Lounge Apparel Petal Sleeve Dress

The Model and Me: Lounge Apparel spring-summer 2012-13

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, The Model and Me 44 Comments

You know my thoughts on the Little Black Dress. I talked this wardrobe work horse up as part of this post.

But as regular Styling You commenter, Lisa Mackenzie, pointed out … black “makes me look old and sick” … her words not mine.

The fact is that black doesn’t look good on everyone. It works on most of us, yes, but not ALL of us.

Me? I get away with it because I go to great lengths every six weeks to keep my hair a shade of blonde it’s never ever naturally been. This provides me with the perfect contrast to enable my ongoing love of black frocks and tops.

Anyhoo, Lisa wanted some ideas on an alternative to the LBD and I immediately thought of the LND … or Little Navy Dress, the LBD’s less flashy cousin.

Enter stage left, this super simple navy silk crepe shift from Lounge Apparel*.

Here’s the model wearing it:

lounge apparel petal sleeve dress

Lounge Apparel Petal Sleeve dress $179

Now, there are many shades of navy. Maybe not 50 😉 but lots, all the same. This one’s on the lighter shade but I own others that are darker too.

All work incredibly as go-to, dress up/dress down frocks.

They get on with their wardrobe job – just like the LBD – but in a “kinder-on-the-skin-tone” way.

Here is me: look 1 (casual barbecue)

Lounge Apparel Petal Sleeve Dress | navy dress | Ruby and Olive necklace | Zoe Kratzmann shoes

As worn with: Ruby and Olive necklace $45 | Zoe Kratzmann flats $210 | Uberkate earrings | Silver cuff (bought 4 years ago at Eve Boutique)

Zoe Kratzmann sandals


Here is me: look 2 (daytime summer wedding)

Lounge Apparel Petal Sleeve dress | Salita Matthews necklace | Samantha Wills ring

As worn with: Samantha Wills ring (bought last summer) | Salita Matthews necklace (bought last summer) | Italian heels (bought at a shoe store closing down sale four years ago)

I love the simplicity of this dress and I love that changing its look is as easy as changing my shoes and accessories.

It’s quite a thin fabric, so I’ve worked a black stretchy slip dress underneath to smooth things out to so to speak and to let the fabric skim and flow like it should.

If you’re not so keen as I am to wave my tuckshop arms in the air, check out this post for ideas … this dress really does lend itself to a cropped jacket or shrug.

I’m a big fan of working a navy frock back with a nude shoe for a bit of leg lengthening. A way better alternative to my attempts in the late ’80s and early ’90s to team my then extensive navy wardrobe with navy shoes. HELLO … mumsie in the making.

And if you’re wanting more ideas on which colours would “pop” a navy frock, B from B Being Cool has been styling up a storm on Polyvore.

Do you own a LND? Is this a style you can see yourself wearing? What would you wear it back with?

PS. My teenage daughter takes most of my outfit photos for me. Mr 7 clearly has been watching too many shoots as he’s got my posing down pat, don’t you think? Cheeky monkey.

Mr 7 strikes a pose

* This Lounge Apparel dress, Ruby and Olive necklace and Zoe Kratzmann shoes were gifted to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy.

Comments 44

  1. Thanks for the intro to loungeapparel.com.au! Purchased an absolutely beautiful dress (they now have a fan for life) and owner, Carmel, dealt with a query personally. One company that values their on line clientele.

  2. Gorgeous, Nikki! And your son can be your stand-in anytime, lol. Great quotes from you on last night’s Media Watch as well, good job! By the way, can i call you “The Incredible Shrinking Woman”? Looking good! 🙂

  3. You look fab as always Nikki! Yes, I think I need a LND in my wardrobe. Black doesn’t do me any favours when worn near my face 😉 Years ago I needed a dress for a swanky ball in London and gambled on a long silk number in olive – well it ended up being a bit of a fluke purchase, as I have worn it since, even to a wedding, brightened up with another green. Love those gambles which pay off! (and which I haven’t thrown out with a lack of fashion foresight!) xx

  4. I love the fact that it looks better on you than the model! Hot mumma 😉 I’m wearing a navy/white maxi dress today and it’s my way of getting out of black. Navy teams well with my red ballet flats too.

  5. I love this blue dress!

    I wear a LOT of black and could really use a bit of break. I have a great navy dress in my cupboard, but it is a shirt dress and it is really structured, so there is no hiding bits and bumps. I love the idea of the floaty style like you have shown here, I love a bit of an illusion.

    I agree that navy is gentler on the skin tones, and I love that it can be dressy or casual.

    Thanks so much for linking in my post, you are such a sweetheart!

  6. Black looks soooo good on blonds:) I hope your daughter doesn’t complain as much as my kids about having to take a photo of you. Please tell her she’s doing a good job and we love her pics. Plus your styling and poses. Particularly enjoying the bottom pose (I mean lower pic!) and eyes looking up today:)

  7. I do love that dress!

    I wear black a lot, I need to branch out! I have a navy shirt dress in my wardrobe, but it feels too structured. At this stage in my life, I am needing some floaty, illusion creating pieces… Plus, the floaty dress can {as you have masterfully done} be worn dressed up or down.

    Thanks for linking to my polyvore look book! I so do appreciate your generous heart!

    Love your work,

  8. I do wear a lot of black, but have recently included some navy in my wardrobe, just to break things up a bit. I used to be blonde, but have gone back to my natural brown, and I do feel that being brunette doesn’t work as well with black

  9. Wonderful post Nikki and you do look fab in both outfits. Also loving your “shy” son – he may regret seeing that photo in years to come but just love the confidence!

  10. I love the idea of the LND. I think in summer it is a great alternative … especially when it works with so many lovely summer colours (red, orange, green). Love that you help us all out so much …

  11. hi Nikki dress and colour are beautiful! I have a question re the flimsy summer dresses and wearing a slip/tank dress under them. I alays find its so hot here in Perth in summer that i cant fathom wearing layers, do you have an alternative thats light and airy/ Thanks!

  12. Great dress Nikki, I am loving the flats too. And don’t worry about boys posing, my 1 year old has already started as soon as he spots a camera!

  13. You look fantastic in that second shot! You might have to do a post on how you are keeping fit. Your fringe looks great to the side too!Maybe on how us blondes keep our hair that shade its never naturally been too!

  14. Thank-You Nikki I feel very important today a whole blog post dedicated to me ,well sort of.I love that navy dress on you it looks very chic,and I also like how you have styled it 2 ways one casualy and one dressy,make our wardrobe work harder and that’s a good thing. Yes I will team my new navy dress with nude shoes,I remember when I was working in a big department store and had to wear a navy skirt and pants and we had to wear navy court shoes and navy stockings not a look I would go back to.I have my eye on a Country Road navy shift dress and I am going off to buy it now,because of you ,Thanks again lovely lady, Yes Flynn has been watching you too much but he is so cute and a very handsome little boy,so he can get away with it x

  15. Lovely post Nikki. I think this dress looks fab on you, either way. I have stayed away from navy all these years due to that 80/90’s experience. You have made me see it with fresh eyes. There are a few Lounge pieces I have my eye on as I can’t stand fabrics close to my skin in summer. Yuk. PS How fun is your ‘job’ dressing up and taking pictures to help us less stylish sisters. You must feel like a celebrity sometimes, always having to dress well incase someone recognises you in the street! I love the anonymity of a new town, you can get away with alot more!

  16. I used to be a BIG fan of black but not anymore. Navy is my new black. I prefer the darker shade, as I do with most colours, it seems to look much better on me as I get older.

  17. I’m not a fan of black over the recent years. It just doesn’t suit me and I just heart colour way too much. However, there is a need for a classic neutral, like black, in my wardrobe, so a few years ago, I went with navy and cobalt. They go with almost anything, look fantastically chic and scream classic but not boring (unless you team it with navy pumps, brass buttons and pearls). In which case, you need some help. Stat!

    Love the sleeve detail on the dress – perfect for ladies who are no longer 25 who aren’t comfortable in spaghetti or tank style straps.

  18. You can’t see the sleeve detail on the model at all and it looks rather shapeless. I think they should take a tip from you on how to show off the dress!
    It’s a lovely colour, silk is great for summer but does need something underneath in case of errant sweating (or should I say glowing?)

    1. The sleeve detail is lovely so glad you can see it on my photos – and I think the dress is probably just a bigger size on the model than what she could wear. I’m in the L and it’s less flowy! I need something underneath not just for sweating but just because it wouldn’t skim without.

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