polka dot skirt and matching sweater

Dressing Down a ‘Fancy’ Dress

polka dot dress with matching sweater


Collectif badot sweater and polka dot dress
‘Fancy’ is probably the wrong word for this dress

I mean, by most people’s standards, it’s not all that fancy, really. It’s not like it’s the kind of thing you could only wear to a ball, say (Do people go to balls? Other than Cinderella, obviously?), or to the kind of event that has a guest list, and a chocolate fountain or whatever.

It is, however, the kind of thing that would get me some strange looks here in the village (Stranger than usual, I mean…), plus a whole lot of questions about where I’m off to, “all dressed up!”, so when I discovered that this sweater was exactly the same colour as it… well, you can only imagine my excitement. Actually, scratch that: you don’t have to imagine my excitement, do you? No, because I’m going to tell you aaaallll about it.

So, I was excited, basically. Well, you all know how much I enjoy finding things that match, and in this case, the matchy-matchyness of dress and sweater also meant I’d be able to wear the dress without people asking me if I was going to a wedding or something. This is such a simple way to dress down an outfit, but while it doesn’t exactly make the look “casual”, I always think that if you’re wearing a sweater, you can’t POSSIBLY be “dressed up”, can you?

The sweater in question is also from Collectif, and it’s unfortunately out of stock at the moment, which is a shame, because I have it in both navy and this teal colour, and I’d happily buy it in every colour they decided to make it in, THAT’S how much I like it. Last time I wore this, I had the V at the back, rather than at the front, as I have it here. It’s designed to be worn either way around, which is very cunning, really, and gives you two potential looks for the price of one. Or many, many more potential looks, if you’re like me and have to have one in every colour.

Speaking of the village, I made another trip to the new post office this week, and found myself standing in line behind a gentleman who kept turning around to look me up and down suspiciously. Just as it had gotten to the stage where I was about to ask him if he wanted to just take a photo or something, he spoke. “Yeeeaaahh,” he said. “I keep thinking you’re someone else. You’re not, though.” I REALLY wanted to say, “Actually, I AM someone else: don’t tell anyone, though!” and then look around suspiciously, but instead I just did what I always do, which was to laugh nervously, then smile really wide – the idea is to make people think I’m friendly, but I suspect it actually just makes me seem like the kind of person you’d cross the road to avoid. At least I tried…

Collectif Regina doll dress in tealWearing: Collectif dress*; Collectif sweater; Studio TMLS shoes*

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  • What an absolutely beautiful outfit! I really love Collectif but I find things just don’t quite fit for me; one size is too snug, the next size up is miles too big 🙁 x

    May 13, 2016
  • Tanya


    I own this exact sweater and I’d never think to wear it this way – with the V in front (mostly because I’d show more then people would appreciate). Seeing it on you though, I can think of couple of dresses I could pair it with, which makes it even more versatile then I first imagined. Could look smart over the white shirt too.

    May 13, 2016
  • I used to get those kinds of questions/comments all the time: “Aren’t you dressed up!” “Don’t you look fancy!” “Why are you all dressed up?”

    …Then I just continued to wear these types of things on a regular basis and the questions/comments have petered out once people realized that it’s just an element of my style, ha.

    Love this outfit!

    May 13, 2016
  • Myra


    Great idea, love this outfit and your post office stories

    May 13, 2016
  • Love this color on you! I wish I had a job where I could wear all the skirts; I have so many left over from my retail days. Now I feel weird wearing them on the weekends since I’m so use to jeans and my crew is super casual as well. New goal: just wear the damn skirts.

    May 13, 2016
  • Roe Duncan


    Great idea to dress down my dressey dresses ! Thanks…

    July 29, 2021