White, Coral, and Growing Up

I don't know what it is about summer that makes me crave white dresses, but they're all I want to wear right now. I think summer does that most of us, but it also might have something to do with my strong desire to create a more classic, mature style. I'll never stop loving Peter Pan collars and polka dots, but with a year left of college until I'm out in the real world, I think it's time to start dressing like a grown up occasionally. A white dress, a statement necklace, and nude flats is exactly the type of style I'm going for — classic, but not boring. I love the idea of mixing timeless clothes with fun accessories like this coral collar necklace from Fifth & Mae. I've always loved the coral, but it's never looked right with my hair color and skin tone. Fortunately, I'm finally figuring out that I can actually get away with it as accessories. Thank goodness.

Of course, part of building a more mature wardrobe may have a little bit to do with turning 21 next week (July 17!). It's my last milestone birthday for a while, and one of the last "Oh, crap. I'm an adult now, aren't I?" birthdays. Side note: I'm not really big on the whole drinking thing, so I'm not expecting to get super crazy on my 21st. I'll go out with my friends and let them buy me drinks, but nothing too crazy. I'm less of a "go to parties and get blackout drunk" kind of girl and more of the "let's go to a trendy bar so I can get a drink named after a Pulp Fiction character" kind. Seriously, there's a drink called the Marsellus Wallace at a nearby restaurant that I fully intend on getting, regardless of what's in it. 

Also, nothing makes me happier than dresses with open backs high enough that you can still wear a bra. Because isn't that really what we all want in life?

Dress: Urban Outfitters
Necklace, bracelet: Fifth & Mae
Shoes: Need Supply Co. 


  1. Yes, that is what we all want out of life for sure (well, half the population does. I'm sure the other half would be delighted at the prospect of no bras!)

    Happy Early Birthday (though I'm not sure the "Oh, crap. I'm an adult now, aren't I?" sensation ever truly goes away!) Have a fun time.

    You look lovely and classic indeed in this white dress.

  2. love it! you look really fresh and youthful in this dress


  3. Hey, I've been out of grad school for two years now and I still don't worry about dressing like a grown-up. If it's your style, make it work for you! That being said, I think this outfit is the perfect balance between youthfulness and maturity though. That dress is too cute!

  4. Um, girl you look stunning. White is totally a good color on you and the shape of this dress is FABULOUS on you. This is very very grown up. Grown up Elana is really classic. I love it! Also those shoes. And your description about yourself, I died.

    Oh, and I totally forgot to mail you your dress back :( I'll do it tomorrow!

  5. This dress is absolutely gorgeous on you! I'm with you on the bra thing, that's pretty much a major factor when I buy a new dress. I'm really excited for your 21st! I'm glad you're being mature for your big milestone, I drove to Vegas on my birthday (which is Christmas day) and ended up at a strip club. Soooooo yeah. Let's get together ASAP (Erica and I were talking about it on Friday) so I can buy you a drink or two!



    Southern (California) Belle

  6. this is just the right amount of classic and mature, Elana! :)
    I hope you'll have a blast on your 21st!
    best wishes!!!!

    The Sweetest Escape 

  7. Cute outfit! I definitely understand trying to dress more mature. I just turned 24 and I'm about to finish grad school, so I've been trying to update my wardrobe. Love that you're doing it in a cute, fun way! Who says dressing like an adult has to be boring, right?

    Happy almost birthday!

  8. Elana! I'm finally catching up on your blog after a totally unintentional break from it lately. I've missed so much! I'm basically in love with this outfit. The dress, the necklace, the shoes are all amazing.

    I've also been transitioning into a more classic, mature style sensibility lately. I try to buy classic, simple pieces most of the time along with fun accessories to mix in.

    I hope you're having a great summer so far! I promise to follow along more often from now on. :)

  9. Hey we are almost birthday twins! My 21st is the 19th. I'm glad you're embracing growing up like such a lady. I'm being drug into adulthood crying and screaming!


  10. I love this dress, such a gorgeous piece and so pretty with the coral necklace. I definitely should be transitioning into a more adult wardrobe soon, ah the joys of being an adult.
    I have never gone out to a bar on my birthday (usually have people over for a bbq) but that bar sounds awesome! I'm sure you'll have a great time

  11. cute cute and cute. i love the back! and that bracelet is adorable :)

  12. What a perfect, summery look! I especially love your flats :) Don't worry too much about being a grown up - I've been out in the 'real world' for a little over a year now and I'm starting to realize it's ok if life starts taking you in different direction or it takes you longer than you imagined to reach a certain goal, as long as you're actively working to make your life better and yourself happier everything will work out in the end!


  13. That white dress is so cute, I love the texture! :D And those flats are such a great shape

  14. Happy early birthday!

    Yes! A dress I can wear a bra under is all I want. This one is very pretty. :-)

  15. Happy early birthday! I'll be 25 in August, and I've been married for almost 6 years and have two kids, and I STILL have a hard time believing that I'm an adult! I just love your smile, by the way. So lovely and genuine. :-)

    Love, Amy

  16. What a lovely outfit! The color palette is so pretty, and I love the cutout of the dress. Also, your bracelet is absolutely adorable!


  17. That dress is just so pretty - you look so wonderful in white! And preach on the bra thing - best moment ever when you realize that you can wear a normal bra. Isn't it funny how your style changes when you realize that you have to be a real person soon? I know I'm feeling the same way!

    Happy early birthday! Turning 21 is quite fun, I have to say - when else are you not going to have to pay for your drinks? I agree with you too, on the drinking thing. I think that it quickly turns into a fun, social thing where drinking too much really just makes you look quite silly.


  18. That dress is so pretty (I especially love the cute cut out part, double awesome that it covers the bra. I think that's the main reason I don't buy heart cut out dresses, I just have no idea what kind of bra to wear with it, haha) And ooo that necklace is gorgeous! I really like that color:)

    Happy early birthday! Hope the Marsellus Wallace drink tastes as cool as it sounds.

  19. Thanks so much for your comment, it means a lot!
    You look absolutely adorable today, I love your dress! The collar is a cute addition, too!

    Have a fantastic week,

  20. Ohhh! Happy almost birthday! I'm sure becoming an adult won't be all so bad. I just turned 20 and so I'm feeling the same thing you are in a way, haha, leaving the teenage world behind and all... sighs!

    On a non-related growing older note, I love that dress. White dresses really are lovely, and I, too, have been a little more than infatuated with them this summer... I've picked up two in the past week!! Haha. :) Really cute necklace and location too--I love how the petals accentuate that necklace!

  21. Aw, such an exciting milestone coming up for you! Beware, every birthday after 21 just flies by and you won't know what happened! haha. I think that's one of the great things about style is that it's ever changing according to our station in life. You can still retain your sweet and loveable style, while elevating yourself to more mature items as well. This white dress is so very pretty and has some lovely details to it too-I absolutely adore it!

  22. Oh wow, happy early birthday girl! Have fun, and let us know how that drinks tastes...haha, I'm curious. I have to agree, I'm more of your style of drinking... :P
    I love this pretty white dress Elana, the cut out is most definitely perfectly place :)

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    Trendy Teal

  23. You look lovely! That dress really is perfect. Happy early birthday! I'm the same kind of drinker as you, haha. But I'm sure that drink will be fabulous no matter what's in it ;)

  24. This dress is wonderful! I know what you mean about an adult wardrobe but I kind of got even crazier with my wardrobe after 21 because I realized I eventually wouldn't be able to wear super trendy things without looking ridiculous. I want to drag out this time as long as possible! Luckily I got a couple more years of wearing pretty much whatever I want when I decided to go to grad school.

  25. Hah, I want to wear white dresses all of the time! It's pretty rich coming from someone who doesn't even like weddings. :P There's just something about a white dress though, they not as "stuffy" feeling as little black dresses tend to feel and you really can do anything with them.

    I wanted to stop by real fast an say hi as well! I've been really busy and neglectful because of the move and all of the work but I miss seeing you and reading your posts! I hope your summer break and the internship is going well!


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  27. so funny about your bra comment but seriously, I guess they fit them on tiny models with no boobs or something when they make them. i'm surprised you say you cant wear coral, seems like you def could! but this white dress is perfect, classy enough for an office job for sure but fun w/ the cutouts. and eh, i'm several years out of college but still only dress professional when i have to.
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  28. I totally understand where you're coming from with the more mature style idea-- I'm entering my first year in college in the fall (I'll be studying fashion journalism at Sarah Lawrence college in NYC!) and I've been desperately revamping my wardrobe with some "older pieces" like tailored blazers. After all, I'll never know when I'll have an interview or have to have a real-life adult conversation with my professors! Eek! Loving how pretty and mature you look in this dress, I think you nailed it!

    Xo, Hannah


  29. You're hilarious. And I thought I was the only one who loved a pretty dress where I can get away with wearing a bra! I don't know how I missed this post the first time around, but I love what you did with the pictures here! The third picture down (the close-up one) is seriously BEA-utiful. Very adult outfit. Well done.

    perfectly priya