Coming Up Roses

By: Jen Shoop

Maybe it’s that I’ve finally sensed the very early signs of summer — or maybe it was the fiery red palette I was blogging about yesterday — but I’ve recently become smitten with the idea of rose-inspired fashion.

To begin with, there’s Kate Spade’s Kellis pump, a mainstay on my iPhone’s “Love It” list on the ShopStyle app:

I can imagine throwing them on with my typical work wardrobe (dress, cardigan, some sort of statement jewelry) just as easily as I can imagine slipping into them with a pair of rolled-up skinny jeans (I almost always wear Paige or J Brand) and some sort of blousey top, like this one, by J. Crew (“The Kelsey”):

Or maybe I’d try the Kelsey in solid white with a big, printed clutch (this Free People would look lovely with most of the CDM looks from yesterday’s post!):

Or, in keeping with the rose theme, maybe this stunner, by Christian Louboutin:

Note: If you’re not looking to drop major bucks, you can get “the look for less” with Sondra Roberts’ variation, available at Nordstrom and various other eRetailers:

Love the softness of the petals against the vibrancy of the color — wouldn’t one of those clutches just make you smile?  Similarly, how beautiful would you feel in this rich-red rosette-adorned cocktail dress by Phoebe Couture?

Available at Neiman Marcus and a few other fine retailers, this line has really taken the rose theme and run with it.  They’ve come out with a slew of flowery frocks, including this one, which — before you mark it as “unwearable” or too “frou-frou” — you should really test-drive in the store:

I tried it on for fun (along with an aquamarine and black number with crazy feathering detail), and it was surprisingly wearable.  The dresses are cut slim and well-proportioned; the added volume of the rosettes (somewhat magically) does not add bulk.  It looked refreshing, feminine, and “scalable” in a way.  And it reminded me of one of my favorite Georgia O’Keefe canvases (let’s pretend, for the purposes of this post, that it’s a rose rather than a poppy):

I loved it.  (Too bad I’d already dropped $300 on a Trina Turk dress for my bridal shower and was therefore not in an “open wallet” mood…)  I’d wear it to a summer cocktail party with minimal jewelry (just my enorma-pearls or a pair of tasteful studs) and sky-high black pumps, like my old, trusty Louboutins (they kill my feet, but they make me happy):

Another good pick for the rose-lover in search of a cocktail dress?  This Thread Social piece:

I’m in love with the color — just shy of “hot pink” and warming up to the coral color family.  I’d offset the rosy shade with a shoe in a much softer pink hue — like this one, also by the one-and-only (wallet-draining) Mr. Louboutin:

Ugh, I could daydream about these shoes all day.  They’d look perfect with a cocktail dress, with jeans, with a pencil skirt — with anything, for that matter.  The color is infinitely versatile — almost nude and cotton-candy perfect — while the heaviness of the platform adds a welcome touch of fierceness and attitude.

While we’re in the pink family, though, I just had to include this pretty little thing (also by Phoebe Couture — I told you they were big into petals this season!), which I also featured in my “Past(el) Perfect” post:

Talk about la vie en rose.  You almost can’t wear any other jewelry with a dress this major — if you accessorized too much, you’d quickly enter “Costume Territory”…which is a shame, in a sense, because there are so many rose-inspired jewelry options, like these affordable ($75) gold studs by Tuleste Market:

Can’t you imagine wearing them with a smart little boxy blazer (preferably with gold flower buttons, like this one, by Chloe, available at Net-a-Porter)?

Maybe throw on a white blouse (like the Kelsey described above) and a pair of super-straight, dark-wash jeans or a fitted little pencil skirt?  Perfect for a business meeting or museum trip.  If you were working in a lighter palette (say a lavender jacket and white skirt), imagine the same outfit with these J. Crew flats to boot:

So precious.

If you’re uncertain about wearing a big rose pattern, why not give a rose-adorned bib necklace a try?

I bought this exact necklace in ivory from Sassanova (the adorable shoe-and-accessory boutique around the corner from me in Georgetown — they still carry this necklace in a range of colors, including a lovely soft dove gray, so you might give them a call if you’re interested — 1.877.471.0070) and have worn it over the past few months with a predominantly black and gray palette (going for the Chanel aesthetic).  It garners a lot of attention, and it’s such an easy way to defeat the fashion doldrums that tend to define drab, chilly winter in D.C.  If you want to go bolder and fiercer, try Adia Kibur’s similar necklace, available at Shopbop:

It’d look hot with an otherwise neutral outfit (white boatneck top and dark wash jeans) and some killer silver pumps:

(I also Die with a capital D over these shoes.  If I ever have reason to drop everything and go to Vegas, these will be an absolute requirement for the trip.)

The necklace (which, by the way, hails from a surprisingly affordable line of fashion-forward jewelry — lots of bib necklaces but at a reasonable price point) reminds me of this saucy-yet-sweet dress by Marc Jacobs (available at Net-A-Porter):

So fearless and at the same time so elegant.  Can’t you see Natalie Portman rocking it?

I would be remiss, of course, if I didn’t conclude this blog with a nod to Oscar de la Renta, whose floral textiled dresses have become a staple of the fashion world.

I’d give anything to wear this Oscar de la Renta rose-studded dress to my bridal shower…

But until I have a limitless wardrobe fund, I’ll just blog about it.

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