Pretty prairie dress

PHOTO © 2017 TEAM PETER STIGTER - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY - WITH CREDITS

The prairie dress has been reimagined to feature ruffle accents, floral prints, puffed sleeves, high necklines and breezy silhouettes. In its current iteration, these feminine details have been rendered in colorways, fresh prints, unexpected fabrics (silk over gauzy cotton blends) and nostalgic details that feel both sentimental and current. With a little styling finesse, the enduring staple can be rendered surprisingly wearable.

Girly grunge: Toughen up an ultra-feminine midi dress with chunky combat boots for an unexpected combination: girlish charm with rock ‘n’ roll accents.

Major midis: The prairie dresses of the ’60s and ’70s were most commonly designed with a floor-length hemline. To keep things modern, stick to a midi length skirt with a flattering fit and flare silhouette—and pair it with (preferably neutral-toned) pointed-toe heels.

Dollishly Delightful: If you’re concerned that a long-line design—combined with a maximalist print and ruffled details—will swallow your frame, a mini dress in a solid color is an easier way into the trend. A pastel number with a high neckline, puffed sleeves and a short hem makes for a fantastic well-rounded mix of the classic babydoll template with prairie-inspired accents.

A mini prairie dress gives you room to experiment with your footwear pairings. If you’re into the babydoll vibes, style it with some demure Mary Jane kitten heels—or pointed flats in a metallic finish. If you’re looking for something a little more balanced, you can tone down the dress’ inherent femininity by pairing it with boyish lace-up oxfords.

Solids with trendy footwear: While prairie dresses often come covered in dainty florals, more subtle options include solid-colored takes on the trend. Another bonus of opting for a solid-colored prairie dress? You’re afforded tons of room for fun accessories. A black midi would pair perfectly with a pair of mid-calf statement boots with an eye-catching print like snakeskin.

It may feel slightly unnatural to wear a pastel floral during autumn, but style it with winter-ready statement boots in a rich brown or mahogany colorway, and you’ll create an unexpected combo that’ll make spring florals cold weather-appropriate.

Mid-calf boots are majorly back this season—especially mid-calf boots that can be worn both straight and slouchy. Pairing them with a midi dress creates a delightful combination: The boots add structure to the dress’s billowy silhouette, resulting in an edgy (and totally balanced) ensemble.

Street-worthy sneaks with your prairie dress: Even if you’re into the tomboy look, you can still rock the prairie-girl trend with a few street-inspired accessories. The sneaker-dress combo is nothing new, but classic black sneakers give a floral maxi a cool-girl feel while downplaying the inherent girlishness of a floral print.