No matter what you do, at some point you’re going to come smack up against a bad morning. Not just the ordinary, “Ooo, I don’t want to get out of bed” kind, but the “Can I please turn into some nice old lady’s favorite houseplant” kind. That’s how I was feeling at 5 A.M. this morning, and while a bit of self-indulgence can be a good outlet, too much of it totally turns you into THAT person. So I dragged myself up, in search of a way to put some pep back in my step.
A smart person once told me: “If you’re feeling down, you’re probably thinking of yourself too much.” Too true, and I generally assume it means you ought to focus on other people, which I 100% agree with. But this particular morning, my most charitable instincts were just beyond my sad, little reach.
So instead, I gave myself a project: find five dresses for under $40 each. And I’m not talking about the kind of thing that’s fine for work. I went in search of refined, sexy little dresses- something you would let your best friend wear to an event where she’s sure to encounter her ex-husband and his new wife. Nothing like a good challenge to banish the blues, right?
Of course with cheap chic, simple is better; you know how chintzy frills make a garment look gaudy and mass-produced. So I went looking for classic styles that could be sassy-fied with great accessories, and here’s what I found.
Newport News sleeveless lace sheath dress ($64 marked to $39)
Allen B. dress at JC Penney ($70 marked to $29.99)
I like the simple way they’ve styled this, but you could also toughen it up with a tailored leather jacket and some slouchy boots.
Ann Taylor Loft petite knit dress ($69 marked to $49.99 + additional 25% off = $37.49)
A flattering look for many figures (particularly angular or small-busted). I’d love it with a cool, statement necklace.
Chadwicks’ Effortless Dress ($39.99 marked to $24.99)
Chic because it does indeed look effortless. The big bag is awesome, and you could have fun by adding some lace hose (like the Rodarte for Target). Hourglass girls would look great with a wide (maybe elastic) belt.
GO International sleeveless belted ponte dress ($39.99 marked to $27.98)
MEOW! Looks like hot stuff, and you could use it a number of ways. I’d definitely play around with different belts, especially patterned or textured ones, and a variety of fun pumps.
So there you go. Five excellent dresses for way under $200 total. Even more amazing? I’m no longer fantasizing about being a geranium. Keeping it real- I’m not exactly bouncing around like a Disney princess, but I’m back on track. So maybe fashion really can save the world… one bad morning at a time.
Lucie Amberg is the Director of ZinaBeverlyHills.com.