The thing about affordable dresses (or jumpers) is often they just don’t wear/fit/drape well, and those that do are harder to find. But, everyone in the office asked for an “affordable spring dress roundup” so I went shopping with my friend Suzanne and tried on close to 65 dresses in search of some affordable ones that don’t just look good in a photo but are actually wearable, flattering, and comfortable. That’s the whole point of a dress, right? That it’s easier to wear than a whole outfit?
First up, this little house on the prairie number is SO CUTE regardless of your butter churning skills. Now remember, due to my secret boobs, this one is harder for me to wear (because it’s backless) but my friend who helped style me shoved some pretty intense pasties in my hands and told me to slap them on.
I’m not sure if there is a bra you can wear with it that will look cool and mostly I wish they would just design these with a big wide strap on the back to hide any bra. So if you have larger ladies and want more support, you’ll need to figure out a bra situation, or just skip this one. I wore pasties but they don’t have very much support.
Oh, but can we talk about this? There are a lot of nipples in East LA. It’s like everyone in their 20s in our hipster neighborhood is opting out of the boulder holder situation. Is this a national trend?
I borrowed both the shoes (old from Madewell) and bag (new by Claire V…SO CUTE) from my friend. Funny thing about circle bags…when you put them down, they roll over and spill. It’s hilarious. It’s like women across the world are all being punked by geometry and cleaning up their purse innards at every restaurant they sit down at. Of course, the solution is simply…a clasp or zipper, but this one didn’t have one.
That was my first strappy sandal in possibly my whole life, but I love it (probably because they are nude which I think is more flattering). Plus, those straps perfectly expose my bunion which was dying for some social media attention.
Now, this one is so easy to wear and drapes WONDERFULLY. It’s the perfect vacation dress because it doesn’t wrinkle. I didn’t test it in luggage, but it’s made out of material (probably rayon, ha) that seems to resist any sort of wrinkling, which is a dream for me.
You really can just throw this one on, is a pretty color (so it will look good in all your vacation photos) and can be dressed up or down and hides all bra/underwear lines. (UPDATE: Unfortunately we couldn’t find this dress online, but this one has a very similar shape and feel. That said, check your local H&M because if you can find this dress, it is so worth it).
I will likely wear those mules until I die. Sometimes I get bored of them, but they truly make your leg look so long and they are so comfortable but I think a sandal would have looked better with that dress, I suppose.
Now for the plot twist none of us saw coming:
PURPLE. GINGHAM. RUFFLE. JUMPSUIT.
“POLO match” is coming to mind, but somehow in a good way. We tried it with SO many shoes and it looked silly with anything with a heel. It just looked try-hard, so once we paired it with those distressed shoes (from The Great) we all loved it. It’s strangely flattering I suppose due to the proportions of the sleeves making your other parts look smaller. I rarely show an arm, but again I think because of the ruffle on the sleeve I felt more comfortable.
But if you want to avoid any kind of fuss, this dress (below) is SO EASY to wear and weighs in at $27.99 and the color is amazing.
It’s that perfect terra-cotta tone that is ruling summer fashion (and home) right now. It drapes so well, clings to nothing (in a good way) and is forgiving (thick enough to hide underwear lines, bra lines, etc). We paired it with those bright sandals to add a little pop of color and flair, but I do think this dress could easily be worn with slides or flip flops for a really casual, easy look.
Next up, we have an office favorite:
I’m definitely taking this one up to the mountains for spring break because it’s so easy to throw on (it also comes in a really fun bright red). It has a really great structure—the way it A-lines out is really cute (hard to tell in photos). It’s sleeveless, so I paired it with a black denim jacket but I’m actually a fan of it without the jacket, too. Right now, I’m still transitioning into summer mode, so there are a lot of booties on my feet with those dresses. Baby steps.
Lastly, we are pretty “pro-shirt dress” over here, especially for work. I just think they are VERY easy to wear and layer over which give me an excuse to wear a blazer. Because I am a very professional business woman, after all.
So those are all the ones I actually tried on, bought and can vouch for their fit (and drape-ability, which is key for me). But we wanted to give you a big roundup of all our other favorites out there for spring, in a wide range of sizes, including maternity. Quick note that since we started saving these last week, so many sold out and we had to find new options, so, basically, everyone must have spring dresses on the mind and are scooping everything up, so if you see something you like, I wouldn’t linger too long, because most of these will probably sell out FAST.
1. Tie Front Midi Dress | 2. Dress With Drawstring | 3. Long Sleeve Embroidered Mini Sundress | 4. Embroidered Eyelet Waist-Defining Tie-Belt Dress | 5. Polka Dot Maxi Dress | 6. Creped Dress | 7. Wrap Dress | 8. Maternity Midi Tea Dress With Buttons | 9. Contrast Stripe High-Low Dress | 10. Buttoned Printed Dress | 11. Long Poplin Dress | 12. Waist-Defined Striped Shirt Dress | 13. Layered Flutter Sleeve Tea Dress | 14. Cotton Collarless Belted Shirtdress | 15. Jacquard Long Sleeve Embroidered Mini Sundress | 16. Hero Floral Kimono Sleeve Wrap Dress | 17. Floral Print Long Sleeve Deep V-Neck Wrap Dress | 18. Waist-Defined Wrap-Front Midi | 19. Maternity Polka Dot Knit Wrap Dress | 20. Printed Long Sleeve Wrap Dress | 21. Print Dress | 22. Ruffled Sleeve Dress | 23. Calf-Length Dress | 24. Embroidered Dress | 25. Floral Print Dress | 26. High-Neck Ruffle-Trim Swing Dress | 27. Striped Short Sleeve V-Neck Dress
1. Women’s Asymmetrical Button Front Denim Dress | 2. The Japanese GoWeave Tank Wrap Dress | 3. Midi Jumper Dress | 4. V-neck Dress | 5. Stripe Sundress | 6. Pleated Dress | 7. The Japanese GoWeave Cami Slip Dress | 8. Corduroy Pinafore Dress | 9. Frock Around Y-Neck Romper | 10. Belt Linen Dress | 11. Petite Stripe Button Mini Slip Dress | 12. Mustard Button Mini Slip Dress | 13. The Linen Sleeveless Shirtdress | 14. V-Neck Maxi Shift Dress | 15. Women’s Sleeveless V-Neck Striped Button Front Midi Dress | 16. Linen Blend Midi Dress | 17. Pleated Dress | 18. Stripe Textured Dress
ALSO, ONE WEEK TIL SPRING BREAK WITH MY KIDDOS!!!!
***Photography by Veronica Crawford for EHD