At my bachelorette party this past May, my girlfriends asked me a series of questions that they had posed Mr. Magpie (then my fiance!) in advance in order to see how our responses stacked up. When we got to the question: “Who are your celebrity crushes?”, Mr. Magpie had (unequivocally) stated on my behalf: “Rachel Bilson and Giada de Laurentiis.” The scary thing was: that was my exact, verbatim, unhesitating answer. Not Brad Pitt, not Zac Efron, not Robert Pattinson. Rachel Bilson and Giada de Laurentiis. The latter pick is clear: she is a homemaking guru and is pretty much the peppiest, cutest little thing I’ve ever seen (we saw her do a cooking demo at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show last fall and she is darling. Interestingly, she also happened to be Mr. Magpie’s celebrity crush. We are a match made in heaven). But Bilson? She is just pure fashion inspiration (especially since she has little size-5 feet and petite proportions, like me, so I feel like I can take on what she takes on). I pretty much died over this elegant little polka dot chiffon dress look when I saw it a few weeks ago and have been “seeing spots” ever since:
I need it. Love the slightly ’40s/’50s feel of it, the prim neckline, the ladylike pleating. And so I set out to find some comparable styles to add to my own (overstuffed) closet. I thought seriously about this Joseph dress ($569, My Wardrobe):
But will probably end up gravitating towards this far more affordable Modcloth variation ($54, ModCloth):
I would probably style it sans the motorcycle boots (though I do think they work on Bilson), but I dig the idea of adding on unexpected worn brown leather. I might pair it with these chestnut-colored pumps ($98, Endless) and (swooooon) this Chloe “Small Marcie” (I still want the big mama version but this one is lovely as well — $1,465, Net-A-Porter):
Gorgeous. I also die over the way Olivia Palermo styled her own polka dot dress (love it in the chiffon, which is my new favorite fabric — I want a million and one semi-sheer, printed blouses this fall):
This Parisian chic micro-dot blouse by A.P.C. may just have made its way to the top of my “must have” list ($250, Net-A-Porter):
I like it rolled up at the cuffs, paired with jeans and some killer — and I mean kill.er. — boots ($139, Piper Lime). I almost didn’t share the boots below because I am on such a “finder’s high” and wanted to horde my find away so no one else would buy them. They are just too good to be true — a perfect substitution for those Loeffler Randall puppies I want so bad.
I like to mix it up by pairing black with navy (the color combo seems very urban chic to me), and would probably top it all of with something like this gold-accented Marc Jacobs tote ($398, Piper Lime), some enorma-shades (love these House of Harlows — $125, Revolve Clothing), and a fitted black blazer (Elizabeth & James, $395, Piper Lime):
This J. Crew blouse would be perfect in the ensemble above as well — and it’s a touch more affordable ($98, J. Crew):
If you can’t spring for the blouse, just snap up a breezy dotted scarf instead ($19.50, A.E.) — I love the idea of throwing this on with an otherwise straightforward work outfit to “loosen things up” a bit:
I’m also into the idea of wearing printed skirts with washed silk blouses and impressively high heels these days — love the silhouette. Consider wearing the classic Equipment blouse ($178, Shopbop) tucked into a structured polka dot skirt (ALICE for Temperley, on sale for $126, TheOutnet):
Pair it with some fierce navy patent pumps (Pour La Victoire, $275, Piper Lime):
This Elizabeth & James pleated skirt would be a lovely alternative ($272, MyWardrobe), especially paired with unexpected greige/taupe for a tres chic Parisienne look — do you not die over the idea of wear this asymmetrical blouse (Fendi, $755, Net-A-Porter) tucked into the high, cinched waist of this skirt?!
These Chanel “Daisy” studs would be the ideal add-on ($1,800, 1stDibs):
For more formal events, have I got some dotted looks for you. First: I am this-close from buying this Alice by Temperley dress (on sale for $180, TheOutnet) for next year’s Foxfield Races. It is beyond.
I’m guessing the only reason why I immediately tagged it as “race-appropriate” is because of Julia Roberts and her unforgettable brown-polka-dot ensemble in “Pretty Woman” (my college bestie and I would literally watch that movie on repeat…)
For something more season-appropriate, how darling would this dotted dress by Marc Jacobs ($400, Net-A-Porter) look for the holidays (you can never start planning major wardrobe choices like that too early)?
For some reason, I instantly knew that velvet shoes would be appropriate for this festive, for-the-holidays dress, and I unfortunately laid eyes on these pricey Rupert Sandersons and now cannot ban their lovely image from my brain ($790, Net-A-Porter):
Stupid price tags. They always get in the way of a good time. And get ready to fall in love: this Prabal Gurung dress is over the top gorgeous (once you black out the terrifyingly blank / zombie-like stare of the model — on sale for $712, Shopbop):
I’d pair it with these pretty-as-a-picture Louboutins ($848, MyTheresa):
It gets better — you can see the dress in all its retro-chic glory in action in the artful wedding shots below, which I stumbled upon while visiting Merci New York’s lovely blog:
Images from Merci New York
Do you die? LOVE it. If you’re look to bring a little color to the polka dot print idea, I adore this lilac Leifsdottir number from this past summer’s season (now on sale for $139, Leifsdottir — also perfect for a spring race!):
Now, I know I featured these Pour La Victoires above (in navy), but, in this patent lilac, they just go perfectly with the dress ($275, Piper Lime):
I like the way the shoes counterbalance the girly kitschiness of the dress, bringing the look back into the present day with some unexpected “let’s get down to business” ‘tude. While we’re on the subject of color polka dot looks, check out this funky little Marni blouse ($525, Marni):
And I just can’t get over the cheeriness of these fun polka-dotted umbrellas — the perfect way to get back at the grizzly gray weather ($125, Barney’s):