The Lovely Lookbook: Dresses

The Lovely Lookbook: Dresses

The Lovely Lookbook Button

Welcome to The Lovely Lookbook, a monthly link up to share your style and find outfit inspiration!

Our goal for The Lovely Lookbook is to help women of all shapes, sizes, and styles share their looks and find new outfits based on the theme of the month.

For each Lovely Lookbook, Sarah and I will share our height and the size of clothing we’re wearing as a reference to help show you how to dress your body. Most times, we’ll throw in extra style tips, like we did when we announced The Lovely Lookbook.

We hope you’ll join us! We want you to share your style to inspire others, and if you’re trying to figure out your style, we want to help you look and feel amazing in your own skin and clothing!

September’s Lovely Lookbook features dresses, and here are our looks:

Tucker Up Dress

How gorgeous is Sarah?! I love this look of hers. I really really wish that I could borrow this dress and not look completely inappropriate. Sadly, I’d look like I was wearing a shirt and be arrested for indecent exposure, or it would definitely be stolen from her closet. ;)

Sarah’s dress here is a size small and it’s from Nordstrom. She’s 5’3″, but she looks so stinking tall in this photo. The soft neutral dress makes her look long and lean, because it creates one long visual line with her skin tone. (This is a great trick you can duplicate with any colored top and bottom!) The built-in waistline of the dress shows off her waist, and adding the polka dot jacket makes her look even tinier because it visually cinches in at the waist. I love the mix of feminine in the floaty dress and structured jacket and the soft blush paired with black leather. Adorable!  I could seriously go on and on about how much I love this look, but I know you’ve got places to go and people to see!

I chose to layer a top under my trusty shift dress for this month’s challenge. Layering is one of my favorite ways to switch up a favorite piece.

Greater Than Rubies

This dress is a size 4 from JC Penney, and the top is a medium from J. Crew Factory. I’m 5’11” and I wear all kind of sizes to make sure I can get the length of things right. I’ve come to realize that every designer’s sizing is different. For a while, I struggled with having such a wide spread of sizes in my closet, but no one else sees the size on the tag, and if the items fit, all they notice is that you look put together.

This combo has me thinking about other tops I could wear under this dress to change up the look, so you’ll probably see a few of those coming up on GTR! I also really like the button up collar peeking over the leather collar of the dress. Unique detailing like a leather collar, bright color, or embellishment helps classic pieces feel more modern, and again, pairing opposites like the masculine leather and girly polka dots always gives an outfit good visual interest.

So there you have it, two dresses styled differently and for two different body types. Let’s see yours!

A quick reminder of how The Lovely Lookbook will work:

  • The link up begins on the 1st of every month. So, on the 1st, visit Greater Than Rubies or Tucker Up to link up your styled item. We want you to share your style and/or find inspiration from how others styled their looks. Feel free to link up as many looks as you’d like. If you wear a dress every day for the next two weeks and want to link up each one, awesome. Just one? Perfect. If you aren’t a blogger, feel free to just stop by for some inspiration!
  • The link up will run for two weeks (today’s closes on September 14th).
  • Also, from the 1st through the 14th, you can vote for the next month’s topic. (Starting today, you’ll vote for October’s.)
  • On the 15th of every month, we’ll do a recap post and announce the following month’s theme. 
  • All we ask is that you link your post(s) back to our blogs (Tucker Up and Greater Than Rubiesor grab our buttons from our sidebars. You don’t have to follow us, or give us your first born child to participate. :)
  • If you Instagram, you can use the hashtag #thelovelylookbook to share your style for all to see (or get people to vote for the theme you want next month!) and follow us @TheLovelyLookbook if you like!

We’re so excited about this opportunity to showcase a bunch of different ways that women style items they already own!

Now link up those dresses, browse for inspiration, and cast your vote!


What do you want to wear and see styled for the October 1 Lovely Lookbook?

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 Linking up with Fashionably EmployedMix It MondayWIWW, & Get Your Pretty On.

Flex Those Remixing Muscles

Flex Those Remixing Muscles

Greater Than Rubies

Greater Than Rubies

Just a quick pop in today to share that the Remixing Vault has been updated with tons of new fun links!

A few of my favorites are:

  • Color combos to gain inspiration from;
  • Pattern mixing examples;
  • Psychological stuff (because our own thoughts are usually what’s holding us back from feeling and looking our best).

During my year of no shopping, it was amazing to me just how many mental and emotional ties my clothing had. I realized how much of an idol clothing had become, and choosing to refocus that so it went back where it should be had a positive impact on every part of my life. I grew in my relationship with the Lord, our finances improved, and I had more mental time and energy to care well for Troy and our home.

Making that change was hard, and it’s definitely not something that I’m perfect in- there are still days that I struggle with what to wear more than I should or want to buy more than I need, but I’m growing.  

I’m curious- how are you feeling right now, today, about your closet? What are you loving? Struggling with? Working on/looking to change?

Share in the comments below or e-mail me at caitlin (at) greaterthanrubies (dot) net.

Four Bloggers, Four Skirts, Eight Summer Looks

Four Bloggers, Four Skirts, Eight Summer Looks

Printed Skirt - Summer Collaboration Collage

Today, I’m partnering with Jen, Laura, and Erin to show you two ways we’re styling a printed skirt for work this summer.

Since I work part time from home and part time at an office, I decided to show one option for each.


You got a sneak peek of this look last week when I showed you how I tucked my favorite dress in to let it masquerade as a blouse. (Great way to make your dresses do double duty!)

At my day job, we don’t have to dress up unless we have meetings, but I like to stick with classic shapes and play with pattern, color, texture, and shine to create unique looks.

Greater Than Rubies

Home Office

I still like to get dressed when I work from home. When I do, I feel put together and I’m (way) more productive. There’s something about putting on an outfit that triggers your mind to get ready for whatever that outfit stands for. (Yoga pants = working out…or maybe a nap in my world, dressed up = work, casual or fancy casual = date night, etc.)

This is an outfit I’d wear around the house, or to a coffee shop when I need a change of pace. If I need to head to a meeting, I just grab a completer piece (cardigan, blazer, or jacket) and I’m on my way.

Greater Than Rubies

Be sure to visit the rest of the girls to see their looks!

Summer Remix Recap Link Up

Summer Remix Recap Link Up

We did it!!

I’m so proud of y’all! I know there were times when you wanted to give up, but you didn’t.

I have absolutely loved hearing your thoughts on the pieces you chose, what you were learning, and about how you’re viewing the rest of your closet. On top of that, there was so much outfit inspiration!

In case you’re just joining us, here is each week’s recap:

Before we call this challenge good, I want to share a few last looks:

Look 27

Greater Than Rubies

Greater Than Rubies

I loved mixing a girly peplum with boyfriend jeans and edgier accessories. Pairing a masculine piece with a feminine piece is one of my favorite combos.

Look 28

Greater Than Rubies

Greater Than Rubies

I opted for layers a few times this week because it was rainy and actually sort of cool- what?! Texas, where are you? I added a statement necklace under the collar for a little extra visual interest.

Look 29

Greater Than Rubies

This look was the result of another re-imagined dress + skirt combo.

The layers made it a little hot to wear as the weather heated back up, but it will be perfect for fall!

Look 30

Greater Than Rubies

Another pairing I really like to use to freshen up my closet is fancy + casual. A chambray button up and a sequin skirt make for a perfect date night outfit.

Look 31

Greater Than Rubies

Greater Than Rubies

It was hot, hot, hot again by the weekend, so I shed the layers. Monochromatic is another of my favorite ways to mix things up. Play with a variety of shades to keep the palette interesting, or go long and lean with a matchy matchy version.

I am really (really!) ready for the rest of my closet, but there are still tons of outfit combinations left over. I started out listing a few and decided to see how many I could come up with, and I ended up with a whole challenge worth’s more!

  1. blush tank + aztec skirt + jean jacket
  2. blush tank + sequin skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  3. blush tank + cut offs (+ optional completer piece)
  4. blush tank + trousers (+ optional completer piece)
  5. peplum top + white jeans (+ optional completer piece)
  6. peplum top + black maxi skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  7. peplum top + cut offs (+ optional completer piece)
  8. black tee tucked in or knotted + sequin skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  9. black tee + boyfriend jeans (+ optional completer piece)
  10. black tee + bermudas + chartreuse cardigan
  11. black tee + cropped trousers + chartreuse cardigan
  12. black tee + white jeans + completer piece
  13. black lace tank + maxi skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  14. black lace tank + boyfriend jeans (+ optional completer piece)
  15. mint tee + white jeans (+ optional completer piece)
  16. mint tee + boyfriend jeans (+ optional completer piece)
  17. mint tee + sequin skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  18. mint tee + aztec skirt + completer piece
  19. mint tee + maxi skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  20. mint tee + pink shorts (+ optional completer piece)
  21. mint tee + cut offs (+ optional completer piece)
  22. chambray + aztec skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  23. chambray as a completer piece for almost any combination
  24. chambray + maxi skirt
  25. chambray + striped dress
  26. white button up + sequin skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  27. white button up knotted over aztec skirt (+ optional completer piece)
  28. white button up + white jeans (+ optional completer piece)
  29. white button up + boyfriend jeans (+ optional completer piece)
  30. white button up + bermudas + completer piece
  31. white button up + pink shorts (+ optional completer piece)
  32. white button up + cut offs (+ optional completer piece)
  33. striped dress + cream cardigan
  34. striped dress as a top + sequin skirt

When you start to think about how you could change out accessories, the number of outfits you can create gets almost overwhelming.


Add in the rest of your closet, and you’ve got oodles of looks just sitting and waiting to be put together. More on exactly how to do that to come! :)

Before we kiss this challenge goodbye, here’s a look at all 31 looks I created in one place (week by week looks are all on the Summer Remix page), or individual looks are in each week’s post:

Summer Remix Looks

Your turn! Link up your recap of the #gtrsummerremix 20 x 30 challenge below!

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PS Linking up with Basic Training Corporate StyleMix It MondayWIWWTucker UpGet Your Pretty On

2 Ways to Re-Imagine Your Dresses

2 Ways to Re-Imagine Your Dresses

It’s definitely easier to wear and re-wear the same outfit combos.

But it doesn’t have to be hard- or take a lot of time to switch things up.

One day this week, try pairing a dress with a skirt, so the dress becomes a top.

I was looking for more ways to wear both my dress and my maxi during the summer remix and came up with a combination you’ll see next Monday.

Because I was working on an upcoming piece showing a printed skirt multiple ways,
I tried pairing this dress…

Greater Than Rubies

with my August 12 Pieces purchase (my originally $118 Ann Taylor skirt that I found at The Clothes Mentor for $16!) to create a blouse + pencil skirt illusion.

Greater Than Rubies

Greater Than Rubies

Greater Than Rubies

I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty brilliant. :)

Have you ever thought about wearing a dress as a blouse or skirt? You could just as easily top a dress with a sweater or button up knotted at the waist for the opposite trick. 

Happy drouse (dress as a blouse) & dirt (dress as a skirt) hunting! :)


Style Myth Busters: Great Style = Tons of Money

Style Myth Busters: Great Style = Tons of Money

Greater Than Rubies

Back in the day, I never wore an outfit twice. And I thought items only went together in one way. So I was frequently shopping inexpensive stores for new items to create completely new outfits.

When I got married, that had to stop. I wish I would’ve learned much earlier that if you remix your wardrobe you’ll come up with tons of “new” looks, and shopping your closet can be fun (and super great for your wallet and therefore your relationship and future). Win, win, win, and a-win.

Sometimes with the overload of Pinterest, style blogs, and the rest of the media gang, it can feel like you’ve got to buy, buy, buy to look good. I promise you can look amazing, have more money in your pocket, and be less stressed using your own wardrobe.

There’s tons of info on this site that proves it:

I could go on and on but it’s Friday, so let’s get down to business. :)

If you build a wardrobe of base pieces that fit well and are classic cuts, you need less pieces to have tons of options. Then, you can pick and choose a few trends to add in to compliment and refresh your closet.

Today, I want to show you exactly how I incorporate trends now. Every season, I’ll get a few things that are relatively inexpensive (I try to shoot for $20 or less) that work with my classics and basics to create fresh, up to date looks.

Case study for today: my new favorite hot pink patterned shorts.

Where I got them: The Limited.

How much they cost: Between $20 and $30…sorry I can’t remember the exact amount. I went ahead and spent a little more on this trend because they just made me happy. Even if they go out of style after this year, I know I’ll have gotten great use out of them.

How many ways I’ve styled them in the month I’ve had them: 1,275…well, in my head at least. I’ve got some limitations with the Summer Remix Challenge going on, but I have wanted to reach for them every weekend day for sure. And I probably would if that wasn’t gross. (I promise I have good hygiene.) Here are just a few of the looks I’ve come up with so far:

Greater Than Rubies

Paired with a lightweight chambray button up and neutral accessories.

Greater Than Rubies

A blush top (the same color as the negative space in the shorts’ pattern), a jean jacket, and neutral accessories.

Greater Than Rubies
With a peplum top, statement necklace and wedges.

If you’re not a fan of shorts, a few other great trends to try this summer are:

  • a statement piece of jewelry;
  • a fedora or fun summer hat;
  • a maxi skirt or dress. Most of them will start going on clearance in the next couple weeks if they’re not already, so you can scoop them up for a steal!)

Have you bought a trend this summer? What and why?

Mix It Monday

Mix It Monday

I’m so excited to co-host Mix It Monday with the lovely Lauren of Fizz and Frosting today!

If you’re participating in the Summer Remix Challenge, link up your Week 2 looks here

For my remix, I decided to share 6 ways to wear a striped dress. This might be my favorite 12 Pieces addition. It’s just so versatile. Dress it up, down, or somewhere in between depending on the accessories you choose.

6 ways to style a striped dress with Greater Than Rubies

Look 1: Add a fun belt, like this mint one, a jean jacket, and neutral shoes. For a little something extra, add your favorite summer hat.

Look 2: Belt your waist and layer a blazer on top to give the dress a more structured appearance. Pair it with neutral pumps and you’re set for a day at the office.

Look 3: Pair it with a statement necklace and a great pair of wedges for a girls’ night out.

Look 4: Keep things super simple for blazing hot summer days with delicate jewelry and accessories. Add a hat for a little extra visual interest and some shade.

Look 5: Mix prints subtly with a leopard or floral belt, and opt for some booties to take the look toward fall.

Look 6: As it gets cooler, add a few layers: a colored cardigan, opaque tights, and boots.


fashion linkup Mondaysmix it monday_7-14Fizz & Frosting (Bloglovin’) / Greater Than Rubies (Bloglovin’)

Linkup Rules:

  1. Follow your host Fizz and Frosting (via Bloglovin’ or Instagram) and your co-host, Caitlin of Greater Than Rubies (via Bloglovin’ or Instagram)
  2. Share a post, showing how you remixed an item – a top, skirt, jeans, purse, shoes — it’s completely up to you! Want to share a collage? Go for it!
  3. Link back to this post with a text link or by sharing the linkup button!
  4. We’d love for you to tweet using #MixItMon so we can help promote your posts!

Want to co-host in the future? Please email Lauren at and use the subject MIX IT MONDAYS!

PS Linking up with Fashionably Employed, WIWW, and Tucker Up.