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How to Style a Velvet Pinafore Dress

3 Days, 3 Ways with
Karalyne Grammer aka

Name: Karalyne Grammer
Location: Dallas, Texas
Occupation: Luxury Retail Store Manager moonlighting as a Vintage Fashion Reseller

Style Advice:

Two things:

  1. Dress for yourself & own your style choices with CONFIDENCE!  If you act like you can pull off a look, you’ll have everyone else convinced.
  2. Buy the cool piece when you see it.  The perfect occasion will always come.

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@iris.apfel + @susiebubble

Iris Apfel + Susie Lau

Why I picked this dress to style

I recently added this incredible 1970s velvet pinafore dress to my wardrobe while introducing my sister to Dallas’s best vintage shops.  Lately when I bring a new piece home, I have found myself immediately styling it in multiple ways to prove to myself that it really does deserve a place in my vast wardrobe.  Since I had yet to wear this, I thought that styling it in 3 different ways for this challenge would be the perfect way to discover its versatility!  I also liked that this is a loud piece that could be perceived as tricky to style or even as a “one hit wonder.”  I wanted to get to the bottom of its potential!

Look One

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Moody Glam

My immediate instinct was to build a commanding glam and moody look.  I first layered a sheer lace bustier under the pinafore & started building from there!  I loved the authoritative look of this blazer with its mod, retro print.  Nothing screams “confidence” like rocking a vintage hat, so I knew I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to pull out this amazing 40s feathered hat as a topper.  The earring choice here was the biggest diversion for the look, as the loud 80s sequin cluster pair threw an unexpected decade into the mix.  I loved the austerity of these mules as the perfect professional yet intriguing finishing touch for this look. 

Look Two

3 days 3 ways style a dress
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It’s So Easy Being Green

For this look I wanted to create a playful vibe that was a little bit more casual.  I also wanted to introduce a brighter color to punch up the palette!  The choice of this green 70s knit was the perfect way to accomplish this!  It added another rich texture, not to mention an infusion of pattern mixing!  Layering is one of my strongest style signatures, so simply popping a top under this pinafore & calling it a look wasn’t going to work for me.  Thankfully I have these fabulous upcycled organza puff sleeves that make the perfect addition to any outfit when I’m looking to add another layer but don’t want to cover up an interesting bodice.  I got to have a lot of fun with my accessories in this look, incorporating the first vintage hat I ever bought as well as this fabulous ostrich feather purse!  The heels were the perfect way to finish off the look.  I’m a sucker for a pair of shoes with an unconventionally shaped heel!

Look Three

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Towel Fashion Chic

This look is the greatest wildcard out of the bunch in my opinion.  I was looking for an interesting juxtaposition when I pulled this 60s towel jacket.  Fun fact: towel fashion is one of my greatest weaknesses!  I stared at the pieces next to each other on the hangers for a while & wasn’t totally convinced that they would work together until I finally tried them on!  As if that pattern mixing wasn’t enough, I also incorporated a striped sequin crop top as my under layer for an additional infusion of texture & visual interest.  My earring choice here was actually a real tossup!  I had tried several variations of black & white pairs but each vibe seamed to pigeonhole the look too much in one direction or another.  These earrings turned out to be the saving grace in that they are a large, statement piece in a distracting accent color.  The final choice was the pairing of these booties, which I chose for their negative space.  Amidst so many conflicting textiles (because when have velvet & terry cloth ever shared a look?) it was key to toe the fine line of seasonal ambiguity in order to make this look work.

Find more of amazing styles by Karalyne on:

You asked, and we listened! You said you wanted more style inspo of real people showing how they wear a garment in multiple ways. Great style advice on personal style and examples of how they do it. We’ll be doing this for you at least twice a month –if not more– and if you’re interested in being featured you can DM us on Instagram or reach out to

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