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Before diving into a new project, I love to take some time to gather inspiration. Like many, I am a huge fan of the mood board. Seeing all of my ideas in one place helps me to identify patterns and trends. While gathering photos for a Penny dress mood board, I couldn’t help but notice five clear categories my inspiration could be filed under. So instead of making one big inspirational collage, I made five!

I love how a simple fabric choice can completely change the look of a dress. In this post, I share five ideas for creating a classic and modern Penny dress.


Penny’s classic design would look modern in a bold, bright color. Whether you choose a solid or a subtle print, bright colors will freshen up this vintage-inspired look.


Nothing says summer like a chic, white dress. Try using a textural fabric like lace, eyelet, swiss dot, or linen.


Don’t be afraid of going bold. The simple lines of a shirtdress pair perfectly with big bold prints. African wax cloth, vintage sheets, or handprinted fabrics lend a contemporary look to this classic style.

Stripes and Checks

Stripes and gingham are always in style. Make a timeless Penny dress by using small or large-scale stripes and gingham. Try playing with directionality to add extra interest to your dress.


This wouldn’t be a Colette post if we didn’t share some floral inspiration! In our book, you can’t go wrong with a floral-print dress. For Penny, we love large scale floral prints.

What are your plans for Penny? Have you picked a fabric? Looking forward to hearing your plans!

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