Today's Everyday Fashion: Dresses That Look Like Separates

So close, and yet so far away.

I stuffed my bra. (j/k)

One of my biggest shopping rules is to focus more on separates instead of dresses, because although dresses can certainly be versatile, tops and skirts can undoubtedly be worn with more options. I especially avoid dresses that were made to look like a shirt tucked into a skirt (such as this one). I never let my clients buy them, because a similar shirt and skirt will achieve the same look and get more bang for your buck.

Enter today's outfit, though. I spotted this Limited dress (left) in the store, and attempted to re-create it with separate pieces from the same store. It was a solid plan, however, I'm not a fan of the end result. Both materials are silky, so to combat the feeling of wearing pajamas heels were a must. I also had to roll the waistband of shorts down because they are slightly too big, which made a belt necessary to cover it up. And finally, both pieces are adding a lot of volume (rule of thumb is to pair one voluminous item with one slim item), so it's not all that flattering. 

Totally bummed the re-creation didn't come out better, but I hope it still illustrated a point, and the rule still stands! Don't buy dresses that look like separates, unless it is a very specific patterned dress you are after. ;-) Do you usually buy separates or dresses (or both)?

Inspiration photo: Limited
Shirt: Limited, $15 out of stock (similar)
Shorts: Limited, $20
Belt: H&M, $5
Clutch: Urban Outfitters, $30
Shoes: Colin Stuart c/o MJR Sales, $24 (similar)
Watch: Michael Kors, family gift
Rings: My Stella & Dot website $49
Bracelets: My Stella & Dot website $34 and $32 and $59 and $59

1. Piperlime shorts, $39.99
2. Liz Claiborne shorts, $25
3. Allen B shorts, $10