone had a metal bracelet, black strap, white strap and after that they built their color collection. If you are interested in the MICHELE line or already have a MICHELE watch I highly suggest attending one of their trunk shows. It is a great venue to be able to see all the different products they have in one place. I loved that all of the straps were laid out in strap organizers so you could see the entire kalaidescope of colors and even try the straps on with your own watch to see how it looked on you.

I had a great time and am looking forward to the next MICHELE Trunk Show. Bit was so fun to be there and meet so many great people. I appreciate all my friends and clients who stopped by, it was great to see you if even for a few minutes. So fun to see some people I hadn’t seen in years. The downside? My five and a half inch heels really weren’t made for retail standing so I admit by the end of the day my feet were a bit sore.

I of course paired those tall, tall shoes with my Little Black Dress and as you’ll see from the picture you don’t look at the outfit and think oh she’s wearing a little black dress. This outfit was a fun one for my to put together and very non-characteristic of my normal style.

DAY 2: Come back to “The Dress Diaries” tomorrow to see what Day 2 brings to The Little Black Dress Experiment



4 Responses to “Day 1: In My Little Black Dress”

  1. Karen
    August 8th, 2009 @ 12:17 AM

    Like most ladies, I have closets packed with too many clothes I don’t wear. I am looking forward to going through the month’s journey with the little black dress. I think this experiment will be an inspiration to me as well as many others to look in our own closets and be creative.

  2. Pam Boyd
    August 31st, 2009 @ 12:16 PM

    I love the idea of choosing basic pieces and putting them together differently to extend your wardrobe.

  3. The Dress Diaries…31 Days in my LBD | Society Stylist
    October 11th, 2009 @ 11:06 PM

    […] The Little Black Dress Experiment: DAY 1 […]

  4. Dani
    October 12th, 2009 @ 1:45 PM

    We love this article! Recycling clothing!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Search