Bow-Back Birthday Dress

chicago skyline north avenue beach

I ordered this dress to wear out on my birthday (today!) and once you see the back, you’ll understand why it’s the perfect party dress! Two big bows and a cut-out detail make it fun and feminine, especially in pink. The best part though, it’s SO cheap. I ordered it for a mere $52, but it’s since gone on sale (40% off!) and is only $31. Too good to pass up! (And it also comes in yellow if pink isn’t your thing!) I would order the yellow one, too, but whenever I try to wear yellow with my blonde hair, I feel like I look like a banana. 🍌 I wish the dress came in a whole slew of colors… Navy, french blue, blush pink, black… I’d order them all!

pink bow back dress

On the birthday front, I’m keeping it pretty low-key this year. There are a lot of things coming up to celebrate this fall, and to be honest, the end of August really snuck up on me. My birthday usually falls over Labor Day, so over the past few years that I’ve lived in New York, my Chicago friends have either visited and spent the long weekend celebrating, or we’ve gone on a fun trip.  So a small celebration this year is totally fine with me! I was out all weekend, actually celebrating friends’ birthdays on both Friday and Saturday night. Tonight, I’m riding at SoulCycle (#BirthdayRide) and then going to dinner with a few girlfriends. And the best part? It’s finally going to be back in the 80’s in Chicago this week! So if you need me, I’ll be soaking up every last bit of summer. 😎

pink dress chicago skyline hancok building gold coast north avenue beach

It’s kind of crazy how much changes each year when take a step back and compare notes. Over the last year, I’ve quit my job, moved half-way across the country, had some pretty big projects happening behind the scenes (more on that to come!), traveled more than ever, and have really started to unapologetically find my true sense of self. (You can read a little bit about that in this post from my last birthday.)

I have this strange feeling that 26 is going to be the best year yet. Stay tuned!

pink dress with bows on the back

pink dress, kendra scott earrings, tuckernuck clutch

If you’re going to order this dress, let’s talk about fit for a second. It’s a juniors brand so I figured I should size up to a medium, kind of ignoring the sizing note that it “Runs large through bust.” While the Medium does fit, it’s definitely a little bit too big throughout the chest. So my suggestion: Size up if you have a larger chest, and order your regular size if you do not (like me).

pink dress, navy striped clutch, chicago skyline along the lake hancock building

striped clutch with navy tassel

pink dress, nude heels, navy striped clutch

PS: If you need a laugh on this Monday morning, re-read this post from last year. Balloon Outtakes… Need I say more?

Get the Look…

Nordstrom Bow-Back Dress
Tuckernuck Striped Clutch
Zara Ankle-Strap Heels (old, similar styles here)
Kendra Scott Earrings
Karen Walker Sunglasses
Lele Sadoughi Pearl Cuff

And to keep up with my tradition of creating an extravagant birthday wish list, here’s what I’ve got my eye on… (You can see my lists at 25 & 24 here…)

1. Everything from J.Crew’s fall collection.

2. This bag. Or this bag in grey. Or this bag.

3. These shoes. (I actually bought them over the weekend for a b-day present to myself! #TreatYoSelf, ya know?)

4. This fur vest. Or this blush pink option.

5. This cardigan. Or this one.

6. This coat.

7. This camel-colored topper.

8. This jacket. Or this one.

9. These wedges.

10. This watch.

11. This coat. Or this one.

12. This navy fur vest.

13. This ruffled blouse.

14. These earbuds.

15. A desktop computer. (That I will be ordering if and when my desk ever arrives…)

16. These pointed-toe flats.

17. These sunglasses. And these.

18. These heels.

19. These flats.

20. This dress.

21. These flats in blush pink.

22. This cuff.

23. This coat.

24. This skirt.

25. This jacket & skirt combo.

26. No birthday list would be complete without some Kate Spade: this coat, this coat, these flats, and this watch.

Leave a Comment


  1. 8.31.15
    Rena commented:

    Happy birthday! May all your wishes come true and congratulations to your simply perfect birthday dress <3
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  2. 8.31.15
    Eleni commented:

    Happy birthday! This dress is absolutely perfect on you! I’m not a big fan of pink, but I always love it on other people, and the back detail is simply gorgeous. I hope you have a great birthday!

  3. 8.31.15
    Natali commented:

    Awww!! This is too cute outfit and this dress is perfect for you!

  4. 8.31.15

    You look amazing in this dress!! And Happy Birthday!!

  5. 8.31.15
    Sam commented:

    Happy Birthday!! Love this dress, and such a great sale price too. Enjoy your day!


  6. 8.31.15
    Emma commented:

    Such a cute dress. Perfect for birthday celebrations! I’m at Purdue, and it’s finally getting hot this week in the 90s I’m so excited!

  7. 8.31.15

    Wishing you a happy birthday! This dress is perfection!

    xo, Laura

  8. 8.31.15
    Aunt Anne commented:

    Happy Birthday, Jessica!! 26 will be your BEST year yet!! Soak up the day & all the B-Day wishes for you! I LOVE you are doing a #SoulCycle #BirthdayRide…that’s awesome!! BTW…I thought of you catching brunch after Soul Cylce when I found your gift.

  9. 8.31.15
    Liz Adams commented:

    Happiest birthday to YOU! Can’t wait to celebrate tomorrow! Have the best day!

  10. 8.31.15
    Emily commented:

    Happy Birthday! Mine is next weekend and I am keeping it low-key this year too!

    Loving the awesome price point on this dress! Very cute on you!


  11. 8.31.15
    Bella B commented:

    The colour of the dress looks so good on you! Have a very happy birthday! 🙂

    xoxoBella |

  12. 8.31.15

    LOVE this dress! Such a perfect birthday dress. Happy birthday, lady!

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

  13. 8.31.15
    Preeti commented:

    happy birthday girlfriend! 26 was my favorite year ever! enjoy!

    xoxo, Preeti

  14. 8.31.15
    Morgan A. commented:

    Happy Birthday Jessica! 26 is definitely a good age 😉 it was when I started to unapologetically find myself too and it’s the best feeling. Enjoy your day! xo Morgan

  15. 8.31.15
    Rachel commented:

    I almost bought this last time I was at Nordstrom but they were out of my size!

  16. 8.31.15

    YAY! Happy birthday, Jess! Love these photos — the cutest. Hope you have a great day!

    Kelly | Kelly in the City

  17. 8.31.15
    Meagan commented:

    Adorable dress! Happy birthday!

  18. 8.31.15
    Ashley commented:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA! 26 was one of my most exciting years and what a perfect dress to kick off with!

    Sed Bona

  19. 8.31.15
    Kate commented:

    Those bows are just too adorable! I love the location that you shot at; the water is a nice contrast with your pink dress. Have a happy birthday!

  20. 8.31.15
    Aubrey commented:

    In love with that striped clutch! SO cute.

    xx. The Coastal Confidence

  21. 8.31.15
    Jessica commented:

    Have an amazing birthday! This dress is perfect for you!

  22. 8.31.15

    Happy birthday! And, beautiful dress!

    Liz @

  23. 8.31.15
    Lindsay Ava commented:

    Happy Birthday!! I also like to spend my birthday more low-key every few years since mine is in September, which is usually quite hectic with Uni starting. Hope you have an amazing evening, that dress is gorgeous and the colour totally suits you!

  24. 8.31.15
    Living In Colors commented:

    Happy Birthday! Love that dress:)

  25. 8.31.15
    Alexa commented:

    Happy Birthday!! Enjoy it!!

    I agree with the Alice and Olivia Jacket & Dress Combo! Totally caught my eye a few weeks ago. I love anything with a Chanel vibe haha!

  26. 8.31.15
    Sincerely Jennie commented:

    Happy birthday! I love a good workout before the bday drinks!

  27. 8.31.15
    Kelsey @aslolife commented:

    Happy Birthday–that dress is perfection!

  28. 8.31.15
    melissa commented:

    So cute and Happy Birthday Jess!

  29. 8.31.15
    Sarah Lynn commented:

    It’s the perfect party dress!
    I hope your birthday is a fabulous affair and you receive all, or at least a few, items on your wish list 🙂
    Sarah Lynn

  30. 8.31.15

    Happy birthday!! Love the tartan Prada flats- they look like the perfect birthday treat.

  31. 8.31.15

    aw you look so darling in that dress! Hope your birthday was amazing!

    xo Lacey

  32. 9.1.15
    Laura Mitbrodt commented:

    your dress is so cute, I love the back

  33. 9.1.15
    Larisa commented:

    HBD Bows! You have a wonderful year ahead of you… and I can’t wait to see your clothing line surprise! Ahhh!!

    xx Larisa @

  34. 9.1.15
    Vera Sawicki commented:

    Happy birthday girl. You look AMAZING!!

    Blonde in Cashmere

  35. 9.1.15
    Jean commented:

    I think that’s a perfectly fabulous birthday out, and the pop of pink looks so great against the cloudy Chicago skyline/lakefront. I really love your birthday list tradition. It’s so much fun!

    xx Jean

  36. 9.3.15
    Shannon commented:

    omgosh it has been days since your last post. where are you? outfit withdrawal is about to happen. 🙂

  37. 9.3.15
    Minau commented:

    Great look!

  38. 9.3.15
    Alyssa Renee commented:

    Such a pretty pink dress! =)

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