Wear It Five Ways : $10 H&M Puff Sleeve Dress

October 29, 2010

Ping has reviewed several H&M items in the last few weeks and I keep going to my local H&M hoping to find some of the items she reviewed...no such luck though so I mostly leave empty-handed.

On Thursday night (the same mall trip during which I acquired the Ann Taylor Lightweight Donegal Knit Skirt), I went to H&M in search of the leather dress that Ping wore (seriously, how hot did she look in that dress?). I didn't find the dress but did try on about 10 items (including one that looks really similar to the beige ruched front dress that Sophia tried on...the size 2 was about 2 sizes too small and I felt too defeated to try on a size 6) and left with 3 sale items. I got this puff-sleeved dress in two colors (light pink and mint green)...at $10, the price was too good to pass up. Looks quite plain on its own because I immediately removed the tacky black ribbon belt that came with it.

The only problems that I had with the dress are the buttons...there is a row of buttons along the back that would have made sense if they were replaced with zippers but if you've never tried, it is really difficult to button things in the back. I was too big to pull the dress from under so I had to wiggle myself into the dress from the top. It was not a pretty sight.

And in an effort to curb spending money on unnecessary clothing items, I made a pact with myself to style every piece of new casual clothing purchase, however cheap or expensive, in at least five ways. If I can't get up to five looks then the item goes back. I did six looks for this dress because I was feeling so inspired.

Look 1: Theory Darlin Turn Blazer in 00, matching Theory capris in 00
Look 2: Ann Taylor LOFT Ruffle Front Cardigan in XXSP, Modern Vintage Elettra pumps in 7
Look 3: Ann Taylor Lightweight Donegal Knit Skirt in 00p, Dolce Vita Madison pumps in 7
Look 4: Theory Gabe B Blazer in 00
Look 5: Stella McCartney for Gap Kids Tulle Skirt in L (similar here), Betsey Johnson Sweater Tights in S/M
Look 6: Polo Ralph Lauren Sweater in S, Chinese Laundry Tweed Pumps in 7 (sigh, more tweed pumps here)

There are still a number of size 2's available in the H&M near my house (as well as other sizes) so I imagine this dress will still be available elsewhere as well. If I can help you get one let me know. It'll give me another opportunity to go shopping. :)

Also, just got this dress too because I have been thinking about it way too much. The size 4 barely fits...I am thinking about upgrading to a size 6. I'll need ideas to style it five ways too so if you can help me keep the dress...I would be so grateful.

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  1. OMG you are the queen of remixing. I really enjoy these posts, gives me such inspiration! How did you manage to tuck the dress in in the 3rd pic with out the bulk? Is that the skirt that's too big from your previous post?

    I can't believe the size 2 in the other dress was too tight for you!

  2. I love this post!! Love ALL the looks! I'm so sad I missed out on the dress though :( It's the perfect length, and as you've demonstrated~incredibly versatile! I'm tres jealous of your legs Elle!

    Haha that's funny about the buttons.. I would find myself in the same predicament :o

  3. Wow, such a creative post! I have a similar dress that I bought from F21 and need to get more creative with it. Thank you so much for the inspirational ideas!! My fave look is #3 -- reminds me that I need to go look for that skirt at AT this weekend!


  4. Elle--thanks for your sweet comments!!! i <3 u...haha!

    I love how you styled that one dress!! omg so creative!! you make it look so versatile. i might have to go to h&m this weekend and look for it too. also such a good price. ahh you are such an enabler! lol. also you legs look so so long. i'm jealous. i swear u are so much taller than me.

  5. Love you post! all combination are great!

  6. Ahh... I don't know where to begin! hehe Every outfit you styled with this dress is gorgeous. Same dress, but so different. If I hadn't looked carefully, they would look like completely different outfits to me. Great job!! #5 is my fav, it looks like something Blair Waldorf would wear, which means it's so you, Elle! ;)

  7. Woohoo! H&M has the best sales!
    Look #1 takes the cake!

  8. Curls - yes, it's the same skirt (actually, same picture too). It wasn't too big, I was trying to show that it's stretchy so it was comfortable. :) Haha, I am bigger than a lot of the petites here but it's still a shock that the dress I tred on was so small! Perfect for you! :)

    Sophia - it's interesting that you like my legs because I want yours...I would be open to a swap any day of the week if that were possible. And yes, those buttons are a pain in the butt. H&M obviously didn't make the fit models dress themselves otherwise they would notice this terrible flaw.

    Kileen - can't wait to see it on you though since you are smaller than I am the skirt might be too big on you? I am really enjoying your posts lately!

    Ping - my comment wasn't so much "sweet" as it is true. Yay, would love to see it on you but I imagine it would be a tad baggy on you since I have at least 5-10 pounds on you. AND, for my family's annual christmas trip we are going to San Fran so we might have a unexpected encounter though given how many people live there it might be hard to find anyone in the crowd. But if you get accosted by a random girl that is probably me. :)

    Chezzelia & TGB - Thanks! :)

    Cee - I am so flattered that you think I am as sophisticated as Blair...I do admire her though. I thought I would have more trouble than I did styling it five ways but this particular dress was easy to work with because it's sort of shapeless and plain. It's like a blank canvas, we'll have to see how I do next time to evaluate my performance. :)

  9. love all the looks.


  10. Oh! Great idea to try to imagine it in at least five different ways!

    My favorite is the dress with a blazer.

    Oh...I love Ping's leather dress! I want!! :p

  11. Amazing! Each look is spectacular!

  12. Wow, I love all the outfits! You did an amazing job for each look. ^_^ You really have inspired me to try the same thing with all my clothes. :P I really like #2 and #3 !!

    xx The Little Dust Princess

  13. love what you did here and thanks for the tip, I just entered the contest.

  14. Oh Elle, you look soooooooooo cute in every single outfit!!! How on earth did you come up with that many ways to style a simple dress!!! I am so inspired now! Brilliant!

  15. I'm also in disbelief that you came up with so many ways to wear this dress (and in your next post, too!!). That length is perfect on you...because the top is kind of conservative and the neckline is high, I love how the hemline is shorter to add some sexay interest at the leg area.

  16. This reminds me a lot of a Urban Outfitters I got a while ago! It's also a sheath dress with ruches sleeves. Still haven't worn it yet, but thanks for the styling ideas! :)

  17. LOL so funny that you had to shimmy into the dress! Weird that they didn't put a simple zipper on it like normal retailers do.
    The dress looks phenomenal and so different in the ways you styled it! My favorites? The one with the blazer (so work appropriate) and the RL sweater (comfy weekend look).

  18. wow wow wow! 2 and 5 are my favourites esp. as i have a thing for ruffles and tiers

  19. Wow, you came up with 6 amazing stylings from one really simple dress! I love how creative and inventive they all are.... so inspiring!

  20. wow you have such talent in coordinating clothes! you totally made that blah shirt work into something amazing, multiple times!

    <3 angie

  21. wow $10, that's such a steal ! its so cute !

  22. I love that dress and all the ways you styled it! I think 1, 3, and 4 are my favorites, but they're all great! Super cute! :)


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