Friday, May 2, 2014

May Dress Madness: Ikat Maxi


I would like May to be mostly a month of dresses in my blog, and I chose this one to open my Dress Madness month. But before I start talking about it, I'd like to share with you that Beate's and my outfits were featured in Sylvia's article "How To Look Great in a Short Jacket". It was exciting to see how other ladies wear short jackets, and I invite you to take a look and share your ideas too. :)

Now, on to today's outfit. I bought this dress at least two years ago, maybe more (remember when Ikat pattern was very hot), but I haven't worn it much. Ikat is very a attractive pattern to me, I have another dress and a top in similar style (I mentioned the history of Ikat here). I adore the vibrant colors and graceful, somewhat classical shape of this dress. But I felt for the longest time that it was too dressy, more suitable for special occasions. Well, that was way before I saw how some gorgeous bloggers wear their maxi dresses every day and don't really wait for special occasions. Quite opposite, they say that every day in fact is a special occasion, and I really like this philosophy.



I wore it with a white blazer before, and it looks quite impressive, but I wanted a bit toned down version for my lunch date with Justin. I was sooooooo happy that my new basic denim jacket arrived just in time for my  May Dress Madness! I absolutely love it and know that I'll wear it a lot. I only had one denim jacket before, and it has an un-traditional shape (take a look in this post). This is the first truly classical denim jacket I have owned. I have only recently realized how versatile denim can be! I think that's because it's so widely used by many (especially in the US), I just have never really looked at it with fresh eyes. I am stubborn and if something is really popular, I very often will not even look at it. But just recently I realized that a good denim jacket has tons of potential (Curtise, I think you and your denim jacket took a huge part in my realization!). But I believe that like with anything else, one needs to find what really suits her fancy. I mean, there are so many variations available in denim jackets out there, really... I found mine in one of my favorite brands. Everything about it is to my liking - the color, the delicate fading effect, the length, the details. I am also mad about the way they do denim these days - soft and stretchy (one of the reasons I did not used to like jeans and denim shirts or jackets, was because denim used to be so stiff). It's definitely a winner, and even better when bought on sale.



The clutch is by Urban Expressions and made of what they call "vegan leather" and straw, I adore this clutch. I don't wear little purses or clutches a lot, but they do have an amazing power to bring an outfit to a new level, don't they? The sandals are new, bought from Nordstrom Rack. I just fell in love with the color, and they are super comfy too.

It was a bit cool today, so I wore my dress with the jacket, but here is how the dress looks on its own. I will be honest and say that I feel a bit shy to show my upper arms (and yet here I go showing them). I probably will be wearing this dress mostly with a jacket or a shrug, but in general I really like how this dress looks on me. Because of the cut and the bold pattern, it hides my tummy which ideally I'd like to get rid of, but that means less creamy deserts and more carrots and lettuce, which never sounds very exciting!


This bench, a cute combination of classic and trendy, waited for me in front of the restaurant. How perfect! One of those moments which you would never be able to plan - I have lots of those, and you?
  

Our date was in a local seafood restaurant, lovely place right on the water, and there was no rain, so we sat outside and enjoyed the sound of waves and the smell of the sea... Justin had fish and chips (these guys have probably the best in our area - check them out if you are in Seattle, there are a couple of locations here and I believe in Portland, OR, the restaurant name is Salty's - I like that it's not a huge chain). I wanted something fancy and picked grilled halibut, a delicate white fish which is apparently now in season. It was deliciously done, though twice smaller than Justin's plate and almost twice more expensive. So if you are really hungry, go with good old fish and chips. Well, not in a literal sense old of course!


Ikat maxi dress - old Chico's (look at their current version - on sale for only $35!). Shoes - Born via Nordstrom Rack. Denim jacket - Chico's (right now on sale for only $30!). Earrings - also Chico's, last year. Bead ring - old boutique find. Clutch - Urban Expressions (via TJ MAXX, old).

Linking up with Patti's Visible Monday!

24 comments:

  1. this dress is a dream!!!!!
    love ikat and the cut flatters you perfectly! (nothing is wrong with your arms my dear!) the new jacket is the right piece to go with for a casual look. i can see why you are so exited about your newest find! shoes and clutch i would borrow from you........
    i´m still not a fan of denim jackets - i´m not a fan of denim at all - but to tone down a dress/outfit i have a light gray, cable knit, almost knee length, chunky cardigan in my closet. thrown over a stuffy, vintage, silk, designer dress makes the look cool and urban....
    i almost missed me on sylvia´s blog - thanks for remembering! i needed a little no-internet-time, but now i´m back and fresh minded :-)
    xxxx

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    1. I totally understand about "no internet time", I am glad that you have rested and now are back with us - I missed you! :)

      So happy to hear that you liked the dress. It has a power, I have to admit. I think I even walk slightly differently when I wear it. :)

      Your chunky sweater sounds perfect! I'd love to see it with your "stuffy" vintage dress! :) I too enjoy contrasts a lot - mixing dressy and casual in one outfit, it creates such a dynamic feeling!

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  2. Your oufit is gorgeous and I love love love it! The dress is so pretty in both the pattern and the style and you looks so beautiful and feminine in it. I love little denim jackets with dresses and that is how I usually wear mine, in summer with a dress. I love the shoes and that is exactly the colour I am searching for right now. It's sort of a denim blue.

    What a lovely lunch date. Lunch dates were one of the things my ex husband did right. LOL and I used to enjoy ours. Now I have them with my parents and enjoy those too. Halibut is one of my favourite fish to eat, and also red snapper. I am very hungry now, looking at that food!
    xo

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    1. I like it, Shawna - "denim blue"! You are right, it has this grayish blue hue which is very common in jeans! I don't know why, but I am very attracted to blue hues these days... I told you that I was never a fan before. These wedges also come in orange, and I would typically go for orange, but I was really drawn to this blue! :) It's probably safe to say that they are my first blue shoes ever, :)

      I don't think I've tried red snapper, but halibut is delicious. And especially in a good company, like your folks! :)

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  3. Hurray for denim jacket inspiration! Thanks for the mention, Natalia - I do think that a denim jacket, in the right cut and shade, is something you will wear a lot, and as you have shown here, it tones down a dressy piece so you feel more comfortable to wear it. The colours and shape of the dress are so flattering on you, you look like a voluptuous goddess! Of course you can wear the dress without anything over the top, and I am really impressed with the clutch, your gorgeous ring, and the sandals.
    Fish and chips for me every time! xxx

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    1. My dear, it's good to know about fish-n-chips! I was hungry two hours after the restaurant. Fish and chips for me next time too. :)))

      I am so happy to read your comment. I also learn new words, this time it's "voluptuous". I heard it before, but somehow I remember better when it's about me. :)))

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  4. Your new denim jacket and that lovely maxi dress looks great on you. I'm sure you will get lots of wear out of the denim jacket and it's really useful for making dressy things more wearable for everyday. Love the colour of your shoes Lunch date and seafood, perfect combination xx

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    1. So happy that you liked my maxi dress and denim jacket inspiration, Jayne! I can't have enough of this jacket. I'm afraid that May will also be a "denim jacket madness month" for me. :)))

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  5. Soooooooooooooo perfect. It can be dressed up or down, and the sandals are fabulous.Love, love the accessories
    Happy Sunday, dear Natalia.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Thank you, Sacramento! It was a fun day wearing all these fancy things! Happy Sunday to you too! :)

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  6. Love-love-love this dress and jacket combo. I've loved ikat since I first discovered it in the early 80's. I still have two pieces, a jacket and a scarf, that I got back then. The dress looks perfect on you, with and without the jacket. I just finished reorganizing my closet (an all-day affair because I have to try everything on!) and my denim staples are right up front. I agree, they're great for dressing down an outfit in just the right way. XXXOOO

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    1. I have also just finished reorganizing my closet, just a couple of days ago! :) I moved all the winter stuff (packed them in boxes) and hung all my Spring/Summer clothing. It makes me happy to open my closet every time now - so colorful. :)

      I grew up in the USSR, and Ikat has a very strong association with dresses of Uzbek women (a republic of former USSR). Uzbekistan has a great reputation for this type of dying fabric, and some gorgeous examples are in world museums... So it is a little nostalgic to me too. :)

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  7. Yay for seeing Natalia in a maxi! You look stunning and yes, a cropped denim jacket is the perfect accompaniment (says the woman who bought one from a jumble sale 3 months ago and still hasn't had it on her back!) Love those wedges and would have loved to have seen Justin's face when you appeared like that, ready for lunch. I bet he fell in love with you ll over again! xxxxxx

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    1. You are soooo right about Justin - it's spooky (and he even pointed that out!). You and Curtise are my great inspiration, I learn from you all the time! And especially about wearing maxi. :)

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  8. Oh I love this dress on you. I love it so much that I want to grab it from the photo. It is brilliant. Colors, patterns and how you've styled it all work perfectly. XO.

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    1. I'd be happy to share it with you - interesting how you would style it! I bet you'd look AMAZING in this dress!! xo

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  9. Dear Natalia! You look gorgeous :) love the dress and the sandals absolutely fantastic :)
    Hugs Beata

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  10. Perfect! I love a print maxi with a denim jacket, and you look terrific, Natalia. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xox

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    1. Soo nice of you to stop by and say such warm words, Patti! Thank you! :)

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  11. Lovely outfit.
    http://sophialastyles.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. Wowie-zowie ! I sure hope you get some hot weather that will allow you to go jacketless in this dress, 'cause as cute as it is with your very cool denim jacket, you look smashing in this dress without it! Great sandals, and the bag is great. At least four of my own, most used clutches are made by Urban Expressions( and via TJ Maxx, ditto.) Great minds, etc! They are among the only ones I've been able to find that will hold my Kindle Fire and anything else. That's my criterion for a good clutch, or at least the first one.
    Pretty you!

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    1. Thanks, Jan! Good to know that you too like clutches by this brand, AND via TJ MAXX! Though I only have one so far, but it's easy to change. :) Thank you for your compliments - they do help me to feel more confident! xxx

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