pretty green dress {two ways}

In high school I was incredibly insecure about my fair skin. I wore long sleeves and long pants to cover it up, and if I wore a skirt, I worried people were whispering about how pale I was. I tried to hide my legs under my desk. My high school friends all tanned easily but if I spent time in the sun, I burned {even covered in SPF 30}.

As I’ve grown up I’ve slowly begun to accept myself more and I’ve literally become more comfortable in my own skin. As I was editing these photos the other day, I was struck by the thought that I would have never, ever worn a dress like this when I was younger. I still have insecurities, but I’m more accepting of my imperfections. I want my children and my nieces and nephews to see how amazing they are–and if I criticize myself I’m teaching them that they aren’t enough.

I’m linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for some fashion inspiration.

I’ve had my eye on this new designer at JCPenny. We don’t have a JCPenny near us. My grandmother worked there doing alternations, in her later adult life. It was her first job after my grandfather passed away–and for her it meant freedom and a new beginning. She had a strong affection for that company. I haven’t shopped there in years, but when I caught wind of the Duro Olowo line I wanted to check it out. When I was in Texas last week, I finally got a chance! I styled the dress two ways. It’s so feminine and easy to wear.

For the first look, I layered on a cream sweater. I love this look for a warm summer date night or to attend a wedding. Scroll down for outfit details.

Green dress, Duro Olowu for JCPenny. The dress is fully lined and the $50 price point seems reasonable to me! Cream sweater, gift from Steve from Scotland. Nude heels, thrifted. Green clutch, thrifted. Pretty like a bow necklace, my shop.

For the second look I pulled on a denim jacket, leopard print heels and a bright chunky necklace. Fun! Scroll down for outfit details.

Green dress, Duro Olowu for JCPenny. Denim jacket, Gap. Leopard print heels, Target. Gold connected bracelet, my shop. Golden seed necklace {I’ve layered two here}, my shop –out of stock but hopefully they’ll be back in the next few weeks!

I told you how insecure I was about my fair skin in high school. Is there something you used to be insecure about but you’ve let it go?


  1. Can I just say, as a lover of variety, that the world would be so boring to me if we all had one color of skin. Your skin in gorgeous. Hug.

  2. I used to be really insecure about my pale skin, freckles, and red hair. I love them now 🙂 This dress looks a lot shorter on Jcpenny’s site. Can I ask how tall you are? I was thinking about getting it because my husband saw it and liked it but I want to make sure it would not be super short. I am 5’9.

  3. I love both stylings!(not a word, oh well!)
    I think I was insecure about everything…now I’m over almost all of it. Turning 40 really did a mind change for me, quite freeing!

  4. cute! I bought an all green sleeveless dress from Kohl’s recently, too. 🙂

    We have a JCP in Paso, you know.

  5. JCP FTW! I’m so proud of Penney’s and its quest to reclaim relevance in the retail world. It’s working wonders, obviously. The Duro Olowo collaboration is just the beginning.

    Also. That green dress is perfect on you. The shape it gives you without the jacket is SO flattering (can you say hourglass?). As for fair skin, I’m with ya. Still not over it, but getting there.

  6. You look great. The “tan” girls are probably quite wrinkled by now. hah

    Besides I’d give up tan genes for your great hair in a heartbeat ; )

  7. The red bumps on the backs of my arms! Oh, how I agonized over them. I would have to quickly put cover-up and powder on them with my cheerleading uniform, and I remember hoping the makeup didn’t rub off on my prom dress. So sad, because now I realize that no one is staring at my arms! It takes a long time to realize we all have imperfections, and everyone’s just worried about her own. I love your skin, Lisa!

    1. We all have imperfections–and I think you’re right–no one is worrying about our imperfections. Hugs to you Kelli!

  8. I loved this post too…the outfits, the colors, your hair and your honesty! Thank you for sharing…I also lack pigment in my legs 😉 (although the rest of me tans fairly well)…so I get it. I’ll bet your an Irish girl…I’m of British and Irish decent (2nd generation American) and when I lived in England I felt right at home with my fair skinned legs and freckles! I also loved what you said about not criticizing yourself so that your children and nieces and nephews will not think they’re not enough. It is so important to know we are beautifully made just the way we are and your example is wonderful… you’re beautiful, inside and out!!

  9. I bought a great (green) dress on a huge sale at SHADE and am in love with it. I wore it to a wedding in Canada a few weeks back with a leopard cardigan and felt so good in it. Im pretty sure it will be my go to Easter outfit this weekend. Untraditional? Yes. But when you feel good in something you just feel good all over. 🙂

  10. Love the dress w/denim!

    I was super insecure about my curly hair. I actually kept it boy-short for a few years just to avoid dealing with it. Now, I wouldn’t change it for the world!

  11. Love the dress! Especially with the yellow necklace!! I used to be really insecure about my freckles- to the point that I actually wrote Cover Girl to ask how to cover them up. They wrote back saying they thought freckles were beautiful. They didn’t try to push a ton of products on me. I always remembered that. Now I love my freckles. I’ve had other insecurities along the way, but as I get older, I find I don’t care as much.

  12. Gorgeous green color on you, and love that delicate cardigan, too.

    I used to be very insecure about wearing glasses. In the ’80s, in junior and high school, the designs for glasses were just awful! And though I need to wear them 24/7, I tried to go without all the time. My mom also made me feel…not great about wearing them.

    I’ve gotten better as I’ve aged, but still prefer to wear contacts in most social situations. I’m happy with my inner nerd but still shy about looking the part on the outside! 😉

    1. Thank you for sharing your story Kelly! I agree, glasses back then were not the most fashionable things I ever saw! I love the look of glasses now and I’m sure you would rock them! Xoxo

  13. I love seeing how you style outfits different ways! I too have a thing about showing my skin (my legs especially) and what you said is so true…what am I teaching my family when I am insecure…that God didn’t get it right? thank you.

    1. So true! When I look at David I don’t see his 7 fingers or small stature–I see how amazing he is. And want to see the same thing in myself. God made us who we are.

  14. Lisa, you look stunning! And you are so right, with age comes a certain degree of freedom and confidence! I too have incredibly pale (English) skin!! I have ALWAYS felt the need to cover up or whip out the fake tan but seeing how fab you look I am going to strive for confidence in what God gave me this summer! I love your style and your jewellery. Thank you for inspiring me! God bless xx

  15. Lisa you are GORGEOUS! Green looks wonderful on you and the dress is just lovely! I think my favorite style is the dress with the denim jacket-I’m in <3 with denim lately! Either way, it's a great outfit.

    P.S. The gold connecting bracelet is amaZing! I usually stick with sterling silver, but I'm gonna have to order this one!

  16. Love this post and can’t wait to have my daughters read it Lisa. I was insecure about my big nose my whole life…now I think it gives me character, suits my face and my husband loves it so that is all that matters. As always, love your blog : )

    1. Thanks for your encouragement Noelle. I love that you want your daughters to read the post–that makes me happy!

  17. Loved what you shared in this post today. I can so relate. I’m learning to accept my imperfections as well. Love you!

  18. Cute cut on the dress. Now you have me curious to stroll into a JC Penney’s and see what they have going on. Love the story about your Grandma.

  19. Lisa, your skin is STUNNING! I so wish that I hadn’t succumbed to the pressures of tanning in high school and college. I haven’t seen any major effects of it (yet) but still…fair skin is beautiful. And that dress could not be a more perfect color for you!

  20. I, too, used to worry about being pale – particularly because I have lived my whole life in Florida, home of golden goddesses galore. I realized the other day when I excitedly threw on shorts for the first warm day of the season that I no longer think about my skin tone, and guess what? No one else does either! I love that as we mature we can grow more confident in our skin, and you have every reason to do so. You look fabulous in that green dress, and I love the leopard pairing.

    1. Lauren–it’s so true. I used to worry that people were whispering behind my back–when I’m sure nobody cared! They were too worried about how they looked. Just silly. Thanks for sharing your heart with me.

  21. I bet your nieces and nephews adore you just as much as we all do, your blog readers. Lovely dress. Great color. I love it paired with the yellow necklace and denim jacket. I just recently purchased the bow necklace and it is my new FAV accessory. Love it!

  22. That dress is gorgeous and both ways you styled it are perfect. I love your bow necklace with the dressy version with the cardigan and lace. The denim jacket, leopard flats, and yellow beaded necklace make it look casual but so cute.

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