TOP DRESS PICKS, COLOR EDITION | Lessons from The Knotty Mommy on How to Look Pretty, Even When You’re Not *Feeling* Pretty {Help with Your Bridesmaids’ and Your Personal Style Choices}

It’s about midday here in nyc and there’s really only one thing dominating my mind on this sunny afternoon.  It’s not the fact that we’ve got brand new guest bloggers freshly added to the TKB Team, though that’s BEYOND thrilling and I can’t wait to tell you more about that.  And it’s not the fact that we’ve got insanely fantastic weddings to feature this month, even though that’s immeasurably satisfying.  No, it’s none of that, regardless of how wonderful all of those facts are.  It’s my Mom, and it’s the fact that she’s my favorite person on Earth.

Let me first share a heartfelt sorry to everyone else in my life; this is just the way it is.  The facts.  I could go on FOREVER about her and the lessons she’s taught me, both verbal and by example, but I won’t.  That’s boring for you guys.

I’ve been struggling to figure out how to make this wedding-related, since throughout the morning I’ve been dead-set on making today’s post about Mom.  And finally… I found a way.   And a moderately exciting way at that.  So here goes…

On this Monday, the day after Mothers Day, I need to tell you something about my Mom.  She’s given me an understanding of the world that I personally find to be invaluable as I sprint, walk, stumble and slowly wade through it on a daily basis.  Her lessons on life and how to live it to the fullest guide my every move.  Wittingly or unwittingly, it’s the case.  I’m a lucky ducky to have a mother like her.


For the longest time, I was pretty bummed out about what was, to me, a pretty huge thing.  My Mom, wonderful person that she is, isn’t what one might consider a *fashionista.*  Not in ANY SENSE of the word.  The truth is, she *hates* going shopping.  And I have to admit, I inherited that same tendency from her.  While I love clothes, I kind of completely don’t delight in going outside to pursue them in stores.  Which makes no sense, I know.

The thing is, while she doesn’t covet fashion, she does believe in looking good.  And she’s pretty gorgeous all the time – in fact I went through a period in my life where I was extremely concerned I wasn’t going to look anything like her when I grew up.  It was a tough period.  Fortunately, as I got older, people started telling me I was looking more and more like her, and I finally wiped off the sweat that had been gathering on my brow for all those years and let out a huge sigh of relief - sort of.  Well, more like not really, because she’s always going to be prettier than I am, to me.  Hopefully, one day, I’ll come to terms with that.

Now, it’s important to note here that my Mom *doesn’t wear makeup.*  Yes, she throws on a little mascara from time to time, and the lipstick goes on if she’s got a seriously regal event to attend, but other than that, she’s bare.  You know what that means?  I never learned how to apply makeup.  Which sux.  And it sucked HARD in high school, with friends coming to school shellacked in the latest face-paint, with full hair – really, the whole nine.  I didn’t grow up on the Jersey Shore, but you get me.  They looked “done” and I wanted to look the same.  A lot of them had moms who wore full makeup on the daily, and had taught their children their skills.  It was awkward to live amongst these beings, these perfectly colored and dressed entities, while I came fresh-faced and flat-haired to French class, attempting to feel just as good about myself as I figured they must have felt about themselves.

Well, among the many lessons I learned from mama, one of them was that no one’s that confident, and everyone feels a little unpretty at times.  And what was one of her best solutions?  She may not remember this, but it was…

WEAR BLOCKS OF COLOR.  Why?  Because wearing color is super fun, it brings out natural beauty, and overall, it just makes you feel a bit more pep in your walk.

So that’s the theme for today, my pretties; if you’re feeling a little unpretty, I’m suggesting you throw on a bright frock to make your look pop.  Even better, have your bridesmaids rock some selections from these color block groups on your wedding day, for that same wonderful pop in your photos!  Their smiles will shine brighter, and your photos will be UNSTOPPABLE.  (Way to segue, Alison!  I know, right?  Thanks!)

1. ASOS PREMIUM Raw Edge One Shoulder Dress / 2. ASOS Exaggerated Bow Shoulder Dress / 3. ASOS Gathered Waistband Long Sleeve Dress / 4. River Island One Shoulder Origami Dress 5. ASOS Cutaway A-Line Tailored Shift Dress 6. ASOS Plain Drape Crop Top Dress


Work nudes into any color spectrum for an effect that will help you achieve maximum amazeballsness.

1. Oasis One Shoulder Origami Dress 2. ASOS One Shoulder Drape Dress 3. ASOS Pretty Tea Dress 4. Ted Baker Low Back Lurex Drape Dress 5. ASOS One Shoulder Dress with Scalloped Hem and Bead Embellishment 6. ASOS Spaghetti Strap Chiffon Crop Top Dress

1. Vero Moda 50′s Fit And Flare Prom Dress / 2. ASOS Tailored Pleat Waist Tulip Dress / 3. ASOS Lace Body-Conscious Dress / 4. ASOS Body-Conscious Dress with Slash Front / 5. ASOS Ruched Waist Body-Conscious Dress / 6. ASOS Epaulette Skater Dress

Oh, by the way, I’m obsessed with this ASOS MEGAN Floral Printed Flat Shoe

… and think you should attempt – at least attempt – to work it into your bridesmaids’ looks.  For me?  Pretty please?  ;)

So, do you like to wear color in your daily look?  Do you prefer nudes?  What’s your style, and did you learn any of it from your mamasita?  :)

xoxo!  – Alison

Label(s): Beige/brown, Color, Multi, Purple, Red, {Fashion}

Love all of this...


  1. Laura *You Stir Me* on May 9, 2011

    Your mama is one smart lady, Alison! I grew up with a mom who didn’t need any makeup (although she does wear some…) and it was a great lesson to learn early on…I feel prettiest when I’m in bright pops of color and something ruffly…much like my mom:)

    Thanks for sharing, love!

  2. Lindsay H on May 9, 2011

    My mom was a building contractor when I was growing up so she never wore makeup & I’m 29 & still have no clue how to apply it ;)

  3. Alison on May 9, 2011

    Laura – aww, shucks. Thanks, Laura :) She’ll appreciate when she reads each and every comment on this post. She already called me to say she loves me, which is another reason I love her so gosh darn MUCH.

    We have incredibly similar mamas, eh? Too rad :)

  4. Amanda on May 9, 2011

    My wedding colors are purple (well, lavender and purple mix), green and nude. I’m really excited to execute it in the decor. This post is getting me REALLY excited though. :)

  5. Kerri on May 9, 2011

    love your picks and your moms style! And that floral shoe? I’ll do you a solid and buy them RIGHT NOW because they are DELICIOUS. ;-)

  6. Oh I do love that chiffon crop top dress. I would feel pretty in that!

  7. Emily on May 9, 2011

    Ahh! My bridesmaids are wearing purple, these are great picks! Forwarding this post to them!

  8. Alison on May 9, 2011

    Kerri – that’s killer. You don’t know how psyched I am that you’re getting them. Aren’t they to DIE? :) xo

  9. Lena on May 9, 2011

    Did our moms just split at birth? Because seriously, I felt like I was reading about MY MOM. The woman is gorgeous, but is not the world’s most stylish dresser (I was shocked when she showed up in San Francisco wearing flat, thigh high boots last winter), and she’s never worn makeup, so I had to teach myself!

    Of course, cue to just a few weeks ago, when she’s giving advice on the perfect red lip to someone else in my comments!

    My mama has taught me to flaunt what she gave me, to make sure that if my underwear was showing that I meant it, to buy the size that fits, not the size I wish I was, and to smile-it makes everything look better!

  10. YLWeddingGuide on May 9, 2011

    I recognised the Asos models before I saw the image credits. I think I am addicted to free international shipping and super-cute dresses :S

  11. Alison on May 9, 2011

    YL – ASOS is amazeballs. Sing it loud, sing it proud.

  12. gorgeous post! i love the bright bold colors :)

  13. Cheryl on May 10, 2011

    My Mom wears make up everyday but I never paid attention to how she did it so I don’t wear make up all that often. As far as bright colors, I always put something bright on to pick up my mood! Also, I find bright work out clothes very motivating!

  14. Verenice on May 10, 2011

    Alison! You kill me! These dresses and the colors are all amazing! Thanks for sharing! And the story about your mom is so great. I too have a wonderful mother and am truly so thankful for her. :)

  15. Alison on May 10, 2011

    Lena – goodness, your mom seems to have come a full 180! I wonder which twin was the fat one. There’s always one that gets more nutrients in the womb. How’s your mom, size-wise? I look forward to determining the stronger mother. Aaaaand I’m a weirdo.

    Cheryl – right on, girlfriend! Bright colors TOTES pick up my mood, too. Isn’t it rad?!

    Verenice – Thanks a butt load for those kind words! Good mothers are pretty neat, eh? I’m with ya :)

  16. Madison on May 11, 2011

    i love the purple dresses! however that doesnt fit into my theme at all haha

  17. Diana Rush on May 16, 2011

    Those shoes are amazing… and I just had a bride wear them in an engagement shoot today!

  18. Katie Matthews on May 18, 2011

    I can totally relate with this! my mom hardly ever wears make up and isn’t a fashionista, so i had to discover and learn on my own. it’s harder to do then i think most people realize…i’m still learning, really. But that’s ok. Glad to know that i’m not the only one!!


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