Say Yes to the Dress

It’s the dress! I was shopping at Nordstrom in Chicago over the holidays, just perusing the designer sale rack when I spotted this dress. Oh, this dress. I had been madly in love with it ever since it hit stores, but just couldn’t justify the price. Without an insanely special occasion, it’s hard to justify spending $1,000 on a dress, am I right? So imagine my lovestruck eyes when I spotted this one single dress on the sale rack. I checked the tag, but I can never really remember what my European size conversion is, and we all know how sizes vary from designer to designer. So I promptly headed to the dressing room… And here was my thought process… This dress isn’t leaving my sight! It’s like 40% off! Still, though, that’s a lot to spend on a dress! But I’ve been so in love with it. And it’s the last one! Maybe it won’t fit… Ahh, but I hope it does! I put it on and while it was a size too big, it was effing magical. I felt like a princess… Nothing a little tailoring can’t fix, right? Since the bottom is big and poufy anyhow, I would only need to get the sides of the bust and waist taken in. So after mulling it over in the dressing room for like 45 minutes, sending pictures to basically everyone I know to get confirmation that I couldn’t pass this up, I decided to splurge and treat myself to a Christmas present. And a present is just what I got… I think the tag was marked down to $540. But for whatever reason, it had been reduced even further. It rang up just over $300! ADGAEDVVCMLJKUNVCOEFY… HOLY SH*T. Every little bit of hesitation disappeared and I was on a high. A Red Valentino dress for like 70% off? YES PLEASE.

So what did I learn from that experience? When a dress so perfectly embodies you, just buy it and the occasions will come. I mean, we definitely don’t want another “the one that got away” situation.

I’ve worn this dress to a work party during Fashion Week in February, for an impromptu video shoot a few weeks ago, and to a wedding this past weekend. I get so many compliments whenever I wear it… It’s one of those dresses that I don’t mind wearing over and over and over again! The dark floral pattern makes it easy to wear year round and with all of the gorgeous colors in the print, my shoe options are endless. Plus, the material doesn’t really wrinkle so I had no problem packing it in my carry-on. I know I’ll be wearing this dress for years to come!

Red Valentino Dress (similar) | Design Darling Clutch c/o | Red Valentino Bow Wedges (similar) (last worn here) | Marc By Marc Jacobs Rose Gold Watch | Essie ‘Blanc’ | Tom Ford Sunglasses

PS: If you’re looking to invest in a Red Valentino piece, there are a bunch of styles on sale at Nordstrom right now as a part of their designer clearance! There are a lot of styles on sale at Shopbop, too! 

Photos taken by Hallie Wilson

Current Faves

Leave a Comment


  1. 6.3.14

    I love when it all falls together like that! And such a fun party dress…you look perfect for a summer soiree!

  2. 6.3.14
    Meghan said:

    it is SUCH perfection on you!!

  3. 6.3.14
    Natali said:

    Wow!! Every girl would feel like a princess in this kind of perfect dress 🙂

  4. 6.3.14
    Rachelle said:

    That dress is the prettiest thing.


  5. 6.3.14
    Judy said:

    OMG, I’m in love!!

  6. 6.3.14
    Rebecca said:

    This is adorable! And the shoes make it even so much better!!

  7. 6.3.14
    Bets said:

    Great score. Love the dress! Can you share tips on how you get your legs to look like that. I have a wedding in July to attend and would like to go sans hosiery, but at same time want to look polished. My legs right now are lovely shade of pasty white.

    • 6.3.14
      Jessica Sturdy said:

      Hi Bets! Unfortunately I haven’t been out in the sun at all yet this year… This is my natural skintone. However, I’ve used Jergens Natural Glow in the past and had decent results. I’ll ask around for some good self-tanner recommendations! 🙂

      • 6.3.14
        Bets said:

        Thank you!

  8. 6.3.14

    You go girl! Nothing more satisfying then finding something you have been coveting on sale – it’s like winning the lottery! Loving this look on you, the dress fits you beautifully!

  9. 6.3.14

    Such a great find! Nothing better than getting what you want AND paying what you want for it…SO perfect on you!

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

  10. 6.3.14

    Lovely floral dress
    looks so good on you


  11. 6.3.14
    Mish said:

    I love that dress! The “one that got away” feeling is awful. I’ve been using my poshmark earnings to slowly make a dent in my list of things that I missed the first time around. So far I’ve gotten ahold of an ancient Marc Jacobs bag, but am still trying to find a piece, any piece, from the Kate spade rock the casbah collection.

    • 7.20.16
      Mia said:

      I have been desperately searching for the Kate Spade Rock the Casbah tote. My google search led me to this comment. I know that there is a slim chance that you have it, but if you do, I would love to buy it from you. Please let me know. Thank you so so much! (:

  12. 6.3.14
    Brie said:

    It’s so cute! I love floral print!

    xoxo Brie at

  13. 6.3.14
    Kate said:

    Talk about meant to be! That dress is perrrrrfect!!! And I am sure you will find a million occasions to wear it, and if not, you can create them! 😉 Love that this dress can easily transition through all seasons, too! It’s so, so pretty!

  14. 6.3.14
    Ginny said:

    This is beautiful! I always silently thank the person who probably retuned something that ends up on super sale like this. There’s no way beautiful pieces like is just stick around in the store!

  15. 6.3.14
    Alaina Shea said:

    It’s always the best feeling ever to find out that what you’re buying is even cheaper than the tag says! You look stunning!!!

  16. 6.3.14
    Rachel said:

    That dress is amazing! Great buy! 🙂

  17. 6.3.14
    Ella said:

    That dress is GORGEOUS. Well worth the $$$ if you ask me! I love Nordstrom rack- found 2 Wildfox tees for $10 each (!!!) a few months ago. Full retail, they were over $90 each. SCORE!

  18. 6.3.14
    Kayla said:

    Super cute Jessica! Sometimes it is just worth the $$! : )


  19. 6.3.14
    Heidi said:

    Um, yes! You look gorgeous, and so happy!


  20. 6.3.14
    Kristin of Living In Color Print said:

    That dress is stunning on you!! Such a perfect buy!

    Kristin of

  21. 6.3.14

    Love the dress and lovely wedges. You look gorgeous!!!!!!!!

  22. 6.3.14
    Deanna said:

    Totally worth it –such a pretty dress. You already had the Valentino wedges that needed a friend so obviously, it was meant to be!

    Because I’m Obsessed

  23. 6.3.14
    Agi said:

    It was meant to be. It’s like when I walked into the Gap and they had the blazer i’ve been eyeing at J Crew on sale for $60 vs. $218. I just about died, I knew it was mean’t to be. That dress is stunning!!!!! What an amazing deal.


  24. 6.3.14
    Meagan said:

    Love that dress! You look fabulous!

  25. 6.3.14
    stephanie said:

    Everytime i see that dress i fall in love with it. so pretty.
    xx Stephanie (

  26. 6.3.14

    Wow, what a fantastic deal!

  27. 6.3.14
    Rose said:

    Pretty sure I remember getting that text, haha. So glad you got it because it is SO you!!! Love these pics, too 🙂

  28. 6.3.14

    Legit borrowing for weddings this summer. K thanks!


  29. 6.3.14

    Totally 100% adorable!! CANNOT believe you got it for such a steal 🙂 The fashion gods were looking down on you hehe 🙂 Fabulous pick!


  30. 6.3.14
    Lacey said:

    AHANFSDMIAWEFNKASDNCA I AM SO DAMN JEALOUS you found it! You lucky dog you!

    Get you, and that dress, to DC now… kthnxbye.


  31. 6.3.14
    Stacey said:

    This dress was just meat to be yours!! It looks amazing on you and what a steal to get it for $300!!

    Five Minute Style 

  32. 6.3.14
    Andrea said:

    Such a beautiful dress…it looks like it was made for you! Perfection!


  33. 6.3.14
    Melissa said:

    So pretty Jess! Love this look 🙂

  34. 6.9.14
    Ally said:

    This dress is beyond amazing!!

    • 3.1.16
      Jo Hamlen said:

      Oh, wow!! That is one beautiful dress, and such a pretty print that looks lovely on that pouffiness.