How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress (With Pattern Mixing) #iwillwearwhatilike

How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

Shirt dresses, I have a thing for you right now!

When the warm weather started here in the UK I vowed that I wanted to spend the summer in dresses, and so far I’m doing well. However I think I say it every year: Let’s wear dresses all summer! It’ll be a fine summer for sure! – the reality is that it’s NEVER warm enough or sunny enough here to be able to do that. You’ll always eventually succumb back to your jeans and t-shirt and throw a sweatshirt over the top [you’ve packed away your nice sweaters] because you’re a bit on the chilly side. And then you’re counting down the days to getting your winter wardrobe back out because it’s too depressing looking at loads of summer clothes you’re too cold to wear.

This year though, it’s different. We’ve pretty much had a decent summer so far. Since when does it get to the middle of June and feel like we’ve had lots of sunshine and weeks of warm weather already?! N-e-v-e-r.

So, in true British style, I gleefully went through all my summer clothes, trying everything on I wanted to wear this year…

How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

SHOP THE LOOK:

… only to find that I couldn’t fit into ANYTHING. Even the bigger clothes I bought last summer because everything else was a bit too tight are now too small. So, I had nothing.

I just wanted to explain why you’ll see quite a few brand new clothes on the blog over the next few weeks: it’s because nothing I already own fits. I have a ton of beautiful clothes I still love and WANT to wear, so it’s somewhat crushing when they don’t! I’ve already started the fitness drive but the older I get the harder it is to get the weight off (I’m sure many of you can relate) – my health is the important thing here and I’ve been idle too long, giving my operation and leg pain as the excuse. I may never be able to fit into those summer clothes again, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Getting my fitness levels back up to avoid aches, pains and generally lead a happier, healthier, more energetic life is my number one priority here 😀

Not Dressed As Lamb - CLICK HERE to receive posts by email

Anyway! onto what I described in the blog post title – styling a striped shirt dress. This one is slightly different to the one I featured the other week when we dressed up Blade Runner-style for the Secret Cinema, though they are very similar. I’ll admit, I ordered them both and couldn’t choose between them (that one being blue, black and white stripes, this one black and white only) so I kept both. It means I have one more dress I can fit into, and for now I need things that make me happy, especially after Friday’s day from partial-hell (thank you for all the lovely messages and comments, I’m feeling much more positive now and luckily nothing else has gone wrong)!

So this dress is quite plain but I do love the shirt dress shape… black and white needed a little colour so I wore my red block heel slingbacks – I’ve worn these loads but not yet featured them on the blog. And to avoid looking too matchy-matchy with a red belt I plumped for leopard print in the form of a leopard belt (similar) and leopard clutch (similar) that was in my goody bag from the Jaeger press day.

For someone that doesn’t “do” black I’m happy when I have some other patterns or colours thrown in. The last thing I’d personally add would be black shoes, belt or bag to this dress… I need cheering up right now and a dash of colour and pattern does it for me!

Do add your outfits to this week’s link up – and if you’ve added a link to here or my button to your post you may be featured next week!

ARE YOU EMBRACING THE SHIRT DRESS THIS SUMMER – OR ANY OTHER STYLE? COMMENT BELOW…!

Catherine

Like this post? You might also like how I styled my other shirt dresses…

Futuristic 1940s-Style Secret Cinema Blade Runner Costume
Florals With a Twist | A Loud Birds & Tropical Print

How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

Dress: New Look
Belt: Unknown (similar)
Shoes: Marks & Spencer (US link)
Clutch: Jaeger c/o (similar)
Sunglasses: Asos (similar)
Lipstick: Smashbox Carat Stick (US link)
Earrings: Amazon (similar)

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The #iwillwearwhatilike link up with Not Dressed As Lamb
Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist’s list of “inappropriate” items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!

The link up goes live every Monday at around 3pm UK time and will stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you’re wearing whatever you damn well like!

Linking up etiquette…

CLICK HERE to read the rules of linking up (and to grab the #iwillwearwhatilike button). Basically it’s just good manners to link back to here – to leave a comment is even nicer!


Want to receive an email reminder for the next link up?

Please note that due to the new GDPR laws I’m unable to send an email reminder unless you subscribe to the mailing list of your own accord. CLICK HERE if you wish to be sent an email with a reminder to link up to the #iwillwearwhatilike link up as soon as it’s live!

Featured favourites

Fashion bloggers who believe in #iwillwearwhatilike

My favourite outfits from last week’s link up:
(L-R) Porcelina’s World | Kremb de la Kremb | Fake Fabulous

To get yourself featured next week, make sure you’ve included a link back to Not Dressed As Lamb or my button in your post/sidebar!

P.S. CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST BOARD WITH THE BEST OF THE #IWILLWEARWHATILIKE LINK UPS – HAVE YOU BEEN PINNED…?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click through and buy I may receive a small commission at no cost to you (click here for my full disclosure). Items listed as c/o were gifted

How to Style a Summer Shirt Dress With Pattern Mixing \ black and white striped midi shirt dress \ leopard clutch and belt \ red slingback block heel shoes | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

59 Comments

  1. June 30, 2018 / 11:00 am

    Just love, love,love that look Catherine. Seriously! Need to pin it to my Pinterest board right now!!! Have a lovely weekend. Been looking also for Sat link-up but seems to be not live yet…will check in laterxxxxx Sabina

  2. June 25, 2018 / 1:38 pm

    I love shirt dresses too Catherine. I put them at the top with wrap dresses as my all time favourite style. Stripes are up there also 😉
    I’m sorry to hear that you don’t feel happy with your weight but honestly, hand on heart, you look fabulous! I know you always say it’s all smoke & mirrors, which I get but seriously woman you are beautiful as ever xxx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 25, 2018 / 6:58 pm

      Thank you for the lovely comments MT – it is hard looking at a huge wardrobe of beautiful clothes you can’t wear though, so that will always make me feel sad. Plus being fit makes you feel better physically, you sleep better, less headaches, etc… I’m truly unfit RN!! But that’s very kind of you to say – at least I know I can still dress well no matter what my size! x

  3. June 25, 2018 / 12:52 pm

    You know I love those shoes! They must be comfy to because you walked round London in them the other day…too?

    Catherine it’s so hard coming to terms with weight gain as we age, I know mine crept on slowly.
    But you are a beautiful woman and we cannot see the weight you are describing ya know!?
    My Mum says skinny women have more wrinkles and its better to have a small amount of ‘curve’ to keep your bloom on!

    thanks for hosting…
    bestest wishes as ever
    Ashley xxx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 25, 2018 / 7:01 pm

      Thank you Ashley my lovely! Yes the red shoes are super comfy – yes I walked round London in them with you (Bath too), so there’s proof right there!

      I’m dressing well to hide the weight gain, so it’s good to know you can’t see it! But I’m desperate to feel better, and zero exercise and too much beer and chocolate isn’t going to do that!! 😮

  4. June 25, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    YES! to our amazing summer!!! I love the nostalgic lines of this dress. And if you don’t mind me saying, I see no difference in your body shape so am flummoxed on why clothes aren’t fitting … Have you washed everything on 90c?!!
    Enjoy about el skorchio of a week, x.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 25, 2018 / 7:04 pm

      Hehe maybe I DID put everything on a hot wash, Mary!!! 😉 I’ve put on nearly two stone in two years, but as I have a large waist-to-hip ratio then it always appears that I have a tiny waist… I have a very small ribcage too. All the bits I don’t show are the ones holding the weight: I’m clever like that!! Time to get fit and improve my health though – if I don’t get smaller then I’ll have to accept that I can’t wear all my beautiful clothes anymore, but at least I’ll be fit and healthy. We shall see! x

  5. June 23, 2018 / 7:35 am

    You are right, it is a lovely dress on you. Would do me fine as well. My “thing” is that I don’t like flat shoes with dresses because I have a low instep, narrow feet and flat feet. Doesn’t make flat shoes look good on me. And because of the knee inflammation I wore a lot of flats these past months. Only to find out that I can walk on high(er) heels. Well some of them.
    I love how you threw in the leopard clutch and belt and the red shoes. You are very good in not matchy matchy but still a pulled together look.
    Greetje
    PS i have ticked the box “Save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment”. Several times even. Only my details are NOT saved. I have to type them with every comment.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 25, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      Thanks Greetje – I’d love to wear flats with shorter dresses but I just don’t have the right ankles (IMO) for them!

      Sorry you’re having trouble with the comment form, but I have the same problem with lots of other blogs too. I don’t think it’s my end (I don’t have control over that unless someone can tell me otherwise?) – my guess it’s that it’s something to do with cookies and/or your cache being cleared. That’s usually what affects form fields…!

  6. June 21, 2018 / 4:08 am

    I love the dress and you look amazing. You look after yourself and your health. Adore the leopard print with it.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 25, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      Thank you Hilda – and yes I intend to! x

  7. June 19, 2018 / 11:51 pm

    that shirt dress is amazing on you!!!

    • catherine
      Author
      June 26, 2018 / 12:01 am

      thank you Stephanie! x

  8. June 19, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    That dress looks fabulous on you Catherine! You’re right that the weight is harder to shift as we get older but when you have health problems thrown in, like you’re knee problem and surgery it’s even harder. I’m loving wide leg jumpsuits right now. I’m short so they shouldn’t work on me, supposedly they drown me in fabric, but I’m going against what ‘they’ say as I think they look good and #iwillwearwhatilike !
    Steph
    x

    • catherine
      Author
      June 26, 2018 / 12:15 am

      I’ve used the leg as an excuse for too long now, Stephanie… time for me to take responsibility and do something about it!! And who cares about drowning in fabric, eh?! If you like them then wear them, good for you! x

  9. June 19, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    I love anything in stripes and I’m so in love with your striped dress!

    xo,
    Janise

    • catherine
      Author
      June 26, 2018 / 12:16 am

      Can’t really go wrong with stripes, can you Janise…?! Thanks hon x

  10. June 19, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    Ooh, that dress is stunning! I love the length! You styled it perfectly! Love the red shoes.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 26, 2018 / 12:16 am

      thank you Amy 🙂

  11. June 19, 2018 / 8:02 am

    Gorgeous choice, it’s a great dress on you. Love the red lippy with it! It’s a shame about your existing summer clothes, but you’ve had a lot going on in the last year, with the op, house move etc. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.

    Thanks so much for featuring me in your favourites xx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:33 am

      I’ve just bitten the bullet and ordered a few new things Porcelina… it’ll make me feel better to be able to fit into something – anything!! thank you hon x

  12. June 19, 2018 / 6:51 am

    I really love this look on you, Catherine. Your choice of accessories really elevates this dress. Vertical stripes are a favourite! Thanks for the linkup.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:34 am

      thanks Melanie – I didn’t realise how much I loved vertical stripes too till this summer!! 😉

  13. June 19, 2018 / 6:35 am

    Catherine this black and white shirtdress is a winner , you look just grand. Perfect too with the leopard print and red finishing touches. Hope your warm, sunny days continue.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:34 am

      Thank you Jill – we’re doing well with the sun so far…!!

  14. June 19, 2018 / 3:27 am

    Wow Catherine!! I am (as you well know!) a diehard fan of black…and this striped shirt dress couldn’t “represent” any better!! It looks AMAZING on you; and I love the way you’ve worked your colour and pattern magic by styling it with those adorable poppy-red slingbacks and your leopard belt and bag!! Plus the oversized sunglasses and red lippy?? Come on…you look like a bonafide movie star!! XOXO

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:35 am

      I can imagine you doing the black and white stripes with leopard print, Monika…!! Thank you my lovely x

  15. June 19, 2018 / 12:41 am

    I’ve been thinking about sewing a shirt dress. I love yours!

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:35 am

      Do it, Jill! I love mine 😀

  16. Christine D
    June 19, 2018 / 12:15 am

    Va va voom, you look gorgeous. You have achieved the right balance. The red shoes & red lip look great – it looks beautiful on you, makes the outfit sing. ( I too love a shirt-dress – I think they are very versatile.)

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:36 am

      Aww thanks so much Christine!

  17. Jodie
    June 19, 2018 / 12:11 am

    It’s always so frustrating when your clothes don’t fit, Catherine. Especially when you love them so. I am so lucky to have my mom able to alter them (even bigger) for me when I need that. I don’t have her alter everything, but the pieces that I just love…it’s nice!!
    XOXO
    Jodie

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:37 am

      I don’t think there’s enough fabric to make some of mine bigger, Jodie!! 😉 #lol

  18. June 18, 2018 / 11:29 pm

    I like the stripe/leopard mix. I would never have thought of that! It looks great plus the splash of red via the shoes and the lipstick xx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:37 am

      thanks so much lovely Laurie x

  19. Tracy Patil
    June 18, 2018 / 10:40 pm

    You look fantastic, love the monochrome with the splash of colour and leopard print. I love a shirt dress, got three that I bought in the sale last year. My black/white one is definitely the most versatile

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:38 am

      Seems I’m not the only shirt dress addict, Tracey…!! thank you x

  20. June 18, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    I do adore that shirtdress and the addition of the red shoes was perfect, and then I noticed the leopard belt and bag and the whole thing just wowed me. Great look. Hopefully you will get back to wearing all your lovely pieces. We have been monitoring carbs since January and both Kent and I are down 12 lbs. Yea, plus feeling tons better

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:38 am

      Thank you so much, Linda – and well done you, that’s great news… feeling better is what it’s all about 😀

  21. Sarah Morgan
    June 18, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    This rings a bell. Bizarrely, my clothes have ALL shrunk in the wardrobe over winter… That’s a smashing dress Catherine, and love the leopardy bits. I wear nothing but dresses in summer; at 5’2”, the shoulder-to-knee colour block makes me look taller.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:39 am

      I think that must be it, Sarah – they’ve all shrunk in the wash!!!! 😉

      thank you hon xx

  22. June 18, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    I love mixing animal print and stripes and then the pop of red is perfect!!!

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:39 am

      It’s a great combo, isn’t it Lisa x

  23. June 18, 2018 / 6:59 pm

    I love stripes and spots together—leopard is totally a neutral!
    Cheryl Shops

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:40 am

      I agree, it is!! Thanks Cheryl x

  24. June 18, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    Thanks for hosting and enjoy your week!

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:40 am

      you too Nancy x

  25. June 18, 2018 / 6:20 pm

    I know exactly how you feel, Catherine… it gets more difficult every year – even with the whole programme from nutrition to regular exercise.
    Trust me, you look fabulous as always and this dress (I have rarely seen you in black!) looks fantastic on you!

    xx Annette

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:41 am

      You know me though, Annette – I always have to have at least ONE splash of colour with black…! 😉

      thank you so much xx

  26. June 18, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    Well by co-incidence the post I’ve just linked up is about pattern mixing! You are the queen of pattern mixing and always get it right but I have to say that your stripes and leopard combo is one of my favourites. You look gorgeous as always. And how small is your waist Mrs? xxxxx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:42 am

      Thank you lovely Liz… I don’t think I’d done a pattern mix in a while so it was overdue! Though I often don’t realise I’m doing it so I’ve probably done it loads without knowing 😉 hehe

  27. June 18, 2018 / 6:06 pm

    I’m a great fan of leopard with stripes so I love it! Injury is the worst for getting out of shape but I’m sure that you’ll get back there with all your guts and determination Catherine. Go girl!

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:42 am

      Aww thanks so much Sarah!! x

  28. June 18, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    That’s a super pretty outfit Catherine and it looks super slim on you too!

    Have a lovely week and hope you feel on top of the world again soon (based on the weekend post as well 😉

    Big Hugs, Yvonne aka FunkyForty

    • catherine
      Author
      June 27, 2018 / 9:43 am

      Thank you SO much Yvonne… the crappy day has long been forgotten, though finding some clothes that fit to wear in this heat would improve things enormously!! x

  29. June 18, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    I would never have thought of using leopard print accessories in this way but it really works! Great inspo.

    • catherine
      Author
      June 19, 2018 / 11:05 am

      thanks Gail! xo

  30. June 18, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    Great shirt dress Catherine! I find it increasingly difficult to keep the weight off – age, restaurants and hours of blogging are a recipe for up sizing! Your waist looks teenie though!! xx

    • catherine
      Author
      June 19, 2018 / 11:04 am

      You’re right Maria – a total recipe for disaster…!! 😉 thank you x

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