Fiesta-Ready Fashion

By: Jen Shoop

One of the dresses I highlighted in yesterday’s post (T-Bags, available at Net-a-Porter)

left me excited about upcoming Cinco de Mayo festivities.  My fiance and I tend to over-celebrate Cinco de Mayo because…well, it’s an excuse to drink sangria and watch adults swing at a pinata!  We’ve thrown some great CDM parties over the past few years — one in particular featured a huge feast, homemade margaritas (read: hours and hours spent juicing limes), and a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game that was extremely popular amongst party-goers.

The prospect of a similar fete has prompted a new “e-Shopping initiative”: Project Find-the-Perfect-CDM-Dress.  I had seen the dress below at Anthropologie weeks ago, and it immediately jumped to mind:

I love the linen-y look of the dress.  So homespun and boho-chic.  It’d pair well with some gold sandals or these right-on-trend Navajo-inspired Jimmy Choo wedges (available now at The Outnet at a fraction of the original retail price):

I popped into Anthro this past sunny Sunday (leaving with only a new bottle of Tocca’s Cleopatra scent) to try this and a few other dresses on.  (They have a lobster-print dress that had caught my eye for a summer cookout, but the fit was off.)  I was disappointed in the proportions of the dress once on — it just didn’t suit me properly.  That is — I was disappointed until I stumbled upon this variation-on-a-theme, by Chloe (also at The Outnet):

Don’t you die over it?  I love the fabric-folding in the front.  I can just imagine Rachel Bilson rocking it in some unexpected way (black tights?  a quirky saddle bag?), but I’d wear it straight up with minimal jewelry and a pair of gold thongs like these (as expected, by K. Jacques):

…or these (much less expensive) lovelies by Chelsea Crew (available at PiperLime.com):

The braiding on the latter pair’s ankle strap seems like the perfect complement to the rustic, home-spun feel of the Chloe dress.  Oh, and when I say “minimal jewelry,” I’m envisioning either my go-to enorma-pearl earrings or these festive hoops by Kenneth Jay Lane:

Together, the outfit’s aesthetic (or maybe just its general geographic reference point) remind me of Frida Kahlo, the esteemed early-20th-century surrealist-meets-symbolist painter from Mexic0.  While disturbing, her masterpieces often feature a similar bold palette (not to mention the same sorts of sartorial hallmarks I’m highlighting in this post):

And while in that frame of mind, how about test-driving one of these little numbers for an outdoor CDM fiesta (the first by Free People, the second by What Comes Around Goes Around):

I love the rich plum color of the second dress, and can just imagine pairing it with my gold Jack Rogers:

and some fun gold earrings.  I’d either go with big gold studs (these are by Jennifer Meyer) and a delicate bangle (this one by Melinda Maria):

Or a pair of bolder, danglier earrings (with nothing else):

The earrings above are by Deviated, Justin Giunta’s (relatively) recently-launched line of affordable, quirky jewelry.  (You may know him from his more famous line, “Subversive Jewelry,” known for its mixed media styling.)

But back to-the-point: if I were going to go All Out for the CDM, I might give this Marc Jacobs (in an appropriately-labeled “salsa red” color) a try:

I’d pair it with neutral wedges (like the Jimmy Choos above) and minimal jewelry.  I’m envisoning a raffia clutch of some sort — perhaps something like this Anya Hindmarch:

For those of us looking to wet our feet rather than cannonball, there are a bunch of precious little finds I’ve been drooling over that could be easily integrated into a global-leaning summer wardrobe.  In terms of jewelry, there’s Rachel Leigh’s jet-black, “pretty senorita” necklace:

There’s something so regal about it — imagine it with a red strapless dress or casual white shorts and a white top and some awesome gold statement sandals.  Or maybe test drive a pair of one of these attention-grabbing earrings, which would look lovely with any of the dresses above (both by KJL):

Or maybe a white dress (check out my “White Hot” post for ideas) or peasant-style blousey top (this one by Juicy Couture)

with these killer earrings (also by KJL):

And a sweet embroidered raffia tote (this one by Kate Spade):

or a more fashion-forward raffia clutch (caveat: this one, available at vivre.com, would set you back a cool $800…):

And for those of you severely risk-averse, consider this all-purpose, fiery red and fiesta-ready ruffle coat, by Milly (featured in all current PiperLime ads):


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