Styling A Navy Polka Dot Dress

what I would have worn #187

what to wear to a bar mitzvah

We were scheduled to attend a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, and for once I was not panicking, because I’d found this wonderful navy polka dot dress while on my shopping excursion in France with Tish and Sharon. I had the outfit all worked out, including this Eileen Fisher long lightweight cardigan because in my experience hotel ballrooms (where the lunch/party after the service was to be held) tend to be on the frigid side.

The dress is silk (very lightweight) from Hartford Alternative Classics, which interestingly started out in 1979 in New York as a men’s line, then in 2000 added a vintage-inspired women’s and kids’ line. Unfortunately they don’t seem to ship to the US, but you might be able to find in stores. Similar dress from Madewell et Sézane.

I first tried the dress with a linen jacket, but it felt much more “me” with the longer cardigan. I’ll probably find a way to wear this outfit out to dinner sometime soon, perhaps with a more casual shoe. 😉 Shoes here are Belle by Sigerson Morrison.

But I came home from work Friday to find that Coco had been throwing up blood, so spent several hours that evening at the emergency vet, and then had to monitor her closely on Saturday and possibly bring her in for an ultrasound if she did not seem to be improving. (X-rays had not shown anything conclusive, and her blood tests all came back normal.) So I sent le Monsieur off to the event on his own. Fortunately Coco seemed to respond to the various medications we were sent home with, and has been improving since Friday. Appetite is good though her energy is still a bit lower than usual.

tricolor cavalier king charles spaniel

Coco, taken a few weeks ago.

In other news, we’ve had some real, honest-to-Maude RAIN since Saturday. This is extremely unusual for our part of Southern California for this time of year. Soon after I was up Saturday I heard drops on the roof, followed by a couple of hours of intermittent booming thunder and showers. It cleared up for a while but then while I was at the vet for Coco’s follow-up appointment, the sky opened up and it poured buckets for the better part of an hour, and rained steadily for another few hours after that.

clouds after rain

dotty clouds, 6am Sunday morning…

Yesterday morning the air smelled so good, and my garden was doing a little happy dance. We had some rain overnight and are slated for more today, and are grateful for every drop. It’s not enough to even make a dent in our serious drought, but at least it helps reduce the fire danger for a few days. Has your weather been unusual this summer?

Linked up: Turning Heads Tuesday


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  1. Kerrie in France
    July 20, 2015 / 3:22 am

    Poor baby. I hope Coco is feeling better. She looks adorable. We are having an extended heatwave here in southwest France. Normally we get the intense heat for only a couple of days, then a respite before the next onslaught. But this summer we have had une canicule for 3 weeks so far. Rain would be wonderful.

  2. Lou Ann
    July 20, 2015 / 4:13 am

    You look GREAT in Polka dots… My daughter told me never to wear polka dots a few years back, so I don’t. But I do not look like you do either. LOVE the shoes with the dress, and the long cardigan. Very elegant.

  3. July 20, 2015 / 4:27 am

    That dress is definitely wow, Sue. And I love it with the long cardigan. Trés chic. Trés. Glad you guys have finally had some rain.

  4. dottoressa
    July 20, 2015 / 4:35 am

    I was starting to write and than read Kerrie in France’s comment. Well,she said everything,I’m very glad that Coco is well ( and so sweer!) and I can say completely the same about weather in Croatia. We are exhausted ( 35-40°C),as well as animals and crops. Sea is beautifully warm (something good!),can’t wait this weekend and hollidays
    I like polka dots in navy very much (and red,and black….) and you look so great in this combination! Next occasion!

  5. dottoressa
    July 20, 2015 / 4:37 am

    Sweet,sorry! I need glasses!

  6. July 20, 2015 / 4:52 am

    Love the dress…so glad you brought it back and I hope your Coco is feeling better!

  7. July 20, 2015 / 5:11 am

    Big hugs and positive health vibes to Coco. I know when one of my pets is ill, I cannot be fully happy. the dress and cardigan are lovely! xo

  8. July 20, 2015 / 6:34 am

    We got a few millimeters of rain over a week ago after weeks and weeks and weeks of drought, unprecedented in 120+ years of weather records. Not a drop since, although there’s apparently a “60% chance” we’ll get some next Saturday. . . .crossing my fingers. . .
    The dress, especially as you’ve styled it, looks wonderful on you. I do hope Coco continues to improve.

    • une femme
      July 20, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Frances, thank you. It’s hard to believe the Pacific Northwest is also experiencing drought. Scary! I hope you get some relief soon.

  9. Vicki Lane
    July 20, 2015 / 6:42 am

    Love polka dots and your outfit is fabulous! I will try to recreate that look for myself. Precious sends Coco get well hugs.

  10. Mare
    July 20, 2015 / 6:52 am

    Sending healthy and energetic thoughts to your wee girl. xo

  11. DK
    July 20, 2015 / 7:04 am

    Love the dress and long cardigan on you! Hope cute Coco is on the mend!

  12. sybes1
    July 20, 2015 / 7:31 am

    Great outfit! I think I remember a photo of you with that dress while traveling–at Babette’s maybe? Really sorry about Coco. I hope she improves <3. The rain must have been wonderful. Would love some of that up here in No Cali too! xo

  13. July 20, 2015 / 8:10 am

    So glad your Coco is doing well and that you are such a loving pet parent. You looked beautiful in that outfit. It was so you.

  14. Virginia
    July 20, 2015 / 8:22 am

    Hope Coco is better! The outfit looks amazing but I have a question about the long cardigan. I actually tried it on in a store and found that it looked great when I was standing but when I sat down, it just dragged the floor and I had to flop it awkwardly over my lap. How do you deal with it when you sit down? Is it a problem for you?

    • une femme
      July 20, 2015 / 7:16 pm

      Virginia, thank you! I tend to just hitch it up a bit as I’m sitting and it’s not an issue for me. I wear this and my other long cardigans at the office (where I’m mostly sitting at a desk) regularly and have not found the length to be a hinderance.

  15. Cher
    July 20, 2015 / 8:51 am

    Love the polka dots and navy! Great choice! I live in Texas and we pulled out of a 5 year drought in the month of May this year with record rainfall. So it can happen. Good luck!

  16. July 20, 2015 / 9:32 am

    I hope Coco continues to get better. Love the outfit, but I have a question. I’m 5’2″ and somewhat curvy, and I just can’t see wearing a long cardigan such as this. It looks great on you. How do you pull it off without looking overwhelmed?

  17. Pam
    July 20, 2015 / 12:25 pm

    You look fantastic in the midnight/navy blue!! Please do more combinations using this dark blue.

  18. KPL
    July 20, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    I hope Coco is doing better. I do have a navy with white polka dot Equipment shirt, but I have to be feeling wild to wear it. Your dress looks great. Polka dots are very charming.

  19. Babette
    July 20, 2015 / 2:06 pm

    You look smashing, to bad you couldn’t go out. Don’t know if I’ve commented before but, you have the most beautiful smile. Hope your little pet recovers. Glad to hear you received some relief from the drought. Here in the Midwest we are suffering from just the opposite and seem to be receiving flash flood warnings every 10 days or so.

  20. July 20, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    I hope Coco is better! Great outfit and you inspired me to get the duster-length cardigan from WHBM! Haven’t branched out beyond black, white, grey, or blush but embracing the longer flowy styles as a result of your posts.

    PS – excellent post on the tragedy of chic!!!

  21. kim
    July 20, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    Paw-sitive vibes heading Coco’s way! Feel better soon. <3

  22. July 20, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Coco is such a sweetie. I hope she continues to improve and feel her old self again soon. Your outfit looks great. Your hair is looking wonderful these days, too!

  23. July 20, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    Pretty dress. Hope your doggy continues to get better.

  24. Wendy in York
    July 20, 2015 / 11:34 pm

    I’m not surprised that you put your poorly dog before your own fun . It’s happened to me too . We had one that was terrified of storms & fireworks which kept us home sometimes – no New Years Eve frolics for us . I’m not a frock person but you look great in that one

  25. Leslie in Oregon
    July 21, 2015 / 12:52 am

    I’m very glad that Coco is improving. She is a beautiful dog!

    Extreme and unusual weather, i.e., climate change, is happening everywhere. We in Portland just had another weekend with 97-degree temperatures and no prospect of rain.

  26. christi
    July 21, 2015 / 4:23 am

    Great outfit, especially like the shoes! How awful to come home and find your Coco in that state! Hope she’s feeling better. She’s a pretty girl!

  27. Leslie K
    July 21, 2015 / 8:32 am

    I hope Coco continues to mend. I love this dress and the way you’ve styled it.

  28. July 21, 2015 / 10:18 am

    Get better Coco. We’re rooting for you. Sue you look fab. Love your new bangs. This outfit is perfect!

  29. Cynthia
    July 21, 2015 / 3:16 pm

    Great outfit! I love the dress. And I am glad Coco is recovering. And the rain was absolutely marvelous. My garden was very happy on Saturday!

  30. Chatty Cathy
    July 21, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    Team Coco! I glad to hear she is doing better!

  31. July 22, 2015 / 3:44 am

    I do hope Coco is on the road to recovery. I love your spotted dress and long jacket , just perfect.

  32. July 22, 2015 / 8:20 am

    I hope your little sweetie is feeling better. It’s so frightening to see blood. BTW, love the outfit.

  33. Jess
    July 22, 2015 / 11:07 am

    Love the dress and longer cardi, I am a fan of the pointed criss cross flats as well. Your pup is so adorable, so sorry to hear of her health, but glad she is doing better.
    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday
    jess xx

  34. July 22, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    It’s horrible when pets get ill, isn’t it? When we still had a cat I hated it when she got poorly as you feel so helpless. Fortunately it was rare. Hope Coco is on the mend now. The dress is gorgeous but oh my, that cardigan, that’s what I want! It’s divine. Great length without swamping you.

  35. elisabetta
    July 23, 2015 / 7:19 am

    Have you lost weight? You always look great, but look slimmer in this picture.

    • une femme
      July 23, 2015 / 7:23 am

      elisabetta, no, my weight is pretty stable. I think it’s the camera angle. 🙂

  36. tish868
    July 28, 2015 / 8:47 am

    You look so pretty — as always. xo

  37. August 5, 2015 / 11:50 pm

    Well done. I love polka dots.
    I would have loved to have met you. Perhaps soon

  38. Emm
    September 12, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    You look gorgeous – that dress! And with that cardigan! I love this outfit.

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