Rachelle, one of my favorite readers (alright, alright, you're all my favorite), is in dire need of some fashion advice:
I have just bought a pale pink, ballerina-esque dress for a formal and I'm not sure how to style it. I never know what color accessories go with a colored dress (I'm a big fan of black dresses so almost any shoes match!) I'm a senior in college so I'm trying to get a sophisticated look rather than a matchy prom thing. I would appreciate the help!
First of all, Rachelle, you are a girl after my own heart. I adore ballerina dresses. I actually wore a satin pale pink ballroom skirt to my own prom. But then I sat at one of the tables to rest, not noticing that the pleats of the tablecloth had conspired to form a perfect funnel for every drink that had been placed and then subsequently spilled on the table for the duration of the night to surge forth onto my lap. I stood up and saw that my perfect pale pink skirt could now serve as an impromptu drink menu, with colorful samples of each beverage pooling and dripping down the front. I decided to pretend it had been tie dye the whole time, but let my story serve as a warning to you, my dear Rachelle--DO NOT SIT DOWN.
Now that I've totally ruined the mood, let's get to styling your fabulous, non-stained ensemble. I don't know the specifics of your dress, but let's just use this one for reference:
God I want that dress. I would wear it grocery shopping and have such a nice life. Even if yours is longer or a lighter shade of pink (which I'm guessing it is), I made sure all my advice could still apply.
As gorgeous as it is, pale pink can be a toughie. I have conferred with many stylish advisors and confirmed my hunch that gold is the best, if not the only, way to go here. Yes, I know the model above is workin' the silver accessories, and that can work in some cases (mainly with darker shades of pink like the dress in the photo, and darker skin tones), but let's stick with gold for our purposes here.
If your dress has a lot of detailing like bows or ruching or ornate tulle, then you'll probably want to go with a simple gold strappy sandal, like these:
Nine West "Accolia," $72.95, zappos.com
Chinese Laundry "Wesley," $54.95, zappos.com
rsvp "Sonita," $59.95, zappos.com
Kate Spade "Genevieve," $278.95, zappos.com
rsvp "Jory," $44.95, zappos.com
If your dress is more basic, then you could/should have more fun with the shoe and play up the ballerina vibe:
These would be adorable with a shorter dress.
Martinez Valero "Camila" Sandal, $126.95, nordstrom.com
Carlos by Carlos Santana "Sparkle," $89.00, macys.com
Charles by Charles David "Brink," $118.95.
As for jewelry, gold and clear stones are great options. I think a necklace almost always competes with the neckline of the dress, so unless yours is uber simple, think about skipping it. I'm a card-carrying member of Focus On the Earrings myself (like Focus on the Family, but with more sparkle and less hatred and intolerance). Check out these babies:
14k White Gold Cubic Zirconia Pear Drop Earrings, reg. $200, now $89, macys.com
Stud Earring Set (3 pairs for $12.99, so you know they're quality), overstock.com
Nadri Faceted Crystal Drop Earrings, $58, nordstrom.com
Anna Beck "Armadillo" earrings, $175, nordstrom.com
If executed very carefully (depending on the shade of your dress), adding a shot of blue with your jewelry could be supah fly (whoops, there's that pesky Missy Elliott slang again). These are too pretty:
Nordstrom Crystal Collection Teardrop Earrings, $78.00, nordstrom.com
I love a substantial cuff bracelet paired with a delicate dress:
Nadri Interlink Circle Cuff, $135, nordstrom.com
And bangles are always an option:
Nordstrom Diamond-Cut Bangles, set of 10 for $48, nordstrom.com
Now go dance in style, Rachelle. And if you see anyone spill their drink on the table and not clean it up immediately, give them a good, dramatic slapping and yell "That's for Winona!" They'll totally get it.
Dress at the top is from nordstrom.com