femme fatale

I was a film studies minor in college, and while I don't claim to be much of a film buff (when your professor tells you he's seen hundreds of thousands of films, it's hard to really compare yourself to that), I do love the movies. I love everything about them -- from the period costumes to the original scores to the riveting storytelling, what's not to love? One of my favorite genres is film noir. This cinematic term primarily describes the stylish, opulent crime dramas that reigned supreme in Hollywood during the 1940s and '50s. One of the central figures in many film noir plots is the femme fatale (French for "fatal woman"). A femme fatale is often characterized as a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms captivate her lovers, often leading them into comprising, dangerous, and -- ultimately -- deadly situations. The femme fatale archetype flourished during the film noir era, as many plots revolved around money, mystery, and murder.

Laura Hunt in LAURA (1944)

So, what does all of this have to do with style? Well, quite a lot, actually. The fashion of a film noir femme fatale (whoa, say that five times fast) is absolutely lethal. She may have killer instincts, but she's also got a killer wardrobe -- think luxurious fabrics and lavish details set against a moody, black and white backdrop.

Joan Bennett in SCARLET STREET (1945)

This Dainty Jewell's dress encapsulates all of the above. It's demure and elegant, yet uncompromisingly sultry and alluring -- not to mention incredibly well-made. This dress truly feels like it was designed just for me. The long, overflowing black and white chevron-print skirt is both sophisticated and slimming (best of both worlds!). I absolutely adore the black bodice and gathered sleeves at the cuffs. That's not all -- the sleeves and bottom half of the dress are lined (no see-through action happening here) and a lovely black ribbon belt is included with the dress, meaning you could rock a front, back, or side bow to add the final girly touch.

In a nutshell: you need this dress.

Or if not this dress, I highly encourage you to check out Dainty Jewell's extensive inventory of modestly feminine clothing in a plethora of sizes (they even have bridesmaid dresses!).

Dress: Dainty Jewell's (c/o)

Necklace: Eva Mendes Collection at New York & Company (currently on sale!)

Shoes: Shoe Cult by Nasty Gal (similar)