Going Out Dresses, Embellished Edition | The Realest

Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Meet Megan Toomey, an in-it-to-win-it woman who values working hard, spending quality time with family and friends, and feeling confident in her own skin. Megan applies her all-or-nothing personality to her career as a senior product manager as well as her personal life and athletic hobbies. With a smart sensibility and deliberate style, Megan is dynamic, kind, stands proudly at six-feet tall and isn’t afraid to rock some sky-high heels, thank you very much!

ALLOVER SPARKLE – Sequin Dresses

Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

On her style: “I think my style can best be described as classic. This used to bother me because ‘classic’ carries with it the connotation of sweater sets and kitten heels. And while I would never argue that Jackie O’s classic style is nothing short of perfection, it wasn’t exactly what I was going for. Now I’ve come to realize that classic can mean different things, and I choose to think of it as not succumbing completely to trends but wearing things that I know I like, that look good on me and playing with trend pieces without overhauling my closet every season.”

How she dresses for a night out: “I typically pick one thing that I really want to wear and work around that. It might be a new pair of shoes, a new shade of lipstick or a new dress. I try to avoid running between my closets and dresser pulling out random pieces of clothing and trying to find something that works, and instead anchor my outfit to whatever thing I really want to wear.

“Being more deliberate about what I wear helps me feel confident in my appearance.”

Vera Wang cowl-back dress


Jimmy Choo clutchgorjana ring and earrings | Charles by Charles David pumps

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TEXTURAL DIFFERENCES – Embossed Prints & Florals

Floral Print Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

Eliza J fit & flare dress | Jessica McClintock minaudiere | Ray-Ban classic sunglasses | Burberry watch

Floral print cocktail dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

The best part about a night out or entertaining: “Our lives get so busy that sometimes I think it’s easy to forget to actually live, and parties are a good reminder of why we do work so hard. I love finding a reason to get friends and family together and will never object to being the one to fill the ice bucket at the beginning of the night, make sure drinks are full during the evening, and pick up the last cocktail napkin after everyone goes home.

“I treasure my friends and family deeply so call me selfish, but I’m always ready to host something to bring us all together!”

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Sam Edelman pumps

SUBTLY SPARKLING – Reversible Sequins

Cocktail party dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.Kay Unger fit & flare dress

Following trends: “I pay attention to trends but don’t necessarily follow them. If I see something that looks fun and that I like, I’ll incorporate some of it but won’t completely overhaul my wardrobe. I don’t ever feel obligated to wear something because stores are promoting it or celebrities and stylists are wearing it.

“Right now, I love to mix layers with feminine tanks and blouses, lightweight sweaters and a tailored blazer. I think pencil skirts are one of the most versatile pieces a woman can own—appropriate for work with a sweater or jacket and can transition to evening with a taller pair of heels and silk top. I tend to stay away from a lot of jewelry and instead wear a few pieces that are meaningful to me, like a pair of gold earrings from my husband or a small pendant necklace from a close girlfriend. I do most of my accessorizing with my shoes! I don’t let my height get in the way of wearing a fantastic pair of heels but equally love really unique retro sneakers.”

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Ivanka Trump minaudieres | Freida Rothman ring | gorjana bracelet | Halogen T-strap pumps

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ACCESSORIES INCLUDED – Embellished-Collar Dresses


Eliza J embellished top and metallic stripe skirt | Stuart Weitzman sandals

Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

Freida Rothman bangles | Jimmy Choo clutch

Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

On work and play: “Throughout my career I’ve worked mostly in business, from a small startup, to a midsize e-commerce retailer, and now one of the biggest .com companies, Amazon. I love being part of a business and have been fortunate to experience what business is like in its infancy, during periods of rapid growth and even during periods of decline. I’m happiest when I’m challenged and making a difference in whatever project or team I’m a part of.

“I used to be a collegiate swimmer, and, while I don’t swim anymore, I tend to find something active and get really involved with it. This past year, I signed up for a half marathon and ended up doing two. I’ll probably never be a great runner, but I love the physical challenge of it and find it to be mentally relaxing. My husband and I are also huge University of Washington football fans. We met in college and have been season ticket holders since we got married. For our anniversary each year, we design custom shoes to wear on game day and retire them at the end of the year with a picture of ourselves and our favorite game memory of the year in each box.”

Party clutches from Nordstrom. The Realest.Aidan by Aidan Mattox dress | Glint clutch | midi rings | Diane von Furstenberg pumps

Cocktail Party Dresses from Nordstrom. The Realest.

Shop our newest Dress Spotlight: 3-D Embellishments.

Special thanks to our real woman model, Megan Toomey, and her real hangout, Good Bar in Pioneer Square. Also to Floor 13 Penthouse.

Images: Elizabeth Rudge | Styling: Associate Stylist Margaret Jones

–Jeff Powell

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