Birthday Present to Myself

When I turned 25 this year, I wanted to treat myself to something nice. Last year, I splurged on a curling iron… But this year I really wanted something special and nice. 25 is a big milestone in my opinion. I went back and forth on a couple of super nice handbags, but nothing really felt right.
And then I found a gorgeous Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress at Nordstrom. I knew right away that I had to get it. The iconic dress has been on my wish-list for a while now and I couldn’t think of a better opportunity. It has since sold out, unfortunately, but you can still get the same print in a sweater. You know I love the ballerina sweater!

I really do feel like a million bucks in this dress. It’s gorgeous, fits beautifully, and feels very grown up. Perfect for a 25th birthday! (Of course, had to pair the dress with my trusty nude pumps.)

Even though my dress is sold out, shop below for some other great DVF wrap dresses:

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Thank you Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!


PS If you’re looking for a classic homecoming or formal dress, I really love this lace option… This color is on sale!

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I think the dress is fabulous on you. And you're right, a DVF dress is such a special piece. And with that, it comes with a hefty price tag. While I'm all about spoiling yourself on a special occasion, that fact that you picked the dress out from Nordstrom, who sponsored this post, means that the dress was paid for in one way or another by Nordstrom. A DVF dress is usually something women save for. I certainly celebrated when I was able to buy a DVF investment piece for myself. While I fully support you and your sponsors, "treating yourself" to something via a sponsor just doesn't seem genuine. I miss the "old days", when bloggers featured items bought and paid for out of their own pocket, not compensated by a store. I bought into more. Sorry, just my two cents. But again, the dress is gorgeous, looks great on you, and I don't blame you for choosing it one bit.


I paid for the dress from my personal checking account. Nordstrom did sponsor the post and they are an affiliate program I work with through RewardStyle… but you wouldn't say that the company you work for bought a dress for you because you paid for it with your salary. I do pay myself through my company (salaried, every month) and I do keep a budget for clothing every month personally, just like anyone would with a salaried position at a more traditional company.

Ellie Lucash

Gorgeous! Treating yourself for your 25th is a good idea and this is an awesome purchase that will stand the test of time.

I have "buy a splurge dress" on my 101 in 1001 list and I know I want a navy dress that can be dressed up, down, and in-between. You're making me think a DVF is the only way to go!

Lauren Smith

Good news! You can stil buy this beautiful wrap dress online: http://bit.ly/1s6CZwj

I really love all the colors together in it, I really wish oxblood/burgundy/maroon got more love throughout the year other than just fall. Also, it is made of wool, heads up!


My sister has a September birthday, like you, and I've always been jealous–you get the best clothes for your birthdays! Love the fall colors and the classic shape of this piece.



If Nordstrom sponsored this post, doesn't that mean you were in some way compensated for including the dress on your blog? Whether they paid for the dress or just paid you for the post, you're not being entirely honest by saying that you bought yourself a birthday present.

indian sundance

Wait, so….. this dress is not sold out online. It's just sold out at Nordstrom. But heaven forbid you share that with your readers, because you wouldn't want them to know they can get this dress from another retailer because you won't be making money off of their purchase! Gotta get the RStyle $$$, I guess. You really just blog for you now, huh? Do you even care about your readers anymore? BTW, not buying your explanation up a few comments up about how you paid for this dress… there's no way you would let someone sponsor a post if you got nothing in return. Please find a time machine and go back to being TCP of 2012. You were so much better then.

Cosette Thoms

Carly – first of all, ignore the crazy comment above from "indian summer" What a hater! True sign of a hater like this person, no real name. It's easy to dump all over someone while they remain anonymous. I guess that person works for free, yet criticizes you for supporting yourself. You're fantastic, so ignore them.

In the future, I'd really appreciate it if you'd comment on the fit/size of all the garments you post about. I can understand why you wouldn't want to post the size you purchased but it would be great if you could say if something is true to size, runs large (like you did in the navy dress post recently), etc. I LOVE the DVF wrap sweater you posted about but when I went to order it, it appeared that I was between sizes. A comment from you on how it fit would have been very helpful.

You look great, you are doing great things, and your blog is, by far, my favorite!


Thanks 😉

For the wrap dress (and sweater), the fit is "forgiving" in a good way because of the tie element. I did order both the petite and small and found the small fit me better in length and the chest area, but think the arms are a bit roomy.

Cosette Thoms

Thanks for the prompt reply. All the other DVF items I own are by number, not by SML, so that threw me a bit. I do love that about the DVF wrap items, that they can be very forgiving. Just as you did, I've ordered two sizes in the sweater and will just keep the one that fits best. Gotta love Nordstrom's free returns!

Perfect example of why I love your blog: I literally had "wrap sweater" on my "need to buy list" and then you post about a perfect one from a brand I love. Example #2: I was looking for a new belt to needlepoint my husband (who is also a Sigma Chi!) and you posted about the Needlepaint belts! Your blog is very relevant, and as someone who hates to shop, I feel like you're my personal shopper sometimes. Even as I type this, I'm wearing a dress that you posted about and I love it. You haven't steered me wrong yet.


Oh, grow up. Not every negative comment is someone being a "hater". Just because people don't blatantly kiss ass every time they comment doesn't mean what they have to say is any less valid. You must be an incredibly immature person if that's your line of thinking. Several people have spoken up about the whole Nordstrom's sponsored post thing – clearly it rubbed people the wrong way if more than one person felt compelled to said something. That doesn't make them all haters, rather it should be something for Carly to consider going forward.

Respectfully Anonymous

Cosette, the reason why some readers choose to remain anonymous is because Carly is still working on graciously accepting constructive criticism. When there is no longer a fear that she will publicly call out dissenters, then there will probably be fewer anonymous comments.
Until then, Carly, here's my two cents. Be upfront about your partnerships, sponsors, affiliate links, etc. We all can tell that you're making good money, and no one's going to jump ship just because they find out how rStyle works or how well Nordstrom pays you for each of these posts. Obviously no one expects you to reveal each and every number that goes into your contracts, but more honesty would earn you more respect. Not less. If you're not comfortable with that, then it might be a good idea to eliminate talks of money from your blog. Especially guest posts from Maxie about talking about money.
Otherwise, the dress and pictures look great. Meagan's a keeper as your photographer!


Happy birthday, Carly! 🙂 I love this dress on you, and love the backdrop. (Kind of made me tear up… Oh, how I miss NYC!) Hope all is well, and you had a great time celebrating this past week. 🙂 Teddy looks adorable, of course… I wish he and Noodle could have playdates!!