Friday, February 6, 2009


When you think of summer, what colors come to mind?

Yellows, definitely. Light blues, pinks, whites, sure. But black?

Yes! With the appropriate style, black offers a dark canvas -- perfect for making summer florals go POP! And, with the right design and fabric, even a knee-length style becomes formal.

See? Dresses from the Jim Hjelm line (and family) were my original inspiration.

short and sweet

short and sweet - by Whisked Away on

The bridesmaid dress search was surprisingly easy: first, a visit with Sister Bruschetta to try out countless options. We learned which dresses can make anyone look pregnant (goodbye, empire waists!), which were just plain uncomfortable and which would fit the feel of our late summer, black tie (preferred) soiree.

Later, we made a second trip with all the girls to select the dress from a (much narrower) list of options. We quickly eliminated cleave-necks from the running -- definitely not church appropriate! I saved my favorite for last, and everyone quickly agreed: the chosen gown's (yes, it's knee-length, but formal enough [in my opinion] to earn an upgrade from "dress") tissue taffeta is deliciously luxurious. Universally flattering. And (::gasp::) rewearable!

Accessorizing the Amsales is the next hurdle.

I first thought of strappy, black dress sandals -- and was quite content with this decision -- until Mama Bruschetta pointed out the model's metallic heels. At first I was torn, but now I'm all about the idea of silvery dress sandals.

I created an inspiration board to try and make sense of the options (and included some silver earrings, as each girl can wear her favorite [modest] pair; I'm considering nixing necklaces altogether). What do you think?

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